Time to pick your battles: we’ve listed 5 initiatives that are bound to have a big impact on your recruitment operations
Wow! Anyone else think 2018 just flew by, or is it just me? For the recruiters among us, the end of the year probably just signals the start of a new, uber fast and hectic year.
Good Talent Acquisition teams are continually reacting to the needs of the business, constantly being pulled in different directions over the course of the year to deliver on urgent hiring assignments. This type of environment doesn’t exactly leave a lot of time for side-projects; which means said side-projects have to be extra thoughtful and better be tied to key strategic initiatives when they are taken on.
Sometimes it can be difficult just to find the time to get the process started; I am no stranger to these shoes! So with this in mind, I wanted to share with you 5 key initiatives for 2019 that I believe will help you take your recruitment operation to the next stage and Level Up!
1. Define a recruiter persona for your employer brand
Applying persona marketing to recruitment marketing is a concept we introduced to our customers a few months ago. The idea is simple: it’s much easier to imagine having a conversation with an actual person than a with a “target audience”. Working with personas therefore helps you build more personal, believable content. That’s good marketing common sense.
Now turn the tables and put yourself in the shoes of the candidates. It probably won’t come as a surprise that candidates also have an easier time connecting with an employer if that employer has a persona that they can connect with or relate to. It’s easier to visualize, remember and engage with an employer who has a name, a face and a personality.
At Talkpush, we often spend a significant amount of time with our new customers thinking about what ‘person’ would be best to represent their brand. Who is this person? Are they male or female? What is his or her age? What are his or her personal character traits, their name, favorite hobbies, etc? Undergoing an exercise like this can be incredibly beneficial for any employer, especially those looking to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. And it becomes even more essential when a company wants to build a conversational agent (aka chatbot) to interface with candidates on its behalf.
2. Activate a Whatsapp Business Account for your recruitment team
Note: this piece of advice is only for companies who are hiring in Europe, Asia, Latin America or Africa… So pretty much everywhere except the US, China and Japan…
WhatsApp, the global leader of all messaging apps in terms of market penetration (followed by Facebook Messenger), has finally opened its doors to business users by offering official “verified” accounts for companies. Companies will also have access to an API so that those WhatsApp numbers can host custom chatbots to interact with all incoming inquiries. Better yet, companies can even use WhatsApp for outbound communications in the same way they use SMS. Considering the outstanding performance (in terms of read rates and response rates) of this communication channel versus email or even SMS, this is a no brainer for companies hiring in high volume.
Back in August, Talkpush became the first recruitment software to be compatible with WhatsApp and has since rolled out this integration with a number organisations with high volume recruitment requirements; others will and are following. Whether you are a customer of Talkpush or not, one of my top recommendations to you for 2019 is to activate a WhatsApp Business line. You can do this by submitting a request to WhatsApp directly, or you can fast-track your request with Talkpush.
3. Re-engage old databases and reduce reliance on expensive job boards
With the job board industry consolidating behind a few leaders (Indeed, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, SEEK…), and with unemployment rates at historically low levels, don’t expect your job board advertising bills to go down in 2019. How can you fight back? How about figuring out a way to yield some returns on the thousands of dollars you’ve already spent on these job boards in 2018?
Traditional email campaigns conducted with talent networks yield very low returns for employers historically, but you now have the ability to re-engage your past candidates with short, targeted and personalized messages via SMS, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Sending something like “Hi Max, can you update us on your current status?” typically yields a response rate 10x higher than just sending a standard email with job listing. Talk to your ATS provider about running a re-engagement messaging campaign; you won’t be sorry you did. And if they can’t help you, give us a shout!
4. Put a chatbot on your career site
E-commerce websites have been wise to it for years and most booking systems have also shifted to it. So why are 99% of career websites still not leveraging chatbots to engage with candidates? 2019 is your chance to take the leap and be an early adopter of this technology within the recruitment space. This form of communications is ideally suited for engaging with potential talent, and it’ll increase your conversion rates (calculated as job applications per unique visitors), help your candidates be better informed (if you build an FAQ database), and make you stand out against your competitors.
Not keen on revamping your entire career website yet? That’s cool, I know it’s a lot of work, and there are some other things you can do that don’t require a total overhaul. For example, you can experiment with a discreet pop-up bot on the bottom right corner of your site; I’m sure you’ve seen these before. By allowing you to convert a handful more visitors into applicants, this investment quickly pays for itself.
5. Train your hiring managers on how to use video
The days of polished corporate video content are over. These days, people consume video content produced by individuals on Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube to name a few, and demand that this content is genuine, authentic and on-the-fly. Even politicians are building their own campaign ads, such as this DIY video, written and shot by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She surprised the nation by winning a Democratic primary election in the 14th Congressional District of New York last summer, on the back of her strong social media campaign.
Hiring managers have a unique opportunity to connect with applicants by recording a short video message describing the job and the team they would be joining. That said, Talent Acquisition teams do have a responsibility in training the hiring managers on how to use this medium correctly to bring the workplace culture to life, and to communicate the benefits of a job, the employer, and the work environment.
Once this is mastered, this content can be re-used in marketing campaigns, job ads, or via messaging marketing to get your candidates excited about the job. It has the ability to give your company a competitive edge. Crowd-sourcing content with your managers while beating your competition to the ground. Is there any better way to start a new year?