Recruiters can improve the effectiveness of their offline recruitment activities by adopting omnichannel strategies
For many purchases such as buying a laptop or a car, a typical customer journey starts in a physical store and continues online on their phone, looking for special offers and prices. Omnichannel marketing was born out of the necessity to deliver a complete experience across all these channels. This includes online, offline, FAQs, helplines and social media pages. Many e-commerce CRMs are now executing omnichannel strategies. It is time for recruiters to take notice and explore what omnichannel can do for them.
Are you ready to get “stalked”?
As complex as purchasing decisions can seem at times, they are insignificant compared to career decisions. A new job is one of life’s defining moments. Hence, don’t put it past candidates to research via every possible channel. Truly, this will make stalkers out of them: candidates will look at your career site, your LinkedIn page, your Facebook page, your YouTube channel, your individual LinkedIn profiles (including reading through the comments and referrals), your Glassdoor page (of course) and every comment left by current and past employees on online forums. Most candidates will also look into the personal Facebook pages, Instagram accounts and blogs of their prospective managers.
From multichannel to omnichannel
To make the life of consumers easier, retailers initially figured out how to be accessible across multiple channels. They activated hotlines, chat support and FAQ pages, along with their physical stores, giving consumers more choices in their experiences. This was the advent of multichannel and it was meant to drive connectivity.
For customers, switching from one channel to another usually comes at a cost: they often have to repeat themselves and re-enter information previously submitted. This poor experience results in lower conversion rates and a loss in revenue.
Omnichannel allows for customers to move from one channel to another without interruption in the flow of the conversation. For example, a prospective customer researches a product online, then calls for additional info and the sales agent immediately pulls out his online search history, discusses the products being considered, and closes the sale faster.
Omnichannel recruitment applies the same concept, with the end goal being a hire instead of a sale. Imagine how much more effective your recruiters would be if they could see the entire history of the candidate’s journey, for example knowing who the candidates spoke to, which sections of the career site they visited or which questions they asked the FAQ bot, etc. Access to this information puts recruiters in a much stronger position with real-time indicators of a candidate’s thoroughness and level of interest.
Retail as a recruitment channel … and the importance of keeping the conversation going
Location, location, location… This oft-repeated mantra describes the key success factor in the retail industry. For many high volume employers, such as the US army recruiters or large call centers, retail outlets have long been one of their favorite recruitment channels. This channel allows for immediate face-to-face interpersonal interaction (and some “selling”), which is ideal to qualify interest on both sides.
But the conversation with candidates generally does not end there. Since most of the retail traffic is composed of passive job seekers, who were sought out simply because they were in the retail vicinity, they may have an existing job/commitment, and may want to delay this employment decision by many months. A key driver to converting this traffic into hires effectively will therefore be the employers’ ability to keep the conversation going beyond the initial chat.
You can facilitate this through various communication channels (email, phone calls, targeted advertising), but none are as effective today as messaging/texting. Messaging offers a 2-way communication channel, where candidates can continue to receive information about the company and the job, while also getting answers to the questions they had not thought of initially when first meeting the recruiter. Using Natural Language Processing (NLP), a chatbot can recognize the questions being asked, and offer candidates an immediate response. (Learn more about recruitment chatbots here).
To open this messaging communication channel with a candidate who are physically coming to your recruitment center or your career fair, you have different options:
- Manually collect the candidate’s contact details (phone, email)
- Ask the candidates to send an SMS to a dedicated phone number
- Hand them an iPad or a Tablet with a sign-up form
- Ask them to scan a QR code using their mobile phone and their Facebook Messenger (method illustrated in the video below)
Billboards and radio: Great for blue collar hiring
Other sourcing channels which are often dismissed in the digital age are billboards and radio advertising. These channels have lost a lot of market share against job boards and social media in the past 20 years, but remain strong performers for certain job categories, particularly blue collar workers. To measure the effectiveness of such a campaign, it is crucial to create a unique call to action, be it a URL or a phone number that candidates can call or SMS. Making both a website and a phone line available will maximize the chance of conversion. When activating a phone line, you may not want the disruption that comes with a hotline ringing at every hour of the day (and night) in your recruitment office, so you may use a local phone line with an interactive voice recognition (IVR) system to guide the incoming traffic (note: Talkpush can set that up for you).
Facebook as a channel
There are many different ways for recruiters to view Facebook: as a direct advertising platform, as a communication channel (via Messenger) or as a place to reinforce your employer branding. We have written extensively on how to generate tons of hiring via a combination of all three. (Read Our Ultimate Guide to Facebook Hiring). For volume hiring, such as graduate hiring programs, Facebook is currently the most cost-effective channel for many large employers.
What works with customers also works with candidates: if you’re in recruitment, you have to be where your candidates are. Today, there are dozens of ecosystems where your candidates “live”, and it is up to you to activate channels to access each of them. Getting a single unified view of your candidate’s journey across these channels represents a new opportunity for employers to set themselves apart. We’d be happy to show you one software that can deliver just that.