Posted at Dec 19, 2019 12:57:00 PM by THAT Agency | Share
Recruitment marketing for SMBs is often thought of in traditional ways. Some of these still hold true. It's still useful to network, for instance. Talent acquisition strategies have also evolved The same marketing you use to attract and convert customers can be extremely effective in attracting and converting job applicants. There's a way to meld traditional and proven recruitment with modern talent acquisition that brings out the best in both:
Create a Candidate Profile
A candidate profile is a little like the requirements you'd list on a job posting. It just goes a bit further. Ask yourself what you'd like the ideal candidate to be. What skills would you like them to have? Ask this in relation to education, skills, accomplishments, experience, and what they're seeking from a potential employer.
Your best candidate may not fit this profile exactly, but you'll be able to quickly identify legitimate reasons and alternative experience where they differ from the profile.
The best use of such a profile is that it helps you narrow down the candidate list quickly. It can help you whittle away “bad fit” candidates you might otherwise waste time considering without a more precise profile to help guide you.
Apply Inbound Marketing Techniques
Inbound marketing works well on convincing customers to become interested, loyal, and eventually part of your brand community. Why wouldn't it work on job applicants? Quality content helps job seekers decide whether to apply with your business. Talent acquisition strategies rely on closing a high-quality applicant, and visitors who start the process themselves have already begun closing themselves on taking the position if it's offered.
Some of the content that already exists or that's already being created can serve multiple functions. You can tie it in to job posting or share it when you post a position on social media. The content can be a far more effective hook for helping someone get to know the way your organization thinks or positions itself in an industry.
Content tells a story, which is why it's interesting to customers. That story is often still more interesting to job applicants than the posting itself. You can provide easy opportunities through this content to learn more about a job posting. If everyone else is making job postings, and you provide thoughtful content to lead into the job posting, then you're making a stronger, more unique argument than everyone else who's hiring.
Use SEO and Insight Tools
You use SEO to effectively attract visitors you want to convert into customers. Leverage it to attract visitors you want to turn into job applicants as well. Some of the specific strategies and channels you use will be different, but you can still measure them in the way that you already use effectively.
Apply what you and your marketing agency know about SEO, social media insights, Google analytics, and other tools in order to assess where you're bringing potential applicants from. What channels are proving especially effective? Which SEO keywords? What content?
Many organizations think recruiting is still more traditional than marketing, but recruitment marketing for SMBs can be analyzed and managed using the same tools you use for your other marketing. Analyze the conversion paths to applications using the same tools you already use to analyze your other conversion paths.
Develop a Referral System
Chances are good that your own employees and contacts know others who are exceptionally skilled in your industry. Create a referral system. Go ahead and incentivize it: if a referral gets hired, the person who referred them gets a bonus.
This works in a number of ways. Current employees will be more invested in your organization. After all, they're convincing others to join it. That means they're reinforcing their own reasons for being a part of your business.
You also know the employees and contacts who have good judgment or who work well with others. Chances are good that their referrals will demonstrate similar capabilities and be more likely to fit into the overall attitude and environment of your workplace.
Chances are also good that you work with contractors, freelancers, temp workers, or gig economy workers. Are you happy with their work? Are they consistent in the quality they deliver? Do they have strong skills or a strong voice in the way you need?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you may already have an ideal applicant. Does it matter if you have 500 or 1,000 additional applications for a single position if you already work with the ideal candidate in another capacity?
You should still have them go through the application process and look at other top candidates. Yet if you have experience working with someone who's already proved to be a great fit, put them at or near the top.
Some think that they can have their cake and eat it, too. They'll hire someone new figuring they already have the freelancer and won't lose them – yet freelance positions are notoriously fickle and you may end up losing the better potential employee in the long run. Secure them while you can.
Communicate Your Organization's Culture
Employees want to have a sense of the culture they might join. Communicate this culture in a streamlined way. They want to know what their average day might feel like.
Many organizations make the mistake of only communicating the highlights and perks: a unique art centerpiece, a luxury coffee bar, a nap room. The list of in-office perks is long, varied, and often extremely creative.
Applicants appreciate these elements, but none of this really tells an applicant what their experience doing the actual work will feel like. What's the communication like? Are managers accountable? Will enough resources be given employees? How is crunch handled? These are far more important to what an employee's daily experience and stress level will be like than a coffee bar. These factors need to be communicated in a realistic way.
Use Local Networking
Show up at events that aren't necessarily about recruiting. These may be industry-specific meet-up events and more social than professional in orientation. Don't go just as a recruiter, especially where doing so might feel out-of place...but do take recruiting actions. Think of it more as outreach than pure recruiting.
This is a way of networking that can get your business's name out there among candidates who aren't yet looking or who are passively looking. It's also useful for creating referrals. Others in the business may be happy where they are but know someone else who isn't.
You can also schedule these kinds of events yourself. Orient it around fun, loosely organized, and low-key activities. A happy hour at a local restaurant is perfect, for instance. Organize the event for your employees, and then invite the network you've made as well. This can help them feel comfortable with your organization even before they're a part of it, and it's a great way to spread good word of mouth about your organization inside your industry.
Are You Missing Talent Pools?
There are a number of overlooked talent pools. These can include veterans, retirees, stay-at-home parents, applicants with non-profit experience, and those who are part of state and non-profit employment programs.
Look into professional associations that focus on specific demographics, too. Many social media channels used in recruitment marketing for SMBs will overlook women, Latinx, Asian-American, Black, and indigenous professionals. These professional associations make it their business to help you expand the talent pool to which you have access. Top professionals from these groups are often ignored by algorithms and analytic tools.
Consider also employment groups that work with disabled applicants. If they're qualified, they're qualified. The one you hurt most if you limit your talent pool is your organization, so put biases or assumptions you have against any of the groups here aside. A quality employee is a quality employee, and you may be looking in places where other organizations fail to – that gives you an advantage in finding top talent.
Measure Your Results
Talent acquisition strategies don't end when the talent is acquired. You also need to assess how those strategies worked. You may need to modify them in the future.
If you're finding a common shortcoming in your hires, then something in your candidate profile may be off. If you're hiring people who are just a hair short on necessary experience, maybe you're not focusing on the right channels. If they quickly become dissatisfied at your organization, maybe you're not communicating its culture accurately.
It can be hard to admit some of these things, but every organization needs to make adjustments on the fly. If you're acquiring talent just fine, but finding it doesn't work out after the hire as well or as often as it should, then maybe you need to adjust how you're identifying, attracting, and assessing that talent. Measure your results so that you can improve your talent acquisition strategies. It's not just about number or hires, it's also about the quality of the end result moving forward.
Keep in Touch
There may be ideal fits for your workplace that just don't meet the job requirements for the position you have open now. Keep in touch with these applicants. You don't need to become their best friend or learn about their family; just keep the lines of communication open and check in now and again.
Let them know that you enjoyed their interview and you do consider them a good fit for your organization. Ask them to let you know if they do select another position, gain more experience, or get more certifications or training.
You may not be able to hire them today, but a position may open up down the road for which they're perfect. Or they may gain that extra bit of experience you wanted them to have. In this case, you've already vetted and interviewed the applicant and you know they'll be a good fit.
Remember to apply your inbound marketing and other modern techniques to your talent acquisition strategies. Communicate your organization's culture, create networks and keep in touch with them, don't overlook strong talent pools. Then measure how effective it's all been and make adjustments for the next time.