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Coining Recruitment Strategies to Reach and Engage Today’s Job Seekers

Capturing the attention of both passive and active job seekers today, and motivating them enough to take action requires consistent employer branding exercises and using all available avenues of engagement including online social media, but not limited to it. Recruitment strategies and engagement policies as well as tactics change according to the platform used to communicate with potential job seekers or candidates, and potential job seeker segments vary in nature according to the online social platform or offline social setting.

Strategies to reach for today’s job SeekersThat being said, online social media like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn all have their particular personalities, and the same job seeker on different social platforms would behave differently and also expect to be treated differently. This is nothing new – what is new is the mind-stopping clutter that can neither be neglected nor brought under control, as the channels of communication are no more one-way.

Learn how job seeker behavior patterns change according to channels of communication

New social media engagement and measuring tools have enabled recruiters with ways to understand people's behavior and audience expectations on different social platforms. At the same time new rules on data privacy, tracking and user privacy have made previously accessible data inaccessible.

Though the experience differs from company to company, a broad ascription of attributes (can be incorrect from many perspectives) is that twitter users are generally prosaic – focused more on receiving business information, Facebook users are more involved and used to respond, and LinkedIn users are less prone to trust and more professional to deal with.

One of the best possible platforms of job seeker engagement is of course mobile apps with full company branding, because no one who is not interested in a company would take the pains to download and use the app.

According to recent research and surveys, close to 60% of job seekers observe the social media of a company, whether they apply through social media channels or not. Social media, especially Facebook and LinkedIn have become essential for employer branding, even though actual recruitment activities may all take place offline, or through the company's own website pages. Usually, companies with visibly established employer brands on social media have 40% greater chance of receiving the application of a job seeker than a company with poor employer branding on social media.

Human behavior and priorities have not changed, only the channels of communications and their nature have:

When designing recruitment strategies including employer-branding exercises, one has to understand that core human values, needs, desires, and attributes have not changed; what has changed are the ways by which we communicate with each other, the shelf life of such communication, the reach of communication, and the control over such communication channels. Keeping these changes in mind, it is the same set of emotions and values that need to be catered to, to find engagement, something that has been happening for thousands of years.

So, the most used strategies that work for engaging today's job seekers include:

•    Creating and describing proper candidate and employee profiles

•    Providing information and interacting with queries satisfactorily on social media

•    Taking care not to be perceived as spammy and continuing to disseminate one sided information

•    Creating succinct and clear job descriptions and creative job advertisements

•    Targeting the highest points of social density of potential job seekers including specific groups, websites and forums

Remember that while below 30% of recruitment's initiate from social media, at least 80% of potential employees use and research about a company online on social media and review boards before deciding to apply for a job.

In a recent meeting, a well-known industry expert opined that passive job seekers constitute 90% of the talent pool, and most of them are not on social media, or prone to wasting time on new media channels. He impressed upon us that finding the passive job seeker was the new duty of the HR recruiter. The only thing was that it is not a ‘new duty.' It has always been so in the recruiting industry, and it is due to this fact and ability of finding and recruiting the passive job seeker that the term “head hunter” that is in use for decades, entered the industry.

New channels of communication must be used in a cost-optimized manner to send across the employer brand

Employee value propositions need to be constantly conveyed through different cost-optimized avenues, none of which can be neglected. Branding videos on YouTube, android apps, eBooks, newspaper advertisements, seminars, meetings on college campuses, job fair booths – every avenue needs to be utilized and cannot be neglected for big companies. However, for small companies, huge social media campaigns may not be worth the effort and a small advertisement in a local newspaper with creative graphics can constitute the solution to engage job seekers in the correct manner.

There are no universal solutions, but cost-benefit, cost-optimization, and reaching the target audience is one part of the story, and continuous employer brand reinforcement through social media and by updating industry partners like job boards and recruiters is the other part of engaging job seekers.