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Alan Bentley



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Talking Point: Recruitment – The only way is digital?


One of the hottest hiring topics at the moment is the shift from reactive recruitment to talent marketing – a process that has largely been supported by the use of emerging technologies such as video job boards, social media and mobile channels.

So, what are these new technologies and how can HR directors make sure that they exploit them effectively?
1. Video content
The story of Graeme Anthony, an out-of-work PR person who created a YouTube video in a bid to land his dream job, hit the headlines last autumn. What the incident highlighted was how important it is, not just for jobseekers, but also for HR professionals to come up with innovative recruitment techniques these days.
Viewing a video CV can help you gain a clearer picture, at a much earlier stage, of an individual’s skills and their ability to communicate, potentially enabling you to select those candidates who stand out from the crowd more quickly and easily.
But it is no longer enough for companies to simply broadcast available vacancies and wait for candidates to fall from the sky. Recruitment has moved beyond simply selling jobs to candidates to providing them with an entire brand package.
And within this package, video technology can act as a powerful marketing tool for employers wanting to build rapport with potential recruits.
2. Get social
How many applicants do you receive per vacancy? Whatever the number, it won’t come close to how many potential candidates are currently using social media.
With LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter boasting well over one billion users between them, each social networking site represents a massive potential talent pool that HR directors would do well to exploit. So, what does this mean in reality?
Typically, social recruiting techniques fall into one of three categories:
  1. Referrals: These work online in much the same way as they do offline, but HR professionals can now extend their reach by alerting their connections to vacancies via tweets, LinkedIn groups or through Facebook.
  2. Job posting: Unlike traditional ads, vacancies are posted across multiple channels, from blogs and discussion groups to interactive job boards. Advertising vacancies through these channels should attract candidates who have a genuine interest in connecting with your company’s brand.
  3. Sourcing: This activity involves undertaking an active search for relevant candidates to fill a given role. Twitter is particularly good for identifying thought leaders.
It is worth bearing in mind that many dynamic candidates are now bypassing the traditional HR process, which is often seen as cumbersome and unresponsive.
But for those HR directors who are embracing new technologies, a shift towards talent marketing opens up the opportunity to create long-term, ‘value based relationships’ with potential recruits.
3. Go mobile
In the same way that the internet changed the way in which employers attract candidates, mobile devices are revolutionising the way that you can market yourselves to possible job candidates.
A study by Morgan Stanley in summer last year predicted that smartphone ownership would outstrip the number of PCs being purchased by the end of this year, with many consumers preferring to use mobile devices when going online. Nonetheless, mobile applications still tend to be a resource that is under-exploited by the HR profession.
Even if your recruitment systems are not optimised for mobile access, which means making them easier to view on a small screen, the likelihood is that a good proportion of your web traffic will still come from these devices either via search engines or email links.
Therefore, it is crucial to tailor your recruitment systems to meet the needs of these consumers. Modern job applicants require a high-touch approach in order to stay engaged.
This means that employers keen to target this tech-savvy chunk of the workforce should review their recruitment strategies and evaluate ways to include mobile support.
Here are three tips for HR professionals keen to make the most of these new technologies:
  1. Remember video content is not simply the preserve of job seekers. Employers can also use it to help them communicate their identity, ethos and values to prospective employees.
  2. Engage with potential job candidates across a range of channels, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and job boards, in order to target the candidates that you most want to attract.
  3. Ensure that your systems support mobile devices as many of today’s job candidates expect to learn about, and respond to vacancies, whenever and wherever they happen to be online.

Alan Bentley is co-founder and director of video job board, Adcaster.

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Alan Bentley


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