Treat candidates like customers
Recruiters can solve problems and make positive differences to any company with quick and easy to post job openings; Value creation from referral incentives increases measurability and gasification of referrals and shares from employees creates a strong and coherent brand. However, recruitment does not come without its challenges, with recruiters constantly having to expand their audience and reach. In times where 80% of potential applicants are not actively looking for work and job boards are losing reach, traditional recruiting methods are no longer as effective. It’s time for a new approach.
Recruiting goes Marketing & Sales
Recruiters need to learn to handle candidates as potential customers and engage in relationship management practices - even before a candidate applies. Marketing and sales teams have been cultivating relationships for decades, in order to attract and turn potential leads into customers. Why shouldn’t the recruitment process be the same? Recruiters can practice these same processes, increasing the chances of quickly fulfilling positions with quality candidates. Think of it this way: your vacancies are a product that you have to sell. The (potential) candidate must therefore be treated like a (potential) customer.
Recruiting as a value creation factor
Example: After a professional has left the company, it can take months before the successor starts his job. In this time, tasks remain unfinished or are completed by other members of the team, at the detriment to their own workload, or outsourced to an often costly third-party. Per day, the average cost of a vacant position is around £160, which is lost. With each job remaining unfilled for an average of 50 days, this works out to be very costly to the business. Now if recruiting was approached in the same way as sales, imagine how much could be saved.
The modern recruiting funnel
The Recruiting Funnel has changed dramatically over time, and still varies greatly from one business to another. Commonly, the Recruiting Funnel is similar to a traditional Marketing and Sales Funnel; it is assumed that the decision-making process of interested parties is divided into three main phases: Attention, Consideration, and Purchase. The Recruiting Funnel is much the same: Initially candidates must be made aware of the employer brand. The candidates then consider the company as a potential employer, ideally becoming an applicant. At the end of the funnel, a candidate must become a ‘hire’, a successfully hired employee. All this requires a systematic relationship management - Candidate Relationship Management.
The power of data
Many companies find keeping track of their recruiting processes difficult, with multiple application methods and numerous recruitment agencies. Nobody wants to admit it, but different teams often have different ideas about the best approach; Print dies? More online ads! They don’t work either? Try actively searching! Marketing and Sales teams often work differently, because they have to. They act according to which phase of the funnel a prospect is at and how they behave (you wouldn’t offer a free demo to an existing customer). The lead must be nurtured through the buying process, and focus from sales and marketing teams must be on the continuous relationship management. This process can be clearly measured and controlled by data.
When it comes to recruiting, relationship management with potential candidates is just as important. Candidate Relationship Management ensures that as many contacts as possible lead to an application and finally to a ‘hire’. Along with the recruiting funnels, applicants are continuously supplied with exciting content from the potential new employer. Thus, a relationship is developed with the company, and the chances of an application or positive interaction are increased.
Candidate Relationship Management also makes recruiting easier to plan. Based on the recruitment goal (number of vacancies) and conversion rates, you can easily determine how many leads need to be generated at the beginning of the process through the various recruiting channels. You can also determine how many candidates are needed in order to achieve a ‘hire’. Recruiters can thus measure and control activities and channels in a more targeted manner.
Don't leave relationship management to chance
From the point of application, companies have documented everything in their applicant management systems. What happens before that, such as the relationship management to acquire contacts, is now buried in e-mails and Excel files. At the same time, this phase has to be controlled in a structured way. This means, for example, a systematic creation of talent pools and a target and personalised approach to potential candidates.
The quality of the candidate experience has a huge impact on whether they want to be employed by the company. That’s why it is imperative to use a consistent system that documents all contact points along the Candidate Journey (how many times have you been to a second round of interviews, only to be asked the same questions all over again).
Another parallel between marketing / sales and recruiting is references. In marketing, customers prove in case studies that a product really works and they are satisfied. In recruiting, the best references are your own employees. They are authentic advocates for the quality of an employer and should be used in addressing candidates as so-called brand ambassadors. In this way, employees can be the key to generating talent leads and supporting the employer brand.
In summation, the potential is huge. Marketing and Sales bases approaches, supported by new technologies, offer companies completely new ways to attract candidates. If you want to learn more about how such strategies will change recruiting in the future, I recommend our new whitepaper.
Learn more about how marketing and sales best practises are changing talent acquisitions.