What every recruiter should know about Social Media, SEO, and the Proactive Recruitment
Coming out of the worst recession since the Great Depression, talent acquisition is on the rebound and organizations are striving ensure they have the best processes in place to help their company flourish. Looking ahead, organizations need to evaluate their talent acquisition processes. Does your organization have the technologies in place to attract the most qualified workers? Is your organization prepared for a retirement surge when the baby boomers leave the workforce at an astounding rate? These are only two of the many questions talent acquisition professionals should be asking themselves as they prepare for a new era in talent acquisition.
Three Key Talent Acquisition Strategies
1. Social Media
The latter part of this past decade has proven social media’s unyielding power. Since inception in a Harvard dorm room in 2003, Facebook has now surpassed 1 billion users monthly! Even more remarkable is a recent study showing the demographics of the users of social media and online communities. Interestingly, the highest contributing members are 25 – 44 year olds. This age category contains people that are also highly contributing members of the workforce.
Social networks are the best way to form relationships with both passive and active candidates. Instead of the one-time static relationships candidates historically expected from recruiters, social networks allow recruiters to have long term dynamic relationships with a talent pipeline. With passive candidates making up more that 83% of the workforce, leveraging these relationships through social networks is more important than ever. Social networks also have an impact your employment brand and a candidate’s perception of your job opportunities. By formally incorporating social media into their talent acquisition strategies, organizations take ownership of how their employment brand is portrayed.
Furthermore, forward thinking organizations are leveraging social media outlets to strengthen and promote their employee referral programs – which often cited as the most effective source of qualified talent.
For all these reasons, organizations are discovering the remarkable value proposition social media holds. The best part is that the most progressive Talent Acquisition Solutions integrate with social media, making it is easier than ever to launch, measure, and capture candidate’s attention where they live on social media.
2. Proactive Sourcing and Recruitment Marketing Automation
The skill gap is one of the biggest challenges facing recruiters today. While there are plenty of people looking for jobs and plenty of jobs to be had, many candidates do not have the skill sets that fit the positions recruiters are trying to fill.
While the skill gap is a significant challenge for recruiters, few can argue that it is the result of positive changes in business. With that, we can expect that the skill gap will get worse before it gets better. As a result of the skill gap challenges, the average time to fill a vacancy can range from 4.5 to 14.4 weeks depending on the industry and skill set required. Every day that a job remains vacant, the company pays in terms of productivity, revenue, and employee morale/engagement.
These problems exemplify the need for recruiters to be implementing proactive sourcing activities. Proactive sourcing activities include identifying the skills your company needs to achieve its strategic goals. Once those skills are identified, you must be constantly on the lookout for talent with those skills. As well, a company must create significant visibility surrounding their employment brand to attract top talent.
Being proactive in recruitment means that constantly seeking and engaging passive talent with the skills your company needs whether a position is currently available within the organization or not. The goal of proactive recruitment is to create talent pools from which you can draw during times of need ultimately decreasing the time required to fill vacancies. Once you engage top passive talent, it is important to nurture that relationship, keeping the passive warm and increasing the likelihood that the candidate will apply for future openings. This is where a company can see the value of recruitment marketing automation.
As today’s recruiters struggle to hire the best candidates, recruiters are turning in to marketing professionals as they “sell” their company’s employment brand. Today, just like marketing professionals, recruiters are increasingly turning to recruitment marketing automation tools to send fully-branded email marketing communications to their talent pools. These communications help to keep the candidate warm and create excitement surrounding employment with your company.
3. Search Engine Optimization
While job boards continue to play an important role in identifying qualified talent, search engine optimization is a key component in strategic recruiting. Organic search engine optimization is now viewed as one of the most cost effective yet under-utilized ways to generate applicant traffic to a company’s job openings. Every month, there are over 613 million job-related searches on Google. A rapidly increasing proportion of job seekers are now turning to a limited number of search engines to locate opportunities that were previously only available through traditional job search channels like job boards.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is defined as the process of developing and structuring web content to be easily discovered by search engines. SEO has long been part of an organization’s strategy to drive traffic to their corporate website and today it is an increasingly important way to advertise your jobs, too. The concept is simple, the higher your website or job description appears on the list of search results, the more web traffic your career portal and open jobs receive. Search engine optimized content consistently results in a higher number of quality candidates and essentially a more effective recruiting campaign.
Unfortunately, many organizations do not have the resources to dedicate to SEO, but easy solutions are available. Search engine optimized career microsites are an easy way to implement SEO to support your recruiting efforts. These microsites are designed with SEO in mind. The microsite’s web addresses (URLs) are keyword optimized and content rich.
It is important when choosing career microsites that you choose a vendor that is able to provide microsites that use a .jobs domain. A .jobs domain, rather than having .com as the domain, is imperative to search engine optimization in recruiting. It is a top-level domain maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and sponsored by SHRM. In other words, it is protected so it can only be used for jobs. Accordingly, search engines like Google, trust the content for .jobs sites more than other domains like .com.
How iCIMS can Help
iCIMS, a leading provider of innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) talent acquisition solutions, is an Inc. 500 and Software Satisfaction honoree focused on helping businesses win the war for top talent through the implementation of easy-to-use, scalable solutions that are backed by award-winning customer service. iCIMS' Talent Platform, the industry's premier candidate management solution, enables organizations to leverage mobile, social, and video technologies to manage their entire talent acquisition lifecycle from building talent pools, to recruiting, to onboarding all within a single web-based application. With more than 2,500 clients worldwide, iCIMS is one of the largest and fastest-growing talent acquisition system providers with offices in North America, UK, and China. To learn more about how iCIMS can help your organization, visit https://www.icims.com or view a free online demo of the iCIMS Talent Platform.To learn more about the iCIMS, call 1-800-889-4422 or take a look at our demo at: