Several sessions in last week’s iRecruit conference focused on a new recruitment model. This new model starts with the already existing individuals in a network and builds from there on out.
1. At the core stands a strong employment brand, clearly devised as a facet of the overall brand and therefore able to draw on the strength, resources and support of it.
2. It is communicated via a clear and authentic content marketing strategy, utilising video in the process, to convey the attractiveness of the brand as a workplace.
3. It is disseminated using social connections of all employees and suppliers, based on the belief that most brands are already connected to most of the people it wants to hire in the first place and therefore does not need to use job advertising anymore.
4. It has built-in data captured at all different touch points, not only from the recruitment but the entire consumer process to increase understanding, insights and drive personalisation.
5. It uses e-commerce models for repeat interactions, recommendations, relevance and reinforcements.
6. It chooses the channels of interactions the candidate wishes to be communicated with to achieve highest conversion through increased convenience.
7. It permanently trials new solutions and apps unrelated to recruitment to find talent and connect before the talent moves from passive to active and before anybody else gets to embrace it.
In short, the mainstream of HR is arriving at the point of ‘Total Access’ as described by Regis McKenna:
“A value of a brand can now be defined by the number of active participants in its network.”
The underlying approach is not new. It’s just a very good understanding of the three marketing maxims of segmentation of the market, targeting the desired audience and positioning the brand accordingly, combined with finally making the move from the 4Ps of marketing to the 4Cs in the execution of recruitment initiatives.
Product = Customer Solution
Price = Cost
Promotion = Communication
Place = Convenience
The new part of the approach is to build a seamless process and platform that links all the pieces outlined above together. Instead of talking about mobile, social and big data as separate entities, these have finally been recognised as smaller yet essential building blocks of an overall integrated solution. Instead of marvelling at GenY, they have now been accepted and are communicated with in their desired fashion.
The new model of recruiting also doesn’t use innovation for pure cost cutting, but innovation to enhance the performance of their recruiters and hiring managers and therefore understands that – at the moment – human interaction is a key component in the hiring and retention process.
But there are also challenges:
1.Several big companies seem to invest mainly into their company pages on LinkedIn. For them, LinkedIn has clearly usurped the career pages on their own website. They see great results. But: For the above approach to work, an open system is required, where new and different solutions can be plugged in and integrated. LinkedIn is not known for being an open system. Is it therefore wise to put all eggs in one basket and the basket being owned and controlled by somebody else?
2. The new approach of recruitment clearly works for big, well-known brands. But what about the small brands and companies? Could it be that some already use it successfully and we just haven’t heard about it, as they don’t get the same airtime as the big brands when sharing case studies?
But doesn’t that argument actually highlight the problem: big employment brands benefit from the resources and attractiveness of its overall brands. The small employers, however, have to work much harder for the same results and often don’t have the resources to build a proactive HR/recruiting/resourcing team. So is the job advertisement really dead? And how can small companies thrive in a world where more and more power seems to go to bigger brands?
3.The new approach of recruitment is clearly very focused on utilising the assets of the brands, be it the employees, the employees’ networks, the talent networks and talent pools, the email databases, you name it. But is it always really positive or are some using it for cost cutting? And who said that using employees networks on a mass scale is something employees really want? Do we just reinforce an elite? Is this a NeoCon approach to recruitment disguised in the cloak of the sharing economy? Laurie Ruettimann wrote a thought provoking blog post about it: “Is Zappos being fair to the American worker?”
4. While it is great that mobile recruitment isn’t treated anymore as a standalone branch, it is still under represented in the solutions and approaches. Is this because it has become second nature or because we haven’t yet completely understood how to do mobile?
There are some encouraging signs nevertheless: Jerome Ternynck, CEO of SmartRecruiters, stated that they have a 20% visit to application rate on mobile and of those 60% are using LinkedIn profiles and 40% Facebook. This again highlights the needs to build an open system and integrate what users like to use most – the product becoming the customer solution and not just a flight of fancy for internal looking product managers.
5. Understanding the need of an open system, several providers are now moving away from building a one-stop shop towards building an ecosystem, a platform. This requires not only a strategy shift but also a culture shift, which will be fascinating to observe.
Whilst there are many questions and challenges – and it is always easier to shoot holes into a new approach and idea instead of building it – we see movement. Two years ago, everybody talked about these new models and ways of recruitment, now they are slowly creeping into the mainstream and changing ways of thinking, approaching and executing. It is fascinating and exciting when thought becomes reality.