If you had a crystal ball, and you asked what the future of HR and talent acquisition was going to look like, what do you think you would see?
For many, the world that comes to mind is defined by AI-powered chatbots and advanced algorithms for sorting potential candidates.
You might even be picturing a world where job interviews are enhanced with augmented-reality applications and analyzed in real time to help optimize hiring decisions.
One day, that might be what the world of hiring looks like – perfect synergy between job seekers, recruiters, hiring managers, and businesses. But in the meantime, there will have to be a number of smaller, more incremental innovations to help solve the immediate challenges that come with the current talent market.
After all, getting the attention of top talent is much harder than it used to be. There are more demands on people’s time than ever before, and an extremely high rate of employment for skilled workers means that there simply aren’t as many people actively searching for jobs as there used to be.
What does this mean for the future of recruitment? What would your crystal ball tell you about the next few years in the world of HR? For starters, it would show you a total revolution in the way that recruiters attract qualified talent.
Finding the right candidate
Odds are, the perfect candidate for your latest open position is already out there, working for a different company.
Luckily, there’s a good chance that any given candidate can be convinced to adjust course and switch to a position at your company – if you can offer something that her current employer doesn’t. This might be more prestige, better pay, more opportunity for advancement, a better location, or any of the other elements that traditionally make up a strong EVP (employee value proposition).
If you really are a good fit for one another, the biggest obstacle standing between you and your ideal hire is awareness. If she doesn’t know you exist, or doesn’t immediately associate your business with your employer brand, then how will she make her way into your applicant funnel?
Since your ideal employee isn’t actively seeking your company out, you need to go to them. This means avoiding places like Craigslist and Indeed that are only frequented by active job seekers.
Instead, it’s time to focus your energies on the sites where candidates already spend their time online: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Reddit, and the like.
Again, it’s not enough to have accounts on these platforms that people can seek out (though you probably should have not just corporate accounts but separate career-focused accounts).
You have to leverage paid posts and targeted advertisements to make sure that when your ideal job candidates are thinking about seeing what’s out there, they’ve heard of your company. Not just heard of it, but learned to associate it with all of the unique and exciting ways that your company provides growth opportunities, learning, and benefits to its employees.
Time waits for no one
The process we described above is what’s known as recruitment marketing. Essentially, HR departments and recruiters take a page out of marketing’s playbook in order to craft and promote a strong brand that will engage, in this case, not customers but applicants. Here, you might be wondering, “If recruitment marketing is so much more effective than job boards and recruiting agencies, why isn’t everyone doing it already? After all, most of these social platforms have been around for many years by now.”
It’s a good question. The short answer? Time.
A robust recruitment marketing strategy will usually involve multiple ad campaigns running at once across multiple channels. Rather than simply rolling out a campaign every time a job opening comes up at your organization, you need to act like a traditional marketer and take pains to bolster your talent pipeline even when you don’t have a seat that needs immediate filling.
Unfortunately, this can be a lot of work. Manually scheduling and posting ads across what sometimes amounts to dozens of social media sites and niche web channels – to say nothing of setting budgets, targeting audiences, and tracking your results – can quickly become prohibitively time-consuming.
Most recruiters I know are already working pretty hard and making the best use of resources that they can. How are they supposed to devote countless hours each week to menial administrative tasks and still perform their regular job duties?
When the plausible becomes possible
This is where the “automation” part of recruitment marketing automation comes in. We’ve shown why recruitment marketing is the future of recruitment, but this is how we get there. Again, it’s time to take a page out of marketing’s playbook.
Just as marketers have been using automation platforms for years to empower them to manage all of their social media activity from one place, recruiters seeking to find top talent need to centralize and automate their targeting, budgeting, and scheduling of employer brand awareness campaigns and job-specific advertisements.
In practice, this could take many different forms, but the key is to invest in something that will save time for recruiters. Ideally, instead of laboriously navigating from one site to another, you’ll be able to generate and push out all of your recruitment marketing campaigns with a few simple clicks from one centralized location.
Targeting, budgeting, tracking: all in one spot – meaning that you don’t have to spend inordinate amounts of time performing tedious, repetitive tasks. Thus, you can take a radical new approach to candidate attraction and still have time to focus on the human-centric aspects of the job. This will pave the way for even further improvements to the ways that job candidates and businesses connect with one another.
Think back to that crystal ball for a second: you can see that recruitment can’t stay as it is. Something has to change, and that change is going to start with the way that we attract job candidates and build employer brands.
What’s going to make that change possible? Recruitment marketing automation.
Adrian Cernat is CEO and founder of SmartDreamers, a recruitment marketing automation platform that helps companies engage with candidates across the web.