There Are People in Your Shiny Objects

Jan 14, 2014

We’re heading into another new year, a year full of promise and opportunity and predictions from the experts about which techniques and technologies will remain or become vital weapons in the recruitment arsenal.

  • Blogs
  • Mobile Accessibility
  • QR Codes
  • SMS Texts
  • Applicant Tracking System Upgrades
  • Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing
  • Local Market SEO
  • Talent Community/CRM/Relationship Marketing
  • Source Identification/Tracking
  • Social Media
  • Employment Branding
  • Employee Referral
  • Talent Segmentation/Targeted Marketing
  • Employment/Internal Communications
  • Alumni Outreach
  • Job Description Upgrades
  • Branding people with RIFD codes and tracking their every movement and behavior …

In all likelihood, every single one of the tactics above (except that last one …  I hope) will be touted and improved upon and ultimately promoted by someone, at some point, as the key tactic to include in your strategy. And depending on your industry, your strategy, the makeup of your organization and the tools you already have in place, any one of these tactics truly may be what you need to adopt in the coming year.

As you work to identify gaps in your processes and practices where any of these tactics or tools may be a good fit, keep in mind what you’re actually trying to accomplish at the most basic level:  You are trying to communicate with human beings.

That’s really the crux of it, right? You can have an attractive brand and excellent technology.  You can have top-notch source tracking and be on every social media outlet imaginable and have a site that’s translated into 43 languages both on mobile and on desktop. But if you want to get the most out of your recruitment investments, you need to remain cognizant of the fact that the work we do and the tools we choose to implement should not be about having “cool stuff.” Nor should it be about running down a check-list of “best practices we haven’t adopted yet.” Rather, it should be about reaching out to and connecting with people.

A few brief examples:

  • Your job descriptions can be fully optimized for search, but they also need to say something that a human being — one outside of your company, and one outside of your talent acquisition department — can understand and connect with. You want potential candidates not only to find your job but to understand it, relate to it, and apply to it.
  • Your site may take advantage of top technology that makes it edgy and mobile and fun to visit, but it also needs to be intuitive in content and form. Your site’s primary goal shouldn’t be to “wow,” so much as to allow people to readily access what they want and/or need to understand in order to see themselves as part of your organization and then to guide them along the path you want them to take, either to reach out to you or to complete and application.
  • You can use your talent community technology or CRM to market information to candidates in order to keep them engaged, but you also need to bear in mind that engagement, by its definition, involves creating an emotional connection. Both your message and your methods need to foster that connection … and that means understanding the people you’re reaching as well as what will make them feel a connection with your company.

It’s tough not to feel pressure to implement every best practice and top tool known to our industry, and the case can be made that they are referred to as “best practices” and “top” tools for a reason.

At the same time, before diving head first into purchasing or implementing the next best practice or tool on your checklist, take a moment to ensure your focus is on the people you want to attract and the outcome you need to ensure, not just the shiny object.

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