Mon, Aug 22, 2011
Chances are, even in this job market, the number of high-quality applicants applying through your career site is dramatically lower than it used to be. Sure, on paper, most meet the qualifications you’ve outlined in the job posting. Problem is, so many are just not the right fit for the job or the organization.
That’s because, statistically, there’s a chance the person you’re looking for isn’t sure your organization is the right spot for them. They want to be convinced of the possibilities for them before they even apply. And on your site, there’s nothing to compel them to take the next step.
Today, marketing your opportunities—especially to those candidates with high-level leadership or specialized skill sets—requires a more focused strategy. You can’t simply put your job out there and count on candidates to market to you. You need to sell them. They’re shopping for their next career. And you need to know what’s driving them to act.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a big shift in candidate behavior. You see, just as there is a difference in types of consumer behavior—and what drives people to buy—there is a difference in candidate behavior, and for much the same reason. Consumers exhibit different personas when shopping. Some shoppers actively seek out the best deal.
They are looking for the best quality at the best price, and will shop multiple stores to find it. Other shoppers are more emotionally driven in their purchases. They show a high level of brand or store loyalty, and will identify the features of a particular product as “made for them.” They’ll pass on purchasing anything other than what they know until they feel a connection.
Both are good customers. And you want to serve them both. But each is looking for something different.
Even in this job market, it’s amazing how candidate behavior has become more emotion based, or more passive in nature. Recent data from the Recruiting Roundtable (CLC Recruiting—Building Talent Pipelines) reported that for a broad sample of the U.S. workforce, 15-20% are very active and around 20% passive. The remaining 60% show a combination of passive and active behaviors.
This means the majority of job seekers out there right now—whether they’re currently employed or unemployed—are exhibiting a more passive, more emotion-based candidate behavior. And statistically, this change in behaviors might just be the reason your site isn’t connecting with more candidates that are the right fit for your positions or your company. More candidates are shopping for their next career, and waiting for you to sell them on your organization.
What are you doing to connect with them?
To connect on an emotional level, we need to begin providing more features that allow for personal connection and messaging that will convey the value proposition in way that appeals to them.
1. Use testimonials to tell candidates how they’ll contribute.
Testimonials can help you beef up messaging areas so that your unique employment value proposition will come through in a more personal way. If your organization is mission driven, illustrate how your employees help bring that mission to life. If you create products or provide services that change lives, convey to the candidate how their work will be a part of it.
For example, one of the foremost pediatric hospitals in the nation builds their emotional connection with their candidates by providing patient care stories—told by both patient and caregiver. These stories not only illustrate how powerful a career can be at this hospital, but also help candidates get a feel for how invested they’ll need to be in their work to succeed there. They help their candidates determine whether or not they’re a good fit.
2. Give candidates plenty of opportunity to interact with recruiters:
Whether it’s through a live chat portal on your site or social media connections, engagement counts. Because once you have the attention of that top producer you’ve been searching for, you’ll want them to have every opportunity possible to enter into a discussion with you.
For example, you might feature information about the recruiter candidates will be speaking with right on your site. Presenting the recruiter’s photo, a little background information, and ways to connect with him or her online can go a long way to make the candidate experience a more personal one—and strengthen your connection.
3. Let them see “a day in the life” of an employee in their job area.
This makes the opportunity real and helps candidates identify those features of a career that seem to be made “just for them.” This form of testimonial also allows you to speak to different aspects of your employment value proposition in a way that is far more genuine and engaging than static page content.
For more career site best practices, check out a recording of Matt’s recent Monster HR Event, “Does Your Website Help or Hurt Your Recruitment Goals?,” or click here for advice on “How To Build a Killer Career Site.”