Digital marketing mistakes recruiters need to avoid

Nolan Gray Corporate Recruiting

We’ve all heard at this point that recruiters should think more like digital marketers. In layman’s terms, that means using inbound marketing techniques to get more eyes on your employer brand. However, they still have to be the right eyes. Acting like a marketer doesn’t mean using every strategy in your power to increase the visibility of your employer brand. Sure, some marketers behave that way, but it’s not necessarily effective. What you want is the right talent in your applicant tracking system. Here are some things to keep in mind:

More visibility isn’t always better
As James Ellis puts it on Recruiting Blogs, there are two main kinds of applicants. There are the ones who do a significant amount of research before applying to a job. These are the candidates you want – the ones who are looking for the right fit. The second kind are what Ellis calls “button-clickers.” These applicants think in terms of quantity over quality. The more applications they put in, the more likely they are to land a position. Recruiters need to think about whether they want to invest time in the button clickers.

Effective recruiting requires a careful balance. Make the applicant process too long and you could lose some awesome candidates. Make it too easy and you have to clean all of the “button clickers” out of your applicant tracking system. More applicants don’t make it any easier for you to find the right person for the job if they’re not the right people. Think about all of the ad placements you might be paying for. Are they drawing in the right applicants? If not, it may be time to rethink your strategy.

Don’t focus on the wrong metrics
This is a mistake marketers frequently make: using the wrong metrics to determine success. Marketers sometimes refer to these as “vanity metrics.” They make you feel good, but when you look at them more closely, you realize they don’t tell you much about how your recruiting efforts are actually doing. Your number of social media followers is an example of a vanity metric. It’s awesome if you have a lot of followers. However, it doesn’t mean much anymore, as Meshworking pointed out. Organic reach on Facebook is around 6 percent, which means the vast majority of followers don’t see the things you post. On Twitter, content moves so quickly it’s hard to guarantee anyone saw your update. It may be wise to focus on engagement metrics instead, such as likes and shares. Clicks are another vanity metric. A high number of clicks doesn’t translate into great candidates.

Not thinking about content
In the marketing world, content has gone from buzzword to must-have strategy. The recruiting world is likely to see a similar shift. Recruiters will start using content to build their employer brands and attract candidates with a genuine interest in the business. Right now recruiters rely on the job post to advertise new openings, but this mainly attracts the so-called button clickers. Those who want a job, any job, right now. Meshworking notes that you often can’t tell the difference between companies by looking at job posts. This is one place where content can really help. Not only can it catch a job seeker’s eye before he or she is actively looking for a job, good content can bulk up job posts to make them more personalized to your brand and culture.

Digital marketers make the same mistakes, but to improve, recruiting teams will need to start being smarter about recruiting strategies, including focusing on gaining the right candidates, using the right metrics and writing effective content.

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