Expert Interview with Jobscience CTO Jan Schiffman: How to Engage and Qualify Candidates

Nolan Gray Corporate Recruiting, Market Trends, Products & Technology, Staffing

Jan Schiffman, the CTO and VP of Product at Jobscience, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on recruiting technology and best practices. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Clark Buckner, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

Jan joined Buckner to discuss hiring trends and how integrated CRM, HR, and marketing automation technologies can transform your recruitment process.

Below are a few highlights from our conversation:

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TA: What are the biggest trends in the hiring and recruiting industry you’ve noticed in the last few months?

Jan: Well, the shift in power to the candidate has resulted in a number of very serious effects that enforce changes in the way recruiting really happens. And again, this is both for corporate and staffing agency environments. So now there’s a greater opportunity cost for only hiring when you have a specific need.

Some firms and organizations will hire based on talent and then find the right fit, which means they first identify someone – usually a passive candidate (someone who’s not looking for a job right now.)

Another trend, is everything is now focused on mobile and mobile content because that’s where everyone is. If you want to attract someone’s attention, if you want to get some content in front of them – and again, this goes back to the passive candidate – you want to intrigue someone. You need to get that content in front of them.

And just to give a brief example, there’s very well-known online shoe retailer that was an early company to take this stance. They felt that marketing their brand, not as a retailer, but as an employer, was key to getting the kind of talent that they wanted to bring the organization.

People were caught off guard by it and they were intrigued by it and it worked out extremely well. So that’s really become more of a standard that companies need to market themselves as a brand, as an employer. And this takes us back to how Jobscience, with our focus on CRM and how we’re built on Salesforce. As an enabling technology, we really try to emulate what we think is the overlap between the sales and marketing process and the recruiting process.

TA: How can technologies such as CRM, marketing automation, and HR software integrate together to create a cohesive inbound marketing approach to hiring and recruiting?

Jan: I can illustrate this with an example. Let’s say you’re looking for an engineer and you need to fill a position that requires a somewhat esoteric skill. Let’s say in this case a programming alliance called Scala, which is the backbone of Twitter, but not that widely use and it is somewhat complex and new.

And I’m not finding any active candidates. I’ve advertised a job for a senior Scala program for sometime but I haven’t really had anyone come to me. They all have jobs, so how am I going to find someone?

Now I need to attract the passive candidate, someone who’s not actively looking.

So maybe I’d go to Stackoverflow and take a look at one of the forums that focuses on this programming technology. And I notice there’s someone who’s consistently posting answers and they’re a very active reader, and well-regarded by the rest of the forum community. I want to reach out to this person.

Then what I would need to do, is find some sort of contact information, ultimately an email, and then I could use marketing automation software to engage them. It’s very much like the lead conversion process or, in some ways, the classic funnel model.

So imagine this if you will: I have, let’s say two arbitrary metrics almost, we’ll call it fit and interest. Now I want to see how engaged someone is in the process I’m presenting and see how interested I can make them in perhaps leaving where they are and considering the opportunity I have. And then their level of fit, which is how do their qualifications really overlap with the needs for this particular position; so it’s for fit and interest.

With a marketing automation platform, I can perhaps first send an email. Most modern platforms will give me an indication if the email is opened. If there’s an embedded link, it leads to some sort of curated content, or maybe it’s a microsite that I’ve created and it has to do with development in this specific language, and new developments in it. I now know they opened the email; I now know how long it was before they clicked on the link embedded in it; I can then also understand, did they actually read the content.

So you have multiple stages on the marketing automation platform that all might lead to a call. At this point, they’re very, very engaged and perhaps they’d accept a call from the recruiter.

Marketing automation backed with CRM that allows you to maintain contact with these people, allows you to understand when the last contact was, keeps them in the pool. You can send them regular communications, not soliciting any kind of specific action just to sort of keep them warm.

When you bundle marketing automation with CRM, it has a very powerful potential, not only in the way you can engage candidates of all types, but also how effectively, as a recruiter, you can use your time. It creates much more efficiency, it can be much more focused and much more effective.

Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes. This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Clark Buckner.

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