Staffing firms, which once spent most of their time cultivating company clients, are making a 180 degree switch and turning their primary focus to attracting the best candidates. Scarcity determines where we spend our resources, and now quality candidates are a scarce commodity.
They are also elusive, and don't have a need to patiently wade through listings on a job board that isn't intuitive, or wait for a page to slowly load. The trick is to provide the job seeker with the right functionalities and accurate information, and to do so quickly.
"Keep it simple" couldn't be a more instructive motto for today's smart staffing firms. At the same time, implementing techniques found in sales can also be a big boost.
Function as a form
That mobile apps rule the market now should be a given. Research shows 60 to 80 percent of potential candidates "bounce" because websites are non-mobile friendly. According to a Glassdoor survey, nine in 10 job seekers said they're likely to use a mobile device during their job search in the next 12 months, and 45 percent of job seekers said they use their mobile devices to look for jobs at least once a day.
However candidates want to apply for a job, whether through a staffing firm or on a company website, ensuring the proper information is collected without making it a laborious process is an art. This is especially true for mobile job seekers, as entering information via smartphone is more cumbersome than on a traditional computer. Go through your application process as a "candidate," and if applying takes more than 15 minutes, rethink your design.
As for more visual aspects, graphics and buttons should pop and be sized to draw the eye. Additionally, company logos, virtual mascots or other symbols should be present with consistency on every page. Call to action buttons should be prominent and not obscured by clutter. Don't forget to add a "finish later" button to the application screen.
"Dynamic content is the new norm."
Finally, in a world of ever more specific skill sets, dynamic content is the new norm. This means messaging should be tailored to the candidate, avoiding wasted time and lost interest. The job search experience is native to each individual and if you use too broad a net to capture maximum candidates, you depersonalize the process for the experts you're hunting for.
Selling candidates on staffing
As an extension of the urge for instant gratification, a growing number of people prefer to be texted versus emailed or called. The ability to respond per the candidate's preferences, and to do so quickly, is one more way staffing companies show they are a smart partner in the job search process. After all, there's a reason merchants have adopted this technique as well.
Candidates expect to be acknowledged, and an electronic confirmation of their application is an easy way to do so. Meanwhile, just as important customers at major retailers demand special treatment, candidates who engage in second-level consideration expect more.
Customizing texts and emails to candidates who have gone through an exchange or phone discussion about a job takes a little more time, but makes your staffing company stand out.
In short, the end goals are ease-of-use and effective marketing. As the changing workforce makes skilled candidates an increasingly valuable resource, accomplishing both will be essential to the success of staffing firms.
Those that understand the shift toward a much larger contingent workforce, and who plan for it using the right tools and platforms, will be in a prime position to leverage the commodity of people in a hungry job market.