Why do you need an omnichannel approach to recruiting?
In April 2019, the unemployment rate fell to 3.6% - its lowest level since 1969. That’s great news for the economy, but a challenge for recruiters, who face fiercer competition for top talent every time this key figure drops.
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In such a competitive environment, recruiters effectively become salespeople who must communicate not just their open positions, but the advantages of choosing their company over the competing offers candidates may be receiving.
Given these pressures, “old school” recruitment strategies like posting listings to generic job boards simply aren’t enough. Recruiters need to reach candidates where they are, when they’re looking for new opportunities - not just with information, but with carefully-tailored pitches designed to appeal and entice.
Now more than ever, doing this effectively - across many media channels on which job seekers engage - requires an omnichannel recruitment approach.
What is omnichannel recruiting?
If you aren’t yet familiar with omnichannel recruiting, SHRM blog contributor Lorne Epstein defines it as:
A recruiting practice which uses many channels at once to attract candidates during their job hunting experience. Such channels include social media sites like Glassdoor, Facebook, mobile applications, in-store experiences, employee engagements, employee referrals, product or service experiences, Linkedin, and any other method a company can use to interact with a candidate.
Omnichannel recruiting draws on best practices from the fields of omnichannel marketing and omnichannel commerce campaigns. In the world of commerce, omnichannel marketing strategies target consumers at key stages of the buying process using a combination of outreach methods and technologies to create a seamless conversation.
Omnichannel recruitment can do the same thing for job seekers - if you understand how to structure your campaigns.
The difference between single channel and omnichannel recruiting
The difference between single channel and omnichannel recruiting is clear: where single channel recruiting involves engaging in a single tactic, omnichannel recruitment engages multiple avenues for reaching candidates.
Building an omnichannel recruitment campaign
The cornerstone of omnichannel recruiting is data. Imagine how much more effective conversations with candidates could be if, for example, you knew whether they’ve attended one of your events, whether or not they’ve spoken with a member of your team, or even which pages of your website they’d already visited.
Gathering this data requires that you first identify all of the different channels through which candidates enter your recruitment funnel. Job listings obviously play a big role here, but other possible avenues include, among others:
In-person job fairs, networking meetups or other live events
Paid print or digital ads (including Google Adwords, Facebook Ads and other sources)
Referrals from existing employees
Candidate-driven search activity
Recruitment software can help you track these funnel entrants automatically. Once you’ve identified a potential applicant, you can use an automated omnichannel recruitment cadence to show off the benefits of working with your company and deepen their engagement with you.
How to set a perfect recruiting cadence
The specifics of your cadence will vary based on your company’s unique benefits and recruitment workflows, but might look something like the following. After you’ve identified a prospective candidate, you could:
Send a message via LinkedIn or Facebook Messenger, asking if you can answer any questions they might have about working for your company
Follow their public Twitter account
Enroll them in an automated email campaign that sends 2-4 messages promoting your company (for example, you could share testimonials from current employees, your Glassdoor rating or unpublished information on your salary/benefits offerings)
Retarget them using Google Adwords or Facebook Ads to increase the mental “stickiness” of your company
Use data to improve your omnichannel recruiting
By thinking of each of these cadence steps as individual pieces of a larger sequence, you’ll be able to minimize the big risk of multichannel recruitment: that siloing each channel will result in inconsistent brand messaging.
For example, you can use data to:
Choose the right channel for delivering specific pieces of your recruitment messaging or your brand positioning
Make sure you aren’t exposing candidates to duplicate messages or forcing them to repeat requests they’ve already made
Separate out highly-engaged candidates from those who may only be in the earliest stages of their job search (or not actively looking at all) so that you can decide where to invest your energy
Identify your top-performing channels for recruiting talented workers, versus those that aren’t producing quality candidates for you
Identify an appropriate messaging cadence so that you’re maintaining active relationships with top talent without annoying them
Deliver additional sales messaging about the benefits of working for your company than you’d be able to share on a single channel.
As Recruiting Daily Advisor contributor Bridget Miller notes:
Having multiple means to communicate can allow the organization to expand its message and create a fuller picture of the organization. When you’re limited to only a couple methods of posting about job openings, there is usually a limited amount of information that can be conveyed. But, when you post simultaneously across many different channels, you can tailor and tweak the message so that you’re conveying a more nuanced and complete view.
Building an omnichannel recruitment practice like this requires time and testing. But as you add steps to your sequence, you’ll begin to see patterns in the way candidates engage with each channel on which you’re active. Use these patterns – especially those that appear to have produced the most qualified candidates – to refine your future recruitment efforts and ensure you aren’t wasting time or energy on unnecessary channels.
An omnichannel recruitment future
Investing in omnichannel recruitment positions you as a leader in your space, while increasing the odds that top talent will find and accept jobs with your company.
But those aren’t the only benefits. By meeting job seekers where they are, you can reduce the amount of resources you waste on underperforming channels, while also selling the benefits of working for your company and gaining access to a wider pool of potential applicants.
Launching an omnichannel recruitment campaign isn’t easy, but these and other benefits make it well worth your long-term investment.
About the author
Levi Olmstead is the Manager of Community and SEO at G2, a B2B software and services review site with over 700,000 verified reviews.
Levi is an Indiana Hoosier and enjoys spending free time with his dog Frodo. You can follow Levi on Twitter at @levi_olmstead.