Creating a holistic and unified online experience for candidates is essential, suggest inploi founders Matthew de la Hey and Alex Hanson-Smith.
The technological revolution continues, and it is essential that companies that want to stay relevant keep up. The ‘New Collar’ workforce – 50 percent of which are under the age of 35 – are now consumers of workplaces. The old economy is being replaced with a labour force that prefers to work a portfolio of jobs, resulting in higher demand for better employee experiences and technology capable of attracting talent. Prospective employers need to pay attention to the entire recruitment landscape; targeting both active job seekers and also the pool of so-called passive talent may be feeling disengaged and disenchanted with their current roles.
Getting the medium and the message right
There are two facets to recruitment that shape the hiring process: the way you attract talent and convert it into applications and, ultimately, hires. What channels are you using in order to engage the correct audiences? The way people consume information online and the places they inhabit on the internet have changed a lot from the past. It is essential that you are reaching the right people, with the right message, on the appropriate platforms.
The next bit of talent attraction leans heavily on technology; how companies convert candidate traffic having reached it. For the most part this is a technology challenge: what is the digital experience of somebody trying to apply for a job with you? How easy is it for them to find the information they need to make a decision, and then to give you the information you need to evaluate them?
We have seen the benefits of tech-enabled platforms across many sectors, and how these have created more efficient processes that connect supply and demand; think Deliveroo for food, or Uber for transport. All these services leverage new, and relevant, technologies to facilitate communication between a consumer and a provider and improve the quality of those interactions.
The same can’t be said for the recruitment sector; despite companies increasingly focusing on Millennials and Gen-Z in their talent attraction schemes, many HR platforms still rely on legacy technologies that are not just outdated and clunky, but are not being used by this New Collar workforce.
Adopting a data-driven approach to talent attraction
Talent attraction is extremely fragmented in its approach, and still relies on many products and services that don’t effectively communicate with each other. There are far too many job boards and advertisers that are time consuming to create campaigns with, and don’t access the reach of more relevant channels such as social media.
The solution is to look at a more holistic approach. Highly-customised marketing campaigns can allow a company to gain immediate exposure to multiple audiences and millions of potential job seekers with one connection. Leveraging the power of data, it’s possible to target specific demographics through the very media that they consume, increasing reach to relevant job seekers and, ultimately, driving down the cost-per-applicant.
Ensuring the applicant process is user-centric
Then there is conversion; attracting job seeker traffic is one thing but converting these visitors to applicants (and then hires) is just as important, and crucial to increasing ROI. The application experience needs to be intuitive and easy to navigate, with an emphasis on simplicity and speed. Drop-off rates can quickly destroy performance if the user experience isn’t up to scratch.
Smartphones are increasingly becoming the primary way in which the ‘New Collar’ workforce accesses the job market; more than half of all applications are now completed using a mobile phone, driven by an increasingly mobile-orientated workforce that is prevalent in certain industries. Think hospitality, retail, or healthcare, where the majority of the workforce is not desk-based and is therefore accessing job-related content through a smartphone.
Companies are not reacting quickly enough to these trends; 50 percent of smartphone job seekers have had problems accessing job-related content because it wasn’t displaying properly on their mobile phone. This discourages job seekers and is costly to employers, creating more friction and inefficiency in the recruitment process. Also, 60 percent of job seekers are abandoning an online job application before they even complete it.
Creating a holistic and unified experience
The solution is to offer a best-in-class candidate experience that is optimised across all devices. Companies need to make it easy for candidates to submit the information needed to make recruitment decisions and ensure that a careers hub is optimised for usability and search engine indexing. It’s important to keep the experience well aligned with the brand of the company too, utilising rich media and newer technologies (such as chatbot/conversational UI flows) to create a simpler conversion from candidate to hire.
In the battle for limited attention, companies need to be ‘selling’ themselves the best they can to attract and engage the people who will be the future of their organisations. They need to tell a compelling brand story and create a more seamless user experience for both the applicant and their own HR departments. Legacy technology and marketing channels are in the crosshairs.
Matthew de la Hey and Alex Hanson-Smith are the founders of the SaaS talent attraction technology and recruitment marketing platform, inploi.