Amid career sites, blogs and social networks, the online space offers recruiters an immediate way to connect with and target the best talent in the global marketplace.
For job seekers, gone are the days of poring over a newspaper and circling prospective jobs in red ink. Both employers and candidates have changed their search tactics and become more high-tech, thanks to online resources.
Whether it’s through job boards, a company career site or social networks, recruiters have moved the candidate search online, where job seekers can increasingly be found. Because so much of recruiting has moved online, recruiters frequently advise job seekers to create a positive online presence, but it is just as important for companies to take the same care with their corporate online presence.
Savvy companies strive to create a digital presence that speaks directly to job seekers and effectively communicates the organization’s talent brand. If executed properly, a company’s online presence will inspire candidates to come directly to its site.
The Marketer’s Mindset
Marketers have been experimenting with and finding success through online branding for years now. As recruiters embark on this same path, it is beneficial to look at how to take a marketer’s point of view when building a company’s talent brand online.
The first step to online talent branding is getting into the marketer’s mindset. Recruiters are advertisers of their career brand and must think like marketers to get the best talent. This means crafting online recruiting programs the way a marketer creates his or her online branding programs.
First, target the specific audience. Talent managers know who their ideal candidate is — it’s right there in the job description — they just need to make sure the right people are seeing it. The old post-and-pray method for job boards is highly ineffective, and most recruiters would agree the quality of candidates from job boards is not as good as those gleaned through other methods because job boards simply don’t target the right audience.
The advent and subsequent explosion of social networks, on the other hand, has given recruiters a bevy of alternative options to communicate open job positions. To narrow down the most suitable networks, talent managers have to do “market” research. That means finding out what niche sites, online groups and forums the target candidate audience is likely to frequent. Then, examine that group’s online communication habits. Do they prefer to communicate via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or in other ways? The March 2009 Nielsen report “Global Faces and Networked Places” found social networking has overtaken e-mail as the most frequent Internet activity, so a traditional e-mail may not be the recruiter’s most effective method of communication.