Know Your Audience

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The evolution of the Internet is an opportunity statement for recruiters. According to industry experts, the greatest opportunity it offers is for greater collaboration.

“The internet opened up and we went from shopping local to shopping global,” said Elaine Orler, CEO of Talent Function, a talent acquisition consulting firm. “It doesn’t matter where they reside. We now have the potential to recruit from anywhere in the world.”

However, just because a recruiter has the ability to access talented candidates across the globe doesn’t mean that the same strategy will work in every country. Andy Headworth, founder and owner of Sirona Consulting, a recruitment-consulting firm based in the U.K. that specializes in social media strategies, asserts that each country should be given its own unique strategy.

“You have to look region by region, primarily because of the audience and the level of maturity,” Headworth said.

According to Headworth, social media platforms such as Facebook are successful in the United States where popular culture supports the sharing of personal information in this manner. However, in the more socially reserved Europe, Facebook is not as popular as a recruitment tool because employers and candidates do not trust it as means of sharing content.

Furthermore, a lot of the assumptions that recruiters make about American applicants do not hold true for candidates applying across the globe. One of the biggest mistakes recruiters make is assuming that every candidate will apply on a desktop computer, Orler said.

“This is one of the areas that North America lags behind the rest of the world,” Orler said. “We still assume that a job seeker is going to sit down to a desk top machine and have everything in front of them to apply and take 45 minutes to fill out an application. Globally, if you can’t apply via your mobile phone with three or four clicks and a connection to where your data is stored in the cloud then you’re likely to miss the best candidate.”

To capture candidates at the correct moment, companies need to be aware of the Internet usage patterns of the region they are recruiting in. For instance, Headworth said companies looking to recruit globally must know that Africa is primarily a mobile network, but that the Internet is not being accessed on the latest smart phones. This means that the latest apps and technologies are not accessible on their platform. This differs greatly from Asia, where candidates are likely to have the latest mobile technology and are comfortable interacting on social media platforms.

Companies that do their research have the opportunity to cut through a high volume of candidates to find the best person for the job. Maersk Drilling, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based drilling company, used this knowledge to find a candidate who had a work permit for both Malaysia and Singapore. One week after executing a Facebook campaign, a position that had been open for months was filled.

“We had tried everything,” said Fredrik Tukk, head of communication, marketing and branding at Maersk. “We advertised. We went to agencies. Nothing helped. The Facebook campaign allowed us to find the people that we couldn’t find before.”