​The Long idea, not the BIG idea!

Posted July 8, 2016

I’ve forged a career in the recruitment industry, spanning a few years now – ahem, I won’t say exactly how many, with experience both agency and in-house, across multiple industries; I’ve enjoyed the successes and woes of the recruitment world! 

It’s been a little over a year since my return back to the land of the long white cloud, after 17 years in the UK I consider myself to be both a loveable Kiwi and an English rose.  I’ve recently joined HainesAttract, who specialise in attraction – recruitment marketing.  Which has had me thinking about the debate ‘Do Recruiters need to be more like Marketers’ - but hasn’t this always been the case? 

As organisations are now putting more investment into finding the right candidates because the competition is fierce, and HR/Recruiters now have more influence with some having a recognised seat at the table as part of the Leadership team - to voice the challenges and engage the business on how we can ALL contribute to the process.  Is it that now with increased budgets that Recruiters can implement their strategies and use channels like Marketers?

To recruit like a marketer is to think about your target audience, attracting the right talent across the right channels, capitalising on all the touchpoints throughout the process, with a long term strategy and always using data to review your return on investment.   

Start planning

It is time to start planning, look at your people strategy for the year ahead and understand what growth is projected in what areas of the business and start engaging with those candidates.  Building a talent pool and long term relationships with those individuals until the right opportunity arises, you will see a faster turnaround of those starting with you compared to candidates that have no relationship with you at all.

Let’s stop being reactive, which by comparison is always a rush to hire with pressure not only to find the right candidates but also on the team that are covering the shortfall in the interim, and not to mention the Recruiter who is rushing around last minute to fill the vacancy.

The art of attraction

Why do people want to work for you?  What attracts candidates to you?

Giving candidates a peek through video, photography, or both of your people and offices, showing the type of work they will be doing and the colleagues they could be joining, your company culture and environment.  Social media is a fantastic platform to express your company’s personality and encouraging your employees to participate and join in sharing these stories, gives candidates the insight of what it is like to be an employee with you.

Competitive edge

Candidates, like consumers have a choice; are more selective, and the very best are choosing between you and your competitors - selecting the best culture, manager, work life balance and benefits to suit them.   Don’t confuse your company brand with your employer brand, they are vastly different to how you attract talent - candidates are more interested in what your company can provide them, rather than the brand itself, yet these candidates are also likely to be your customers.  For even the most savvy of Recruiters, this is no mean feat to showcase. 

The world of advertising

We used over 800 channels last year to help our Clients attract the best talent – over 800, did you realise how many other channels are out there?

Career pages and job boards are no longer enough, exploring other channels is worthwhile, the ones that bring the best candidates are worth investing in, but with anything what works now might not work tomorrow, so you need to evolve with it and track it – source of hire, cost per hire and time to hire; to see what works best for you.

Through the looking glass - transparency is key

Whilst the war on talent is becoming increasingly competitive and in a digital era with a smart device at everyone’s fingertips, recruitment has seen a change in how we attract our future employees; we are seeing a new transparency from employers showcasing their culture and giving insight into what it really is like to work for an organisation. 

The key is being consistent in your messaging across all channels, showcasing the reality of your company’s environment and career progression, not only for retention but for your reputation as an employer, no one wants to start only to find the dream wasn’t a reality.  With social media and the likes of Glassdoor, it really is important to be transparent.

Your best assets

Let’s not forget any organisations biggest asset – your employees, they are your best advocates.  It is important to understand the motivations at all levels of your employees, and what the reality is for them working within your business.  Sharing their stories and motivations, to best represent you and to help attract candidates.  Also utilising their networks to share vacancies across their social network and referrals we know have the best conversion rate to hires - employees really are the best advocates, so get everyone involved.

Recruitment doesn’t have to be so complex, it really is simple when you have a people plan in place, with your business leaders invested interest, and a budget to achieve your growth plan. 

It’s all about the long term approach…the long idea, not the big idea!


Amber Little | Account Manager