Recruiting in the Digital Age: What You Can Learn From Tech-Savvy Marketers

Tue 25 July 2017


Sales and marketing professionals often talk about an extended sales cycle, because, most often, an immediate hard-sell approach doesn’t work on a newly encountered investor or potential new customer. This failure stems from interactions revolving around your company’s needs and vision instead of the prospective customer’s needs and vision.

Central to all effective marketing activities is the customer. This is why leading marketers often structure campaigns to foster a prospect’s interest in an offering over time, essentially keeping a prospect (prospective customer) “warm” throughout the marketing process, while increasingly learning about that potential customer.

With today’s leading marketers, this nurturing of prospects largely takes place online, with connections initially being made, and value being shared, in digital network communities and on social media, often via mobile devices.

In recruitment, the customer is the passive candidate, and the same gradual and continuous engagement is required in the talent acquisition game. Recruiters can use similar digital tools to reach into online talent communities and industry forums that help them to make connections and fortify their talent pipeline. This prospective talent, once “captured,” needs to be managed and nurtured in a funnel-like way (and in an ongoing fashion) as you identify and qualify the best people for your organization. Marketing tools and networks can be used to interest and engage prospective talent, while how-to videos and common cultural interests can inspire candidates toward greater intimacy with your brand and with the people who are part of it.

It’s no longer about people responding to a static listing of yours. It’s about welcoming talented and like-minded people to interact in your community, even before they start their career with you. Good matches can take time, so nurturing the talent pipeline is critical.

Time to Hire (TTH) Isn’t Enough

Talent acquisition is no longer just about obtaining new hires quickly and inexpensively. The measurement of right hires (long-term contributors) and the candidate’s engagement and experience are now crucial recruitment KPIs as well. If you don’t excel at the candidate engagement and experience aspects, you might “pay for it” in backfill costs as well as negative comments on online billboards at sites such as Glassdoor.

Even the nature of what we consider “talent” and “new hires” is changing. The gig economy – a setting in which temporary positions are common and employers contract with consultants for short-term engagements – is prevalent today. You need to be able to find, attract, retain and develop these freelance types as well.

As Gartner, a leading global research and advisory firm, states in the following downloadable newsletter, “Together with product features, vendors are expected to reflect the combined importance of time to hire, right hire and candidate experience in their product positioning. This is particularly true when targeting non-HR stakeholders who are more interested in the outcomes of talent acquisition than the processes around it.”

To continue our analogy, marketing no longer revolves around just bringing in leads; the goal is also to ensure those leads are productive to the organization and that the new customer gets everything that was advertised. Recruitment must meet the same increasingly important triad of requirements by ensuring not just the time to hire, but the right hire and the quality of the candidate experience.