One of the hottest topics in the world of recruitment is engagement. This trend is primarily driven by in-house recruiters and managers as a method of finding and retaining talent pools which are interested and engaged by their companies’ brand.

In-house recruitment professionals have realised that it is not sufficient to attract candidates and then ignore their applications until they become of interest. To compete for the best talent, you now need to attract their interest and engage them with meaningful content to win their hearts and minds. By winning the hearts and minds of candidates, you will hire people who believe in your company mission and should stay with your business longer.

Does your engagement have the desired impact?

As the need to engage talent becomes one of the top priorities for many talent acquisition teams, the amount of content for candidates to consume has also increased significantly. So how do we ensure that our engaging content is reaching the right audience and has the impact we want?

Social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook help us push our content to a much larger and more diverse audience than ever before. The challenge is making sure the right people see the content every time; this can be a challenge as most people do not check for your updates regularly. This means your talent engagement content and strategy can turn into a sieve where you are never sure when or if your audience will see your content. More importantly, you will have no idea or control of when they drop out of your engagement campaign, rather like a sieve, they will drop out at any stage.

Turn your sieve into a funnel:

To create an engagement campaign that delivers the impact intended, you need first to consider the lifecycle of the audience and how they progress through the campaign.

Above the funnel:

The most visible form of content available is through social media. We regularly see CSR stories, day in the life of articles, contract awards and many other types of content which are created with the intention of engaging people. These articles can play a part throughout the marketing funnel but are best directed at bringing your audience into your talent engaged funnel. By bringing your audience into your funnel you take control over how your content is delivered, common methods are:

  • Email
  • Blog
  • Website news feed
  • Print newsletter
  • Webinar
  • Open day
  • Telephone

Signposting the funnel:

To encourage people to enter your talent engagement funnel, you need to signpost the action you want people to take. There are many different calls to action or signposts you can use, some of these could include:

  • Join our talent pool to hear about jobs first
  • Find out more about working with #company xyz#
  • Learn how our team drives the innovation #industry xyz#
During the creation of your content strategy, you should decide the action you want your audience to take and then use an appropriate call to action.
Be wary of only posting text and image updates to social networks which announce contracts awards etc. When you publish news without linking to your blog or news site, you have no opportunity to provide a call to action. Without a platform like a blog to showcase your news, your content will only have a one-off impact on the people you want to attract, if they see it at all.

Managing the funnel:

To make use of the talent pool your engagement campaign creates, you need a method of managing the funnel. In many cases a simple ATS will not suffice, you need a smart system that crosses the boundary between an ATS and a marketing CRM.

Progressing the funnel:

The aim of bringing people into your engagement funnel is to progress them through the stages of the funnel and eventually to convert these people into applicants and employees. Each step is likely to need a different type of content. The stages of a recruitment marketing funnel are usually:

  • Awareness – Above or at the top of the funnel, these people are gaining awareness of your employer brand. You want to make every effort to encourage these people to enter your relationship management system with appropriate calls to action.
  • Consideration – Within the funnel, they may not be candidates yet, but they are considering your company as an employer of choice. Having these people within your relationship management systems will allow you to reach out to them and discuss opportunities.
  • Conversion – The conversion point can be a person applying for a job, sending a speculative CV or asking an employee to refer them as a potential employee. You should have well-defined processes and methods of managing each of these to make sure you never miss out on a great candidate.
  • Loyalty – If you manage the recruitment process well and engage your applicants throughout you will gain employer brand loyalty from both people who become employees and unsuccessful candidates.

Planning enables success:

In short, planning your campaign funnel in advance and preparing the key messages you want to engage your audience with will enable your campaign to be a success. Want to know more about how to optimise talent attraction campaigns? Connect with me on LinkedIn and let’s continue the conversation.

[Featured image: Shutterstock]

About Iain Hamilton

Iain is the founder of People Traction. Based in Aberdeen Iain works throughout the UK. People Traction provide recruitment strategy consultancy, in-house recruitment teams and recruitment project delivery. Connect with Iain on LinkedIn.

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