In our third and final article in this series, we’ll investigate other methods that continue to be underutilized in the staffing industry, but that are forming an ever-larger and more important part of successful recruiting strategies.
The importance of diversity for businesses can no longer be ignored: it is well documented that a diverse workforce is more adaptable, efficient, effective, and productive than a homogeneous one. Tasked with supplying your clients with such talent, it is critical that recruiting firms cultivate diversity within their candidate pools.
In the last article, we heard tips on expanding your candidate community by focusing on demographics that you may not have previously considered, or that were unintentionally overlooked. But this can be difficult if your team doesn’t first address the unconscious biases that it potentially harbors.
“We have to make a conscious decision to do better when it comes to this,” says Jessica Rowen, National Marketing Manager at TalentWorld. “We know that women tend to self-select themselves out of jobs if they don't feel that they've met 100% of the requirements. If there are ten requirements, and they don't check all 10 boxes, they'll probably move on. But if a man sees that exact same job, and they meet 60% of the requirements, they're probably going to apply - and they should!”
While this might initially seem out of a recruiter’s control, there are many ways and means to level the playing field. You could separate your requirements into ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’, to encourage applications from women who may not feel 100% qualified. You can use technology to remove gendered language from your job postings - words like ‘commanding’ and ‘hustle’ don’t tend to inspire women to apply, for example.
Your ability to source a diverse pool of candidates will be driven by the realities of the market. As we discussed in our last blog, COVID has seen a lot of women leaving the workforce, having been lumped with the task of homeschooling and looking after the family. Currently, there are a lot of unemployed mothers who could add some real diversity to your talent pool.
“If you’re a leader, do you know the state of the talent market, and where it’s likely to go?” asks Robert Mann, Sales and Content Specialist at Great Recruiters. “Listen to thought-leadership podcasts from your industry. Understand trends before everyone else, and build diverse sourcing methods around those insights.”
We know the value of diverse talent, but this importance can be lost in the day-to-day of recruiting, so it’s critical that you have regular conversations with your recruiters about diverse sourcing. If you're not thinking about diversity, it simply won’t happen, because your team will quickly fall back into old, homogeneous habits. Diversity demands affirmative action.
Staffing is the most human of human industries, which means that it’s arguably more suited to social media than most others. Firms and their recruiters just have to be brave enough to have a go.
McDonald’s Australia - known locally as Macca’s - was an early adopter of Snapchat, encouraging prospective employees to send in ‘Snaplications’ through the app way back in 2017. A filter dressed the applicant in a Macca’s uniform, at which point they recorded a 10-second video about themselves that was sent straight through to the chain’s careers department.
Inspiration can also be taken from non-recruiting strategies. Direct to consumer companies are particularly innovative in their use of social media. Yum brands, for example, recently acquired the confusingly named Tictuk, which allows a social media user to order food via social media and messaging platforms. Tweak this technology ever so slightly, and you could grant candidates the opportunity to apply to open roles via Instagram or WhatsApp.
Wanting to use social media to get ahead? Look at how direct-to-consumer companies are communicating with their audience, and the technology they’re using to get ahead. You might be surprised at how many techniques transfer over to staffing.
But before you can be truly innovative in your use of social media, you first have to lay the groundwork.
Understand the platforms that your target audience is using, and what they’re using them for. LinkedIn is great for high-end talent, and is a very business-friendly space. TikTok, on the other hand, isn’t about direct recruiting - it’s about humanizing yourself in a particularly fun and authentic way. “I find that people are more likely to talk to me in a genuine way on TikTok than they are on other, more traditional channels like LinkedIn,” says Joey Brodsky, Manager of Business Development, BlueWave Research Partners.
Facebook is invaluable because almost half the world – and the vast majority of US adults – are on the platform. You should begin by building a brand page for your firm, before helping each of your recruiters in building out and using their own profile.
The brand page acts as the meeting point for all your team, candidates, and customers (add your team as editors so that they can post to the page), but any activity on the platform should be taken care of by the individual recruiters. “Candidates don’t want to see a logo posting in Facebook Groups, they want to see a smiling face” Rowen explains.
Remember: as with automation, artificial intelligence, and pretty much any other disruptive recruiting technology, effective social media use is about enhancing the humanity of your recruiters, not replacing it.
The world has changed more in the last year and a half than perhaps at any other time in human history. To some this new reality is full of risk and uncertainty. To others, it represents an opportunity to do better and be better.
There’s no time like the present to enhance your candidate experience, build a strong and talented candidate community, expand your candidate reach, develop agile hiring methods, automate the onboarding process, and adopt technologies that will push your firm forward.
But no one is going to do it for you. The next step is up to you.