The thrill of watching a movie on the big screen remains unmatched, however, OTT’s have revolutionized the way people watch movies. Similarly, the intensity of a face-to-face interview, reading the person through their expressions, tone, getting a better sense of someone's interpersonal skills and understand their vibe through these connects cannot be replaced with the virtual interviews.
Given that we were driven to move to a virtual world overnight, the HR services industry and the HR function across organisations switched to the digital methods very quickly. This included online interviews, online assessments, group discussions and once selected, on boarding as well. The staffing industry quickly got into a tech mode. Attracting the right candidates to apply became top priority and that meant investing heavily in the digital world. A HR services company’s role is to bring people and possibilities together and connect talent to opportunities. This in the new world meant using the right tech and touch to build those opportunities and connections.
Recruitment marketing in itself is different. It involves volumes, it involves customization, it requires agility and engagement and the right nurture to attract the potential candidate. It has to be both proactive and reactive. Marketing in the HR services industry includes both b2b and b2c and the employer branding as well.
Marketing had to move from face to face events to virtual career fairs, deploy experts to be in conversation with students through thought leadership engagements, get into an always on digital engagement across platforms. They had to be agile to keep the digital engagement needle moving across public relations, web pages, portals, communities, events. Personalization and customization became a inevitable to ensure the best ROI. With budgets shrinking, marketing had to start looking at smarter digital forward engagements. With the world constantly moving in an out of hybrid world, marketing teams in the staffing industry have had to continue to re-design their strategies across engagements.
To make the Metaverse experience more immersive, companies are using cutting-edge technologies like blockchain, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), 3D reconstruction, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of things (IoT) to power the 3D world.
Tools like Omniverse developed by Nvidia is an open platform designed to connect 3D spaces into a shared universe to facilitate virtual collaboration between engineers, designers, and creators. The recruiter could be part of this kind of an environment to select the best resource through virtual group discussions, getting the candidates to present to an audience.
The other benefit that Meta is working on is their effort to build a Universal Speech Translator, where they are designing novel approaches to translating from speech in one language to another in real-time, and they are sharing details of their work and open-sourcing the code. This could enable cross border hiring where language could be a barrier.
Use of the right AR/ VR tools can also add to the experience of onboarding and training for candidates.
Many of the companies in India have confirmed that they would want candidates to interact with the existing team members and management before taking decision on accepting offers.
They believe that Metaverse will not only help them reach a wider audience, but have better connects with people, understand their working ways, the culture and candidate pool will not be restricted. Metaverse could also be used as a tool to lower attrition rates, especially in the IT job market.
Digital and Social recruitment marketing
The number of job posts on LinkedIn more than doubled over the last 2 years, the creativity meter on Instagram was up by a notch and using whatsapp and other such digital and social platforms became a norm to attract the candidates. This trend is set to continue even when the world moves to hybrid or in and out of the pandemic.
Use of AI/ Chatbots when up with increase in the volume of resumes that the recruiters had to go through. Using key words in a resume became a part of every job seeker effort.
Social media plays an important role in the recruiters and the brand’s life. Organizations need to have an active presence, relevant content, outreach, and the right people speaking about their brand to make social media recruitment relevant
Customer engagement and experience
Customer engagement and driving the best of experience became a mandate for everyone across the company. Therefore, it was important for the marketing function to drive external campaigns and enable a customer centric culture within the organization.
It starts with identifying the right customer, the target audience, use that customer data to better understand the segment and their behavior. Here it is the candidate or the client who has the jobs. Use customer data to better understand and segment the customer base.
Identify the best customers. Focus on the solutions that the customers or candidates require and not just products and services. Engage with the customers through their lifecycle and keep an eye on their lifetime value. It’s also important to constantly listen to the candidates and customers to be able to change your campaigns, your touches on the go. It’s important to answer the question, what’s in it for the customer and why should they engage with you?
McKinsey study shows that “companies with a customer-centric, data-driven marketing and sales platform improve marketing ROI by 15-20% or more”.
Unlike other industries, the marketer of a staffing company deals with both b2b and a b2c. This means investments in relevant technology to drive the engagement through the funnel. This could include the right ATS, an integrated CRM, an email marketing tool, the right customer feedback tool or an NPS tool and data analytics for sure. I have always believed that use of the right tech stack makes the marketing smarter. If you want to save time and streamline workflows use automation to do repetitive and time-consuming tasks. This will help HR services marketing considering the huge volume that is involved.
Why should recruiters care about content? Candidates are looking for content about the company they would like to join, they are looking for authentic information about the industry, the job trends, salary trends and so on. They also look for 3rd party recommendations on sites like glassdoor that has employer and peer recommendations. Candidates consume different kinds of content and find them valuable at different stages of their decision-making process. Start with the target audience in mind and design content to help the team connect and build relationships with the talent that you’re looking to attract. Podcasts, using brand champions, influencers, advocacy
Adapting to new trends
There is so much talk about the metaverse, that I wonder if the next age interviews will happen on the virtual platforms.
Video resumes are already in, but it’s important to make them relevant and cool and crisp for the recruiter to know you within the first few seconds.
Local language marketing or multi-lingual marketing is another trend that marketers are looking at very seriously as it resonates better with the local audience. Most video content is consumed in the local language. By not targeting this audience, you might be ignoring a huge chunk of audience.
Mobile marketing – with smartphones and wearables becoming a part of our day to day life, we consume most of our content on them, so why should the candidate be any different. Creating a mobile experience needs that specific skill and marketers are skilling themselves to do that. At the same time, privacy laws and respecting the customers preferences is essential.
With the world reinventing itself every day, HR services is an industry where knowing people is the job, its critical to resonate, recreate and recalibrate your marketing moves on the go.
The author is Bhuvana Subramanyan, CMO, Randstad India.