Best Strategies for Building an Online Recruitment Campaign

So many of you have been thrust into the role of Project Manager for the Recruitment division. Your job is taking your organization from point A (no online recruitment strategy) to point B (a Best-in-Class recruitment strategy) within months. You may not even be titled “Project Manager,” and this may not even be your full-time job, yet it is still expected of you. The task is daunting, the potential resources to review are numerous, yet you know that without a strategy, you will fail. Where do you begin? First, you need to know what it is you are hoping to accomplish in every area of your strategy. To simplify things, you need to keep three factors ever present in your mind while building your strategy:

  1. Quality/Quantity ? Every area of your campaign must give you better quality candidates, which usually correlates to greater quantity of candidates to review. It only takes one to make a hire; however, it is best to have three high-quality, star candidates to choose from. Ask yourself, is this giving me great candidates as well as many to choose from?
  2. Efficiency ? Every area of your campaign should result in ease of use and speedy results. Ask yourself, is this giving me quick results that are convenient and easy to use?
  3. Price ? Price is always an issue, since budgets only go so far. In every area of your campaign, ask yourself what your underlying costs are. For instance, the Applicant Tracking System you choose may be cheaper than others, but if it is more administrative to your recruiters, there are more underlying costs involved.

Now that you have those three success factors in the back of your mind, let’s talk about getting from point A to point B. I believe there are five building blocks to every successful recruitment campaign. Similar to Freud’s “Stages of Psychosexual Development,” I believe that each stage or building block to your campaign cannot fully be reached without completely overcoming the previous stages. You will see that the building blocks, completed in the order they are given, are crucial to moving up toward your goal of point B (a Best-in-Class recruitment strategy). Here are the Five Recruitment Building Blocks:

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  1. A Basic Marketing Plan ? Before beginning a campaign, you should have a very clear vision of WHAT your product is and does and WHO your target market is for each product. Your product is the company, individual departments and position. Your target market is WHO the candidates are for each position and WHERE you will find them. This is no ordinary marketing plan, since your product is always changing, and thus your target market changes as well. What’s most important to keep in mind are the “Employee Value Propositions” (EVP’s) that you offer. In a McKinsey & Co. survey taken last summer of over 6,900 senior executives, this was the #2 imperative they listed for fighting the “War for Talent”: “The EVP is the compelling reason why a talented person would want to work for your company.” If your organization doesn’t have a great company environment and culture, great leaders, great positions, and attractive compensation, then focus your efforts on this building block for a while. The retention your efforts produce will be well worth the time!
  2. Management Buy-In ? This may very well be the most difficult building block to conquer. In the McKinsey survey, this step was #1 in the “War for Talent.” Management Buy-In is “…a deeply held belief that having high caliber people in the most value-creating jobs…are critical to achieving the aspirations of the company.” The best way to create and build management buy-in is to form a partnership between the recruitment team and management team. The way to form a partnership comes from building trust through results, expertise and strategy. Much of the success of this building block is based on the next building block.
  3. Excellence in Staff ? Without strong executors, your strategy is worthless. Your recruiters are the “first impression” to the candidate. Your recruiters are the “Gate Keepers” to everyone else in the organization. Your recruiters are the “Builders of your Buy-In.” How important are your recruiters? What makes an excellent Recruiter? Much has been written lately by John Sullivan on this subject. I suggest going through the archives and answering the questions he poses about your staff and yourself.
  4. Technology and Tools to Support Your Strategy ? This is the building block you will most likely be spending most of your time on. This building block involves your company career website (or front-end), applicant tracking system (or back-end), sourcing strategy, sourcing tools, and posting or branding strategy and tools. I could spend days talking about these tools, but the key issue to remember while evaluating your technology, systems and tools is to be sure they are cost-effective tools that produce high-quality results as well as efficiencies. Evaluate your tools according to the three success factors: quality/quantity, efficiency and price.
  5. Metrics and Goals ? Finally, you made it to your last building block. This block allows for growth, improvement and accountability. Your technology tools should assist you in measuring your quality, quantity, efficiency (days to fill) and cost. Once these metrics are made, goals should be put in place both short term and long term to assist you in going back over each building block and improving your process.

This is obviously a very simplified format to get you started in creating a top-notch recruitment strategy. As you can see, each block is important to overcome to get past the next block. I will be speaking at great length on this subject at the upcoming ERE Conference on March 9th in San Diego. Hope to see you there! <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Audra Slinkey is a leading Internet Recruiting Consultant who has designed the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System) to ensure Internet recruiting success. Recruiters-Aid provides Internet candidate sourcing and screening services, and guarantees results—or the clients do not pay. Recruiters-Aid manages one of the largest FREE recruiting resource sites online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

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