How Can Online Content Improve Recruitment Experience for Applicants?

Imagine you are a fresh college grad, or a mother going back into the workforce, or a seasoned employee laid off due to the ever changing economy…where do you start to look for a new job?

The internet, of course!

And it’s more important than ever to make sure that job seekers have a positive experience with your organization. But for some job seekers, this experience may begin before recruiters have any contact with them. Want to help shape the impression that these individuals form about your company? Social media sites and regular blogging are effective and inexpensive platforms that can help improve the recruitment experience for your applicants!

Start by writing blog entries and using social media status updates to help answer questions potential candidates may have (try to think of the job search from their perspective):

  • What makes this an intriguing organization (or what makes your business innovative, interesting or unique in a sea of competitors)?
  • How would one describe the company culture? Are employees just a “number” or is there a strong team dynamic?
  • What should one expect from the application process? Will an application tracking system have questions that weed out those candidates not meeting minimum essential job requirements?
  • How many interviews will be a part of the selection process?
  • Will applicants hear their fate one way or another at the end of the selection process?

Knowledge is power and candidates will appreciate the information as it will then allow them to spend time on truly assessing whether your organization will be a mutual, productive fit.

Job Listings Themselves Are Compelling Content Sources

Leaving a positive first impression (and second or third impression) on your potential future employees is always important. Examine your job postings, arguably the most important pieces of content when it comes to written resources supporting your company culture, and make any adjustments that will help attract the best candidates. Try to avoid the typical “boring” help wanted ad…create content that is engaging and draws in candidates so that they want to find out more about your organization.

Assess How Content Supports Your Current Employment Brand

Next, take an unbiased look at your own website, company LinkedIn profile or Twitter account – would you find it memorable? Does it accurately support your overall corporate brand messaging, as well. If not, work with your marketing team to make some tweaks that better align HR/recruitment branding with organizational objectives.

Also, if individual employees are blogging and/or tweeting on behalf of your company, make sure that their content fits in with the image that the company wants to portray to potential candidates. After all, each employee can be viewed by applicants as an ambassador for the overall organization. Company culture is very important to many candidates so use your Facebook page or other networking forums to accurately paint a portrait of daily work life. Do you have outings as groups? What is the atmosphere like in the office? Or, what can be expected during the average work day?

Instructional Content: Set Application Process Expectations

Last–but certainly not least–the employment application process needs to be reviewed to make sure that its length is appropriate, and that its instructions and steps are clear and understandable to applicants. Also, make it easy for applicants to use social media sharing tools to tell their network about your job opportunities at the onset of the application process.

Applicants want to know that they can apply to a position with relative ease. If the online application is too long (and they are not warned of this ahead of time with clear content in the instructions area), they may leave an incomplete application; or worse, they may spread bad “word of mouth” news on social media sites about your company’s cumbersome application process. Try to avoid this viral pitfall by letting applicants know upfront what is required during the application process…and make sure the length is truly necessary. Depending on the needs of your organization, a two-step application process might be worth consideration.

If present, social media updates and blogs may be accessed by candidates to answer many questions they have regarding your organization before they even apply for a position. So it is important that your organization makes a conscious effort to supply this in-demand content. In the absence if your content, it is possible that other external individuals will fill in the content gaps–and that may not always be positive for your company.  And while the possibility of negative third party content isn’t eliminated by publishing your own, it is at least mitigated when you can present your company’s side of the employment story.

By publishing career-related content online, you will increase the efficiency of your recruiting efforts. When candidates can easily research your organization themselves, it’s easier for them to determine whether or not they they are a good fit, which makes it more likely that they will self-select out of your process early, in the case that it’s a bad fit. Additionally, these job seekers will likely retain a positive image of your organization’s employer brand because you will have saved them time and energy.  And who knows…in the future, they may be just the applicants you are seeking; or, their well-qualified and well-suited network contacts may hear about your company’s job listings, instead – a win-win!

For more information about the content sharing features within ExactHire’s hiring software, please contact us or visit our resources section.

Image Credit: Ulysses D S at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

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