Rich: In the last 6 to 12 months as companies have been reaching out to flyte – we’re a digital agency here in Portland – companies always reach out to us and they want help with their digital marketing. That's what we do, we're a digital agency. But what shifted is a large percentage of the companies who have been reaching out to me recently, they want digital marketing, but not to generate leads and sales, but rather to attract more job candidates. And that's what became the seed of today's presentation. I reached out to KMA, because we have a great relationship with them, and said, “Would you help me in creating an hour of content that we could share with people who are struggling with this?” So what I'm going to talk about today is how to amplify or multiply your other recruitment efforts.
So let me be 100% clear. This is not an either/or. It's, don't take Holly's advice or mine. Rather, this is about combining these things and all the other efforts you're already doing. And this is why I entitled this presentation, Amplify Your Recruitment with Digital Marketing. That's what we're going to be talking about today.
Now, I often speak about the customer journey when it comes to digital marketing. But it's no different whether we're talking about generating leads or attracting candidates for open positions. Now there's a lot of models about the customer journey out there, but I prefer the simplest approach, which is just a three step approach of awareness, consideration, and ultimately decision.
So awareness is, “Hey, I need a job”, or “I hate my job”, or “I need more money”, or “My boss is a jerk”, whatever it is. Something happens in somebody's mind where they start to think there's something better out there for them. That's awareness.
Consideration could be like, should I talk to a job coach? Should I look for opportunities with my own company? Or should I look outside my company for another job? So that's consideration.
And then for those people who continue to move forward and decide, hey, I do want another job. Then it becomes decision. And that decision is, are they going to work for you, or are they going to work for one of your competitors? And maybe not your competitors from a business standpoint or from a producing standpoint, but competitors as an employer. And this is something that we need to be aware of. So that's an important model to keep in mind.
And the other thing you want to keep in mind is there's not just one customer journey that leads the application form on your website or on ZipRecruiter or Indeed. There are many. And your job is to reverse engineer the most likely paths that candidates might take on their way to the application form and to make sure that you've set up your own information booths and roadside attractions along the way to help drive them to your job and your application process.
For those of you who don't know me, my name is Rich Brooks. I am the founder and owner of flyte new media. We're a digital marketing agency here for 26 years. I'm also the founder of the Agents of Change, a digital marketing podcast and also annual conference that's coming back this year in October that's all about how you can reach a wider audience. I'm also the tech guru on 207, where I do hard hitting news stories on topics like, How to Take Better Pictures with your Smartphone, or How to Clean-up Your Inbox.
And then finally, I wrote a book called The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing. All of which is to say, this is my playground and I spend all my time in it. And I just want to share with you the aspects of our business that make the most sense for you in trying to get those ideal candidates.
There are a lot of aspects of digital marketing which can amplify your recruitment efforts, but let's start with one of the most critical ones, which is your website. Even if the customer journey ends at an application form on say Indeed or ZipRecruiter, it will likely – and Holly said this – include a stop at your website. You need to make sure that you're in a position to help position yourself correctly.
Now the image I use here is key, and it also reiterates something Holly mentioned. Many job seekers are going to be searching for a job on their mobile devices. This is either because it's the platform they're most comfortable with, or because they're at work and they don't want to be using company computers for a job search. So make sure that your website, and especially your career center – we'll get to that in a moment – is mobile friendly. And if you're using a third-party recruitment tool, which a lot of you are, make sure that's mobile friendly as well so you don't disrupt that flow.
I recommend after this webinar, you go and try to apply for a job at your company. Both on a desktop as well as your mobile phone, to see if there are any hurdles or roadblocks along the way that may be preventing your best candidates from applying.
Now, your homepage is often the first page people visit, and that's true for your candidates too. So you want to make sure that it's obvious that you're hiring. If recruitment is a key issue right now, and I'm guessing it is because you're here today, don't be afraid to promote those job openings above the fold and drive people to a career section on your site.
Now this screen grab that I'm sharing right now is one that I've used for years because I think it does such a great job of simplifying the choice for all site visitors and quickly helps candidate self-identify and visit the content that's most valuable to them. Which is likely a careers page or a career center. You can see down there, “Are you looking for help for yourself, a loved one, or a new career.”
Now, not everyone arrives on your home page, so we need to promote your careers on every single page in your website. And the easiest way to do that is to add it as a primary navigation item as appears in this image right here. I feel this site does an okay job, and it may be all they need based on their hiring needs. However, if you're trying to really draw attention, then you may want to make it bigger or a different color so that it stands out in the rest of your navigation.
Now as you can see here, I added the big red arrow just to make sure that you all saw it. The other thing is there's a lot more primary navigation items in this navigation that I would generally recommend, but that's more of a digital marketing thing, so we'll move on.
Next up, let's talk about your career page or your career center. I'm going to strongly recommend that you spend a lot of time and have a well-designed dedicated careers center, careers page on your website.
And this is a lot of what Holly was saying too, right? I'm just coming at it from the digital marketing side. You want to paint a picture of what it's like to work for your company. This is not a place for stock photography, but rather using real photos of real people who work or worked at your company. Also, a great place for them to tell their story as well.
Here's just an example. Where will I work? You can see all the photographs of the people enjoying themselves. What the company is. Here's Buffer. What does the Duffer team look like? And you really get a sense, that selfie feels so authentic that you really get a sense of what the vibe is going to be and whether or not you'll fit in or not.
Now on this careers page or the career center section of your website, what should you include for maximum effectiveness? Company overview. Position yourself as an employer of choice. Share your mission, vision, and values – briefly. Remember, this page is about your potential hires, not about you. Company culture, include stories, photos, and videos that show your work environment, your volunteer opportunities, your community engagement, employee recognition, and so on. Paint the picture of what it's like to work for you.
Employee testimonials, sharing success stories of current or past employees is a great form of social proof. You may want to include examples of different types of positions or levels of seniority as well. Make the testimonials stronger by including photos of these employees on the job or even consider video testimonials. The application process. Explain clearly what the application process is, how long it takes, what steps are involved.
The current job openings. That's why they're here, right? Depending on the size of your company and the number of available positions at any time, you may want to organize them by department, location, seniority, or even include a search feature. A third party ATS may be helpful here.
And lastly, job descriptions. The job title and possibly one sentence description is all you need, especially if there's a lot of jobs on this page. And instead link off to a different web page or a PDF or a third-party site with a more detailed description of requirements, salary range, benefits, DEI statement, and so on.
I should probably have updated this slide after seeing Holly's presentation to talk about that 2,000-character limit, but that's why I asked her on here because she's better at that than I am.
To further streamline the process, include the application form at the bottom of each page rather than making somebody go off and find it somewhere else. Communicate clearly. Once they complete the application process, make sure they land on a page that explains what happens next, when you'll review the application, when they can expect to hear back, and so on. You can even follow up with an automated drip campaign to confirm that their application is in process.
Now, I wasn't originally going to include anything on search engine optimization, because I'm like, who actually goes to Google to search for a job? Apparently a lot of people. As you can see from this screen grab right here, in an average month, 587, 000 people search for jobs on Google. However, if you look at the left-hand side and the arrow to the left, you'll see that it scores a 95 out of 100, which means that it's super hard to rank well for this search term.
You're never going to beat out the Indeeds and Monsters.com of the world. Plus, what do you think the quality of leads are going to be from somebody who just searches for job or jobs? Probably not pretty good. So what if we narrow our criteria a bit? This is a job search for Boston marketing jobs. Now, as you can see, it dropped from 95 all the way down to three, meaning it's much easier for companies to rank well for this particular search term. However, on the flip side, you'll see that it only gets about 100 searches per month. But maybe that's enough for your business. A hundred decent candidates may be more than you can even handle.
So again, your mileage may vary, but you should think about search engine optimization and optimizing the pages on your website for search when it comes to your careers. Now, what goes into a full-on SEO project is a topic for another time. But one thing I will recommend is even if your jobs turn over a lot, Google doesn't like when pages appear and disappear off your website. So have those page pages stay on your website, even if you're not actively looking to fill a position right now.
Let's shift to social media, something also that Holly brought up. We're moving from your website, a place that you have complete control over but have to drive candidates to, to social media, a place you have no control over but your candidates are already hanging out there. The goal is to turn your social media accounts into recruitment tools.
Now, as you may know, businesses and organizations don't get any love in the Facebook algorithm. Only about 1% of your fans are going to see any of your posts. And almost no one who isn't actually following your company will ever see these posts. So is it really worth it? Yes, if you understand the strengths and limitations of organic social media posts.
Let me explain what I mean when I say the word “organic”, it doesn't mean that there's no additives. It means that these are unpaid posts, the kind that you put up for your company all the time without any advertising dollars behind it. That's obviously different than paid social or social ads, which I'll get to in a minute. Few, if any people start their job search on social media. We don't go to social media to search, we go there to scroll, to be entertained, and to keep up with friends and family. So we don't need our organic company posts to get in front of random potential candidates.
If we go back to the customer journey, likely people have heard of our job opening somewhere else and then follow that thread to our website to learn more about us. But then they want to go check out our social media feeds to get a better understanding of our company culture and decide if we're the kind of company that they want to work for. And that is where the organic social post can help. When they're actively visiting our profiles, they can see our work, our culture, our team, and our connection to the community. All important things in this type of job market.
Now what I just said is true for most social media platforms, but LinkedIn is its own beast, and I'll come back to that in a minute. For now, let's talk about the kind of organic posts that tend to perform better and get more engagement. So what works on social? If you're planning on using your social media accounts as recruitment tools, these are the kind of posts that get engagement, work anniversaries for employees, employee birthdays, and employee promotions. And with their permission, it's great if you can tag them in the posts, because that will also draw the attention of their friends and family who are then likely to like, comment, or share that post, further growing your engagement and your brand on social media.
Also, posts about satisfied customers. So people always want to see, oh, I'd love to work for a company that has happy customers, that’s awesome. And again, with your customer's permission, you can do this. And with their permission, you could possibly tag them as well.
And finally, any sort of community involvement, volunteering, that sort of stuff, those are also the posts that tend to do well in the organic social algorithm, so they get seen by the most kind of people. Talking about your new job openings, not a bad idea with organic posts, but that should not be the bulk of your social media posts, as they usually get very low engagement. Even if you say something like, ‘tag a friend who might be interested in our jobs’ in the comments below.
So paid social or social ads serve a very different role in your recruitment strategy. Unlike organic posts that are primarily seen by your followers, your ads will show up in the feeds of your targeted audience, helping you reach people who haven't heard of your business or may not be actively looking for a new career, but would still be good candidates.
Now, unless you have an unlimited budget, and I know none of you do, I would probably focus ads on the job openings and the benefits of working for you, rather than the feel good posts about your employees. In other words, your ads should be transactional in nature. Let people know that you have an open position and have the ad drive traffic to the pages on your website where they can apply.
The only caveat with social ads is that while targeting on social ad platforms is normally very powerful, many of the most powerful targeting tools aren't available to you when it comes to promoting a new job opening due to the anti-discrimination laws in the U.S. and around the world. Recruitment ads fall into the special ad category on Facebook, and the rules here are similar on almost every other platform as well.
So some of the things that you can't do in recruitment ads, you can't target by zip code. You can target by geography, but you can't get so specific that you're actually calling out specific zip codes. The age group has to be 18 to 65 and older, which basically means no age discrimination. You can't choose one gender or the other, it's just got to be everybody. And there's limited exclusion, which means that some of the regular demographic behavior or interest options are going to be unavailable because people were using them to more narrowly target their audience, and thus going afoul of the anti-discrimination laws. So you can't target people based on their age or gender, but you still can target them based on general geography. So there is still ability to put your ad in front of your ideal candidates.
And lastly, there's no audience expansion. So if you have audiences built in Facebook or other platforms and you want to create a lookalike audience, you can't do that for hiring ads.
Now, LinkedIn. As the world's most popular business centric social media platform, LinkedIn is a great place to reach and attract candidates. They even have a service called, ‘LinkedIn Recruiter’. Here's a few ways that you can use LinkedIn for recruitment; post jobs to the feed. Once a job listing has gone live on your website, you can create an organic post either as yourself or your company. Now the more connected you are on LinkedIn, the more people will see it. And I've got a whole other webinar about that, a topic for another time.
Also, promote it on your company page. Now, this is much more effective for large companies like WEX or IDEX that attract a natural following on LinkedIn and always have job openings. But even for small to medium sized businesses, it certainly won't hurt.
You can prospect for candidates. LinkedIn search is powerful and a favorite tool of recruiters. In the same way you can target people in ads, you can target them in prospecting, and then reach out to them individually through LinkedIn Messenger to alert them to a new job opening. Now depending on their settings, this message may also be delivered to their email inbox outside of LinkedIn. Prospecting in this fashion isn't the most scalable approach and is probably best used for higher level positions where quality far outstrips quantity when it comes to the candidates you're seeking.
And of course you can advertise your job. LinkedIn ads can help you target people based on location, job title, current or past company, and experience. Since most people keep their employment information up to date on LinkedIn, this is some pretty powerful targeting. Just be forewarned that LinkedIn tends to have a higher cost per result than other social platforms.
Now, before I talk about next steps for everyone, I just want to make sure that you're aware that we're bringing back the Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference this October right here in Portland, Maine. We've got digital marketing experts from around the U.S. and Canada, all taking stage on Wednesday, October 4th, and we're continuing the next day with some deep dive workshops on the 5th. We've got regular tickets, VIP passes, and even digital passes for those of you who can't make it to Maine on those days. And the best prices in the early bird tickets are only available through the end of this month, or even sooner if we run out. You can see all the information and our speakers at theagentsofchange.com.
Okay, I'll move on. So let's wrap things up here and talk about the next steps for you and your organization. Start with your website. Spend time on your homepage, your navigation, and really building out your career center, not just for today, but for all time, just continually improving that. Make sure those pages are optimized for the search engine for specific types of jobs, about where in the country you are, about the type of jobs that you have to offer, so you start to get pulled up for those people who are doing those kind of searches.
Also, consider running ads on social media. And yes, do some organic posting as well as you normally would. And finally, really leverage LinkedIn. Posting those jobs up to the newsfeed, prospecting as necessary, and even spending some money on LinkedIn dollars. Again, generally more for the higher end positions than those entry level positions.
And again, just remember, these are all amplification techniques. You still need to be doing all of your regular outreach, networking, job boards, career sites, and so on that you're doing already.
And that's the content that I have for you today. And what we'll do now in the last little bit is we will take any questions that you have. I believe we may have some already.