Recruitment Advertising from the Yester-era of Classifieds

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Talent has remained one of the major competitive advantages for any organization. It will remain that way for a very long time in spite of the innovations like automation, artificial intelligence and whatever else that will come in the future. Leaders have always wanted the best and nothing else. One of the practices to attract the best has been advertising in the media and letting the word spread. Until about 25 years ago, when companies in India wanted to recruit, they either went to campuses or put an advertisement in the newspapers or journals. Sometimes, they asked the Employment exchanges and some of them went to a recruiting agency. Think of how companies recruit now! Is there a sea change or subtle change?

Too many choices – Choose yourself or Partner with someone who does it for a living?

Today, media options are no more the classifieds or display advertising on newspapers; rather we have a plenty of avenues : radio, television, social media, hoardings, job portals, online groups, specialised search tools, targeted advertising on the internet and mobile phones. Such opportunities of omni-channel or multi-channel communications have naturally given rise to multiple choices in each category. What does the HR manager end up with?

She has a plethora of choices to make and needs to invest significant amount of time to make the right decision regarding the choice of the platforms to use. More often than not, she does not have adequate time and hence, makes sub-optimal choices. At times, she understands that making the right choice of the platform does not guarantee her the success  of on-boarding the best. Rather it is best dealt by experts who take the responsibility of success.

Build Employer Brand – Need the Right message, Quick and Consistent actions!

We live in an age where decisions are taken fast and the stakeholders expect instant feedback and clear communication. We do not have the habit of standing in queues and waiting for the results any more. Moreover, our attention span and patience have been waning consistently. Hence, job-seekers and potential candidates for an organization need to see clear and crisp communication about the job opportunities; they need to know almost on an instantaneous basis about the progress they make throughout the selection process.

Ironically, many of the core processes in our lives do happen over a long period of time, for example, perception about an employer brand gets built over time, trust with a brand or a person takes time to develop, happiness or the lack of it is a result of experiences over a number of days and weeks rather than that over a few minutes or a day.

This paradox in context, the HR manager is now saddled with the responsibility of delivering a consistent experience about the employer brand throughout the process of recruitment. It is not only the speed of communication and the consistency of the message that helps candidates have the desired experience but also the manner in which the recruiting process is held and the process per se, are important factors that deliver the desired experience.

Thus, the yester-era of publishing an advertisement in the newspaper, receiving applications, screening them, sending out call letters to short-listed applicants and so on are too primitive in today’s time. While these basic steps continue to remain in practice, there are many many fine nuances that have to work well alongside these building blocks to communicate the employer brand appropriately. This is one of the foundational aspects of recruiting to ensure that we get the best on board.

Is your message focused?

25 – 30 years ago, companies advertised to fill their vacancies and candidates read them thoroughly to understand if they met the criteria and did some serious thinking if they should apply for the role. The size of the talent pool then was relatively small. As a result, companies did not end up with a huge junk.

Cut to 2017 : applying in response to an advert is very easy and hence, many job-seekers apply without paying adequate attention to the details. Companies end up with a lot of unsuitable applications. Moreover, some suitable and interested candidates hesitate to apply because they are not sure if their applications will receive the due attention. This problem gets intense when the messaging in the advertisement is too generic and seems to cast the net wide over a large section of the talent market.

So, it is important to keep the message focused and clear. Not only will we build the right employer brand image but also attract the right candidates.

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