Do we really know what candidates want in this market? Over the last 18 months this has been rapidly changing. Arie Ball, of Sodexo US, shared at #truManchester how people’s “wants” from a job had been rapidly shifting. It used to be primarily financial, but now it is very much job security. “Safe houses” that may have previously appeared to be a bit dull have become very attractive as employer brands.
Knowing what your target talent really wants, rather than assuming that all people want the same as you, is key to knowing how to target the people you really need.
For a third-party recruiter this can mean advertising in the right way, or building a client base that is likely to be attractive to candidates. Knowing what excites people also helps to sell jobs to candidates, and is one of the ways a recruiter can help a client to present themselves as an employer of choice. If you want to be seen as an expert that justifies the investment of a fee, then it is the kind of thing you need to know.
As a corporate recruiter, you want to know that you are offering the right packages to your existing employees as well as new talent. This goes beyond cash, and includes factors like environment and opportunity. Knowing what is likely to be wanted by your staff, and making sure you are offering it is a big feature in retention.
Equally, what people are really looking for should shape how you present your employer brand. What you focus on within your career site. What you ask people about on video, even the photos you choose to use. What people really want should also help to shape your talent attraction strategy, from what you advertise to what you tell people about.
You can of course do this by conducting regular surveys, and more importantly talking and listening to your candidate base, targets and employees. You need to see beyond the data, and understand not just the what, but also the why.
Being smart to this stuff, and knowing that they have a very captive professional audience in most sectors, Linked In have recently launched Recruitment Insights. It is, as you would expect, a paid for service, but it if you are thinking that you need to be researching the candidate market, it looks one of the cheapest and most comprehensive options.
The way this works is to allow you to survey via polls, targeted sections of profiles within the Linked in database. This could be selected by discipline, geography, even current employers. The polls look much like other linked In polls, giving a certain amount of comfort on receipt. Much like the ad’s, they can be sent directly via in mail or message, or placed against profiles at log in.
You can set your own criteria for questioning. These examples from Linked In give a good idea of what is possible:
Wether it is for research or benchmarking, I think this offers some great options, and is a further example of how Linked In is beginning to really maximise on the captive data. There are 75 Mn+ profiles on Linked In, the answers you need to formulate your plans must be in there.
I will be continuing to post about some of the new functions and features that are appearing within Linked In almost daily, and how they can be applied to recruiting, as well as taking a look at Facebook applications and other matters over the coming weeks. What new features are you using, and what do you want to hear more about?
Research is the best way to be the right ambassador for your brand, offer what the candidate market wants.
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