Last month I covered the general overview of the recruiting process. In summary, there are 5 areas:
- Recruit your friends, build a referral or alumni system
- Enhance your organization’s recruiting website, Facebook page
- Attract the best active candidates
- Find passive candidate – those employed or not looking for another job
- Assess applicants using the web-based tools
Today’s discussion will be focused primarily on the websites.
First, I want to address something that is very important. If I could replace the word recruiting I would. For some reason when people hear that word their brain seems to disconnect from what recruiting really is. Recruiting is nothing more than marketing and selling. Instead of marketing and selling home improvements or other products and services, we’re marketing and selling the company and why a canvasser wants to come and work for us. That’s an important mind shift you have to make. One that will help you improve your recruiting efforts. The target audience in this case isn’t the buyer, but the canvasser… they’re the buyer here.
There are many components to the recruiting process as you’re about to see in this and future articles, but the vital skill you need is to always be recruiting. You always have to be looking for people to put into your recruiting funnel. This can be you, who are reading this, or someone you hire, but recruiting is an ongoing process.
My big message, “Never stop recruiting.” The value of the online recruiting websites, which I’ll discuss, is that the website is open and working 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year… it never closes.
My first advice for your online recruiting efforts is to have your own online recruiting website. The job boards are fine, but everyone is looking and recruiting there. This ties back to my point earlier about thinking of recruiting as marketing and selling. We understand we need a website to promote our products and services, but many don’t think about having their own internal recruiting website. It’s function is the same as the marketing site, to sell us.
When Career Builder and Monster showed up on the scene all they did was get in front of the newspaper classifieds. Instead of paying them all your recruiting dollars you can invest some of that in your own site, where you manage and control the message; and quite frankly, you have more real estate to market your company, philosophy and message than bought on Career Builder or Monster.
Having your own website can give you the control to jump out in front of these job boards when you promote the site. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t use the job boards, you should, but put a link in the job board adds to your own website where you can get a candidate to invest more time on your site, where you’re controlling the message. Linking from these major job boards will give you more search ‘juice’ having the inbound links.
In addition to the job boards, make sure you have a recruiting link on the home page of your main company website. Make it very prominent that you’re looking for qualified people out there.
Another tip I can give you with regard to your online recruiting is something that’s an old stand-by for me in traditional recruiting. The best way I know how to recruit qualified candidates is passing out fliers on college campuses. The key here is not the location, but the flier. If you’ve followed me for anytime you’ve heard me talk about the power of the recruiting flier and the specific design and message that needs to be on that flier to both communicate your message effectively while at the same time qualify for the ideal candidates. (My tested recruiting flier is included as part of my Ultimate Jump-Start Canvassing Success Program)
My flier is very effective on college campuses, but my strategy here is to incorporate a proven recruiting tool into your website message. If it works handing it off it will work on the website as well. Look for ways to leverage the recruiting resources you have that are working in other ways. You don’t need to build a better mousetrap, you just need to look at spreading more mousetraps around to capture more mice.
This is not a new idea. If you study the largest e-commerce company, Amazon, you’ll see the model. What does Amazon do very well? They identify and position their buyer by putting the right book selections in front of them based on their searches. You know what your ideal canvasser’s personality type and mindset is, or at least you should. You should be putting the right message in front of them to attract their attention. Next, Amazon makes it very easy for the buyer to make a decision, making it very easy for them to purchase the books. Your recruiting site has to make it very clear as to what the next step is to apply. And lastly, Amazon is very good at separating you from your credit card. Incidentally, Amazon has over 200,000 credit cards on file. Now, we’re not trying to get a canvassing candidate to give us a credit card, but we sure would like them to apply online. If you can get them to submit an application, even a basic app, it shows commitment on their part identifying them as a ‘buyer’.
Selling the Benefits
Staying true to my “recruiting is marketing and selling” idea you need to be selling the benefits of the job, not the features.
First, their career path. Everyone talks about how you can get promoted up through the system so it’s not really a benefit. For most companies it’s just a promoting point without any real direction. In my system I define a very clear path of advancement for the canvasser. I’m able to show a canvasser very specifically how they can get promoted based on performance (if you don’t have a specific promotion path and want to discuss mine, sign up for my Ultimate Jump-Start Canvassing Success Program). Just being able to clearly show how they can get promoted is a benefit of the benefit. You don’t have to like it, but today’s young people want instant gratification and being able to show them how they can make their way to the top will set you apart from the competitors.
Another benefit, you get to work outside. You’re not in an office cubical and you’re always in a different place every day. For the right people this benefit will attract them and for others it will repel.
Sell the culture of the company. What are you all about? Don’t hide your company culture under a rock. Many are afraid of being transparent about who they are because they want to recruit everybody and this is the fastest way to churning and burning people. When your message clearly communicates what you’re all about it will be the right emotional hot button for the right people; the people you’re looking for.
Again, marketing and selling, include testimonials from your existing employees. Social proof is very powerful and it’s another selling point to have existing employees promote and support your recruiting/marketing message. When they see or hear from someone working for you tempers your bias as a company.
Beyond the Foundation
Your recruiting website and the components I’ve discussed so far are the foundation or front door to your recruiting efforts. It’s what the general audience will see about you and who you’re looking to recruit. This leads me to the first on the list of targeted audiences for recruiting; recruit your friends, build a referral or alumni system.
You then need to promote internally through your existing employees to recruit their friends or even go back into past alumi with the company and not ask them to do the selling for you, but direct them to your company recruiting website to do the heavy lifting for you. The key is to think about whom you can go to that you already have a relationship with to do recruiting.
There are 2 aspects to consider when you’re recruiting internally. You always want to publically recognize those that are recruiting friends and reward or incentivize them. Recognizing them publicly does 2 ½ things. First it shows them and others your appreciation for their efforts. Second it inadvertently lets others know they should and could do the same and get the same recognition and (the ½) it’s continual promotion of your recruiting message.
As for compensating their recruiting efforts, this is a more challenging subject. I have very specific experience from my days of running my own canvassing teams as well as the work I do with private clients. If you would like to discuss it along with specifics with regard to your company you can contact me at cthomposon at canvassking.com or my office telephone number at (216) 588-1337.
You can also hear more specific details on the recording from my live Silver Level Membership Telecoaching call from June 26, 2013. If you’re not a Silver Level member click on the link to the right to discover more about membership.
With regard to your recruiting site and/or social media sources like Facebook and Twitter you can run employee and alumni forums for communications. Setting up the conduit for communication lets you monitor and control the messages that go out there, but it also gives you another marketing vehicle for recruiting friends and alumni.
This gives you a starting point for setting up your own recruiting website where you can get your program going without a lot of effort, time and money. If you have questions you can submit them to me at www.AskTheCanvassKing.com. If you want to take a more fast-track approach you can click on the Ultimate Jump-Start Canvassing Success System link on the home page of www.canvassking.com
I know that recruiting is a challenging subject. If you have questions that are specific to your situation, as a member you have the opportunity to use a one on one call with me to address the subject (Gold and higher members). Otherwise, you can post your questions to me at www.AskTheCanvassKing.com.