The 2022 hiring race is on: 81% of attendees at our recent RallyFwd Virtual Conference told us they can’t hire the talent they need fast enough. It’s pushed employers into a recruitment frenzy, with enormous sums being spent on job advertising. Indeed is reporting 60.4% more job postings on its platform compared to February 2020, just before the pandemic.
But we know that job advertising alone isn’t enough to recruit the talent we need. Not even the biggest billboard on the busiest highway will convince someone to accept a job offer at a company they know nothing about. Your Recruitment Marketing and employer branding strategies are more important than ever!
The challenge is that getting the attention of potential candidates has never been harder. Social and digital channels are not only saturated with jobs content, they’re saturated with every kind of content. It’s especially challenging because most people aren’t actively looking for jobs — the unemployment rate is near record lows, and could drop to below 3% this year.
So how do you break through the noise?
News flash: What’s working right now to get the attention of potential candidates is not what was working just 6 weeks ago.
Lori Sylvia discusses the 5 shift in Talent Attraction.
We’ve got our finger on the pulse of what’s getting the attention of active and passive talent by monitoring how Rally® Inside™ users are marketing their employer brands and attracting job seekers — and we’ve noticed 5 surprising shifts at the start of 2022.
Read on to learn what’s working and what isn’t working in talent attraction so far this year, along with my recommendations for how you can optimize your Recruitment Marketing strategy to get ahead.
What’s Working to Attract Talent Right Now
- Employers are promoting jobs more frequently, but candidates are responding less. In the first 5 weeks of 2022, Rally Inside users published 21% more content advertising their careers, open jobs, benefits and internships, but engagement with jobs content decreased by 62% compared to the last 5 weeks of 2021. Candidates are clearly being saturated with job offers, and they’re tuning out the noise.
- With the pressure to hire, Rally Inside users shifted to promoting 47% more content about individual jobs than they had done in December; however, this type of content is receiving 35% less engagement. What is working better to attract talent is promoting jobs at the team or job function level. For example, promoting Engineering careers at your company versus a specific engineering role. This type of jobs content is receiving 70% more candidate engagement over promoting individual jobs or all careers in general. It’s a smart strategy to make your job ads budget go farther, and talking about teams also gives you the opportunity to tell the team’s story, beyond simply “apply now”.
- With more effort being put into promoting jobs, it means that jobs content is crowding out employer brand content featuring employee stories, leadership profiles and company culture. The amount of people content being published is down by 40%. But employers are missing an opportunity: People-focused stories are receiving twice the engagement compared to Q4 2021. Engagement with culture content in particular is up by 174%.
- The emphasis on promoting jobs has overshadowed corporate content as well. Rally Inside users have published 70% less corporate content so far in 2022. But there’s a missed opportunity here too: Content such as company news, awards and partnerships are receiving 200% more engagement than this type of content did in November and December. If you have good news to share, candidates are interested.
- Showcasing career progression and training opportunities is out-performing traditional career advice content. Career progression engagement is up 103%, whereas career advice engagement is down 77%. Candidates don’t need tips right now on how to find a job. You’ll have a greater chance of getting their attention by telling candidates what you’ll do for them.
Talent Attraction Recommendations
So how can you optimize your Recruitment Marketing strategy to take advantage of what’s working right now to attract and engage candidates? Here are my top 4 recommendations to incorporate into your approach:
- Adapt your messaging quickly. Before you hit send on that email to your talent community or click publish on your next social media post, ask yourself 2 questions:
- Will this content just add to the noise without driving engagement? If you think it may simply create noise, it’s wise to pause and not publish the content as-is, no matter how hard you worked on it or how much budget it may have cost. Remember, publishing content that consistently gets poor engagement will impact the reach of your future content on that platform.
- What can you tweak with the content to increase the chances that it will drive engagement back to your careers site? For example, instead of promoting an individual job>, consider promoting careers on that team, especially combined with career progression opportunities.
- Cut through the jobs noise with stories about who you are. Content featuring people, culture and company updates is getting up to 200% more candidate engagement than it did just 6 weeks ago, while jobs content engagement is down by 62%. If ever you needed data to prove the importance of marketing your company as an employer, not just promoting your jobs, this is that stat! If you don’t have the resources to create recruiting content yourself, share employee generated content, or curate relevant content that’s being published by your corporate marketing team. Remember: candidates want a full view of what your company is all about and the people they may be working with.
- Build agility into your content plan. While it’s a best practice to create a content plan, setting it in stone could actually set you up for failure. You could miss what’s important to candidates at that time or fail to react to what else is in the news. A more agile approach is to create evergreen content that can support different themes and topics. For example, interview an employee about why they joined your company, but also ask about their career path, or have them share an example of team culture, or an example of seeing your company’s values in action.
- Plan for conversion. If you publish more content about your people, culture and company, you can still get your jobs in front of candidates. Host the content on your careers site with a sidebar on the page listing top jobs or provide a way to search jobs. Then as candidates click through to read your people and company content, while you have them engaged you can present them with jobs.
Ultimately, my biggest recommendation is that you keep your pulse on what’s important to candidates by tracking and measuring engagement with your Recruitment Marketing content. As practitioners, we put a lot of effort into keeping our recruiting channels filled with content. But it can be easy to fall into a routine with what we publish and tough to find the time to analyze how that content is performing.
What the Rally Inside data shows us is that candidates’ interests are continually changing, so basing your strategy on what worked last year (even last month!) could be leading you in the wrong direction. A smarter approach is staying on top of these changing interests with the help of hard data, such as that provided by Rally Inside, and making sure that your content constantly reflects what candidates are engaging with.
This analysis was performed by Rally Inside based on nearly 1,400 pieces of recruiting content published from October 16, 2021 through February 8, 2022 through 18 channels, including social media, email, text messaging and job sites.
Rally Inside is our Recruitment Marketing analytics & benchmarking tool that shows you what works best to attract talent to your jobs and employer brand by analyzing candidate engagement with your recruiting content. With an easy-to-use dashboard that tracks, measures, reports and benchmarks data across your social media and digital channels, you’ll have the insights you need to break through the noise and influence great talent to choose your company.