As the recruiting and talent attraction field quickly evolves to become even more tech focused, especially with the use of automation and AI technologies in many of the industry’s tools and platforms, it’s critical that companies maintain the human element in the hiring process.
Craig Fisher, of TalentNet Media, recently published a new book, Hiring Humans, diving into the ever-evolving landscape of modern recruitment and highlighting the delicate balance between cutting-edge technology and classic, human-centric practices. Craig offers valuable insights and unconventional thinking with inspiration, challenges and a practical toolkit to reshape talent acquisition strategies, ultimately reminding us that, despite technological advancements, the essence of recruitment remains profoundly human.
We recently spoke with Craig to discuss the strategies that practitioners can employ to keep their processes human, from enhancing the candidate experience to the power of employee advocacy and the pivotal role of data in modern Recruitment Marketing.
Read our interview below, but first, let’s meet Craig!
Meet recruitment industry expert, Craig Fisher
If you don’t yet know Craig Fisher, we’re excited to introduce him to you! He’s a talent attraction specialist, speaker and consultant with over 25 years of experience in the recruitment industry. With a passion for thinking outside the box, Craig has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative thinkers in our field. Having led talent consulting and marketing for U.S. staffing firm, Allegis Group, and corporate talent acquisition and talent brand marketing at the Fortune 500 level, Craig brings a wealth of expertise to the table.
His approach to talent attraction, coupled with his experience in HR technology, has helped countless companies find and hire the best candidates for their needs. As the founder of TalentNet Media, he remains a thought leader within the Recruitment Marketing space, sharing his thought leadership through frequent speaking engagements, articles and interviews. Craig is known for leveraging digital marketing, social media and technology to enhance Recruitment Marketing strategies and drive recruitment success.
Rally: With automation and AI now part of practically every tool and system used in HR and recruiting, what’s your top advice for practitioners to ensure they keep the human touch and remember that we’re “hiring humans”?
Craig: As employers, we need to put ourselves in the shoes of the job seeker. These are our potentially future teammates, after all. We should treat them as valuable partners with a customer-level of care.
Try this: search for, and apply to, a few jobs at your company. Don’t use the exact job title to search. Rather, use the words a job seeker who doesn’t know your job title would use to find that job online. Where does your job show up in search results? Is it at the top of the search results on Indeed, Linkedin or Google? Or do you have to dig for it? That’s a good start.
Then look at the job description and document how the messaging makes you feel.
Do the same process to apply for the job, noting the level of ease or difficulty to complete the application, and the messaging that you receive after completing it, how long that application and response takes, how long it takes to get a personal response from your company, etc.
Now do the same for a few of your talent competitors to establish what “good” should look like.
Job seekers are people, just like you and me. We expect an easy search and transaction on sites like Amazon, Walmart, Apple, etc. There is no reason that applying to a job should be a far worse experience than what the top consumer brands offer to their customers when purchasing a product or service.
Rally: In your book, you talk about the power of employee advocates. If a practitioner is trying to get their employee advocacy program off the ground, what are the top 2-3 things they should do to be successful?
Craig: People want to work with people. And, while it is important for employers to post content that describes their authentic and transparent value proposition to job seekers on social media and job advertisements, those messages are often best delivered by employees of the organization. So we must be intentional about highlighting our people and giving them a voice and a platform to sing about their experiences as employees of our companies.
Here are a few things you can do to start an employee advocacy program:
- Give your employees a voice. Give them permission and a bit of instruction to say to the world in their social postings or daily conversations, “here is something I really like about my job”. Most people don’t post about work (other than complaints) because they aren’t sure what is appropriate.
- Offer suggested content and “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM). Some employee advocates may already be socially outgoing and will naturally praise their company or role there online and in daily conversations. Others may need a nudge and a reason. So, what is in it for them? Employee advocacy enables your company’s people to help evangelize your brand while helping to grow their social networks and their own thought leadership. Offer some content for them to share that might be interesting to their networks. Job finding tips, work tips or hacks, social media how-to’s are all good examples of what I call “Give” content. You can’t just feed all of your employees a list of jobs to post all the time and expect their networks to be responsive.
I use the 5 to 1 “give to ask” ratio. Share 5 helpful, fun or entertaining pieces of content for every 1 “Ask”, like a job opening you want people to apply to or refer friends to. With the 5:1 ratio, you not only engage your people and their networks, if they choose to share, you’re also more likely to get adoption by your employee advocates of the whole concept of evangelizing employment at your organization.
Rally: You’ve been a thought leader in the use of LinkedIn to build your personal brand, and have noted that this remains an area of opportunity for many recruiters. What should we be updating / adding to our LinkedIn profiles right now that would make a difference?
Craig: LinkedIn is a very search engine-friendly platform. If you search for job-related or resume-related content on Google, you get lots of LinkedIn search results. So why not occasionally change your current job description to be the very thing you are recruiting for?
Example: Current job title on your LinkedIn profile: Senior Recruiting Manager. New job title: Currently hiring Inside Sales Associates for great financial services jobs at (your company) in (your city). If you ensure the “Notify Network” toggle is set to “on”, your entire network of connections on LinkedIn will get notified of your “new” job title. You will also become more “search engine friendly” when people search for that kind of job in your city.
Also, to ensure you stand out when people actually check out your profile, add some interesting and slightly personal things in the “about” section of your profile so they can get to know you as a person and will be more likely to respond to you because you are less generic than those recruiters who don’t offer any inside info about themselves.
Rally: We love that you called data the “secret sauce of modern Recruitment Marketing”! And we love that you have a whole chapter in your book devoted to it! Summarize for the Rally community the most important ways that data can help drive Recruitment Marketing strategy.
Craig: I’m a firm believer that if you can’t prove it, it didn’t happen. In Recruitment Marketing we strive to be creative and intentional about promoting work and specific roles in our organization. It makes sense that you would want to know as much about your potential audience as possible so that you can personalize and target your messaging, job descriptions, ads and social posts.
Here are a few ways that data can drive your Recruitment Marketing strategy:
- Market data: Are you researching the specific role for a specific location to understand supply and demand for that role in that area? You should understand this at a fairly granular level to ensure that the salary and message are appropriate to attract applicants. A few tools you can use for salary and supply data are Claro Analytics, Horsefly, LaborIQ, and The Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Source of applicant: Do you really know where the first or last point of influence was that nudged your applicant to apply to your job? Using tools like Rally Inside can help you track where your applicants are finding out about your company online. Try to ensure that, when your candidates get to the application stage, they aren’t just self-selecting which job board or ad platform they clicked through to get to that point. How can you make informed decisions about which social content or job ads and platforms are effective if you aren’t accurately tracking this data?
- Personas: Try empathy mapping to ensure you are understanding the needs and goals of your target audience for any given role or job family. Build personas that help you to personalize your job descriptions and messaging so they answer your candidate’s pain points and aspirations with the things your company genuinely offers to meet those needs. This will also help you to understand where you might best connect with your candidates online or in the physical world.
Rally: Where can the Rally community get your new book?
Craig: Hiring Humans is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite online retailer. You can find links and information on that, as well as download the first chapter for free at www.Hiring-Humans.com.
We loved getting Craig’s thoughts!
Remember that treating job seekers as valuable partners with a customer-level of care is fundamental. Focus on understanding candidates’ perspectives and the significance of a seamless, user-friendly process, all part of delivering a human-focused candidate experience.
Through creating an employee advocacy program, recruiters can amplify their company’s employer brand by empowering their workforce to be advocates for their organizations. People want to connect with people, and highlighting your employees’ authentic experiences and voices can significantly impact your recruitment efforts.
Finally, data is the “secret sauce” of modern Recruitment Marketing. It enables recruiters to personalize and target their messaging effectively. Market data, understanding the source of applicants and creating personas can help you tailor your approach to candidates’ needs and aspirations. Utilizing data to keep a human touch throughout the candidate journey (especially in a non linear recruiting process) can give you the competitive edge.
Thanks again to Craig Fisher for sharing his insights with us! Check out Hiring Human and let us know what you think!