Talent hacking is based around growth hacking techniques applied to the hiring process. Growth hacking is a startup mindset, utilising creativity and innovative technology to drive cost-effective conversions. Therefore, talent hacking has everything to do with applying these principles to spreading company culture, approaching talent and hiring amazing people.
We have long left the post-and-pray era and conventional recruitment practices of using paid job boards and third-party recruiters don’t fit well with startups, SME’s and their cultures and budgets. But don’t get the wrong idea about talent hacking. Even for large corporates there’s lessons to be learned from this mindset.
Much like growth hacking marketers, talent hackers are experimenting with smart ways and new technology to share content, using social channels to get the message out, analysing data to find how their initiatives convert and see how this conversion generates good quality candidates.
How does talent hacking work?
Analysing the hiring process is one of the key components of talent hacking. Just make sure to track the right things. Recruiters tend to focus on the number of applicants they receive on their job openings. However the number of applications is little short of a vanity metric. If applicants don’t convert to hires, what is the point of tracking this metric?
Talent hackers analyze every detail about (potential) applicants, gathering information that will allow them to make better decisions. This intelligence will not only help selecting better candidates, but will also provide a higher accuracy in predicting the likelihood of a position to be successfully filled, how long the recruitment process will take and what sources will have the highest conversion.
Using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) helps managing candidates and processing their applications. For the purpose of tracking metrics, nowadays ATS providers have started to apply advanced technology to turn their product into more advanced recruitment marketing platforms. Data is either being collected from applications coming in via the ATS front-end on the company website or is extracted from applicant data on job boards or social channels. The majority of ATS now have partnerships with job boards allowing their data to be parsed and interpreted as well.
Data analysis helps to establish a successful hiring strategy!
Applying advanced data collection technology allows recruiters to run rational A/B tests on job ads by testing headlines, images or job titles for instance. This may sound a of little importance, but minor changes to a job description can have a huge impact on someone clicking on a job ad or dismissing it. Thanks to thorough analysis of key hiring data, recruiters will stay in control of the “hiring game”. Very much like marketers who create and promote a new product, recruiters will create compelling job offers and deliver them to the right candidates. All thanks to thorough data analysis.
Some key steps to take into account in the process of putting your hiring strategy together:
- Define the ideal employee persona for the position to target the right audience.
- Design the message content in accordance with the needs, desires and preferences established from the employee persona.
- Deliver the message where the target audience is present, offline or online and select the right (social) channels.
- Create a recruitment funnel for each role.
This process will prevent recruiters from putting generic job ads out and will likely result in more qualified candidates.
Recruitment funnel and conversion rates
Funnelling down to the right candidate, your ideal number of applicants required to fill a position largely depends on the role, number of stages in the candidate selection process and conversion rates. From putting out the job ad, through CV selection, assessments, interviews to the final job offer, every step will have a conversion rate. Analysing recruitment data from the past or using industry metrics will help understand conversion rates more precisely and will help to predict recruitment success. Always remember: garbage in means garbage out, so make sure to track and use the right data.
Once the target audience is established, an engaging content strategy is put in place and the funnel is set, it is time to hack hiring! Using social media, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, viral marketing and referral programs to share the job opportunity with the right audience and make sure to accurately keep track of all relevant data along the process. Ideally, an ATS or advanced recruitment marketing platform can make this process a whole lot easier, allowing recruiters to readjust if necessary. Combine results with the outcomes of a proactive recruitment or direct sourcing strategy and a rich data set will be build over time, further fine-tuning the hiring process.
Experiment, track, analyse, learn & repeat!
Talent hackers and candidate experience
Along the entire process as described above, it is of fundamental importance to respond to every applicant, whether or not qualified for the role. In the mindset of growth hacking, recruiters should aim to positively respond to everyone who engages with the employer brand. Applicants not matching the role could potentially be connected to people who do qualify for the job and even candidates who get declined in a professional manner may be willing to pass on their referrals. Also, since we now collectively share all our experiences online, nothing is more annoying than having to get rid of a bad reputation as an employer.
This post was originally published on the Talentsquare Blog.