Six new rules of attraction
By Mike Hoffman
In this era of Big Data and short attention spans, it’s tempting to ask whether advertising is harder than it was. Certainly there’s more to think about than 20 years ago, when the internet was in its infancy. Back then, there were over 33,000 local and national newspapers, trade journals and academic publications, from the Banbury Cake to Plastics & Rubber Weekly.
As an agency, we’ve always had to navigate a dizzying range of channels. And the underlying principles – right message, right channel, right audience – still apply. Only now, we know so much more about their effectiveness. So, we’ve pulled together six things to think about when planning candidate attraction.
1. Be audience-focused but platform agnostic
When you don’t know where your audience is, how can you reach them? It used to be based on past performance, and advertising in media channels we suspected they used and hoping they’d apply.
Now we can be genuinely audience-focused, by using advertising tools that monitor actual audience behaviour as it happens. We know who’s looking for what and where, their likes and dislikes – in fact, everything from their house to their pets.
2. If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t count
Perhaps the biggest change to hit recruitment attraction in the last 10 years has been the rise in data gathering and analysis – to the point where we can see exactly what’s working, to channel the budget into places we can prove are showing results. We track how your audience interacts with advertising, and what they do afterwards. What do they want from your website? And how does the outcome change, depending on the message?
Crucially, this knowledge builds. Over time, we can even show you the future value of each advertising transaction and the likely ROI for campaigns that haven’t yet been planned.
3. Many pathways, one destination
Increasingly, we need to consider the user experience across the entire application and hiring process – and it’s far from linear. There are false starts and dead ends, with users changing channels because their activity becomes too laborious.
We can help to maximise every touch point to drive awareness into conversion. Rather than seeing attraction as single chain of clicks, we have the data and analysis to craft a series of engagements that’s tailored for different audiences.
4. Take it personally
As consumers, we’ve come to expect the personal touch. Programmatic ads follow us. Websites know what we like. We increasingly expect a web tailored for us – and job candidates are no different.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools are making job-seeking more tailored and personal, learning from candidate feedback. And we know from our own research, conducted with reed.co.uk, that a personalised experience is a higher priority for job seekers than some of the things recruiters are focusing on, such as mobile-enabled apps.
5. Keep it real
The future of attraction and engagement is built around the C-word: Content. Advertising increasingly focuses on how we can engage people to respond emotionally to your brand through perceived authenticity. To resonate with people, recruitment attraction needs to speak in the genuine voice of the organisation. Savvy audiences want to know how it feels to work somewhere – to imagine themselves there and know if it’s right for them. Attraction today is about capturing that, based on a solid understanding of who you are as an employer. It’s something we can definitely help with.
6. Keep it Artificial
AI is a hot topic in recruitment – and not just the back end: sifting, sorting, assessing and measuring. It’s increasingly encroaching into attraction and engagement too. Some tools will review and score your job ad copy for positive language, scoring down clichés and jargon, and improving gender balance. And we’re even seeing familiar job posting tools using AI to apply learning from previous postings to pick the best job boards and spot trends.
Currently, this technology is still somewhat in the background. But its rise is a sign of things to come, and we expect it to do some of the heavy lifting around attraction, in order to free up recruitment professionals to apply their talents to other areas.