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How to Recruit in the Age of 'Googlization'

Ira S. Wolfe

President, Success Performance Solutions

The digital age offers many ways to engage job seekers — but blasting a "help wanted" ad with traditional recruiting tactics isn’t one of them.

Instead, recruiters must take a page from marketers to attract the talent their organizations need, through brand-building, organic marketing and relationship nurturing. It’s time to learn how to recruit in the age of Googlization — the expansion of Google's search technologies into more markets and contexts — or, as I call it, "Recrooglization."

Recrooglization is the blending of the science of Google with the art of recruiting. Google has disrupted and transformed the way people operate, communicate and interact online. The company put information at our fingertips and took big data mainstream. By doing so, it leveled the playing field between companies and customers, employers and employees. Just as candidates need to attract recruiters, recruiters now need to attract candidates.

Appeal to the Passive Candidate

In the age of Recrooglization, passive candidates are just as important to your recruiting strategy as active candidates.

According to HubSpot, 70 percent of candidates begin their job hunt on Google, but not everyone is actively looking to move jobs. They might be doing research on products or services. They might be comparing salaries. They might be curious about other options after a bad day at work. Whatever the reason, your company could be in the spotlight for candidates at any time.

The constant spotlight means your online brand needs to be crystal clear — if you don't optimize your website and social media profiles to appeal to potential employees, you will lose out on future talent.

Here are six tips for successfully implementing a new, digital-driven recruiting process:

1) Build trust and relationships. Employers must kill the notion that they can pull a magical candidate out of the hat whenever a job opens up. Instead, your recruiting strategy should focus on nurturing relationships with a large, online network over time.

2) Be SEO-friendly. Your company should be searchable (and findable) in as many places as possible. Use keywords, social media and marketing to grow your online presence and search rankings. The labor pool is diverse, so cast a wide net while staying focused on your target audience.

3) Utilize big data. Recrooglization is about metrics, but too few companies track their recruiting efforts. You need to have a clear understanding of your talent pipeline just like the sales and marketing teams understand their customer pipeline. The cost of data-driven recruitment pales in comparison to the cost of lost opportunities and bad hires when a position remains unfilled.

4) Write creative job descriptions. Out of the millions of job postings on the Web at this very moment, I would bet that only 1 percent of them are actually interesting to read. Think and act creatively when posting job openings — write a story, not just a list of skills and tasks, and you'll easily differentiate yourself from competitors.

5) Don't forget about offline. It's easy to get caught up in the digital world with all the available technology and gadgetry, but it's also useful to create offline opportunities for potential candidates to interact with your company — yes, even Millennials enjoy face-to-face interactions. Try hosting meet-ups, happy hours or workshops in your office.

6) Involve current employees. Think about it this way: everyone in your company is a recruiter. Your employees all have their own networks, online and offline — they likely know other people who are qualified to work at your company. Involve employees in your social media efforts, and offer referral bonuses or other incentives for sharing job postings.

In the end, Recrooglization is about taking ownership of your brand and crafting a cohesive, compelling message to share with potential employees. If you focus on capturing the attention of active and passive candidates alike, you will find it much easier to hire great people down the line.

Interested in hearing more about recruiting in the age of Googlization? Click here for a recent interview on Business Builders Show with guest Ira Wolfe.

Photo: Creative Commons

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