Conversational Marketing is Influencing a New Brand of Recruiting

Guest: Rachel Bitte Rachel Bitte, Recruiting, Social Recruiting

Every time there’s an innovation in the world of marketing, you can bet that not long after we’ll see the recruiting space follow. Over the last decade, it’s become clear with trends such as social recruiting, recruitment marketing and the recruiting funnel that marketing is a leading indicator for what’s to come in talent acquisition. So, that begs the question, what’s up next? Well, one idea building steam this year is conversational recruiting, which puts an emphasis on real-time conversations that happen over an ongoing basis.

Similar to its marketing counterpart, conversational recruiting focuses on two-way conversations. Unlike traditional recruiting methods, this new trend relies on instant, personalized communication via text, video, social media and chat platforms in order to keep candidates on the hook. Older recruiting channels commonly flowed in only one direction, such as emails. But with conversational recruiting, the best candidate engagements involve a multi-channel, back-and-forth dialogue often across different mediums.

These personalized conversations center around continuously engaging candidates at the right time, and in the right way, from the first time they see your website to their first day on the job (and beyond). Here’s how you can embrace these new trends and make conversational recruiting part of your talent strategy.

Smartphones rule the world

We live in a more connected world than ever, and with the rise of texting, video, social media and chat platforms comes new lines of communication with candidates. Millennials in particular (wh0 now make-up the largest segment of the U.S. workforce) and their younger siblings in Generation Z expect to engage where they spend most of their time: on their mobile devices. If your recruiting team isn’t taking advantage of these platforms to connect instantly with job seekers, then you’re already behind!

Think about it, the standard email open rate is only 20%, and cold calls almost never result in a meeting. On the other hand, Americans check their phones on average once every 12 minutes, and up to 80 times total throughout the day. Given the odds that your message will actually be seen—coupled with the fact that texting is the preferred method of communication for younger generations—and it seems like a no-brainer that companies today need to embrace text messaging as a core component of a modern recruiting strategy.

New rules, new tools

Texting isn’t the only way for recruiters to demonstrate a more conversational touch with candidates. Video interviews, engagement on social media and recruiting chatbots are additional tools in your arsenal to create a personalized application experience, and there are a couple easy ways to work them into your recruiting process:

  • Video interviews: Utilizing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) with video onboard (or another video option) can allow candidates to record a short clip of themselves in place of a phone screen, and recruiters can also shoot themselves describing the requisition. Video provides a quicker and more natural way to build rapport with candidates, although older generations may not be quite as comfortable.
  • Social media: Wherever jobseekers frequent — LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat — you should be there too participating in the right conversations. Take advantage of keywords, hashtags, etc. to get your company in front of the talent that will care the most.
  • Chatbots: In the age of Amazon Prime, Uber, instant messaging and more—speed is everything. Today’s culture of immediate gratification requires on-demand conversations when it comes to recruiting and hiring. Live chat and chatbots are easily the best ways to provide instant answers, while simultaneously holding job seekers’ interest and shuffling them through the recruiting process.

Putting the ‘personal’ back in ‘personnel’

Too many organizations and hiring teams today have forgotten the personal touch of effective recruiting. With fresh ways for recruiters to eliminate their most tedious tasks and focus on the human element again, new opportunities to connect with people exist – if you know the right places to look.

As recruiting branches further out into new channels, there is a need to adapt your communications to match the medium. The best conversations are not scripted, and require a more informal approach to promote a two-way engagement. Conversational recruiting demands authenticity, personality and transparency. Younger generations in particular want to feel and be a part of something special and even exclusive, and desire real-time feedback throughout the hiring process.

Keeping up with the latest technologies, social networks and different means to connect with candidates will only become more crucial, and those hiring teams who can adapt quickly to identify the human side of recruiting on these platforms will be the ones to walk away with the best talent.