You pay to post jobs on a job board, but then you don’t like the candidate pool. You pay more to search the resume databases of the job boards, but you still don’t find anyone you actually want to hire. Search firms incessantly cold-call you, offering to fill your jobs for a fee of 30% of annual salary, but you can’t afford that, and besides, you really wonder if they aren’t just sending you the same people you saw on the job boards. So how do you break out of the vicious cycle? How do you solve your recruiting problems long term and break fee of the cycle of job board disappointment?
You turn to Seth Godin. His post on the reality of new media is so simple it’s revolutionary. Admittedly, his post discusses marketing and never mentions recruiting, but when you read it you’ll see exactly what I mean:
- In marketing, we used to “rent” an audience from old media companies (TV networks). In recruiting, the old media giants are not TV networks, but job boards like Monster. And of course, when you “rent” an audience, you don’t have to treat it very well (just like a rental car). Who cares what happens to the portion of the audience you were not interested in? No sense even sending them a rejection letter, right? You’ll never talk to them again…
- But in new media, you don’t have to rely on someone else’s disgruntled, beat up, poorly maintained rental audience. You go direct. You build your very own private communications channel and invite the good people there. It’s yours, so you invest in them, lavish attention on them with a Facebook fan page, Twitter account and maybe even a job seeker blog. You show them what it’s like to work for you with videos. (Check out The Sodexo job seeker blog, RSM McGladrey on Youtube, and Comscore on Twitter) .
- As you invest and your audience grows, you eventually bypass the job boards entirely because you have attracted an audience of candidates on your own. You started your own conversation. You built your own community, and because you treated them right, they are eager to hear from you.
- It’s cheap, but it’s not fast and it’s not easy. It’s an investment, but the benefits are yours and yours alone. And when you invest in building and maintaining a platform – your own media channel – you will have a powerful, sustainable competitive advantage over the “renters” who have to share someone else’s audience. Your community of people wouldn’t dream of looking there for a job – they have you.
One recent study showed that job seekers spend an average of 5 hours a week on social media sites each week. Another study showed that internet users overall have tripled the percentage of time they spend on social network and blogging sites just since last year. Clearly the time for action is right now.
So here’s the real question. The tools exist, the audience is ready. Do you want to solve your recruiting problems and gain the first mover advantage now by building your own channel? Or do you want to keep renting and be shackled to that familiar recruiting problem for just a little while longer?