Since the beginning of the year there have been dozens of recruiting startups, mergers, and acquisitions. Google is making a new foray into the jobs world. Indeed is trying to become a brand. Programmatic is taking more recruiting dollars, social isn’t, and another report says job boards are the #2 hire source (behind company career sites).
In other words, words, trends, and more words.
But if you step back for a minute, one fundamental remains: candidates. They are ultimately what employers want. Yes, employers may say they want hires – and they do – but the hiring process is controlled by the employer. When they say they want hires, what they are really saying is, ‘we want candidates that are highly likely to fill our current and future openings’. Unless your business involves sitting inside the employer’s operation, interviewing, and then hiring candidates – well, then your business still revolves around candidates, but you have a bit more skin in the game. You’re no longer in recruitment marketing, you’re in placement and staffing (which of course is where some companies like Indeed are heading).
Set aside for a moment the question of how many employers are willing to abdicate their hiring process. Set aside how automated the candidate sourcing, assessment, and delivery process can be. And set aside the eternal question of what constitutes a quality candidate. Instead, ask yourself where your recruitment marketing business really begins:
- Are you a traditional job board? You need candidates that match your employers’ needs.
- Are you a new-fangled AI-enhanced sourcing tool? You must dig out candidates that employers want from somewhere.
- Are you a hub or career-focused site? You have to attract candidates to use your site – and then apply for jobs.
- Are you a network of sites? You still need candidates that fit your employers’ needs.
Am I belaboring the point? I don’t think so. It often seems that the latest recruiting ‘flavor’ gains currency because it promises a shortcut to the candidate – some technology or trick or method that will somehow produce the right candidate who is ready to act on the right employer offer. Yes, there have absolutely been incremental improvements in candidate delivery over the past decade – much of it tied to how much candidate behavior and data can be accumulated, and then acted on. But much of the improvements have been vaporware – a triumph of marketing over matter. Seriously – is LinkedIn a dramatic improvement over Monster? Really? I suspect many employers would probably say no.
My point – and I really do have one – is that every successful recruitment marketing solution should be built on the understanding that candidates are what employers want. Everything else is fluff and flash, new shiny objects for bored consumers.
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