As with many things these days, the search for talent has moved online. But with a large applicant pool, what's the best way to capture top talent? In this episode, Jodie Beals from ZipRecruiter discusses how to build an effective recruiting strategy.

Episode Info

Effective Recruiting Strategies with ZipRecruiter® (click to listen/download podcast)

The search for talent has moved online, and job seekers spend an average of just 49 to 77 seconds reviewing a job posting. So how do you get noticed by the right people? An expert from ZipRecruiter reveals the secrets to targeting and attracting the right candidates online.

Reference Shelf

Speaker Info

Kara Murray is the Vice President of Sales Operations for ADP's Small Business Client Channel. Kara has been with ADP for 9 years and has been in various sales and sales leadership positions while she has been with ADP. One of her primary goals is to educate our clients on the ever-changing HR landscape and how ADP can help them overcome everyday workplace challenges.

Jodie Beals is in the strategic partnership group of ZipRecruiter. Jodi leads the ADP partnership with ZipRecruiter and is here to talk about how to build an effective recruiting strategy.

Full Transcript

Kara Murray: As with many things these days the search for talent has moved online, but with such a large applicant pool what's the best way to capture top talent?

I'm Kara Murray and this is HR{preneur}, a podcast by ADP. We know you work incredibly hard to support your employees and make your business a success. More than likely this means you wear lots of hats and one of those might be HR professional. We're here to help you get the insight you need in order to tackle day-to-day workplace issues.

This week I'm joined by Jodie Beals. Jody works in strategic partnerships for ZipRecruiter. She leads the ADP partnership with ZipRecruiter and here is to talk about how to build and effective recruiting strategy. Jodie. Thanks for joining us.

Jodie Beals: Thanks so much for having me.

Kara: So before we get into the conversation I do just want to take the opportunity to thank the ADP client appreciation program for sponsoring today's episode. You can earn free payroll by referring ADP and if you want to find out more you can reach out to your local sales representative.

Jodie, where should an employer begin when strategizing how to source top talent?

Jodie: As with many things these days the search for talent has really moved online, so online job boards and recruitment platforms, like ZipRecruiter provide employers and brands the opportunity to efficiently reach a large applicant pool, in addition to leveraging your typical high yield candidate sources, such as an internal resume database or even an applicant tracking system, or ATS, as it's known.

It's crucial that organizations really analyze the ROI from all of their hiring sources, which truly starts with identifying key talent segments and the most effective ways to attract each segment.

It's also important to note that while increasing the sheer volume of candidates will increase the likelihood of finding the right candidate, which is simple math. It also means added time shifting through applications and weeding out unqualified applicants.

Kara: So how can employers be more targeted in finding the right fit?

Jodie: Well, there are a couple of different considerations we recommend. First and foremost, developing an effective job description for the role is a great place to start. Second, building a really meaningful rapport with job seekers throughout the selection process is fundamental to bringing in experiential and people-driven hiring process.

And another tip for targeting the right candidates is to consider the overall experience. So I really emphasize this because latest trends reveal that job seekers only spend on average a 49 to 77 seconds when they review a job post, so it's vital to capture their interest from the onset.

Kara: Can you talk a little more about how candidates are looking for jobs today?

Jodie: Absolutely. So it should come as no surprise that our data indicates an estimated 70 percent of job seekers use mobile devices as they search for their next career move and around 23 percent of all key word searches from mobile devices contain the word "job".

With that being said mobile recruiting trends are really among the most important new developments in coming years for our industry and with the growing emphasis on mobility more candidates than ever are performing job search processes through their phone.

Kara: Interesting. How can employers optimize the search experience for mobile users?

Jodie: First, always ensure that the company site or job board renders a mobile environment and that the applicant submission process is really going to be delivered in user-friendly experience, meaning that it's optimized for viewing and actually applying for on a mobile phone and a tablet.

Second, we recommend using bulleted lists and keeping paragraphs short and to the point, but no one wants to read through long blocks of text, which could look anywhere from, you know, two to five times longer on a phone then the desktop screen that the job description was originally created on.

So with that in mind we recommend including information that's most important and relevant to the job seeker at the top of the posting. And this content, again, is typically going to include the specific expectations and qualifications of the roles, as well as compensation and location information.

Also something to note here is several jurisdictions have laws that restrict employers from asking about an applicant's pay history during the hiring process, though most of these laws do allow you to ask about salary expectations, so always keep that in mind.

And really the takeaway here is the easier you can make it for a mobile job seeker to quickly scan your postings and determine whether or not they're qualified and a good fit for the role and that it meets their baseline expectations this is always going to provide a stronger application volume and quality overall for an employee.

Kara: What about social media? It seems like a lot of employers are advertising for jobs on Facebook and other social platforms; do you agree?

Jodie: Yes, absolutely. We've noticed countless employers and brands that are utilizing their social media footprint to attract talent as more job seekers really turn to social media platforms when they start looking for jobs.

So it's actually rather intelligent because if you already have an active and established social presence, you know, you likely already have followers who are going to be dedicated to your brand and these followers can serve as a pipeline of talent, right, so these are people who are actively engaged and committed to the company before you even advertise a role, so we recommend sharing job openings on these platforms so your followers are the first to see them and they can really evangelize that opportunity for you.

And on that note always explore the job seekers perspective by visiting all the sites your job is posted on and really view again from both your desktop and your mobile device.

So the takeaways here are really considering what the experience of, like, you know, can you quickly find what you need, is the information posted in the job description, is it concise, is it friendly, is it human, is it relevant. Maybe even consider mock applying. You know, this is what your applicants see, so if you don't easily digest what's on the page or the page doesn't render in a mobile environment or you can't even easily apply to the job a job seeker likely won't be able to as well.

Kara: Medium aside, what's an effective job posting look like? What job titles and key words resonate?

Jodie: This is probably the most common question we get at ZipRecruiter. Something to share is that generic job titles are actually less effective than targeted ones, so we recommend using phrases that describe the role for a job title.

For instance, if you're looking for somebody who manages onboarding on a learning and development team we would recommend utilizing a title such as "New hire onboarding trainer" versus "Learning Consultant", which is, obviously, you know, not as approximate to the job and the role.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we don't recommend giving too much creative license to a job title, which we've definitely seen in recent trends, such as hiring for a content lawyer. We really suggest saving that creative jargon and kind of flashy call to action for the job summary versus the job title.

And, as with anything, learn what works for your company and for your brand. Test the performance of different job titles to understand what's attracting the most qualified candidates and find the areas and ways that you can improve.

Also, job seekers are interested in more than just learning about the role requirement. They also greatly care about capturing a sense of the company culture, so for this reason we really recommend including a job summary in addition to the job description and the requirement.

And for those of you not familiar a job summary is really something that should be attention grabbing and memorable in nature and it elaborates on the company's core values, benefits, maybe some unique perks, and even industry awards that make the business or brand stand out.

So this is really your chance to showcase the brand's voice and its applicable mission to the job seeker. It's also going to provide context or framework for how the world fits into the organization.

One last tip I'd really like to recommend for the job summary section is to utilize personal words. An example of that is going be words like "we" and "you" and if you use this in the text it's going to indicate somewhat of a human touch, which we know does a lot to draw more potential candidates in.

Kara: That's great insight. Thanks, Jodie. What about responsibilities? Should employers include everything the candidate might be expected to do on the job?

Jodie: That's a great question. The comprehensiveness of your job description will impact the quality, both good and bad, right, of candidates who apply. Do we absolutely recommend including core functions in key elements that are fundamental to the role, but also consider that your job posting shouldn't necessarily be set in stone.

Based on the candidates you speak with, flexibility should still be an option, which could greatly benefit both parties in the end. And while it's often recommended not to provide every detail of the job, I know we've all seen job postings like that before, more often than not something you should include is logistics for the role. The physical locations to where the role is based is something that will make or break a job seekers decision-making process.

We found from our data that no matter how great the fit, even the compensation, and how much the candidate may desire the role, when it comes down to it most people will not commute what they consider to be too great a distance to get to work, so it's important to discuss logistical expectations up front with candidates and include them within the job description versus saving them until the later stages within the interview process.

And something here that's something very common we're seeing is that the role includes the opportunity to work remote. This should be discussed up front as well, as included within the job description, as many job seekers today will aggressively seek an opportunity that includes the flexibility, even over a role that provides a higher salary.

Kara: Can you talk a little about key words? How can employers ensure their postings are inclusive?

Jodie: Absolutely. Great question. It's important to be conscientious of gender-bias keywords, so at ZipRecruiter we're constantly optimizing your search logic in order to better match employers with job applicants, so this makes us highly conscientious of trends within the space.

An example of this recently is that we had tackled the topic of gender bias within job ads. This has been studied and debated, both publicly and even by the American Psychological Association and what it is is that it refers to the use of male or female skewing terms within a job description. An example of this includes the word such as "support" or "understanding", the words "aggressive" or "ambitious".

So when we found this we asked some of our best data scientists to investigate the true impact of this and more importantly give our employers, you know, our customers, some actionable tips on how to fix this. So here's what we learned. When companies remove gender-bias keywords from their job description the payoff is huge. The job listings with gender neutral phrasing or keywords received 42 percent more responses or an average of 17.6 more candidates. It's definitely worth checking your job description to determine if the post contains these key words and then consider replacing them with that gender neutral language.

And on the second part of your question, Kara, it's vital that employers utilize inclusive language and avoid terms that could be interpreted as excluding a protected class. So for examples, some examples really are going to include the words like "energetic" "tech savvy" or "recent college graduate". This type of language can be seen as discriminatory against older candidates who might apply, so instead we would recommend being specific in your requirements. An example would include proficiency in HTML required or maybe even this position is entry level. So these are some great ways to utilize that inclusive language in a job description.

And lastly, kind of beyond the importance of promoting inclusivity to drive engagement and collaboration under the law, you know, applicants and employees are protected from discrimination and harassment based on a number of different characteristics. Just because you're utilizing a platform like ZipRecruiter doesn't mean that these things don't apply, so always be conscientious of things like mentioning age, race, sex, national origin and religion. Right, it's important to understand the laws that are going to apply to your business and keep these protections in mind through every step of the appointment and selection process.

Kara: Very interesting. You provided a lot of great information around sourcing talent. So how can employers engage this talent and capture mutual buy-in through the hiring process?

Jodie: Because of the low unemployment environment we see today employers have got to be creative and proactive with their candidate outreach strategy. We believe the best way to accomplish this is really design an outstanding interview experiences and that's really because the general scope of these first initial conversations are going to set the tone for the entire process and so that process for that reason should be expertly designed to consistently learn more about an applicant, really dig deeper on personal levels, discover maybe some unique skillsets that an applicant may have in areas they specialize in - how that might mold itself into the role and then really focus on the overall relationship building and credibility that will come into play further down the line.

When you think about building that candidate experience it beings with the first interaction that a candidate has with your organization. This can begin with a recruiter or immediately with the hiring manager, so anyone who's going to interact with this candidate, as well as the overall culture, so when that experience is designed skillfully candidates are going to get the impression that your organization cares about its people even before they join the team.

If that experience is exceptionally positive even candidates who aren't accepted for the role will still have great things to say about engaging with you and both sides will walk away with mutual benefit from the experience.

So again, that great candidate experience is going to include creating that meaningful dialogue about the scope of the role, how the role contributes to the broader strategic goals of the organization, maybe how the role will eliminate and solve for current challenges and even where the candidate is going to fit within the brand's mission.

Overall you can engage more effectively when candidates are establishing that brand with you and it's reflecting human values likely to resonate with job seekers. All of this really contributes to a strong selection process.

There's something else that we actually do here at ZipRecruiter and encourage other employers to do is that we recommend presenting the opportunity in terms of the specific team a candidate will work with as well. So each department in your organization has its own subculture and so helping candidates envision themselves within that setting, potentially even introducing them to team members early on in the hiring process is really going to provide a good story and a backdrop to a job seeker on what a day in the life is going to look like for them.

Kara: Thank you, Jodie. You provided great insight into how to build an effective recruiting strategy.

We want to thank you all for listening to HR{preneur}. I'm Kara Murray. For all the latest episodes subscribe in iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Podcast Overview

HR{preneur}, a podcast by ADP's Small Business Services, is designed to help you get the insight you need in order to tackle day-to-day workplace issues. In each episode, you'll hear from industry experts about the latest in HR, such as the #MeToo movement, evolving marijuana laws, and more. Each episode will be between 10 and 15 minutes long, but full of practical advice. Find us on Apple® Podcasts or visit the HRHR{preneur}podcast page on Podbean.

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