At the beginning of 2020, recruitment marketers and recruiters were dealing with all-time low unemployment rates only to see the opposite end of the spectrum six months later.
Record layoffs, high unemployment rates, and a complete overhaul in the way candidates work have led to a lot of change in the recruitment marketing world.
To get a little peek behind the curtain when it comes to all this change, we decided to (virtually) sit down with recruitment marketing expert Justin Libak.
In addition to his role as an account executive with LOCALiQ Recruitment, where he partners with recruiters and organizations on their recruitment marketing strategies, Libak also speaks at conferences and on podcasts about the changing candidate journey, common recruitment marketing challenges, and ways organizations can better recruit top talent.
Recruitment Marketing & Hiring Trends for 2021
Libak covered a lot of great information for recruiters and recruitment marketing professionals to consider as we move into 2021. Before we get into our conversation, here are the top trends he thinks recruiters and recruitment marketing professionals should be preparing for in 2021:
- Pay attention to your online presence. Candidates are researching organizations online more than ever before.
- Drive people to learn about your brand before they even start looking for a job.
- Invest in SEO and PPC to show up on Google — it’s where the majority of people start their job search.
- Use social media to communicate your brand values and brand story.
- Streamline the hiring process to ensure you’re not losing top candidates to competing organizations.
- Focus on employee growth and development to retain your employees.
- Get clear on what your organization stands for. Younger generations want to work for companies with purpose.
Now, let’s dive into some details around why Libak feels these are so crucial for success in 2021.
Justin, you talk a lot about the candidate journey at your speaking engagements. Why is that so important?
The candidate journey is so much more important now than it ever was previously. For example, if I want to see a review on somebody, I can spend five minutes searching on my phone and get 2,000 reviews on Glassdoor, or Indeed, or Google. Versus previously, if I wanted to know what it was like to work at a company, it all had to be through somebody I knew who worked there.
Candidates are doing so much more research now on organizations prior to ever applying. And the candidate journey is just so much more important – especially for those applicants.
That’s really interesting. How has the pandemic impacted recruitment marketing from what you’ve seen?
2020 has been a unique year all around. We have gone from record lows in unemployment at the beginning of the year through February and March – in some areas under 2% — to record highs in unemployment in June, July, and August.
However, companies are having the same struggle that they had pre-pandemic to hire people. And that’s because it is definitely a candidate’s market right now. All of your top employees and candidates are employed, and they’re employed for a reason.
So, driving people to learn about your brand – whether it be through Glassdoor, social channels, LinkedIn, or a new brand commercial – is what’s going to make the difference. You want those passive candidates to think “I’ll check them out and I’ll talk to them because they have something that’s unique, and they have the same values I have.”
What are the best recruitment marketing strategies to reach candidates right now?
To me, the best recruitment marketing strategies are going to be through Google and through social media.
Pretty much everyone starts their job search on Google. Eighty-three percent of millennials are starting their job search on Google. Because let’s be honest, you start every online journey on Google.
So, Google’s definitely going to be a place where you need to be with SEO and PPC so you’re showing up for those job searches.
You also need social channels to get your brand out there and increase awareness. Social is where you get your message of who you are and talk about your values that people want to relate to – do you care about the environment? Do you care about what’s going on right now?
People want to work for an organization that they can relate to and they can connect with.
What do you think recruiters should know about the candidate journey that maybe they didn’t know or aren’t paying as much attention to?
The biggest piece of advice I can ever give recruiters about the candidate journey is knowing that candidates are doing far more research on your organization than you think. They’re looking at all the information available on social and all the information available on every single web page related to your organization.
So, making sure that all those pages and even your personal LinkedIn page and social media pages are sharing information that reflects the type of company and type of organization you are is so important.
How would you say the hiring process impacts recruitment marketing?
The hiring process is going to be huge because you’re going to have some organizations that have a great hiring process. It’s going to be really quick – and they’re going to get the top candidates because they’re going to move them through the pipeline really quickly.
Then you’re going to have some organizations where they have 10 different interviews and they’re going to make you do a 200-question personality test. Those are going to be a lot slower, and they’re going to get lower-tier candidates because your process is so long that by the time you can extend your offer to that great candidate, they’ve already accepted a job from someone else, and they’re gone.
So, the hiring process is so important for your recruitment marketing efforts because you have to move quickly to get those top candidates.
What are some ways you think organizations can streamline that process?
One of the biggest ways you can streamline that process – especially in our current virtual world – is you can have group interviews, like on Microsoft Teams. Before, you had team members all across the country that you had to fly in or coordinate schedules to interview candidates. But now you can video conference everyone in so quickly for an interview that it really combines and streamlines that process.
That’d be my first recommendation.
My second recommendation for streamlining the process is that you don’t necessarily need to get the candidate’s full history in the beginning. All you care about is the name, phone number, and maybe a resume’ so you can start talking to them and get them excited about the job so they’re trying to drive it forward. Don’t make them do a 200-question survey before you ever talk to them.
Those are great recommendations! What are some hiring trends you’re seeing right now?
Some of the biggest hiring trends I’m seeing are that people are looking at more contract work – especially in healthcare – around the country with what’s going on around the last several works.
We’re also seeing people tired of moving around from job to job, and they’re looking to be more settled and grounded.
Another hiring trend is that with so many organizations laying off a lot of people, other organizations are taking advantage of that and targeting different companies who have done layoffs to get new candidates.
Interesting. How do you think recruitment marketers can be prepared for 2021?
Make sure you know what type of organization you are and what you stand for. Understand where your organization aligns when it comes to all the different social issues happening around the country. That’s going to be more important than ever.
Your younger candidates and young professionals really want to work with a company that has the same beliefs, the same drive, that they have. And they will connect with that company a lot more than just a job – it will be a career.
Thanks to Justin Libak for his expert insights into the changing hiring and recruitment marketing landscape! If you want to speak with an expert like Justin, reach out today.
Note: Opinions expressed belong to the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the employer.