Tips and tools for digital recruiters

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Some departments seem to adopt new technologies faster than others, with HR lagging behind

As a digital marketer I’ve come to see just how much my field is affecting other departments, and has recently developed much in common with recruitment.

The list below includes technologies that are for the most part easy to use and free. Some are so simple that you’ll be able to add them to your campaigns in minutes.

Social media is an important recruitment channel from LinkedIn to Facebook and more. But which is most effective? If you’re not tracking your ads on these platforms you have no way of knowing.

1. Add UTM codes to the URLs of your ads

A UTM code is a simple string of text that you add to the end of the URLs used in your recruitment ads. Add a campaign name (e.g. job title), a medium (where the ad appears), and a source (a specific site like LinkedIn). Then use Google Analytics to see precisely how much traffic came from each parameter. This will give you an exact picture so you can focus your efforts on what works best.

There are many tools that automatically add a UTM code to your URL; utm.io is an excellent free service.

2. Hide your URLs with Bitly

Bitly is a link-shortening service and is great to use in conjunction with UTM codes. Once you’ve got the UTM added to the URL, just paste it into Bitly’s site and copy the shortened address. Using this has two advantages. First it hides the UTM code from the user, and second it easily gives you stats on how many times a link has been clicked on – all direct from Bitly’s site. It’s fast, easy to use, and very useful.

3. Take advantage of the ‘smart targeting’ features of Facebook and LinkedIn

Target specific demographics and locations in your recruitment ads to make sure they’re seen by your target audience. With Facebook you can get quite specific, and with a bit of savvy you can really use it to your advantage. For example, if you’re posting an entry-level position target the ‘life event’ of recent university graduates. Or get more specific with interests like advertising, nursing or design.

LinkedIn has similar targeting options. Select specific LinkedIn group members and target specific interests, or target followers of a particular company or individual in the field of your job posting.

Look to field-specific sites for your postings, like Stack Overflow and GitHub for software developers, which have millions of visitors per month. And don’t forget review sites like Glassdoor, which are becoming increasingly popular with jobseekers.

4. Use A/B testing to find the best version of your ad

A/B testing works by running two or more versions of your job post, giving you statistics on which was more successful. This allows you to test different wording of the job description, requirements, title, etc. to see what works best. There are a plethora of services that offer A/B testing, some with quite advanced features. Hotjar, for instance, gives you heatmaps to show you exactly where people are looking, clicking, and scrolling – and where they’re not.

5. Implement remarketing and display ads to previous visitors to your site

A more advanced technique to more aggressively pursue recruits is called remarketing. An example would be: when someone visits the careers page of your website you can use platforms like Google display campaigns or Facebook sponsored content to present them with recruitment ads when they're browsing or using their social media. An ad explaining how your company has recently raised $X million and is now looking to hire the top talent could help attract the best applicants.

To do this you’ll need to use a conversion pixel (an image of one pixel in size that you add to your site to track visitors). The pixel records who’s been to your page allowing you to display your ads solely to said visitors. Facebook has instructions for adding the pixel, and similar guides are available for other sites.

6. Keep up with changes and innovations in HR

There are several innovative companies making an impact in HR, and it’s important to stay on top of the latest developments. One example is Empirical Hire, which uses AI to make recruitment a data-driven process. Its machine-learning algorithms analyse huge amounts of data, helping recruiters screen and select the best-suited candidates. Another is BOB, a cloud-based HR platform that streamlines administration processes and enhances employee experiences with a mobile app, benefits store, and onboarding tools.

With so many new tools and technologies available it’s important for HR professionals to make use of them. Today you either stay ahead of the curve or get left behind.

Nadav Olmert is a lead generation and online marketing specialist at GeoEdge

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