E-recruitment Is No E-commerce

February 15

Back 10 years ago, I remember how innovative we thought we were when we pitched to clients the holy grail: e-recruitment was to be approached like e-commerce.

First, I'm not sure anyone is calling it "e-anything" anymore as industry fashion took our discipline and our teams from being "e-" to "web" to "online" to "interactive" to what it is today: digital. The more I think of it, the more I realize I liked "Interactive" better because it described what we intended to do rather than how we were doing it, but ... that's a completely different story. So, don't be mad at me if I call it "e-" in homage to 20th century nostalgia.

The parallel between e-recruitment and e-commerce was really convenient as it enabled us multiple comparisons with a field most people became familiar with: buying stuff online.

  • promotion
  • landing pages
  • websites
  • thank-you pages
  • accounts
  • email notifications
  • process follow up
  • metrics & analytics

Evangelists everywhere began pitching "jobs" as "products", "Client Relationship Management" as "Candidate Relationship Management" and "Visitors & Applicants" as "clients" ... the list goes on.

This definitely has limits though and our industry is really more specific than "just selling jobs". Look at it this way: when a publisher is trying to sell you its' books,

  • they have just as many of those books as there are people willing to buy (I know, there's a defined number of books being printed but, don't be difficult, they'll reprint if needed).
  • they will sell it to you no matter who you are.
  • they don't actually care whether you like the story or not.

Three MAJOR differences!

When it comes to recruitment, you do want to know if your "product" is right for your potential "client" (does it fit?), not just if he or she can afford it (does he or she have the skills to accurately evaluate). This is because the position you are trying to fill is unique and there is usually a lot more involved than just filling an empty seat.

It ties to sense, culture, spirit, values, management practices, colleagues, vision of the future, mutual expectations ...

Good advertising sells (or helps sell).

Good recruitment advertising should, at the same time, sell the job to those who will fit and turn off those who won't.

That's probably why we're in business.

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