I closed my previous "The Edge" article, this way:
"Good recruitment advertising should, at the same time, sell the job to those who will fit and turn off those who won't." (Yes, I like quoting and this includes "quoting myself").
In a pragmatic, data-collection focused way, it's almost fair to say that most of the traffic we drive to our clients' online real estate, most of what we do to attract potential applicants, ends up being a submitted form through an ATS (an application) or nothing. Actually, the funny thing is "nothing" can turn out to be better than "an application". That's yet another difference between e-recruitment and e-commerce: in e-recruitment, not all conversions (here applications) are beneficial. Receiving an application you don't want or need will take your HR team time to process and, as polite as it might be, the big "NO" that you'll be sending to the applicant will probably not help build your brand. Ok, that was not my point today, let's move on.
Once visitors become applicants, companies are fully equipped to deal with the workflow that will see an individual move from "new application" to "line manager interview" to "hired". It should seem pretty obvious what the next action is (and who should take that action) when an individual is listed as "pending line manager interview"… Not only do ATS' (most of the time) do a good job of managing that often complex and company specific workflow but they also make every single aspect of it reportable.
ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. Individuals become "A" and enter the "TS" once they submit the form (I know you know, I'm getting there, don't worry). What about "Contacts" or "Non- Applicants Yet" (NAY)? To be fully transparent, my point is not even the fact that "there is no app for that", no "NAYTS", more that there is no concept around that. I've been hearing people talk CRM (the C standing for Candidate) for as long as I've been working in this industry. While shooting a happy birthday email to someone you rejected seven months ago but that you might care for in the future might have sounded smart 10 years ago, let's be honest, most of the CRM initiatives are still sub-par.
There is a complex and person-specific workflow that will see individuals move from "I don't know you" to "I probably wouldn't consider you" all the way to "show me the jobs, I'm ready to apply".
There are actions to be taken to change that NAY status from "you look like all your competitors to me" to "Oh, interesting, where would I fit?".
Should every single visitor to a website be shown the same information? Probably not.
Should a visitor, for every single visit, be shown the same information? Probably not.
Can we gather information that would help understand what one might be interested in when he lands on your website? Definitely.
Think of search engines: people tell what they want and expect to get the best possible answer, we can really do the same here only we'll have to understand what NAY want because seldom will they tell it out loud.
Depending on where they come from and how you interact with them, your audience has different expectations, some you can guess, some you just can't.
It's not that much about finding their sweet spot as it is about understanding where they're at and what's next for them: it needn't be an application.
Some will be able to go straight to a job, some will need to get to know your company, then your functions and/or locations, then your people - their peers, before they even consider looking at your jobs. The fact that they don't apply doesn't mean they won't, maybe the time is just not right for them, maybe it'll take another frustrating year-end review with their boss until they are ready to jump ship and until this happens -- you need to keep on building the relationship.
While it's not all about social, there is definitely a lot of potential out there, and there is a whole lot more we can help you with: from landing pages to source tracking, from cookies to ad serving, from direct marketing to data collection. There is no such thing as Fire & Forget.
That's probably why we're in business.