Over the years, we’ve spent a ton of time talking about employment branding. In its various aspects, employment branding is a key part of the equation for long term recruiting and talent management. If you aren’t willing to step up to the demands of web recruiting, you might as well outsource the function. Employment Branding is the craft of being so completely organized that you are ready with the right message for the right person when she comes along.
Traffic Development is the yin to the Employment Branding yang. Without adequate quantities of the right traffic (on the web and through the recruiting shop), there is little chance that the right quality of candidate will emerge in your database. Not all traffic is created equal.
Of course, you can and should purchase traffic from the big resellers. The most conventional means of buying visitors is to advertise on a variety of Job Boards. The idea, however, is not to simply dump those names into the Applicant Tracking System. Rather, once you have identified a potential candidate (ie, they want to apply to your job on some Job Board), you need to get them to go through your site. In other words, it’s worth the time and energy to work around the Job Board and send applicants to the URL on your site.
(All of this, by the way, is complete nonsense if you are unwilling or unable to invest in the necessary analysis and development associated with building a solid employment brand. If you can not afford a real website, dump the hard work of sifting quality on the people who should be recruiting. It appears to be the standard way to cheap out of effective performance.)
In most recruiting operations, more names in the database means less quality. The idea behind high performance recruiting is to subvert the natural tendency of the web to fill your computer up with junk. The ideal is that each new name raises the overall quality of the candidates with whom you have relationships.
Current practices do just the opposite. Each new name reduces the overall quality of the database.
Some people are lucky. If you have a brand like IBM, Coke, Nike or a hundred or so others, traffic is easy. Based on name recognition alone, many well known companies fill their databases with a hundred thousand new candidates a month. If you are not fortunate enough to be a celebrity, the work is a bit harder.
A combination of banner ads, reciprocal links, targeted content, search engine placement, keyword development, Job Board advertising and outright traffic purchases should be wielded to generate the right traffic flows. Once visitors cross the threshold of your website, the first goal should be to determine whether or not you want a longer relationship with them. Then you can let them go on to apply for a job.