The middle of the talent acquisition funnel offers so many possibilities, you might even call it the fun part of recruiting. But it's also where many job candidates abandon the process. With the ever-growing cost of hire, you need as many oars in the recruiting waters as possible to help you and the candidates stay on course.
Wheat gets separated from the chaff in the middle of the funnel. It's where recruiters can turn up the shine and show why they're worth more than just a passing glance.
Different Candidates, Different Types of Engagement
According to JobVite's report, The Recruiting Funnel, Deconstructed, the route candidates take to find you helps determine what they'll respond to.
"Digging deeper into the data to see where your hires come from and what devices candidates are accessing your application from will lead to more effective recruiting."
Tracking social media engagement, says JobVite, lets you see what's working and what isn't. A social post that promotes your employment brand can keep social applicants interested. But it might not resonate with a candidate referral the way an email would.
There are also different levels of engagement. Career site messaging and your Glassdoor profile are "a one-way" type of engagement, says Smashfly. But they can generate valuable engagement metrics.
Direct engagement is much higher level. Reaching out through social media or an email, for example, makes the candidate experience ultra-personal and memorable. Between one-way engagement and personal interactions is content marketing.
Content Marketing Works at the Middle Level
Content marketing turns recruitment inbound, and it offers more ways to reach candidates than any other tactic. That's because content is almost everything that you write, whether it's an article on LinkedIn, a blog post or an email.
Content can plug mid-funnel leaks, and it can make or break some candidates. Hip B2B says:
"If you leave gaps in the middle of the funnel, far fewer leads will make the jump to the late stages of the funnel."
What kind of content should you produce? Hip B2B says it should educate, support brand loyalty, nurture and keep the candidate connection open.
Here are just a few of the many types of mid-funnel content possibilities:
- Blog posts, both broad and high-level topics
- Social media original posts and shared posts from industry leaders
- Industry-related whitepapers
Unfortunately, ERE Media says "talent acquisition teams lack marketing chops." But working with marketing can build out your skill set.
Data Analytics Make Sense of it All
For a recruiter who doesn't actively focus on content marketing in the middle of the funnel, the value proposition might be fuzzy. It's there. You just have to know where to look for it.
Data analytics and recruitment tools can show the fruits of your mid-funnel efforts, says ERE Media. When you can see candidate engagement in black and white and tie it directly to a great hire, ROI comes into focus.
A solid CRM helps you build a plan that eliminates ineffective tactics and double down on ones that work. In some industries, an email with a link to valuable content at your career site or blog hits a home run. For the same crowd, a social media share might fall on nearly deaf ears.
ERE Media also stresses that not just any CRM will do. You need tools build for recruiters. If you need to hire a programmer to transform technology into something you can use, you haven't found the right technology.
Social platforms can also help. For example, Facebook now lets you target certain people in your network instead of only posting for the masses. That means a general blog post might reach everyone in your network, but a new whitepaper you've just published can land in the newsfeed of candidates who are most likely to appreciate it.
Intelligent technology makes the recruitment process, not harder. The payoff is more insight into all of your top-, middle- and bottom-of-funnel recruitment efforts and a better understanding of what makes candidates tick.
The middle of the funnel is where a lot of the action is. Or at least it can be.
Left to their own devices, many candidates lose interest mid-way, which depletes your talent pipeline. But nurtured through relevant content and curated engagement strategies, your chances of making one great hire after another go up.
Check out our webinar, The Emergence & Impact of Programmatic Advertising on Recruiting, and see what else is cooking in recruitment, analytics and engagement.