Marketing automation is all the rage, and recruitment marketing is sure to follow the same trend into the world of automated workflows. But will it be worth the hype? Will automation in recruitment marketing tasks enable recruiters and HR professionals to improve on the metrics that they really care about? Let’s find out!
Communicating Your EVP
At its heart, marketing automation is about facilitating the sorts of tasks that marketers do over and over again. Often, this includes tasks like posting on social media at regular intervals, and other activities where the value is already clear. For recruitment marketing, one such task might be posting job ads across social media and other channels. This gives you the opportunity to target an audience that matches your employee persona for the relevant position, and communicate your employee value proposition (EVP) to those people.
The value of a strong EVP in hiring can hardly be understated. Millennials in particular often place just as much weight on culture as they do on salary when they’re making a decision about where to work, and a clear, effective EVP can have a big influence on that decision-making process. If your business provides value to its employees in non-monetary ways, whether by offering high levels of autonomy, the chance to make important product or design decisions, educational opportunities, or anything else that might cause an employee to gravitate towards your company, it’s crucial to make sure that passive and active job seekers alike understand that value from the moment they encounter your employer brand.
Of course, defining and refining your EVP isn’t the kind of work that can be easily automated, but disseminating it absolutely is. Thus, whatever value you assign to getting your EVP in front of your target audience, it stands to reason that that value would be increased by an automated workflow that allowed you to perform necessary tasks quickly and consistently.
Developing a Talent Pipeline
Now, at this point you might be wondering what this has to do with time to hire. After all, a strong EVP by itself doesn’t necessarily impact key recruitment efficiency metrics. What it can do, however, is aid in the formation of a stronger, more robust talent pipeline, which will improve metrics like time to hire. The more high quality candidates you attract into your pipeline, the more smoothly the entire hiring process will go. Whether these prospective candidates have already applied for other positions within your company and are just waiting for new ones to open up, or they’ve be intrigued by your employer brand and are waiting for a position that matches their skills and experience, these sorts of applicants will start out eager and well-informed about your business its values. The upshot here is that with a large pool of sourced candidates, the entire application process moves more quickly, thus reducing time to hire.
More than that, a strong talent pipeline means that you don’t have to start the entire sourcing process from scratch each time you have a new position you need to hire for. This is where we begin to see a direct relationship between automation and time to hire. By automating your targeted job ads and creating a continuous stream of recruitment marketing content (regardless of whether or not you have a specific position to fill), you help get your employer brand and EVP in front of as many qualified applicants as possible, thereby creating a steady stream of interested, engaged candidates who will move through the hiring process quickly once the right opportunity for them opens up.
Up to this point, we’ve seen the ways that effective recruitment marketing can decrease time to hire, and the ways that recruitment marketing automation can, in turn, make recruitment marketing successes more efficient and more repeatable. But is there anything inherent to automation in its own right that makes it useful for decreasing time to hire? As a matter of fact, there is.
In addition to providing recruiters with the tools to expand and streamline their employer branding efforts, marketing automation solutions should also create transparency and integrate well with your company’s existing IT infrastructure. Often, the most important area of integration is your company’s applicant tracking system (ATS). A strong recruitment marketing automation solution should be able to sync with an ATS solution in order to automate the process of entering job titles and descriptions, along with specific information about candidates themselves, into a centralized location where marketers can access it as needed.
The added convenience here might be obvious, but the impact on key hiring metrics might not be. Essentially, one of the most significant factors in slowing down the hiring process is the presence of recruitment silos. These can arise when applicant information becomes “trapped” in an ATS system, where recruiters might have access to it and hiring managers and marketers might not. This creates disconnect, which can lead to less effective recruitment marketing (as a result of marketers being cut off from up-to-date information about what positions are available and what types of candidates they’ve been attracting) and slower interview processes (owing to a lack of transparency between recruiters and hiring managers who might be heavily involved in the interview process). Meanwhile, qualified candidates begin taking jobs elsewhere because they haven’t heard back about their applications.
A worthwhile automation solution should not only offer a level of integration that reduces recruitment silos, it should also make tracking key metrics like click rates and apply rates much easier. In this way, recruitment marketers can gain a better sense of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to sourcing better candidates and decreasing time to hire. Given that the average time to hire a developer can be more than a month, there’s a lot of value to be gained this way.