Let’s say you’re a recruitment marketer trying to reach passive job candidates on various niche platforms across the web. You know that active job seekers make up only 20% of candidates. You know that in order to reach the other 80% (many of whom would gladly switch jobs for the right company) you have to go where they are, and you’ve endeavored to do so, rolling out a recruitment marketing campaign on the sites where your ideal candidate personas spend their time, with the hopes of familiarizing them with your employer brand and your EVP. One problem: how do you know if your campaign is working?
With most platforms, it should be fairly easy to tell. Facebook, for instance, will let you track fairly granular KPIs, as will Google AdWords. Many platforms will have APIs that you can configure as necessary, which will enable you to track the journeys that your audience members take from impressions to clicks to eventual applications. But what about the ones that don’t? How will you determine whether these other platforms, which don’t feature the same interfaces for tracking success (let alone scheduling posts in advance or performing other automation-appropriate tasks), are actually increasing the visibility of your employer brand and yielding a positive ROI from a recruitment marketing perspective? The answer may be Robotic Process Automation.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is a process by which bots are implemented to perform rote or repetitive tasks that would otherwise have to be performed by humans. We alluded in the paragraph above to the possibility of collecting data that would otherwise require human intervention, but in point of fact RPA's applications are much wider than that. One of the canonical examples is the implementation of chat bots on a corporate website that can carry out simple conversations with visitors in order to either collect some basic information (like a CV or a resume) or to more efficiently reroute the users queries to the correct person within the company. This might not sound like much, but by automating the first few exchanges in every online customer interaction, businesses can recoup valuable minutes that can quickly add up to hours and even days worth of productive time.
Though RPA and AI—another potentially impactful technology—are often brought up in the same breath, it’s crucial to draw a distinction between them. Unlike many AI workflows, RPA can usually be integrated into a company’s existing software environment; this makes it ideal for the automation of the kinds of repetitive tasks that happen over and over again in the life of a business: sending boilerplate e-mails, posting to social media, requesting paperwork from new hires, etc. If it’s something you could ask an intern to do on his or her first day, you can probably automate it.
We’ve alluded above to some of the ways in which recruitment marketers can apply this technology to overcome hurdles in their daily job duties, but let’s get a little bit deeper into the weeds. To succeed in an incredibly competitive talent market like the one we’re experiencing now, recruitment marketers need to be more disciplined and deliberate than ever. Consistent social media posting and advertising are critical to getting your employer brand in front of the right people and gaining the impressions, clicks, and applications that your recruitment funnel thrives on. This might not seem like a tremendous feat, but the schedule of your average recruiter makes it difficult to ensure that she can be in front of her computer and ready to send out social media posts and activate advertising campaigns at exactly the same time every day of the year. Luckily, many sites, like Facebook, offer you the ability to schedule posts in advance. Still other sites offer APIs that will let you institute the same functionality on your end. But what about the sites that offer neither? How can you achieve your desired level of consistency without any available tools for doing so?
This is where RPA comes in. Using RPA workflows, you can circumvent the limitations being presented by sites that would otherwise fit awkwardly into your recruitment marketing game plan. Rather than being tethered to your computer at a particular time every day, your automation flows make it possible to treat even sites with no infrastructure for doing so the same way that you’d treat a platform like Facebook. I.e., you can schedule posts when you’re going to be away from your computer, and you can then track the success of those posts using your usual set of KPIs. Rather than being beholden to the limitations of a given platform, you can incorporate your desired platforms into existing automated workflows.
Measure Twice, Post Once
Okay, now that we’ve gotten a sense of how RPA can impact the daily life of a recruitment marketer, let’s think through some of the implications of these impacts on your overall recruiting success. Previously, recruitment marketers would have been beholden to their computers at the appointed time, posting updates that reflected their employer brand and then merely hoping that the results would come along. Now, with RPA integration empowering pre-scheduled posts and KPI tracking, recruiters can concentrate on developing a strong employer brand that spans social media sites and web platforms. Rather than being stuck dealing with the nitty-gritty logistics of posting in a timely way, they can take a higher level approach to attracting candidates, integrating numerous channels into the kind of cohesive strategy that’s made possible by streamlined, time-saving processes.
By the same token, recruitment marketers can also much more easily track metrics and KPIs for their entire recruitment marketing operation, meaning that they can assess the impact of each strategic element and adjust as needed. In this way, businesses are able to refine their recruiting strategy over time with informed decision-making processes. Isn’t this a better use of your average recruiter’s time than scrambling to try and manually post on a dozen online platforms each day?