As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs, people will be at different stages of their journey towards becoming an applicant.
With so many stages and so much communication to manage most businesses are unable to communicate with every single person. Those that are able to but lack the technology or the team to be able to personalise this effectively. And those that have the technology and team but are lacking the processes to be able to scale and then automate it.
A current Candidate.ID customer is achieving this because they have the people, the technology, and the process to do it. Here is how they did it – and how you can easily begin to take steps towards automating your talent lead generation.
1. Define the different audiences that will be part of your automation.
Defining audiences instead of personas will make life easier for you. It will help to group people together into bigger pipelines. Personas are great for matching to vacancies, but it can overcomplicate automation, increase the setup time and content creation time, and will give very little benefit to the person.
Example – instead of focusing on specific job titles in cities, then look at a more general discipline in a particular region. It is sensible instead to group all data science specialists based in Lancashire & Yorkshire into one audience, rather than having different audiences for Analysts, Scientists, Engineers, Statisticians, in different cities like Leeds, Manchester, and Sheffield.
Note that automation is as relevant to your existing audience – from an ATS for example – as it is for any new audience – from your sourcing or marketing activity. And automation means that any new person can start to receive your messages immediately as soon as they are added to an audience.
2. Define the stages that people will be at
Again, keep this simple – but make sure it is relevant to your recruitment strategy. The stages can be different depending on whether you have a sourcing focus, an advertising focus, or a combination of both. Walkthrough the journey that each person takes in each part of your strategy and define the stage.
Example – for sourcing, this could be:
– Person is identified by the recruiter and contact information is captured – stage = Cold
– Person opts-in to keep up-to-date about opportunities – stage = Warm
– Person expresses an interest in talking about a specific opportunity – stage = Hire-ready
In talent lead generation you should avoid using recruitment pipeline terms like ‘interview’ and ‘rejected’ – these terms have a sense of finality rather than showing the talent lead generation process as cyclical.
How does the sourced person’s journey differ from someone who applies for a vacancy? The stages above can be used in the same way, but if a person applies – therefore becoming an applicant – then they become ‘hire-ready’ immediately.
You might think that this ignores the recruitment pipeline – that people are hired, rejected, withdraw themselves, reject offers, or fail compliance. But those can all be mapped as stages in talent lead generation. Some examples used by our customer include:
– Hired people should still be hire-ready – but you could have a different audience for employees. If you tag the candidate as an employee then you can move them into an internal pipeline.
– Rejected people can be put back to cold or warm depending on the rejection reason. The same goes for withdrawn or rejected.
– Failed compliance? Then you can unsubscribe the person, or – if needed – delete the person completely.
3. What should your message be and what channel should you use at each stage?
Creating the message is simple. You can put together very short, yet informative content that is appropriate to the audience and avoid using a resource from marketing.
To help with this, for each audience and stage, put together a user need. A ‘user need’ is a need that the user – in this case, our person – has at that point in time that meets their objective.
By using the ‘As a … I want to … So that I can …’ structure and aligning that with your audience, stage, and hiring requirement you can identify what type of message might work.
Example 1 – for an HR audience where the stage is **hire-ready** and your business has active vacancies right now. Your goal as the recruiter working on talent lead generation is to invite people to apply for that role. But put yourself into the shoes of someone in the hire-ready HR audience – what do they need?
‘As an HR specialist, I need to know all of the information about a job so that I can decide to apply or not.’
Example 2 – for a Manufacturing audience, where the stage is cold and your business will have active vacancies in three months’ time. Your goal as the recruiter working on talent lead generation is to move those candidates from cold to hire-ready so that you can invite people to apply for the roles when they are live. But put yourself into the shoes of someone in the cold Manufacturing audience – what do they need?
‘As a Manufacturing specialist, I need to know whether this is the type of business I would like to work for so that I can decide to keep in touch with them or not.’
Having a user need to each audience and stage will then help you to derive topics that can be included. Keeping one topic per phase of your automation is probably sensible – but there are lots of fantastic emails and social posts with multiple pieces of content included.
The next part of building the message is an effective **call-to-action**. Review your ‘user need’ and decide what this should be for each channel.
– Normally, this will be a **form** that the person can complete to let you know what they want to do, for example: book a conversation, apply for the job, or update their personal information.
– It might simply be: ‘click on this link for more information’. If you have the right technology, then you will be able to see that the person has clicked on that link.
Finally, think about channels. Choosing the right channel is easy.
– Email is still the winner and is the priority. You can reach up to 90% of your audience that way.
– You should deliver content across social channels (including paid if you can) too. Make sure and use retargeting.
– Where email addresses are unavailable, or where an audience will rarely have access to it, then SMS is your friend.
Using multiple channels also has another benefit – you can engage on the channel preferred by the person. If an email remains unopened, it might be that person simply avoids email. But through automation, you can then send an SMS to that part of your audience.
You must also consider how many phases you want to send, and what the cadence should be. How many phases do you have enough messaging for? My suggestion is to begin with three phases – two by email, then a third by SMS – and monitor results. I will talk about automation performance in my next post.
4. Build your automation
Now that you have your audience, your stages, and your messaging, it is time to plan and build your automation.
The easiest way to plan is to use sticky notes. It is easier to move things about. Or, if you would prefer to avoid putting things on your wall, then check out diagrams.net or Miro. Or like me – just use a spreadsheet.
One thing you will have noticed – I have not spoken about technology at all throughout this yet. That’s because planning is key to successful automation. The technology available will simply make it easier.
If you use Candidate.ID for your automation, then all of the steps above can be done within one platform, and in one sequence. You can avoid using different tools. If you want to find out how then book a demo today.