The Changing Landscape of Online Recruiting

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The Changing Landscape of Online Recruiting

It’s no secret that the landscape for recruiting has changed dramatically with the rise of social media. In the early stages, recruiters felt they were ‘recruiting’ on social media by simply posting a status update that they were hiring. Then, many social media platforms began selling job postings and targeted display ads. LinkedIn has always sold expanded access to members and their profiles. To further complicate matters, some social sites are now aggregating job listings (similar to Indeed’s model).

Now, aggregator sites like Indeed or Glassdoor, who used to scrape jobs from many job boards and employer sites, are no longer pulling in ‘every’ job to their database. They have moved to a model of aggregating less and selling more direct job listings. The impact is that the best place for a job seeker to find ALL job postings is unclear, and the ability for a hiring company to broadcast a job opening across multi platforms (for free) is no longer guaranteed.

Recruiters can no longer rely on the ‘free’ social solutions on the leading aggregate sites and are being asked to purchase pay-per-click search listings, and/or to access prospective candidates and post jobs. Numerous vendors are now selling full-service technology solutions to push jobs out to free and paid sites (where there is no guarantee another site will accept/post the listing).

In the end, employers remain inundated with calls from so many solutions providers (agencies, tech vendors, media companies, job boards, etc.), to the point that many have turned them all ‘off.’ Others are sorting through decisions on where to invest in recruitment solutions—do we focus our investment in technology or audience, and/or how much of each—when both appear to be necessary? All the while, the job requirements are backing up.

Companies are much more savvy in how they use their social pages/groups to reach out and build their talent database. But with the narrowing in the job market, especially for highly skilled workers, this outreach is not sufficient in many cases to find the right candidates for all of the available openings that need to be filled. 

We spoke with the Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Pam Wagner, to get her perspective. Wagner states three things that are clear in the mud about online recruiting:

  1. Employers MUST have the technology that enables job seekers to easily find and apply for jobs from a mobile device, or will be at risk for losing more than half of job seekers.
  2. Social media pages MUST be managed with recruitment in mind, in order to create a funnel of applicants and to manage the brand that will encourage top talent to want to work for the company.
  3. Free postings are not enough.

What has NOT changed in online recruiting is the mission of the employer to get prospective candidates to the company’s website as quickly and directly as possible. This is primarily accomplished through search engine optimization and marketing—where many online job seekers start. Only, in this space, the direct common issue Wagner encounters with her clients is that employers are competing with the job boards/aggregators (and competing employers) for PAGE 1 space.

SEO for company websites are mainly managed by an IT/tech department or by marketing, where the human resources/recruiting department may have very little influence. The resources to continually update the website for SEO are limited and require constant changes to keep up with search engine’s algorithm updates, and the ability to assess what may need to be purchased in SEM varies widely. And here again, there are MANY vendors who want to step in and help.

Wagner recommends talking to providers who will look at a company’s recruitment process, and assess where help is needed, particularly for highly-skilled or hard to find positions.

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