One of the biggest recruiting buzzwords that has dominated our space for the last decade has been a three letter word—search engine optimization (SEO).
[Are you a little bit behind the times? SEO was the art and science of creating web pages that generated traffic and high rankings in the search engines. It relied heavily on links, keywords and site structure.]
If you were a recruiting leader and didn’t have a SEO strategy you were considered behind the times. If you were an earlier adopter, you maybe purchased tools that optimized your job postings or indexed thousands and millions of pages for you to build your own search rankings. Or maybe you stuffed your postings with keywords. It also was something that the job boards lacked, thus resulting in other emerging players to dominate the space.
But then Google and other search engines changed the game by altering the search algorithms and moved to a secure search—meaning that you can no longer obtain keyword data on how people came to your site. So what does that mean? It means SEO is more dead than my Michigan Wolverines’ chances of making it to the Rose Bowl. (I won’t get started on that rant.)
So, who is the next big player to make an appearance? Online Audience Optimization (OAO).
OAO simply is content distribution. It allows companies to leverage their greatest assets—the wealth of high-quality content to create a steady web-wide presence—and to generate consistent new and repeat visitors. OAO uses the best practices of SEO, along with social media, content sharing and branding, to build and elevate loyal and targeted audiences.
I have to give credit to some of the leaders at The Arland Group who have used their crystal ball to see this coming for several years and thus kept TAG in a position to be a leader in this space. On an hourly, daily and weekly basis we are curating high-quality and meaningful content. We then help our employers distribute that content to their audiences through various mediums such as social media, blogs, eNewsletters and building that within the current career site structure. This resulted in more engaged candidates, faster connections and decreasing the time to fill roles.
Thinking about getting started with this strategy? Here are some things to get you started:
- Brand Focus – Leverage your brand and existing company tag lines and phases to build meaningful content or themes. Involve other departments to share in the messaging and give it a dual purpose. For example: candidate engagement and driving sales.
- Be Precise and Have a Plan – Creating a plan and having a content calendar will keep you on track but also can help you leverage internal themes that occur during that time.
- Cast a Wide Net – Know where you are going to distribute this content. Send it to candidates who have already applied to previous roles, give them option to sign up for the newsletter and use social media. Right now, social media provides one of the clearest connections with high search engine rankings. Build out your presence on social media and content sharing sites, but focus especially on the big five: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest.
- Encourage Audience Participation – Use polls, sharing, comments, reader-submitted content and contests to increase interaction. You can measure this by time on your site and bounce rate.
- Integrate Your Mobile Strategy – It is important to optimize your experience to be both mobile and desktop friendly. Mobile content consumption is the highest platform for consuming content. FUN FACT: 70 percent of desktop interactions lead to an action within one month and 70 percent of mobile (including tablets) interactions lead to an action within one hour. Source: Modern Marketer Universe
At the end of the day just have fun and learn from your experiences. Every company is different on how audiences engage and interact. The key is to make an effort. The effort will enable to you to reduce costs and rely on vendors to drive and engage your candidates.