HR Summit Perth: The art of creating a viral recruitment campaign

Establishing an online ‘talent community’ could be the future of recruitment for certain companies, according to Jon Bowker of KPMG.

HR Summit Perth: The art of creating a viral recruitment campaign
Speaking at HR Summit Perth recently, Jon Bowker, national talent acquisition manager with KMPG, offered a guide to the art of creating a viral recruitment campaign, an increasingly important area for HR professionals as technology moves at its ever-rapid pace, and the priorities and requirements of candidates also evolve.

Bowker chartered the history of recruitment campaigns since the early 1990s, when expensive print campaigns were the norm and placements were dominated by recruitment agencies. Such was the technological disruption and cultural transformation over the next two decades, that by 2010 social media had become a crucial ingredient in the recruitment marketing mix, online video campaigns had become popular and other wholesale changes to the recruitment game had taken place.

Bowker advocated a six-step process of assessment, for HR to carry out within an organisation, to create an effective viral recruitment campaign. His points are:

1.Know your employer
Understand your company’s brand, culture and positioning among competitors.

2. Flesh out your organisation’s needs
What are the roles you are seeking to fill? What are the requirements? When do you need applicants and where can they be located?

3. Where are the people?
Do they exist? Brainstorm and research where they are likely to be found. Are they on social media? Are they ‘old school’? Are they in a locality? Are they networkers?

4. What’s in it for them?
Why would a potential candidate consider the opportunity? Why should they consider your company over others? What special perks or benefits will they get (that appeals to that candidate market)?

5. How do you reach them?
Seek advice from marketing firms, recruitment agencies, your own employees and social media. Find the right medium to connect with your audience, and involve employees in the campaign by telling their stories and referring contacts.

6. Measure
Analyse the results, what worked and what didn’t, and compare with past outcomes for refinement and improvement in the future.

Bowker went on to discuss how HR can take advantage of ‘talent communities’, that is, online careers portals set up by employers where interested candidates can upload CVs or link to LinkedIn profiles. Talent communities allow a two-way communication between company and individual that can eventually lead to employment.

For Bowker, talent communities offer a move back to a “more humanised candidate experience” with the additional benefit of technology. It also creates a community of pre-screened ‘next in line’ hires and enables more efficient, proactive, personalised recruitment at lower cost.

Talent communities, Bowker believes, require an engagement strategy to nurture relationships and build brand loyalty. Another advantage is the elimination or reduction of inefficiencies in the application tracking system and in job advertisement processes.

KPMG itself launched its talent community LiveHire in April 2016, leading to more than 3,000 candidates joining within two weeks. The first appointment occurred just four weeks after launch.


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