Are you guilty of 'spray and pray' recruitment?

When it comes to recruitment – diligence is key

Are you guilty of 'spray and pray' recruitment?

When it comes to recruitment – diligence is key. Many a rogue recruiter has tried, and failed, to place any old candidate in any role just to nab the commission.

It’s time for a new breed of hiring manager – one who can think like a marketer. Elizabeth Williams is an award-winning communications expert, president of Candler Chase and speaker at our upcoming e-learning course – How to recruit like a marketer.

A consummate marketing guru, Elizabeth has spent her career helping people think outside of the box, transforming how HR practitioners speak to customers and employees alike.

We caught up with Elizabeth to pick her brains over what exactly HR professionals can learn from marketers. 

“There’s this mindset in recruiting around procurement,” explained Elizabeth. “Namely, that recruiters go out and procure talent the same way an office manager would procure desks or pens. That might have been a good thing 10 years ago when talent was aplenty but now the demographic has shifted, we’re struggling to fill roles. It’s just not sustainable.”

Instead, Elizabeth recommends shifting this antiquated mindset away from procurement and align recruiters as ‘sellers of opportunity’.

“This is where marketing comes in,” she added. “When you’re trying to sell an opportunity in your organizations, hammering home the amazing culture and opportunities, it’s a lot different to just going out and picking up some pens.”

Elizabeth touched upon the marketing sin of ‘spray and pray’ – when marketers spray their message to as many people as possible, praying the right ones see it and respond.

“It doesn’t work – it’s a waste of money,” she told HRD. “Recruiters have a tendency to do this. They go far too broad, reaching out blindly. The marketing department has a responsibility to help recruiters sell these opportunities and give them some support. Most recruiting experiences for candidates are a series of black holes, each one deeper and denser than the previous. Millennials and Gen Z have high expectations, ones which don’t include opaque procurement processes.”

Imagine if the recruitment process was a similar experience to buying something from Amazon – a decidedly consumer-based approach. The customer is kept up to date with everything going on with their item – from selection to payment to delivery.

“The same consumer-level expectations are starting to creep into recruiting,” she continued. “Every time we end a conversation with ‘only candidates considered for employment will be contacted’ – we’re setting ourselves up for failure.”

To hear more about what HR can learn from marketing, sign up for our e-learning course here.


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