During one of my casual conversations with a senior unit head of a leading credit intelligence company, the topic of talent acquisition came up. He informed me that his company had conducted over 100 interviews for a data science position, and rolled out around 80 offers, but only 3 candidates ended up joining the company.
Unfortunately, this seems to be a prevailing trend across the industry. Candidates receiving multiple offers and leveraging an existing offer to negotiate a better one have become increasingly common during the COVID era and post-pandemic as well. Although some correction has been observed in the market, the trend persists overall.
Companies usually underestimate the costs involved with acquiring and onboarding talent, but let us try to understand these costs.
- HR Cost – Usually this is a fixed cost, some companies also have a fixed + variable component on top of this.
- Advertising/Portal Costs – Sourcing candidates means advertising your job post on various portals and to get the best response you need to purchase the paid postings. These vary by company, usually per job post.
- Third-party companies – This could be a stand-alone strategy you use or could be in sync with your HR function. They usually work on a cost-per-hire model.
- Interview Cost (including scheduling an interview) – As there are multiple people who interview the candidate – depending on the position, their time is also very important and needs to be factored in.
- Onboarding Costs – Once a candidate is selected, there are additional costs that go into setting your new employee up.
All of this may seem fine in theory, but in the current scenario as mentioned above, this process is not yielding the expected results. Under pressure, HR and third-party companies may end up forcing a candidate who is not the right fit for the role into the company. This serves as a double whammy for the company, as they have already spent X on hiring and will likely spend a huge Y to bring the resource up to productivity levels.
The question is, will the company be able to generate a multiple of X+Y from this candidate? In most cases, the employee does not turn out to be a star performer or leaves before contributing back to the company.
With these numbers in mind, it becomes clear how much a company is spending or overspending on its talent acquisition process, and it’s likely that the process is broken.
If this traditional process is not working, what should be the course of action?
You probably have a sales funnel in place (if not, it’s essential to build a solid sales pipeline before jumping into a hiring spree). Just like your sales funnel, you also need to have a talent acquisition funnel. Search Engine Optimization plays a critical role in generating organic leads for your company. This is true for attracting talent as well.
Why and How to Invest in SEO for Talent Acquisition?
Talent acquisition can be costly, as we’ve already discussed in detail. The less well-known your company is, the more you’ll have to spend.
Inbound vs. Outbound
Inbound leads are those that come to you organically. These leads have already done their research, checked out your website and social media, and formed a positive perception of your company. They’re interested in what you do, and the chances of you closing these leads are higher. In contrast, outbound leads require more effort, and you have to be in the right place at the right time.
Although there’s no bad approach, inbound leads are better for the sales process because they’re already interested in your company. In the same way, candidates who approach you for a job can be a game changer.
Just as you have content marketing, SEO, and PR for sales, you need the same for talent acquisition. However, you need a 360-degree strategy specifically for talent acquisition. Keep in mind that mindless content creation won’t make much of an impact.
Don’t destroy your existing web properties
Your current web presence, such as a blog, website, or social media handle, is an asset. Be careful not to disrupt your sales or business-related efforts.
Onboarding and brand building
If you get your onboarding process right (coupled with a good marketing strategy on social media channels), you’re more likely to retain candidates. Research has shown that positive onboarding experiences lead to lower attrition rates. The same timing should be used for brand-building purposes.
We began experimenting with talent acquisition strategies 18 months ago, and took the following steps:
- Different websites – We understood that focusing on talent acquisition would have a short-term impact on our business. Still, it was crucial to allocate one asset to talent acquisition and others to sales.
- Audience-focused content – We created content with talent acquisition in mind, ensuring that our target audience finds it engaging.
- Resetting social media channels – We developed a mix of sales, branding, and marketing without overdoing it. Larger companies may create multiple channels for different purposes, but the approach depends entirely on your strategy.
- Tracking efforts and results – We put systems in place to ensure accountability for our efforts and results.
- Measuring proper metrics – We measured the time taken to close a position, the rate of attrition, drop rates for candidates, and reasons for the same.
- Onboarding and exit processes – We learned that having proper onboarding and exit processes helped build long-term trust, and many current and ex-employees became our brand ambassadors. We treat them with respect even after they have left the company.
If you have a long-term plan and the required patience for it, investing in SEO for talent acquisition can have a significant impact on your bottom line. We have noticed a huge difference by treating talent acquisition as a separate unit rather than just a part of the big picture.
Over the past 18 months, we have conducted various experiments and are confident that we can help your brand achieve better results in talent acquisition. This is a specialized service that we offer to companies that are planning to increase their team size within the next year.
Contact us here, so that we can better understand your requirements.