Jazz Up Job Sites For More Effective Recruiting

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By Caryn Freeman  

Nov. 6 --Short, specific job descriptions about who you are as a company and what you have to offer applicants, with visuals and interactive technology, have a great appeal to today's job seekers, practitioners told Bloomberg BNA.

According to Lars Schmidt, senior director of talent acquisition and innovation at NPR in Washington, D.C., employers may be good at providing applicants with an overview of the company, but many fail to provide any information about their employees. “A lot of companies are great at showcasing their organization but not their talent,” he told Bloomberg BNA Nov. 5.

Schmidt said highlighting the potential for would-be employees and showing them the workers they would be collaborating with “is impossible to do with just words.”

Organizations are becoming more creative in their recruiting and in the layout of their websites in a way that “illuminates the job with video and social media,” he said, which “really brings the job to life and helps candidates get a better idea of the job itself.”

“With that in mind,” Schmidt said, “we decided that there was an opportunity to profile and brand NPR in ways we hadn't explored before. We turned to social media to engage with talent in new ways.”

Schmidt said when he joined NPR, he inherited a jobs website that was no longer reflective of the company. “It was stale, there was no video, the site was just dated,” he said. “Adding video provided a much more dynamic representation of the organization.”

“We ultimately decided to upgrade our site because it didn't reflect the multimedia diversity of who we are as an organization,” Schmidt said. The former applicant page was “text dense” and not responsive, meaning it couldn't be viewed optimally on mobile and tablet devices, he said. The new site is fully responsive, Schmidt added.

“The old site didn't provide a lot of content around what to expect if you apply,” he said. “The old site also didn't include links to our social media accounts. The new site provides links to a broad range of social media, including Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.” Schmidt also added an employer branding campaign to NPR's Twitter profile with a hashtag where employees can tweet and post photos and videos highlighting the culture at the media company.

“I think what social media has changed with concepts like employer branding is that you can really apply marketing concepts to recruiting to find new ways to help position your organization as an employer of choice and highlight individuals,” Schmidt said. Also, he said, companies that have a strong employer brand have a more effective recruiting pipeline that allows them to easily identify and attract talent.

“As a recruiter you want people that are drawn to your company's culture to apply,” Schmidt said. “You really have to lay it all out as an organization.” These campaigns can also improve retention, he said, because employees are more likely to see an authentic representation of the organization and the job.

“It isn't about flash and highly produced pieces of content,” Schmidt said. The companies that get it right are those that are up front about who they are and allow the message to come from their employees, he said.

Roberto Thais, software developer at internet recruiting firm HireArt, told Bloomberg BNA Oct. 16 that asking candidates to answer skills-based questions and to record video where they talk about themselves and their past work experience adds a clearer picture of both the applicant and the company. “Employers tell us that they get a much fuller, clearer picture of their applicants,” he said, while “applicants get the opportunity to showcase their skills and personal attributes” and demonstrate why they are a good fit for the organization.


To contact the reporter on this story: Caryn Freeman in Washington at cfreeman@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at snadel@bna.com