It’s so easy to make big impact if you’ve got lots of money to throw at your sourcing – carpet the job-boards, use video game characters to attract targets, create clever viral video campaigns via one of the top ad agencies in the world.
But for most of us over here in real life, we’re trying to generate the same impact as these huge, popular campaigns, with a fraction of the budget.
So what do you do?
Well, the first thing is letting go of the need to create huge impact in one, big way. Instead, look for a hundred small, free or cheap ways to seed out your role. Stop trying to generate big buzz, and start focusing on the right buzz.
Knowing what the right buzz looks like, all starts from one place – getting really clear on your audiences.
Make sure you know who you’re looking for
You’ve heard the old marketing adage “selling to everyone with a mouth” right? It’s expensive, inefficient and it almost never works. And yet so many of the traditional recruitment advertising platforms are trying to do just that.
If you have a slim budget, you need to make the word “targeted” your best friend, and you need to get creative with your advertising sell.
Why creative you ask? Simply put, if you can’t pay for big media, you need people to do the spreading of your ad for you. People are far more likely to share something that reflects on them well – it’s witty or clever or insightful or will genuinely help someone they know.
Get under their skin
Your first step is to think about who you’re trying to attract. Really think about them. We’re not looking for demographic info like location or level of education. We’re looking for psychographic insight. After all, you’re looking for a human being, not a checklist of achievements and skills.
What sort of activities are they into? What kinds of places do they hang out (online and IRL)? What are they likely to be looking for in their jobs and workplaces? What motivates them? What does “funny” look like to them? What kinds of marketing ads work on them? Why?
You wanna get under their skin. It’s not about gross generalizations (although that’s a useful way to get the mental ball rolling), it’s about understanding what unique characteristics your ideal candidate has, so you can more efficiently find them.
Once you know who they are, think about who they know. Or more specifically, think about who YOU know who might have contact with them.
Write an ad a human person wants to read
And not just any human. Your ideal candidate human.
Think about where this ad is going to sit and be appropriate. For example, a Facebook post can be much worder than a Twitter ad. Both are more casual and matesy than a job board listing.
If you can create a message people actually want to read, it’ll stand out, people will feel good about sharing it and, best of all, it’ll be sticky. Your potential candidates will remember it and it’ll nag away happily at their brain until they apply for the job.
Some general rules of thumb for creating sticky ads/messages:
1. Think about what the message needs to DO.
Do you want people to click a link to a place where they can find out more? If so, the only job the ad needs to do is intrigue someone enough to click the link. Word of warning, make sure in that enticement, you’re giving a broad context. A simple “Work here” or “we’re looking for a new podster” is enough to save your DO YOU LOVE ICECREAM?? headline from frustrating ambiguity.
2. Use a really specific call to action.
If you want someone to click your link, say “click this link”. If you want someone to share with their friends, say “Who do you know that would love this job? Share this link with them!”. Contrary to popular belief, people quite like being told what to do in certain contexts. Email and social channels during a busy work week are a couple of these contexts, getting ready for school and eating family dinner at the table don’t appear to be included as yet.
3. Find a weird hook.
Situation Vacant. Opportunity awaits. Grad role available. Are you yawning? You should be. These are literally the most boring ways I can imagine to start an ad. In the ad industry, we would talk about “stealing interest”. That’s what you need to do here. How can you make yourself stand out? Look for the weirdest, most interesting thing about the role. Is there are a kooky job title? Do you get some awesome kitten-related perk? Will it get someone in on the ground-floor of the next Apple or Xero? That’s your hook. Lead with it.
Make it really, really easy to share
This means easy for you to share to job boards and social platforms so you can take advantage of spontaneous sourcing opportunities, as well as easy for other people to pick up and share virally amongst their own networks.
Using a tool like Weirdly lets you house all your job info and initial application process in one place. It gives you an easy, sharable short-link that sends people to a fun, branded experience with good role info. Meaning you don’t have to cram heaps of description into your ads, and your word-of-mouth spreaders have something easy and fun to flick around their friends.
Go back to sourcing basics
Simple, great, effective sourcing opportunities are all around us. Here are 10 often-overlooked places you should start seeding your brilliant job ad+Weirdly link combo:
1. Ask your Staff:
Ever heard the saying ‘Superstars run in packs’? Nope? Well, I just made it up then. It makes sense that the great people you already have on your team are likely to know other people who are just as awesome as they are.
Let your team know you’re looking for new people and ask them to share the link out amongst their friends, contacts and networks.
2. Share on Social Media:
This is an easy one. Post the link from your company’s social media accounts – twitter, facebook, google+, LinkedIn, they’re all great for attracting people. Ask your friends and followers to share the link with people who fit the bill.
A little trick: If you start your post with “Who do you know who…”, your readers will find it much easier to think of specific people they can share the link with, rather than with a more generic “we’re looking for…”.
3. List it on Job Boards:
Some of these boards will let you attach your Weirdly quiz link to the “apply now” buttons, some will need you to load it up as part of the job ad text.
4. Tap industry Bodies/Associations:
Are you a member of an industry body? Chamber of Commerce? A business network or association?
Lots of these places have websites with “positions vacant” pages. You can often list your job there with a link to your Weirdly quiz for free, or very cheap. It’s also worth asking about including the ad in their next newsletter or magazine. And if they’re kicking it old-skool with a printed version, you might want to include your quiz link as a QR code (see trick #9 to see how).
5. Set up some social ads:
You’ve already shared across the social networks you own. Now consider setting up some social ads. This is actually pretty easy to do and you can get REALLY specific on who you’re looking for – right down to what kind of music or hobbies they’re into.
You can set up ads without a company Facebook page – just link directly to your Weirdly quiz. You will need a Twitter profile to set up twitter ads, but you’ll find you can also link these directly to your quiz.
You can set up both so that you only get charged when someone clicks on the ad, and you can cap your budget (we recommend spending say, $50 a week) so you won’t log on and found you’ve accidentally spent 1million dollars overnight.
6. Email it to your own network:
This one seems obvious right? Crazy how often we all forget to do it. Try sending an quick personal email to your own email contacts, very briefly outlining the kind of person you’re looking for and asking them to “shoulder tap” people they think might fit the bill by sharing the link to your quiz.
7. Put it in your next company e-newsletter:
Ready to send out that next quarterly newsletter? Make sure you include the news that you’re looking for someone great to join your team and link your Weirdly quiz to a button. This is really easy to do if you’re using Mailchimp or something similar.
8. Post it on your own website:
Got a careers page? You can post the link to your Weirdly quiz so people can apply directly from your page.
If you don’t have a careers page, consider adding a call to action with a link to your job on your contact page. This works particularly well if you’re often looking for people to fill similar roles (like, waitresses, call center operators or shelf-stackers), or if you just want to build a pool of keen people who generally fit with your brand.
Companies like Vend and Superette have these “general” quizzes open all the time. Then, when they have a specific role available they send the link out to this pool of pre-qualified candidates – clever!
9. Put a note in your window:
Or on your bar, or your retail counter. The point is, do what you’ve been doing for years – sticking up that “apply here” poster, but apply a modern twist. Try printing your Weirdly quiz link on the poster as a QR code. People can scan the QR code with their mobile phones, get taken directly to the quiz and do the application on the spot!
This site makes generating a QR code really easy – just copy and paste your Weirdly link into the box.
10. Use your email footer:
Your email sign-off gets seen by every person you email in a day – that’s a heap of people!
Include a note that you’re hiring and a link to your quiz in your sign-off – you never know where you’re going to find your next superstar, it could be someone you just emailed.
This is just a selection of cheap and easy sourcing methods we recommend to attract top talent and get people applying through your Weirdly quiz. Try them out and let us know below – Which ones work best for you? What other tricks or methods do you use when hiring?
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