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Reach Passive Candidates While You Celebrate The Holidays!

Reach Passive Candidates While You Celebrate The Holidays!

‘Tis the season to be…. recruiting passive candidates! 

That’s right! It’s the most wonderful time of year to reach your dream candidates right where they are. 

Forget the myths about recruiting season cooling off for the holidays… with the right recruitment marketing strategy and the power of social media job ads, you can get a head start on your New Year’s headcount while your competitors are left in the cold. 

And that doesn’t mean you can’t shut down and enjoy the holidays yourself. In fact, in this month’s LinkedIn Live, our Senior Advisor of Digital Talent Acquisition, Sara Dalsfelt, sits down with Adway’s Co-Founder Viktor Nord to discuss exactly how you can reach passive candidates while you celebrate. 

If you’re ready to watch the entire session, watch here! ​​​​If you’d like to learn the key takeaways, keep reading.

Background Check

Viktor Nord is the Head of Growth at Adway, where he partners with today’s biggest global companies to scale our company, helping them surpass their talent acquisition goals through superior employer branding and data-driven automation in social media. Previously, Viktor founded over 5 companies in the HR, TA and Ad-Tech industries, has created candidate journeys for some of the Nordics’ largest enterprises, built HR-Tech software that’s attracted over 100,000 candidates and, using everything he’s learned through 15+ years of experience, he shares his passion for HR-Tech in numerous HR and TA-based seminars, workshops and thought leadership events.

Why is the Holiday Season the Right Time For Recruiting? 

The below recruitment marketing strategy we’re laying out is a classic, tactical move to save some budget during the year by avoiding overspending in November. Between the boom in eCommerce and the buildup to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s a classic time for the advertising market to heat up. 

By the time we get to mid December, however, advertising activity is already declining, making it a cost-effective time to direct spend to social media job ads. 

So, why is the holiday season the top time for attracting the best candidates? Here are three key reasons: 

  1. Less recruitment competition - Many recruiters burn themselves out during the high-volume hiring demands of November, so it’s a great time to strike when things quiet down in December. There’s less competition from other recruiters and more opportunities to grab high-quality candidates who would otherwise be left on the table. 

  2. Candidates have increased availability - Since many candidates are slowing down for the holidays, they may have much more time on their hands to a) chat on the phone with recruiters about new jobs and b) scroll around on social media. In fact, social media traffic spikes a whopping 73 percent during the holidays!

  3. Candidates are contemplating their next steps - The end of the year is a particularly introspective time for many candidates as they rethink what comes next on their career path. It’s more seamless to transition out of one role and into another as you approach a new year, making it an intuitive time to search for a job. 

4 Factors That Are Impacting TA Right Now 

There are four factors as we come out of the global pandemic that make this year an even more crucial (and opportunistic) year to focus on recruiting during the holidays: 

  1. The Great Resignation

There is extreme movement in the candidate market right now, especially in employees who are between 30 and 45 years old. The resignations for this age range have increased more than 20% between 2020 and 2021, with further spikes predicted through December and January. The tech and healthcare industries are being hit the hardest, further enforcing why the time to strike for great talent is now! 

  1. The Hardest Role to Fill? Recruiters 

Right now, demand for recruiters is skyrocketing. There are over 364,970 ‘Recruiter’ jobs advertised on LinkedIn worldwide. It’s actually more difficult to find a recruiter than it is to find a tech professional. If you don’t have enough recruiting staff, how can you fill all your job vacancies? When in doubt: automate as many processes as possible. Make your talent acquisition process as lean as it can be. 

  1. Social Media Activity is Peaking

As we said before, social media traffic spikes a whopping 73% during the holidays. On top of that, 87% of Gen Z will be on social media to get inspiration for their holiday shopping. That’s a huge audience of potential candidates who are primed for social media job ads. Even better, the number of competitors who are buying ads on social media is declining at the same time. This puts your content front and center. 

  1. The Stimulus Bills

The global economy is particularly strong right now, and it’s positioned to stage its most robust post-recession recovery in 80 years. What does that mean for the world of recruiting? Most employers have the capacity to grow their businesses by speeding up their hiring. Not only that, the excess of stimulus funds that were injected into the economy are readily available to subsidise that growth. 

6 Holiday Season Recruiting Hacks 

There are clearly many challenges and possibilities to be faced in TA right now. Here are a few of Viktor’s top concrete hacks to conquer the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities: 

  1. Share your employer brand while your audience is active. If you don’t have job vacancies to be promoted from mid-December to mid-January, you should get ahead of the push by sharing your employer brand on social media while user activity is peaking! This can help you build awareness and consideration from candidates in advance, so the sooner you get your content in front of the marketing department, the better. 

  2. Connect your ATS system to your social media. Redirect your focus from solely relying on job boards to leveraging social media to promote your job ads. Job boards are frequented by active candidates - candidates who are actively seeking employment. They make up only 30% of the talent market. Passive candidates,on the other hand, comprise the other 70% of the talent market and, since they’re not actively seeking jobs, they’re less likely to be checking out your listing on a job board. As a matter of fact, passive candidates are more likely to be on their mobile phones using social media. For these reasons, it’s imperative to stop sourcing solely from job boards and take advantage of social recruiting

  3. Enable retargeting in as many places as you can. Whether it’s to make sure you capture all the traffic coming to your carrier page or the employer branding ads you’re pushing out during a lull in open vacancies, enable retargeting everywhere you can in the leadup to the holidays. For example, by posting an employer branding video on social media when user activity is at a high, you can use retargeting tactics to ensure everyone who watched the video  sees your job ads in the New Year! 

  4. Use programmatic bidding. Programmatic bidding is an efficient way to use algorithms and AI to optimise your recruitment marketing strategy and get more candidates who fit the parameters you’re seeking. If you’re unfamiliar with the technology, try working with a trusted talent partner like Adway who can show you the ropes. 

  5. Spend the budget you saved for end-of-year. Whatever funds you were able to set aside earlier in the fiscal year (particularly November), the period from mid-December to mid-January is a great time to put them to use.

  6. Make sure you’re iOS 14 compliant. Without being fully updated, it can make it extremely difficult to access and interpret key analytics in your ATS system. Spend some time ensuring you’re iOS 14 compliant on everything from job boards to carrier pages to social media. Approach your marketing department now and tell them you need your tracking to work alongside iOS 14 updates. 

Questions From the Audience 

Marcell Edwards, Global Talent Acquisition, Adidas. 

How do you cut through the holiday festivities and recharge periods to engage a candidate to switch into “professional mode” again and apply for a new role whilst they are no doubt trying to avoid anything to do with work for the two-week period?

  • You need to connect them to your EVP and ensure you have a compelling enough message to cut through the noise. The highest driving factor for many people to join a new company is to make a bigger impact than they currently are. Use compelling communication to attract the kinds of candidates who feel they can gain more purpose from you as an employer than they can with their current employer. 

Alex Her, Global Employer Brand Storyteller & Employer Brand Lead - EMEA -, GoDaddy

What messages are resonating with passive candidates?

  • Instead of cramming their inboxes with “apply now!” messages full of urgency, it’s up to you to sell possibility to passive candidates. Show them their opportunity to make an impact. You don’t want to shout at the candidate, you want to seduce the candidate with strong, depictive storytelling about your organisation and why it’s so awesome to be on your team. 

  • If you’ve done a little pre-work to collect your candidate personas — the target candidate audience you actually want to attract — this can help you craft your EVP messaging to reach the passive candidates you really want. 

Alex Her, Global Employer Brand Storyteller & Employer Brand Lead - EMEA -, GoDaddy

What’s the best platform to reach passive candidates?

  • Hands down, the best platform to reach passive candidates is social media. The top five, according to Viktor and Sara, are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Google 
  • Snapchat 

Rida G, HR Professional/ Recruiter 

Can you please talk more about ATS? Many new graduates don’t have experience with ATS. Is there a course or some other way for them to learn?

The ATS is the backbone of recruitment. It’s the CRM recruiters use to source and fill positions and it’s typically connected to the HR master’s main system. There are enterprise systems versus plug-and-play systems and many ways to maximise each for optimal results. Companies like SmartRecruiters have great resources around ATS, and we’ll also save it for a future LinkedIn Live!