Kristina FinsethAugust 09, 2017
Topics: Recruiter Experience

Looking to Attract Niche Candidates? Try Geofencing

If you’re a recruiter specializing in an industry with highly niche or hard-to-fill roles, you’ve already got a challenge ahead of you. It’s a constant battle of trying to pick candidates off from competitors, exhausting social media sourcing channels, and looking at new ways to target them.

It’s hard work, and just because you specialize in a particular industry doesn’t make it any easier to attract the right candidates. So, what else is out there to help your cause?

More and more people are talking about geofencing.

What is geofencing? Short and sweet, geofencing is defined as the act of setting up a wireless “fence” around key areas where your niche candidates live or work. Whenever a candidate enters this fenced zone, they receive advertisements on their cell phones inviting them to apply to opportunities with a particular organization.

Some organizations purchase lists of potential candidates who have not already applied for a position, and use these lists to create geofences. In theory, if you have developed your own target list of potential candidates or already have a talent pool or database built, you can use geofencing to encourage them to apply for opportunities.

There are multiple benefits from geofencing.

Increased Response Rate Some recruiters report an increase in candidate response rate after they’ve received advertisements on their cell phone. Plus, a potential candidate doesn’t have to remain in the geofenced area to receive advertisements. Once they’ve entered the area, the technology will collect data from their cell phone, continuing the advertisements even after they’ve left.

Strategic Targeting, Not Casting a Wide Net Additionally, it can be utilized by organizations looking to advertise or promote their brand by setting up a geofence around a specific event (think Olympics), zip code, or geographical area. And, if there’s no shame in your recruiting game, you could even set up a geofence around a competitor’s business, targeting potential candidates.

More Cost Effective Since geofencing is such a targeted recruitment marketing tool, it can actually be more cost effective than traditional recruitment advertisements being pushed out to a large quantity of people, hoping something sticks. You’re targeting smaller, specific groups of potential candidates, instead of candidates you really don’t want in the mix.

Of course, as with any tool or technology, there are also drawbacks.

Some Candidates May Find It Creepy Even in our technology-driven environment, some people are still “creeped out” by tools that seem to collect your data and know more about them than they care to admit. Once a candidate enters a geofenced area, they are sent a text message with the advertisement, and even though they can opt out or opt in to further communication, many view it as a privacy violation.

Advertisement Overload If too many organizations (think retail businesses in particular) use geofencing to target consumers or candidates, it can really overload people and turn them off to the concept. Plus, if a potential candidate allows the geofencing technology to access their information, it can take up a lot of data and battery life, making it a little bit of a turn off as well.

Potential Ethical Concerns Companies are utilizing geofencing to target specific locations, and that’s no surprise. However, if a company doesn’t want to accept candidates from a certain zip code, or decided to dodge an area because of a larger minority population – that could bring up questions around the ethics of the organization.

Geofencing has been around in the marketing world for a little bit now, but as it continues to rise in the recruiting world, I’ll be curious to see how it develops over the next few years.

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