Ed NewmanFebruary 01, 2017
Topics: Recruiter Experience

Spray & Pray is a Two Way Street

Having been in the recruiting industry for more than 30 years, I have seen a lot change and a whole lot stay the same. It is always a challenge for the talent acquisition function to be proactive, because we get so busy reacting to the incoming requisitions. Recruiters are burdened so often with high requisition loads that they tend to rely on the one and only tried and true method of sourcing.

It's commonly called spray and pray!

This method is all about distributing jobs to as many job boards as possible, and then hoping and praying that the right person finds it and applies. It seems like an efficient means to generate candidates for the recruiter, but ultimately it is the most inefficient process ever.

Here's the reason why:

Spray and pray impacts both recruiters and candidates. The content in job descriptions is usually standard and generic - in company speak. Maybe there is a standard marketing blurb for the company culture, but in the end - it's a challenge for candidates to really differentiate one job from another. So what happens?

Candidates have no other choice but to spray and pray their resume to as many jobs as possible. It's not uncommon that one candidate applies to the same job multiple times, because they find it on multiple job boards and just couldn't tell the difference.

Ultimately, the two way spray and pray (say that 5 times fast) creates volumes of unqualified candidates for the recruiter to sift through in order to find the few that can actually make the cut. This implements a never ending cycle in motion where recruiters with high requisition loads have too many inbound candidates to sort through, and now have even less time to engage in any other sourcing method other than spray and pray.

It's time to get off the hamster wheel! Here are a few ideas on where to start:

Analytics Don't let your recruiters simply decide where to post jobs. Their natural tendency will be to go where they get the highest volume of applicants, and not necessarily the highest quality. It's time to start mining your data and analytics to truly understand what sources are generating quality hires. Your analytics should be able to determine what the best sources are for any particular job so that you can take that decision out of the hands of the individual recruiter, allowing them to focus on what they should be doing - real sourcing.

Content Strategy In order to prevent candidates from applying to jobs indiscriminately, you need to provide them with more information than the basic job description. Think about the type of information you receive when shopping for a product. You get detailed specifications, multiple images that can be zoomed in and out, videos of people using the product, other products that are bundled, safety information, etc. Standard job descriptions are not going anywhere, but you should consider adding things like video clips of the hiring manager and team members talking about what they like about the company and the job. Your content strategy should be segmented at least to categories and departments, if not to individual jobs.

Don't Omit the Bad and Ugly Job descriptions tend to focus on all the good aspects of an opportunity. While it's counter intuitive, you should highlight the biggest challenges and negative aspects of the position as well. This information will not only help a candidate fully understand if the opportunity is the right fit for them, but it will act as another resource in weeding out unqualified or uninterested candidates at the same time.

Channel your inner Shackleton!


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