There are many lessons that recruiters can learn from marketers. There’s no better example of this than the marketing principle of the touch cycle, which describes that a consumer engages with a product a certain number of times before they purchase it. I’m a firm believer that recruiters are essentially selling a company or position, and when their consumers (candidates) apply to a position, they’re making a purchasing decision.
The way the touch cycle works in traditional marketing is much different than how it occurs in the recruiting space but the foundational theory is the same: the touches a candidate has with a company shape their view of the organization, heavily influence their decision of whether or not to apply, and set the stage for their future with your company. Touch points add up to create a candidate’s sum total opinion of an organization.
By having high touch recruiting, which is characterized by many positive interactions, you’ll be in a position to not only impact a specific candidate but also building a pipeline through positive referrals.
Being able to offer candidates multiple touch points before they ever even apply for a position doesn’t happen by accident. It must first be part of your strategic hiring plan so you’re not wasting time, talent or money.
To make touch recruiting part of your strategy, first establish which channels are of value to your organization. This should include the channels you’ve experienced success with already, such as industry forums, LinkedIn, your own career page, Twitter, job postings, advertisements, speaking engagements, personal networking and more. This is also a great time to experiment with new channels. There’s no right or wrong for where these touch points can occur. It’s all about what works for your company or client.
Once you’ve established your channels, the key will not only be to connect with potential candidates but to drive candidates to where you want them to go, whether that be seeing what the company culture is like through Instagram or finally applying on the company’s career page.
The short-term goal and effects of touch cycle recruiting are obvious: create a positive opinion of the organization with the candidate and influence them to apply for a position. This alone would certainly be a success but touch cycle recruiting will also bring about some beneficial long-term effects as well. One of these long-term effects is the positive opinions you’re creating among today’s workforce and the way various websites are curating those opinions. Many candidates will share their personal experiences through social media and platforms like Glassdoor, which could very well influence job seekers in the future.
Another significant benefit of positive touch cycle recruiting is that can greatly influence the employee life cycle later on. After all, recruiting happens over and over again with existing employees, so creating a positive foundational experience could have an affect on an employee’s motivation and loyalty long after they receive an offer letter.
Once a buying decision takes place, the process of candidate selection, formal candidate qualifying and assessment, as well as culture fit, begins to take hold. However, long before that occurs, you have the opportunity to make a candidate a believer, whether they are hired or not. Use this to your company’s advantage and make touch cycle recruiting part of your hiring strategy.