• How to Tackle Targeting

    Posted by Mike Shaughnessy on February 24th, 2021


    When speaking to Talent Acquisition professionals, we find that targeting talent is often at the top of the list of challenges. But every targeting situation is different. Sometimes you are filling a short-term need. Other times, you’re trying to pipeline talent for a position with consistent needs. Or you might be looking for a very specialized candidate with a limited talent pool to draw from.

    In this blog post, we’ll tackle these common targeting challenges and offer examples that will provide you with ideas for your own efforts. And don’t forget, NAS is always here to help!

    Target #1: The Unicorn


    We’ll start with the narrowest scenario, where you are looking for a candidate (or a small number of candidates) with a very specific skill set. We call that Unicorn Hiring. Perhaps it is someone with hard-to-find technical knowledge or a highly specialized health care professional.

    In this case, you are not casting your net widely – you must be very targeted in your approach. This is almost like a micro-targeting challenge. And these candidates are typically not looking for a job, so you can’t necessarily just post the job and pray for them to come to you.

      • Niche media: Start by looking for specialized media – niche sites, blogs, social platforms – where these candidates might likely be. Use whatever options they offer: banner ads, postings, profiles.
      • Email: Purchase an email list from a niche site or organization that caters to your specialized candidate and send a message telling them about your company and job.
    • Digital: Do a display campaign targeting your niche audience with creative messaging that drives them to your job. You might also consider retargeting those who visit (knowing that most candidates do not convert to applies on their first visit). And consider geotargeting a specific area – around a building where you know they work or a conference they are likely attending.
    • Programmatic: Programmatic advertising is another good option for specialized talent. You can select niche sites and control your budget based on the level of response you get.

    Target #2: The Supernova


    Maybe you need to hire a large group of retail workers for the holiday season. Perhaps you’ve opened a new facility and need to staff up fast. Or you have a critical shortage of nurses in your ICU. Supernova Hiring requires a strategy with a concentrated burst of attraction, fast recruiter response and quick onboarding. Strategies include:

    • Niche Media
    • Email
    • Digital
    • Programmatic
    • Landing Page: Since this campaign is targeting a larger number of candidates, it makes sense to create a dedicated landing page to tell the story and capture their information quickly. NAS typically sets up a landing page with “what’s in it for me” information and a quick capture form. This allows candidates to bypass the often-cumbersome application process – and gives your recruiters immediate access to names and phone numbers to speed up the hiring process.
    • Facebook: Depending on who you are targeting, Facebook can be a great place to reach candidates. Targeting can be tricky, but when we are able to hit the right audience, results are often excellent. We’ve also had great success with adding a chatbot to pre-qualify candidates.
    • Marketing Outreach: Depending on your platform’s capabilities, you can mine your talent network database for candidates who fit the profile and email or text them a message driving them to your landing page. Reach out to past candidates, as well. (By the way, NAS Connect offers both text and email outreach.)
    • Virtual Events: Hold an event or series of events where you can talk one-on-one with candidates and sell them on your organization and what makes you the employer of choice for this role.

    Check out our case study on seasonal and back-to-school hiring for a retail leader.

    Target #3: The Marathon


    Slow and steady is the pace for Marathon Hiring, where you have a position that you know you will always need a flow of candidates. Examples include nursing, delivery drivers, retail associates, call center talent, security guards, etc. Any role where there are less candidates than there are jobs, and you are always in need of new talent.

    In this scenario, you need your full bag of tricks. Do everything possible to keep the candidate flow going and always look for new approaches to stay fresh and reach new job seekers. Your holistic strategy should include:

    • Niche Media
    • Email
    • Digital
    • Programmatic
    • Facebook
    • Marketing Outreach
    • Virtual Events
    • Evergreen requisitions: Have a requestions (or two) always available for this job to keep it in front of candidates on your site and across multiple job boards.
    • Job family page: Since this is ongoing hiring, you’ll want a permanent page to drive all of your traffic. Think about what content can turn visitors into applicants and whether you need a quick form.
    • Referrals: Consider setting up a special Employee Referral Program with an extra bonus for this role. Employees who are already in the role are likely to bring in the right candidates.
    • Partnerships: For ongoing hiring needs, it helps to develop partnerships with organizations that can serve up the right talent. These might be local schools or universities, organizations where likely talent might be members or community groups that can share your content.

    Here’s a case study for a client who had an ongoing need for nurses.

    As you think about your particular hiring challenges and how you can get the talent you require, you may find that you need help putting it all together or executing on some areas. Or that you are eager to explore a new approach. The NAS team would love to help. Get in touch and we’ll work together on a plan for your Unicorn, Supernova or Marathon hiring.

    Mike Shaughnessy

    Mike is a multidisciplinary recruitment leader with superior client service and management skills. He is an expert at targeting audiences using digital, social media and business development strategies for lead generation, lead nurturing, engagement and conversion for B2B, B2G, B2C companies and non-profit organizations. He has spent his 20-year career developing and launching strategies, plans and tactics that increase leads, sales, revenue and market share, while measuring and optimizing ROI. In his spare time he likes to hike any mountain he can find, (eventually) see live music or refute the assertion that he has a “favorite” between his two children.

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