The Medium Is Not the Message
By Peter Weddle
Courtesy Weddle's Newsletter
There's been no lack of discussion lately about the use of this sourcing medium or that. Is Twitter better than Facebook? Are niche job boards more effective than general ones? And so on. These are all important questions, to be sure, but the media we select represent just one-half of a successful sourcing strategy. The other half is the message we deploy on those media, and with apologies to Marshall McLuhan, that message has its own distinct purpose and value.
Historically, we recruiters have devoted the content of our messaging to information. We typically provide details on the requirements and responsibilities of the positions we are filling and, often but not always, an introduction to the products or services of our employer. Basically, we are announcing our openings. And for much of the 20th Century, that was good enough.
Today, however, recruitment-by-announcement doesn't work, at least if you want to hire top level talent. Those kinds of candidates - the people who have hard-to-find skills and those who are "A" level performers - have choices. They have recruiters chasing after them all of the time. And, that means they not only have to be informed about a position, they have to be sold on it.
So, how do you transform a message about an opening - whether it appears on a job board or a social media site - into a persuasive sales communication? There are a number of practices that are critical to success. The three below will get you started.
Every organization will make its own idiosyncratic selection of sourcing media. While Facebook and LinkedIn might work best for one employer, a job board and a career site blog might perform better for another. Regardless of which media are used, however, the best practices of messaging are constant. The format of those messages may have to be tailored to each specific medium, but their content must always be powerfully persuasive. Indeed, only a message with more than medium appeal can influence the best talent.