The 20 Best Recruiting Articles of 2015

“Good writing excites me, and makes life worth living” - Harold Pinter

With thousands of recruiting blogs published every day, how do you know what to read? Cutting through the noise and finding real quality can be a tough proposition.

Hopefully the Beamery Blog is one of your first choices, but we do a fair bit of reading at Beamery so we know exactly how many other fantastic recruiting bloggers are out there.

We like to think that we know good writing when we see it, so...

Here are the 20 best recruiting articles of 2015:

Section 1: Social Recruiting

With almost every candidate active on social media, the way we think about social recruiting is only going to become more important. It's easy to get social wrong though, how do you make sure that you add value to candidates and don't just compete for clicks?

1. This social recruitment thing just isn't working

Every company has a battle plan for social recruiting - typically it revolves around using social media to broadcast roles and find candidates.

How social is this? Kasia Borowicz believes that we’ve lost our way on social media. If we want to boost response rates and increase engagement, we need to make our interactions genuinely valuable for candidates.

This article provides plenty of food for thought - do your candidates enjoy interacting with you on social?

Kasia Borowicz quote

2. The deadly sins of social recruiting

Retweets, likes and clicks make it easy to feel good about your social recruiting strategy.

Tony Restell wants you to question this warm fuzzy feeling though - are your social efforts actually leading to genuine business opportunities? Are they bringing passive candidates to your door?

If they’re not, you may well be making one of the 4 deadly sins of social recruiting. It can be hard to get quantify social impact, so this article is great reading for anyone looking for more value from their social recruiting strategy.

Tony Restell quote

Section 2: Technical Recruiting

Hiring great engineers has become the greatest pain point for many top organisations. The key problem is competition. How can you differentiate yourself and attract the best? What do developers really want?

3. This is how Coursera competes against Google and Facebook for the best talent

It’s fair to say that great technical recruiting is a science. It’s such a competitive market that companies tend to keep their tactics pretty close to the chest.

All this makes John Ciancutti’s playbook even more special. He breaks down the exact tactics that Coursera use to compete for the best engineers. From email templates, to interview tactics it’s all here.

This comprehensive piece is totally invaluable for anyone charged with bringing in top technical talent.

John Ciancutti quote

4. Building a product in the technical recruiting space? Read this first

This article is written for people considering building a product to ‘fix’ technical recruiting. What it also does though, is provide an excellent synopsis of several problems that recruiters face when trying to hire engineers.

Aline Lerner argues that the it’s not finding great candidates that’s the issue, it’s finding great candidates that want to talk to you! The key problem engagement - how do you make someone interested?

Aline Lerner quote

Section 3: Recruitment marketing

Recruitment marketing gives recruiters a new framework to approach and engage with top talent. As many traditional hiring tactics lose efficacy, using marketing tactics can give recruiters a major advantage over competitors.

5. Why job adverts suck and what you can do about it

Most of us our pretty aware that our job adverts are far from perfect. They tend revolve around  bland 'copy and pasted' text that does little to inspire an application.

Matt Buckland uses Maslow's 'Hierarchy of Needs' to map out the 5 things that every great job advert should touch upon. Forget perks like "on site masseuses and hot and cold running champagne" and focus on the candidate hierarchy of needs!

If you want to understand candidate motivations and how you can craft job adverts that actually work, this article is a fantastic starting point.

Matt Buckland quote

6. Recruitment is marketing. Are you ready for that?

Question: does a candidate need to be actively looking for you to place or hire them?

Greg Savage argues that although roughly 75% of candidates aren’t job hunting, they are ‘placeable’, these ‘hard-to-reach’ candidates are the ones that you can really get paid on!

These candidates are unlikely to turn directly to an agency, so the key is to engage them consistently and build a ‘resevoir’ of talent that you can add to your pipeline in the future.

With so much out there on recruitment marketing for in house teams, this is a great resource for agency recruiters.

Greg Savage quote

7. Recruiting content is a game anyone can win

How do you compete in a world where some companies e.g. Google, Facebook don’t even think about limiting the amount that they spend on recruiting?

Traditional recruiting is a rigged game. Budget size dictates how many job ads you can buy and how far you can promote your roles. James Ellis believes that to win you have to change the game.

Recruiting content something many of us are guilty of ignoring is the answer. Content lets you control your company messaging and target the candidates that you really want to apply. It’s a game you can win, but you need to play!

James Ellis quote

8. 3 ways that recruiting must copy marketing

Is recruiting in need of a reboot?

Marvin Smith argues that, in the face of widespread digital disruption, recruiters need to adopt new tactics to connect with high value talent.

In an age where bad candidate experience spreads as fast as cute cat memes, evaluating hiring through marketing lens can make a huge difference to your employer brand and help you attract better candidates.

Marvin Smith quote

9. Build talent pipelines with permission marketing and lower recruiting costs

What happens to the people that you turn down? In most companies, these candidates gather dust in the ATS, possibly with some kind of ‘revisit later’ tag attached!

Sean Rehder sees a seriously wasted opportunity here. Recruiters should ‘nurture’ these candidates with targeted messages.

You have bucketloads of information on every candidate. This lets you segment your data and send relevant emails to every person. For example, sales candidates should only be sent ‘sales’ based information.

This trick has been part of the marketing armoury for a while now and should help you convert previous applicants back into applicants in the future!

Sean Rehder quote

Section 4: Sourcing

In today's market, one of the key problems is that the best talent isn't applying. This makes the sourcing function even more important. Are you engaging and connecting with great candidate and building a hiring pipeline?

10. How to create candidate personas to recruit talent

Do you know who you’re trying to hire?

It sounds like a silly question, but Andy Headworth argues that, beyond job title and company, many recruiters work without a clear idea of exactly which candidates they’re looking for.

The answer to this is to build candidate personas. Think about what your ideal new hire looks - what is their experience, where might they work, what are their goals, what messages would they respond to?

Answers to questions like these and the others that Andy raises will help you connect with the candidates that you’re really looking for.

Andy Headworth quote

11. A Recruiter’s Guide To Email Marketing: Making Passive Candidates Care Enough To Click

Email is a crucial tool in your fight to win the hearts and minds of passive candidates. The problem is just getting them to ‘open’ and ‘click’.

Robert Carroll argues that email marketing is your best bet and breaks down tactics to help you create emails powerful enough to take candidates from passive to active.

They key? Avoid the two major mistakes that recruiters make when firing off emails. Lack of clarity around the role and why the candidate fits, and a reliance on generic templates.

Robert Carroll quote

12. How recruiter spam is ruining recruiting brands

Familiar with the #recruiterspam movement? If not, you should be…

This has nothing to do with the canned meat, and everything to do with recruiter carelessness. Marie Burns and others want to take a stand against spam and make sure that every candidate is treated as a person first and foremost.

If you want to see where spam is most prevalent, and learn more about the movement, then I really recommend checking this one out.

Marie Burns quote

Section 5: Analytics

If you don't measure what you do, how do you know what's working? It's a simple question, but it's still not front of mind for enough organisations. Analytics need to have a place in your recruiting process...

13. Sourcing & Recruiting Candidate Funnel & Output Calculators

Ever wondered exactly how many candidates you have to identify to make a successful hire? Or maybe you’d like to know how efficient your hiring process is...

Well, wonder no longer, Glen Cathey has created awesome calculators to provide insights into your candidate funnel and your team’s output.

If you have unanswered questions, I urge you to take a good look at these calculators, the data could be invaluable in managing the expectations of your hiring team.

Glen Cathey quote

14. The one recruiting metric we all overlook

Technology has opened up a whole new world for recruiters. Analytics tools provide a veritable candy store of metrics and learnings.

Despite this, Jim Stroud argues that we’re ignoring one key metric: retention. Surely it makes sense to judge recruiters on the quality of their hires and their fit with the company. Retention is the best way to measure this, and Jim even provides a few formulas to help you get the data you need.

Jim Stroud quote

Section 6: Candidate Experience

While it may be one of our favourite recruiting buzzwords, we can all agree that candidate experience gets more important by the day. In the social age, you treat applicants badly at your peril...

15. Candidates are NOT customers...not yet

The sheer volume of information available on every company lets candidates research job applications the same way as they would any other major purchasing decision.

Gerry Crispin argues that we’re fast approaching a stage where the candidate should be seen as a ‘partner’ in the recruiting process. Companies that don’t focus on candidate experience are certain to lose out.

Gerry Crispin quote

16. What the candidate experience really looks like

Ever wondered what it’s actually like to apply to one of your jobs? Thought about what your candidate experience is really like?

Matt Charney takes you on a typical application journey. From Google search, to form filling, this article shows you exactly how unnecessary and possibly ridiculous so many facets of job applications are.  

If you haven’t applied for one of your own jobs I suggest you do it now!

Matt Charney

Section 7: Best of the Rest

We found these articles tricky to slot into a specific category, but they were simply too good to leave out. Take a quick browse through them and I'm sure you'll agree!

17. The 4 trends driving the future of recruitment

A quick Google search will show you that there’s a constant stream of articles on the future of recruiting - few hit the nail on the head as cleanly as this one though!

Mervyn Dinnen cuts straight to the heart of recruiting: people. Our connections, the strength of our relationships, and the way that our brand is perceived by candidates all matter more than ever.

Recruiting has always been about relationships and this looks set to continue.

Mervyn Dinnen

18. What a Recruiter REALLY Does- #iamarecruiter

Does the average candidate actually know what a recruiter does?

Will Thomson argues that the general perception of the industry has been ruined. Lazy recruiters are happy to spam 1000 candidates in the hope of a single response.

To counter this, he puts forward 8 excellent rules that every recruiter should live by to succeed and take pride in their profession.

Will Thomson quote

19. What it really takes to attract top talent

Want to know how to attract the right candidates? It’s simple… Think about it from the perspective of those that you’re recruiting!

Peter Capelli reminds us that the goal should be to find one person who really fits your needs not thousands to apply. Figure out what candidates are a good fit and then meet their particular needs - this is the way to succeed.

Peter Capelli quote

2o. Always be closing almost never works in recruiting

Cult classic Glengarry Glen Ross has solidified the archetype of the aggressive salesman that’s ‘always closing’ and will stop at nothing to win.

When you’re ‘selling’ jobs though, this model is out of place. Bryan Chaney reminds us that it isn’t just filling a role that’s important in recruiting, it’s building the right relationships so you can fill the role with the right person.

This takes time and relies on engagement, messaging and relationship building. If you want to know how to get started, take a look at Bryan’s article.

Bryan Chaney quote

Section 8: Bonus

Just because it's nearly Christmas, here's one more awesome recruiting article. This one breaks down a really interesting new movement: #OpenSourceHR.

21. A vision for open source recruiting

Ever thought about sharing the secrets behind your recruiting success?

It might seem crazy at first, but this is what Lars Schmidt asks you to do. Open source recruiting asks that you share case studies and best practices to help move the industry forward.

The open source model has been central to the development of engineering: could it work for recruiters?

Lars Schmidt quote

Talent Attraction Index 2019: A maturity analysis of the Fortune 500

We analyzed and ranked the talent attraction practices of the Fortune 500, and learned how the world's most successful companies attract and engage the best candidates: what they do more of, what they do better, and what marks them as winners in the talent attraction game.

Download the study.

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Ben Slater

VP Marketing

Ben Slater leads marketing globally at Beamery. He typically writes about the future of work and talent transformation.

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