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3 Steps to Get Direct Interest Followers to Work for YOU!

Direct interest followers are a great source for qualified, fit, eager candidates.

But, if you don't actively drive the flywheels... (know what they are, add fuel, reduce friction)

Then you won't maximize the results from direct interest.

You're missing out on one of the highest quality sources of applicants.

First, let's unpack what direct interest is...

Job boards deal with job seekers who are looking for a specific job title or type of job. They can be active (meaning they go to the job board) and passive (meaning they receive emails from the job board but they're not actively looking).

Almost everything around job board advertising has to do with the title of the job.

Direct interest applicants are people looking to work for a specific company, your company, because they have a relationship with you.

Again, we can split this between active (looking to work for your company) and passive (they know of or have an ongoing relationship with your company). Maybe we can bring them from customer or prospect to employee.

So, why does this matter?

Sourcing Mix & Power Dashboard

Identify which sources generate the most qualified applicants!

These people are looking for you specifically because they know, like, and trust you. They like your products and services, or your brand, culture, and values.

They simply want to be a part of it.

These individuals make awesome employees because they already know the context and/or the story of your company at some level. They're excited about it, they'll work hard because they love what they do or the impact they'll have.

Think about it.

If you're a restaurant, this is your customer who loves your food. If you are in the supply chain, this might be one of your vendors who loves the experience of engaging with your company.

Most of these individuals come to your company with some knowledge:

what your company does,

what you're trying to accomplish,

what makes your company different, etc.

With direct interest, many companies make the same mistakes or have the same challenges...

  • Most management/HR don't realize the quality of applicants coming from here. Because it's not included on the resume, you don't realize that applicants from direct interest can have a 4x or 5x higher power score than job boards.
  • You don't think you can impact your applicant results. There's a mentality that there's nothing an employer can do to make it better. With this, either...

You just check the box, doing the minimum necessary,

You don't know what to do, or

You ignore it.

The biggest challenge is that this is something HR cannot get done on their own. HR needs the help of the marketing team, at the very least, and potentially your operations team as well.

Here's a three-step process to maximize your results from direct interest sources...

Step One:

Manage your buy-in... You do this by pulling a source report that tells you where your applicants come from. You also need to go a step further and pull an interview source report and a hire source report. What you'll look for is a comparison...

  • Where do your hires come from
  • Where the highest quality people (interviews) come from, and
  • The conversion rate from applicant to hire

Using that data, you will create a power score for each direct interest source. The goal of this analysis is to explain to management that these direct interest sources have the potential to generate a ton of hiring power. While it may not generate a lot of applicants, when it comes to hiring people it will be far more successful.

If you don't have the data here for this, another option that will give you even more power is to get access to a big data set of everybody's data.

This will allow you to show your management team and managers...

  1. What it should look like even if you don't have data.
  2. Where you fit compared to everybody else so they see there is potential for growth.
  3. Where you sit versus your competitors in your industry.

Our Sourcing Mix and Power worksheet includes:

a template for you to manage your buy-in, AND

different data sets within other industries.

To summarize, get their buy-in. What you're looking for with the buy-in is to be able to show them the roadmap...

These are the areas we need to focus on...

Ask for specific help from specific people. Try the marketing and operations team who have access to different information around it.

Step Two:

You need to understand the flywheel and be able to explain it to management. Now that you have the buy-in, you can go back and listen to or read one of our previous discussions.

But, a flywheel is a process that runs for eternity, that continues to spin. More importantly, it's not just a process that goes in a circle. It's a process that goes in a circle and keeps on spinning. You can either add fuel or reduce friction to make it spin faster. The flywheel is quite simple. Ask yourself these questions...

  1. Who are we targeting? Of all the different direct interest sources, what am I looking at? Pick one source.
  2. How do we get the individuals' attention? Where are they looking right now? How can we get something in front of them that grabs their attention?
  3. How do we make what they are looking at engaging and exciting? Once we have their attention, you'll want to direct them to a job ad of some type. Keep in mind, you may have to land them on a page about your company before you show them the job openings.Remember, these individuals are looking at your company, not the job. How do we make the landing page share, at a more zoomed-out level, why we're a great place to work? How do we make it engaging, exciting? The landing page would be a great place for a video or other content. It could describe your culture, values, career paths, mentorship, perks, benefits, and more.
  4. What is your call to action? This most likely will be looking at the individual jobs. Once they're excited and looking at that page, your call to action might be to get them to follow you on Facebook where they can see your Facebook job ads. Or you could have them give you their email address so you can send them new job alerts every time you post a job.
  5. How do we convert them? How do we get them to become an applicant, actively considered for a job? Is that process easy? What's the application process, etc.?

As you come around to conversion, you start again either by...

looking at that same direct interest target, and expanding your results inside of that specific target/source, or

picking another direct interest source and adding to it.

Step Three:

You'll need to run around the flywheel multiple times for each of these direct interest sources:

Active Seekers - These are people who are looking to work for your company. They come to your website and are looking for the careers link. Using this you can run the flywheel flow by looking at how to create a plan, establish your flywheel and drive the applicant flow from these sources.

Passive Seekers - Most likely these individuals are engaging with your company for some other reason... because they're buyers or prospects or whatever the case may be.They may be suppliers or vendors, but they're not engaging with your company to apply for a job. Our goal is to disrupt them and get them to switch their mindset from purchasing to "it might be interesting to work for this company." The passive seeker source includes: website customers/prospects, Facebook followers/customers, and other social network followers. You're using your marketing team and customer support team's following.

Prospect / Customer Communication - This includes the email blast newsletters, receipts, the bag we hand them when they walk out of the building, our product we shipped them... Use any of those communication points as a source to run a flywheel. This will help you figure out how to turn that source into job seekers and applicants.

Walk-In Customers - If you have a brick-and-mortar building... a retail location, restaurant, bank, credit union... walk-in customers are a source of potential passive job seekers. You just need to switch their mindset into job seeking and then run the flywheel with them.

Previous Applicants - Our previous applicants can show up here as well. You have previous applicants in the last 90 days who are actively looking for a job. You also have previous applicants from a year ago that you could re-engage.

For each of these direct interest sources, you need to take and run the flywheel... For instance, let's start with website traffic for job seekers. They come to our website looking to see if we have openings.

Who are we targeting? We are targeting job seekers who land on our company web page.

How do we get their attention? When they land on the page, they're most likely looking for our careers page. Specifically, we would get their attention by making sure the header and footer have a link that says careers... or jobs...or employment, etc. We don't want them to have to search and dig for it. Make it a link they can click from the homepage and any other page on our website that will take them directly there. Make it EASY.

How do we make what they're looking at engaging and exciting? These individuals already know they want to work for us. They're going to want that link to take them directly to a list of jobs. You might build an intermediary page where you talk about why you are a great place to work. There wouldn't be a problem with that, as long as that page is engaging, and takes them quickly to a list of jobs.

What is our call to action? "Learn about our careers!" "Find our open jobs!" As you think about the link and the calls to action throughout the flow, you must keep asking yourself these questions:

What is the most logical next step they'd like to take?

How can we increase the excitement and decrease the friction?

How do we convert them? That will be our online application. Make sure that it is short and sweet and easy. It should have the minimal information needed for them to express interest in the job. That normally means resume, job questions, EEO information, gender, race, disabled status, and how they heard about the job. And that's it. Do not make the application process a full long application, or you will end up losing the high-quality candidates. This is especially important when trying to switch the mindset for passive people. They are less desperate and less engaged to apply for a job. Make sure that the conversion piece, the online application, is as short and easy as possible.

That is the entire flywheel. You can take and run that again for each direct interest source to come up with a roadmap and a plan for moving forward.

If you need help filling out our sourcing mix worksheet or have questions about your direct interest sources, let me know!

I'd be happy to help.

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