Hiring Is Increasingly Seen as an Arm of Marketing
When McDonald’s starts using Snapchat to hire workers, you know the hiring paradigm has shifted. Innovate HR or die.
This summer, the fast-food giant said it planned to hire about 250,000 workers, and that Snapchat was part of the plan. “Forget trolling LinkedIn to scroll through resumes,” observed USA Today.
While unconventional, the move makes a ton of sense, say those in the industry. The labor market is tight, and teenage employment has been bottomed out at 35 percent—nearly half of what it was two generations ago—for the better part of this decade.
Snapchat is a social media app for smartphones that allows users to send pictures and videos to friends or, in the case of businesses, those who subscribe to particular feeds. After the photo or video is seen it vanishes into the aether.
McDonald’s Snapchat campaign included 10-second ads “that show happy workers talking up the benefits of working there,” noted a columnist in the Washington Post. “With a quick swipe, viewers are redirected to the company’s career website where they can apply for a job.”
Snaplications Are a Thing Now
While McDonald’s may have been the biggest company to hire using Snapchat, it was not the first. Taco Bell used the app to hire interns, and even Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase sent Snaps to grads—not for hiring, exactly, but as a way of making a softer introduction to new diploma holders. Similarly, Cisco and AOL use the app’s storytelling abilities to showcase their workplace cultures.
“Just a few years ago, Snapchat was still an emerging social media platform that most recruiters wouldn’t have considered next to behemoths like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn,” noted a LinkedIn talent blog. “Today, it presents companies with a great way to reach millennials, college grads and young digital natives—and don’t discount the recruiting power of its geo-filter features, either.”
The trend shows how quickly technology is moving and how hard companies have to work to attract great talent.
“You have to reach people where they are, and they’re on Snapchat,” JPMorgan’s chief marketing officer told Business Insider. “And students in particular are living on Snapchat. It’s becoming one of the most powerful platforms for brands.”
Taco Bell’s Snapchat campaign to hire interns collected more than 200 applications within a few days, the company said. AOL’s week-long campaign reached an eye-popping 8 million users, according to Adweek, which added cautiously that “[w]hether folks actually applied is unclear, and it’s important to note that AOL was running other campaigns that generated traffic to Glassdoor at the same time.”
Hiring the Right Talent Means Rethinking the Hiring Process
Even through the Great Recession, companies complained about not being able to find the right people. Why? Too many employers were “using outdated hiring strategies that continue to rely heavily on old-fashioned recruiting paradigms, overwhelm HR staff with unnecessary work,” noted a talent management consultant.
While companies may not have to go as far as a Snapchat campaign to lure workers, they definitely do need to rethink what they’ve been doing, said one CEO. In particular, he said, don’t leave hiring up to one person, don’t screen candidates over the phone, look beyond your local area, and consider texting instead of email. “When it comes to hiring,” he said, “there’s only one thing that has remained the same throughout the years: find and secure the best person for the job. It’s how you do it that is continuously evolving and improving.”
Another talent consultant agreed, adding that relying on “tradition” when it comes to hiring means you are making a mistake. Start by rethinking the traditional job description.
“To hire all-stars, you must describe the job in terms that are both challenging and persuasive to the type of candidate you seek,” she said. “The job description should create a vision of the value the job contributes to the organization and communicate the highest expectations for performance. If you want your job to stand out from other companies, write it in terms that will appeal to all-stars.”
A writer commenting for Forbes was more blunt: “If you want to hire great people, you have to see recruiting as a sales and marketing activity, because that’s what it is. If you cannot get out of your ego-invested state to sell a candidate on working for you, it’s time to get out of recruiting and find another profession.”
(This post first appeared in a ProfEd blog)
By Jeff S