Casting the net wider


1 Sep 2008

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Recruitment is a costly and time-consuming process for any firm, but adding podcasting to the mix can extend your reach and your brand.

As the iPod has replaced both the Walkman and the CD player as the music player of choice, so too has the podcast slowly become the mainstay for both the media and the corporate world in attracting the 21st-century’s time-poor audience.

A podcast is essentially an audio file from the web that can be downloaded and listened to as you would a music track on a computer or MP3 player.

Aside from the obvious use by professional radio stations, many businesses are making podcasts of conferences, PR events and news announcements, as well as audio infomercials on their latest products and services. But what about the recruitment sector?

This area was one of the first to grasp new technology by moving to the web, with sites like Monster.ie and Loadzajobs.ie providing an important service. But it all boils down to one thing – when you want to attract new blood to your firm they are still left with a text advertisement much the same as it would appear in print. In other words, not much has changed.

However, the employment market has changed; tech-savvy graduates are seeking jobs having grown up in a multimedia-saturated environment, so they expect more than a few paragraphs to persuade them to come on board.

On the other hand, recruiters are finding it tougher in terms of overheads in the current economic climate, so anything that can reduce the lengthy process and associated costs of finding the ideal candidate is all important, says Krishna De, an award-winning brand engagement and executive development mentor. De is one of the organisers of the upcoming event Podcamp Ireland for businesses and individuals interested in learning the ins and outs of creating this kind of audio.

This is where podcasting can really make inroads by giving an inside view of company’s philosophy and background on what it’s like to work there, thus cutting down on the time employers spend sorting through unsuitable applicants.

De says that while podcasting is an area which has not been explored very much, it can become an important part of your overall combined strategy, as long as you pick the right people and the right topic.

“Here’s where it would make a difference; I would hand the microphone to the line manager or to the team that is looking to hire, because that is where it adds benefit.

“It would not be effective to have recruitment managers reading out copy. They would come into play in terms of their interviewing skills, asking important questions like: ‘Tell me a bit about your department’ or ‘What would be the biggest challenge this job would bring?’”

Having put time and money into creating a podcast, the benefits are obvious, says De: “It can help you sort out the wheat from the chaff as regards who you want to apply. One of the things in terms of recruitment advertising, whether it is on the web, in print or on a notice board, is it does not bring very much colour and there is so much jargon involved.”

It costs money to place an advertisement in print and there are many competitors: “There is the problem of differentiating your words from somebody else’s in an advert right next to you,” De notes.

When looking at job specs, you could argue that a marketing manager is a marketing manager, says De, but every job is in a different business with a unique culture.

A short five or 10-minute interview or conversation with the person can shed so much light on this, she adds: “When applying for a job you would first want to find out as much about the company as possible by asking friends or doing a web search.

“If you were able to find an interview with the person carrying out the recruitment you could get a sense of the energy, work ethic and personality types at play. In five minutes you can get a lot more information than in 500 words in an advert.”

The big question is where to begin. De says the research is vital: “Take the time to research and understand your target market so you understand what might be of interest to them.”

By Marie Boran

Pictured: Krishna De, brand engagement and executive development mentor