If you walked into my cube at Prestige Care, you would quickly figure out that I like photography just a little bit. My cubicle walls are littered with photos from some of my epic hiking and travel adventures from all around the Pacific Northwest. Part of my voice not only as a human but as a sourcer/recruiter comes through in the form of pictures; of beautiful images of where I have been. I have leveraged that same love and passion for photography and have integrated it into my sourcing practice, and it helps, and it works.
Every day we are bombarded with content, mainly written word (look at our overflowing, inefficient email inboxes!). There is so much noise in life in the year 2017, and one way to stand out in your sourcing practice includes leveraging engaging photos that speak to your viewer, or in this case, that high-performing software engineer, registered nurse, or sales executive that you want to join your team.
How can levering images and photography take your sourcing game to the next level? Let’s unpack four concrete reasons why and how you should be leveraging the power of the visual to cultivate a level of curiosity and action in a passive candidate.
Why Use Images When Sourcing?
The simplest answer is engagement. Many reports show that content containing images (email, social media posts, etc.) attract 94% more total views than content without pictures (according to MDG Advertising Research). People want to see either their potential co-workers, their potential workspace, their possible geographic area, or some piece of the corporate culture rather than only just being told about it. There is a level of storytelling in sourcing, there also, is a level of “showing and telling” within recruiting. By leveraging engaging images that tell a story or show what a candidate might be getting into, you are furthering a narrative that will resonate with a candidate that you are trying to join your team.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Know Your Audience
Marketing 101 right here. If you do choose to leverage photos and photography as a whole, find out what will appeal to the emotions and interests of your viewer; in this case, your passive candidate. In this day and age where everyone has a social media profile, this is quite simple. Let’s say your target identifies that they like the Seattle Mainers baseball team, artisan coffee, or long walks on the beach on their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter feed. Include an image in your reach out of that particular interest and how it integrates into your job or the geographic area you are trying to recruit. Find out what excites your audience and appeal to those emotions and senses with imagery.
Another call-out on this piece is authenticity. Use authentic photography as much as possible as that will resonate with your viewer than the stock photography that we all have become numb accustom to viewing. This is one area that my industry (healthcare) struggles with as a whole, and a piece I hope to change. The goal is to elicit a positive emotional response in someone, one in which will hopefully push them to take action in your direction. While the best practice is to use authentic imagery as much as possible, sometimes you simply have to use a stock image.
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Where Can I Find Engaging Imagery?
The simple fix here is to leverage your internal marketing/PR professionals in your organization. In theory, they should have some valuable content that you can take advantage of during your sourcing. If images are not readily available, make it happen yourself. Ensure that the photos you take are of high quality, sharp, in focus, and have proper exposure. One piece to note here is to have all parties that appear in photos have signed a photo release. If neither of these options works for you, there are many free stock photo sites that you can leverage. While you should leverage authentic and real photography first, sometimes you do have to use stock photography. Some of my favorites include pixabay.com, picjumbo.com, unsplash.com and stockvault.net. Also, Google Images is a reliable standby.
Social Media Outlets, Recruiting, and Imagery
Make no mistake, social media is the future, and the future is here. If your organization is not on social media and leveraging it from a recruitment perspective, you are losing the war for talent. How does this relate to imagery? Many social media outlets are not only predicated on engaging imagery (Instagram), but the largest social media network (Facebook) sees more engagement if a post is accompanied by a photo. What does this mean? More engagement means more eyeballs on your brand, and as such, on the job, you are working hard to fill.
Overall, using beautiful, engaging, relevant, thought provoking and emotionally captivating imagery is one of the keys to a successful sourcing and recruiting strategy. Use this approach with every message, every post, every time, and you will see a definite increase in passive candidate engagement, which will lead to better hires, and allow you to take your sourcing/recruiting game to the next level.
Interested in using images to source? Check out Change Up Your Sourcing Strategy With Face Searching