I recently came across some interesting BBC research on digital participation trends which got me thinking about how changing online behaviours might alter our approach to talent attraction.
The presentation by Holly Goodier, Head of Audiences – BBC Future Media, highlights a fundamental shift in digital participation. Six years ago the 1/9/90 model suggested that just 10% of the UK population were active participants with 90% looking on. The research shows that this model is now outdated.
Digital participation is now the rule rather than the exception. Today 77% of the UK population are active online – 17% are ‘intense’ participants and 60% ‘easy’ participants more than half of whom are creating and sharing information. .
But what of the remaining 23%? Most are online but they are passive viewers who do not interact, create or contribute online. The interesting observation by the BBC is that this group is not defined by digital access or skills, or stereotypes around gender, age or social class. In fact, almost half of them are early adopters who observe but choose not to get involved.
Participation today is easy (driven by multi-device access, interactive functionality and social media) so it comes down to a matter of choice – the decisions people make about when, whether, why, with whom or about what they should engage.
But how do we apply that to our online approach for talent attraction and engagement?
Digital participation is increasingly about value perception and how we want to be seen. Our choice to participate or not, and where and how we choose to interact is a statement about who we are and how we live our lives. Our interaction signals how much we value associations or participation with people, brands, organisations or causes, and whether or not we consider it worthwhile.
For employers and brands, these signals are vital currency in a world of peer-to-peer referral. They are also useful indicators on how to engage talent, and indeed consumers, in the digital space.
Just being ‘seen’ on social or pushing out interactive content is no longer enough.
Content needs to be carefully crafted, accurately targeted and relevant enough to prompt a response in the target audience. As the BBC research shows that response can take many forms – and for recruiters in particular, the most desirable talent might well be the sophisticated early adopters (11%) who choose to remain passive. Expecting them to participate can send the wrong signals.
Instead of broad targeting across multiple social platforms, employers need to develop a clear understanding of their target audience and of where and how best to engage them. Armed with the right research and attraction strategy, you can use an inside-out approach that will create a more meaningful sense of connection.
Using your employees, thought leaders and professional peers to create content that is real, relevant and really reflects ‘who you are’ is far more likely to deliver the outcome you really want – participation in the application process and your business.
Of course, a comment, a share or a like on this blog would be great, but your participation is not the goal… we want you to keep coming back.