Recently I was perusing the Twitters and I came across this video from ZenDesk. I was struck with the similarities between creating a customer self-serve community and building a talent community (you may know that I’m a big talent community advocate).
For those that aren’t aware a self-service community is a place where users of a software, product or service can go to get advice, tips and well… service. Typical features include a knowledge base, forum discussions, a QA section. Sound familiar? It might if you’ve ever wanted to build something similar where you employees and potential applicants/candidates could interact, sometimes known as a talent community.
JD Peterson gives some great tips that have not only made ZenDesk, but many other user communities very successful. Using these self-service principles (inspired by help desk/customer support software) in your talent communities, or even in places where you find your applicants gathering (career site, Facebook group, social recruiting platform), is sure to increase engagement in your talent community as well.
Factor #1- Usability and Navigation. Roberts suggests getting an expert for this one and if you can afford it great. If not, check out best practices from others (yes, even competitors) in your space. What are they doing right? Wrong? How can you replicate or improve upon it? Do you see call to action buttons in the lower right hand corner in several examples? How about a sign up box in all of the above the fold sliders? (I’m not a UX expert, but I do play one on TV), but my point is if your community is hard to navigate and figure out, then no one will use it.
Factor #2- Gamification. Heard enough about gamification yet? The way Roberts puts it, it’s less about FUN and more about RECOGNITION. Citing Badgeville as an excellent vendor to use, Roberts suggest leader-boards for helpful members and employees, scoring systems, badges (oh people love badges)- while these are all cool and colorful and make your community a fun place to be, it’s mainly letting community members know they are being heard and recognized, which is crucial for both clients and candidates.
Factor #3- Escape Valve. Huh? Isn’t this supposed to be self service? Well, yes, but it’s not really service if you don’t provide a way for people to get more help when they need it. To that end, clearly point to ways that folks can accelerate the process from your user/talent community- include your phone number, email, ATS link or LinkedIn or Facebook pages. Got live chat? Include it. To keep it simple, if there is a way for someone to get in touch with a recruiter or HR pro at your company, stick it there. Make it easy to find.
Factor #4- Participation. Even big old honking companies with great brand recognition have to get their employees in on their user communities. So it stands to reason that your talent community will have to rely on similar resources. While a talent community is an extension of your brand, it’s still likely secondary to any big marketing or customer initiatives. The good news is that having employees involved will make the participation look more lively AND double whammy- make your employees more involved and potentially even educate them about your company. Boom. When training your employee ambassadors, emphasize timeliness, politesse and sharing with internal teams what they’ve learn on the talent community frontier.
Factor #5- Measurement. Yep, I’ve been saying it, you’ve been saying it, we’ve all been saying it. Continuous improvement through measurement is a must. If you are not focusing on measuring your efforts, you shouldn’t really bother. According to Roberts, you can identify trends, search terms, engagement and content needs simply from checking the numbers.
There you have it, 5 top tips for building a self-service, candidate powered community, talent or otherwise. Do you have a great tip for building a community? Leave it in the comments.