“Podcasts aren’t a bubble, they’re a boom—and that boom is only getting louder.” – Miranda Katz
Netflix are recognised as one of the most innovative companies in the world and this carries through to their approach to HR, employee engagement and recruitment strategies where they are seen as thought leaders. Their 2009 culture deck is still seen as one of the best and their overall approach to talent and culture has been one of the key company strengths which has enabled them to be extremely successful in a highly competitive environment.
A recent talent innovation is their recruitment and employer branding podcast WeAreNetflix which “features employees discussing the challenges and rewards of various roles the company is trying to hire for”. This enables candidates to gain a real sense of the culture and company and has brought immense benefits to their employer branding and recruitment since its introduction.
This podcast has been amazingly successful with the Netflix Talent team stating it is the “the most influential thing that we’ve done” and recognising when speaking during 2019 that they had “600,000 downloads and counting, and 50% of Netflix’s hires come from this podcast.” Currently, the podcast has over 2.8 million followers and 35 million impressions showing its reach and popularity.
Podcasting has clearly been a massive success for Netflix when it comes to hiring and talent reach as well as empowering their employees to own and advocate for their employer brand. It is a key feature of their industry leading HR and recruitment strategy. The question is why has this medium worked so well for them and could this be a tactic for other companies to differentiate themselves, have their stories told and achieve their own hiring goals.
Podcasting has been around for many years beginning first in 2003 but over the last few years the medium has begun to explode in popularity. Podcast topics range from business and marketing to sports and reality TVwith podcasts produced by both global media companies and individuals at home with the very cheapest equipment.
Increasingly the medium has been impacting on different domains and has been recognised as a source of information and knowledge sharing by a growing audience. Despite this, recruitment is one of the areas which is yet to be disrupted by podcasts but which we believe is primed for this new medium.
Podcasting is consistently growing in popularity as a medium. According to Nielsen reports in 2020 the medium is enjoying a 20% compound average growth rate in the US for total audience. This is strengthened by the increase in heavy listeners (those who spend a significant amount of time each week listening to podcasts) which continues to grow as people integrate and come to rely on podcasts in their daily lives often listening to multiple hours of podcasts in a week.
On the local level, Ireland is actually a leader in podcast listening with the third largest proportional global audience. Over 37% of the Irish public listen to at least one podcast per month. This represents a significant opportunity to access a large audience directly.
In addition to this broad reach, the podcast demographic is one particularly suited to recruitment. Digital natives represent the largest cohort of listeners and trust podcasts for information. The average listener is 34, the listeners are well educated and the audience is diverse across genders and ethnicities. When looking to access the millennial generation companies could do a lot worse than looking to podcasts as a medium.
Along with the continued proliferation of podcasting as a medium and the valuable reach and demographic it has access to in Ireland, podcasting has a number of other benefits as a medium for recruitment.
Podcasts provide a personal experience and allow the audience to feel connected to the hosts/guests. There is a level of intimacy and directness in podcasts which pulls in listeners and which can be leveraged by companies. “Podcasts are also inherently personal, voice-driven experiences.” which connect with the listeners
Companies have an opportunity to humanise their brand, highlight real experiences of employees and the reality of the day to day and achieve a greater level of insight than even the most well-written job spec. This is clearly the case for Netflix’ podcast which uses employees currently in the companies to create that idea and allure of an inside look and a friendly discussion with a potential future colleague.
Podcasts have low barriers for their audience. They are accessible as downloads or via streaming on a variety of platforms. “Podcasting reduces the friction and noise associated with traditional digital advertising, allowing brands to instill a connection with consumers”
As they are audio they can be incorporated more easily into the day with a high listenership during commuting hours or paired with other activities like exercise or chores. Additionally, the format allows for a great deal of information to be delivered in less time. This means in a relatively short podcast episode, companies can distill their history, vision, culture, opportunities and pull factors.
This is essential when looking to target passive candidates who may not have the necessary investment to review a job spec and explore a website but can spend some time listening while going about their day and be activated and attracted through this. Netflix are recognised for disrupting our consumption of media and in podcasting they have a similar strategy in moving away from the static and flat job spec which takes time to digest and dissect to a more accessible medium which can be integrated into ones day and revisited multiple times.
Podcast listeners are engaged despite often multi-tasking when listening – they have a level of trust in podcasts as a medium and so are willing to take in information. This engagement and trust can be seen in the impact of podcast advertising. Where over 50% of podcast listeners are likely to check out advertised brands. This engagement can be carried through to recruitment and converting candidates from passive to active and drive them to your website/careers pages.
Increasingly people are burned out by other mediums like social media, email etc. and podcasts can offer an alternative. Over 50% of podcast consumers listen to the entire audio episode and over 90% listen to most of an episode as it does not feel like a chore or overload.
This can be of massive benefit to companies recruiting as they can access potential talent pools through a medium with which they engage actively and which holds their attention for longer. The follow through in recruitment is clearly seen by WeAreNetflix with over 50% of Netflix hires coming through this channel.
The ability to create a personal engagement with candidates with limited obstacles and a clear follow through is the stuff of dreams for recruitment teams and something which Netflix has leveraged to great success in their hiring. The medium seems already set to be integrated into hiring increasingly by companies but what does the future look like and how does this impact companies in Ireland?
Looking forward it seems like podcasting is set to continue to grow and become more embedded in the lives of people. Some of the biggest companies in the world like Google, Apple and Spotify are betting big on the medium and with their continued investment it is likely that the user experience and quality of podcasts will only improve. The growth of smart speakers is enabling further growth too by surrounding people with an ability to listen to podcasts and further removing barriers for listeners. Currently “39% of Podcast users use smart speaker devices to listen to podcasts once per week.” and this is set to grow as the coverage and comfort with these speakers increases.
As the medium is increasingly recognised it gains power. For companies looking to leverage it in recruitment they can still enjoy the benefits of being an early adopter and creating a point of differentiation which can help them compete in competitive talent markets.
Netflix has one of the most successful HR and recruitment strategies and their podcast is a cornerstone of their latest innovation. There are clear reasons for this. Podcasts have a large audience and a strategically important resonance with millennials. They are set to grow further as a medium and become more pervasive in our lives. As a medium it has core strengths in allowing for a personal experience, significant accessibility and a high level of engagement which are aligned to recruitment and employer branding.
“In today’s rapidly changing world where marketing has surged ahead and brought about new methods of promoting products and services to potential customers that go far beyond text ads, organizational recruiting is still struggling to get past text job postings to market jobs to potential candidates.” In podcasts, forward looking companies have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and leverage a medium which has brought massive success for one of the industry leaders and which could do the same for them.
NJR is a podcast service by Verify Recruitment which provides the infrastructure and expertise for companies to create their own recruitment marketing and employer branding podcasts. Have your hiring managers talk about who they are, what they do and the type of people they want to hire. Create evergreen dynamic content which you can embed on your careers page, link it in your job descriptions, use it in your messages to contacts. We have worked with a number of leading companies both startups and multinationals since 2012 and bring a depth of experience in the field.
To learn more: https://www.newjobradio.com/