Turn your Recruitment Marketing Activities from Blah to Irresistibly Effective

5 Attention-Grabbing Candidate Attraction Tips

Does any of this sound familiar?

The recruiting Manager sends a recruitment request to HR. This is followed by an email expressing the dire need and urgency for the position to be filled – like yesterday. Seriously! Really? Stress!

HR checks the organisation chart to confirm vacancy. Vacancy confirmed.

HR reviews manning guide to confirm compensation range for role and checks if there is any funds left in the budget to advertise.

Budget remains. Barely. It has been slashed and ear-marked for reallocation. Hurry, spend budget or lose it.

If no budget, an email plea from HR to Finance to open up the wallet swiftly follows.

Email response from Finance to HR contains phrases like; cost centre, budget rationale required, do more with less and the need for a creative approach.

Miniscule peanut-sized budget approved. Seriously! Really? Stress!

HR checks the condition of the Job Description.

Good grief! An awful realisation dawns. More Stress! That logo was replaced 3 years ago in the last company rebranding campaign! Get new logo from Marketing.

Carry out a quick cosmetic update of JD. Send to recruiting Manager for input and sign off.

No time – need a template. Cut and paste refreshed vacancy details into the last recruitment ad used. Recruitment ad is now ready to go live. Phew!

Now to keep fingers crossed and pray that some decent candidates apply.

There has got to be a better way…

Some Hard Questions to Answer If You Want to Get Noticed

Take a moment to ponder and ask yourself these 3 questions.

A. Do you want to grab the attention of your desired candidate(s) who share the same values as your organisation and repel those that don’t?

B. Do you need to find individuals who possess the skills and experience needed by your organisation?

C. Are you serious about turning your recruitment marketing activities from blah to irresistibly effective?

If you answered YES to any of the questions, read on to get on the road to stellar hiring.

If you commit to following these steps you will be strutting your stuff, flashing your tail feathers and grabbing the attention of your target market in short order.

1. Attract AND Fascinate: I took The Fascination Advantage® assessment. I was blown away! Check it out for yourself. Take the quick test and find out your ‘Archetype’. Fascinating stuff.

I have used personality tests (e.g. Myers-Briggs and SHL) many times in recruitment campaigns.  I have also taken the tests myself. But this test demands you open your mind and move to a different headspace.

Sally Hogshead has turned personality testing inside out. This test doesn’t measure how you see the world… but how the world sees you.”

Brainpoke Alert! This got me thinking.

Hiring processes typically focus on an inside-out approach. The organisation starts by reflecting its own understanding of its brand image onto its target (external) market. As a result, recruitment marketing material may contain (potentially erroneous) assumptions of ‘employer of choice’ status or similar aspired-to accolades.

Candidates don’t give a !HOOT! how your organisation sees itself.

Your desired candidates’ (or individuals they trust and follow) perception and experience of your employer brand is THE reality to which recruiters must pay attention.

Invest time, energy and budget to understand your target market’s feelings towards your employer brand. Then you will be able to strengthen the magnetic pull and relevance of your employment offer to 1st choice candidates. Start with the outside-in approach to attract and fascinate.

2. Mind the Brand Perception – Reality Gap: Here are some more reasons to take an outside-in approach.

Without regular honest assessment of your brand’s perception and value amongst the target candidate market, you open your recruitment efforts to the risk of financial and reputational nightmares.

I am sure you have either heard of or experienced disastrous recruitment campaigns. E.g.

  • Question: “Who hired that psychopathic Narcissist?”
  • It cost US$5000 to hire and US$35,000 (and escalating) to exit the bad hire from the organisation.
  • Your last recruitment attracted the desperate and the inappropriate.
  • Your recruitment campaign launched with a bang! All you heard was the sound of crickets instead of the steady ping of fabulous candidate applications hitting your inbox.

DONT WAIT! Set aside a budget to regularly carry out assessments to 'test the temperature' of your employee community.

  • Inside-out (e.g. Employee Engagement Surveys, Exit Interviews and Performance Evaluations etc.)
  • Outside-in (surveying your target candidate’s feelings and opinions of your employer brand through focus groups, online perception questionnaires etc.)

N.B. With the exception of performance evaluations, I recommend using a reputable third party to administer and report evaluation results.  This will go some way in capturing more robust and useful data.

Allocate time (don’t scrimp on this) to address issues negatively impacting your organisation’s ability to hire and retain ‘right-fit’ talent.

Use this knowledge to craft benefits and create the employment experience relevant to your business and appealing to your employee community.

3. Time: 0.10 second

What is the significance of this time? Why should you care?

No, it is not Usain Bolt’s reaction time to the starter gun.

It is “the amount of time it takes to form a first impression.”  BOOM!

This is according to Playbook: View from the Top’ in Inc. magazine (June 2015).  In this article successful business founders share their wisdom on building a great team.

Time to obsess but not stress.  Fellow recruiters there is much more prep work to be done to make 0.10 second count.

Here’s the challenge.  You have a mosquito-brain-sized window of opportunity through which to make and form an irresistible first impression.

4. Avoid the Peril of Confusing Benefits and Features: Hours of work, compensation, location, duties and responsibilities, free health checks, paid time off to do volunteer work in the community, no-cap on vacation leave.

These are NOT benefits.  Now hold on – it is a matter of context.

They may be considered benefits on the HR-Finance compensation budget spreadsheet; but not in the recruitment marketing context. Without the marketing treatment they are merely bland features of the job role and employment offer.

Psst! You need to focus on presenting authentic and relevant benefits to your target candidates (HR’s clients) at this stage of the hiring process.

For easily digestible steal-worthy seduction tips, head over to Enchanting Marketing.  Henneke Duistermaat’s blog post “A Simple Trick to Turn Features Into Benefits (and Seduce Readers to Buy!)”.

It may be primarily written for copywriting and web marketing but the simple rules for seductive ‘client’ engagement are universal.  Her nuggets of wisdom are easy to swallow and apply to the HR and recruitment marketing context.

Achieve recruitment alchemy by transforming features into benefits for maximum appeal by answering these questions.

 What do your clients really want to achieve? What are they dreaming of? Henneke

  An irrefutable law of attraction…

“You can only sell with real benefits if you know what your audience wishes, desires, and secretly dreams of.” Henneke.

Henneke’s straightforward approach will help you re-craft the features of the employment experience in your organisation into a compelling display of appealing benefits. This is your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Your peacock tail if you will.

5. EVP Power: Closely aligned with your Employer Brand, your EVP specifically describes the features and the appeal of working for your organisation.

It is the clear response to answer “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?” as demanded by your preferred employee community.  If you are serious about achieving stellar hiring success, you must answer this question. 

Your EVP must clearly outline both the tangible and psychological (feeling) benefits received in exchange for performing your organisation’s work and for becoming a member of your employee community.

 If you want to win the attention and ultimate loyalty of your desired candidate and employee community needed by your organisation, you need to craft a distinctive EVP. Be artisan in your approach – craft it with the bespoke and the authentic in your mind and heart.

Remember there are other suitors in the game. To neutralise your competition’s seduction moves on your desired candidates, deploy your EVP and smooth your preferred candidates’ journey to your organisation.

Need more convincing about EVP Power?

Get it right, according to talentsmoothie and a well-articulated EVP, can:

  • Reduce new-hire salary costs by up to 50%
  • Improve the commitment of new hires by up to 29%
  • Increase the likelihood of employees acting as advocates from an average of 24% to 47%
  • Show a turnover rate up to 40% lower than companies with lower levels of engagement
  • Gain up to 18% higher levels of productivity
  • Gain up to 35% more efficiency
  • Be 59% more likely to innovate
  • Improve customer loyalty – 41% of customers are loyal because of good employee attitude
  • Improve customer experience – 70% of brand experience is determined by ‘people experience’.

These are some statistics HR can get its teeth into to demonstrate value and relevance to the business.

Don't worry this is most definitely not a seduction trick from the dodgy advertiser’s playbook – over-promising and under-delivering.

So Recruiter, you have attracted and won the attention of your target candidates.  Remember this is only the courtship stage. You now need to hold their attention for the long haul.

How will you achieve that?

In the meantime,

  • Strut your stuff and shake your jewelled-hued EVP tail feathers.
  • Mesmerise your target market and attract a tribe following.
  • Comment and share your candidate attraction tips.

Shake responsibly, savvy Recruiter / HR Marketer!

This post is combination of two articles originally posted in the blog The HR Rabbit Hole on 25 May 2015 and 31st May 2015. It has been tweaked and refreshed for the Recruiting Blogs community.

Nicole is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Aquarius Human Resources Consulting Ltd. Passionate about HR as Art, she is an advocate of Creative HR. Connect via Twitter @AquariusHRLtd.

Views: 467

Comment by Alok Jain on November 12, 2015 at 12:09am

thanks for Info


Alok Jain

Recruitment Consultants in Mumbai

Comment by Nicole Antonio-Gadsdon on November 12, 2015 at 9:21am

Hello Alok, you are welcome.  What candidate attraction tips do you use - or plan to use?

Comment by Katrina Kibben on November 12, 2015 at 5:29pm

Damn - you are so good. I'm clapping at my desk, good. 

I never thought of it that way before - that employer brand is less about your brand and more about how a candidate can see themselves as part of your brand. It seems so obvious now. I'm totally borrowing that line ;-) 

Awesome post, as always. 

Comment by Nicole Antonio-Gadsdon on November 12, 2015 at 6:31pm

Borrow-away :-) Cheers

Recruiting is getting harder and more challenging. We definitely must do better and differently. 

I would love to hear what other Recruiting Blogs community members are doing to attract and lock in candidates to their organisation. What works and what sucks?


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