We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - tomorrow’s recruiting, and even today’s recruiting, is very different from the recruiting of the past. In a booming international economy that is marked by greater flexibility of location and employment type than ever before, top talent aren’t just wooed by multiple companies in their city, but by multiple companies around the country and even the world. In addition to this plethora of options, the best of the best can choose to start companies of their own or work as contractors for a variety of companies. When the game-changing candidates you need have so many enticing options, you need to do more than ever before to catch, and keep, their attention. Welcome to recruitment marketing.
Recruitment marketing isn’t just employer branding. It isn’t just putting up a career site. It isn’t just email campaigns. It’s all of that and much more. Recruitment marketing is a broadly encompassing recruiting strategy that utilizes a large variety of different channels and methods, all in the service of converting candidates to applicants, just as traditional marketing focuses on converting prospects to customers.
The following are some of the pieces that make up recruitment marketing, though the activities that can be included in recruitment marketing are endless.
We emphasize this with our clients all the time - you aren’t doing yourself any favors with vague job descriptions that read like laundry lists of requirements and fail to sell the job. If your job descriptions aren’t stellar, fix them. Now. We’ll even do it for you!
When potential candidates consider applying for a position at your company, your career site is one of the first places that they’ll go to look for more information. Your site should be professional, well laid out, informative, and perfectly aligned with your employer brand. Beyond all of that, your career site needs to be engaging.
A monologue from your HR department isn’t engaging, but a dialogue is. “Interactive content is a seldom-used secret weapon for winning the intense competition for candidates’ attention” says Tamer Rafla, founder and CEO of Klujo. “Interactivity brings the enthusiasm and influential power of a real live interaction, to a job ad, career page, blog post — or anywhere else you might want to attract your candidate.” Infographics, quizzes, and videos are all popular forms of interactive content that are engaging, shareable, and more likely to catch and keep potential candidates’ interest than pages of text.
Marketing departments have long understood the importance of an attractive and pervasive corporate brand. From McDonalds’ golden arches to the eponymous Apple logo, the most successful brands know that staying on top of the competition means not only providing desired products but also being known for doing so. Human resources departments must take note and emphasize strong employer brands in their recruitment marketing strategies.
This shift likely harkens a shift in the qualifications desirable in recruiters. “In order to create branded campaigns and effectively nurture longer-term relationships with the right talent, new skills need to enter the recruiting and talent acquisition department” says Michael Hennessy, founder and CEO of SmashFly Technologies. “Skills related to branding, messaging, demand generation, content marketing, email marketing, lead nurturing, and social media come to mind.”
Again, interacting with potential candidates keeps them in your talent funnel and helps move them through it successfully. To optimize your interactions, you need to understand your audience. “Take a cue from the CMO and storyboard the unique journeys candidates take as they gravitate towards your brand” says Hennessy. “As part of that process, map relevant content to their journey — and this is key — find a way to share and repurpose content with marketing.”
We could not possibly list all the activities that make up recruitment marketing, even if we wrote a tome on the subject. There are countless ways to execute recruitment marketing, as the only boundary limiting its scope is that everything must be with the aim of attracting candidates, moving them through the talent pipeline, and turning them into loyal employees. “Just like any great marketing campaign, the key here is a varied approach” says Ben Slater, VP Growth at Beamery. “If your company has been focused on job boards or social media updates until now, branch out.”
You could spend countless employee hours on recruitment marketing. To keep the time investment reasonable and bring recruitment marketing to scale in a cost-effective way, utilize automation technologies, like Google’s Cloud Jobs or Happie’s automated nurture campaigns. “Bottom line: talent acquisition teams need technology built for talent acquisition that supports all recruitment marketing channels, integrates with existing systems such as the ATS, and delivers data-driven insight into the full talent acquisition strategy” says Hennessy.
Recruitment marketing matters not only because it is the future of effective recruiting, but also because it enables talent professionals to work smarter, not harder, to secure top talent. In an increasingly digital workplace, where technologies like LinkedIn Recruiter make reaching passive talent easier and the threat of talent poaching more real than ever, recruiters cannot afford inefficiencies and oversights in their work.
“The rise of social and mobile, the shift in demographic cultures and the 24/7 constancy of brand identity and awareness means that we need to market and target talent” says Meghan M. Biro, CEO of TalentCulture. “A company has to maintain and deepen its brand on all platforms; a workplace has to convey its own culture and make it appealing; and even the hiring process itself has to sell the potential consumer on its ease of use and benefits.” Recruitment marketing is the overarching, all-encompassing strategy that combines employer branding, a streamlined talent funnel with stage-specific outreach, and other recruiting efforts to win the interest and loyalty of jobseekers.
Recruitment marketing is the future of recruiting, so recruiters need to adjust their skills and work practices accordingly. Instead of focusing purely on sales skills, recruiters need to develop more marketing skills. A Connexys study found that 69 percent of respondents agree that the role of the recruiter is shifting towards that of an online marketer. As companies hire recruiters, those with more of a marketing background may be increasingly favored.
Similarly, recruiting should become less the sole responsibility of a company’s HR department and more a shared effort between the human resources and marketing departments. According to LinkedIn’s 2017 Global Recruiting report, there’s already a significant connection between jobseekers’ knowledge of a company’s corporate brand and the same company’s employer brand. A strong employer brand can also drive down employee turnover by 28 percent, protecting a company’s bottom line. It’s high time for human resources to join forces with marketing and create an integrated strategy for marketing to potential customers and potential candidates.