I have seen a number of great articles recently discussing the importance of the marketing function to the recruitment industry. The nature of recruitment has evolved and recruiters must treat candidates as businesses treat their best customers, engaging at every point of the ‘buying cycle’ and not just when they are ready to buy, or in this case, change jobs. As one article describes it, trying to place a candidate who is already looking to move jobs is too little too late.
With an already tough jobs market looking to get even more competitive, businesses need to compete on factors other than salary, bonuses and location in order to recruit. An employer’s brand is now quite often the only differentiator between a candidate’s choice of several job offers. As Forbes Magazine discusses, recruitment strategies must now encompass elements of marketing:
“Successful hiring companies realize that recruiting is like marketing – from creating a brand presence, to attracting candidates through multiple advertising channels, to nurturing applicants by bringing them seamlessly through a talent acquisition funnel.”
A recent LinkedIn article talks about the 3 changes recruiters must make in their processes in order to succeed; Design, Data and Engagement.
Hiring managers and recruiters must design recruitment process with candidate’s demands in mind, give them a clearer insight into working culture and job descriptions reflective of the actual tasks which will be performed. By giving candidates platforms to engage and find out more about the employer brand via websites, social media, and events, employers can gain a competitive edge. Employers should be effectively collecting, analysing and utilising the data from candidate engagement, which can be extremely useful in providing insights into the potential candidate market. It can help determine what works, where and how people are engaging with your brand, and using that to create effective strategies to drive further candidate engagement, and of course allow them to hire the right people.
Utilising these techniques and building up an effective employer brand is crucial for a competitive recruitment process, however the consistency of this is often overlooked. I recently wrote about why hiring managers are directly responsible for business branding, and how they can affect a candidates perception of the business overall. A candidates experience with a company, at any stage of the recruitment process, has a direct impact on how the candidate feels about working there, their likelihood of accepting a job offer and what they tell their family and friends about your business. Whether this is a positive impact or a negative impact depends on how they are treated when applying, when being interviewed, and when given feedback.
Too often we have seen businesses miss out on key hires due to a competitor’s employer branding being better perceived by the candidate. Incorporating marketing strategies into recruitment processes means the link between HR, marketing and recruitment is more important now than ever, and is precisely the reason why so many businesses are failing to recruit.
With engaging content and marketing techniques becoming a key differentiator to recruitment success, there is a growing need for sole recruitment marketing functions within businesses. For the majority of SME’s, this is a function which doesn’t exist internally or a function which existing hiring managers are not willing to do, or don’t know how to, however something which can give businesses a competitive advantage.