Simply stated, Recruitment Marketing utilizes traditional marketing efforts to attract, nurture, and convert job applicants. Just as a marketing team creates a brand strategy to increase awareness and lead a buyer through a purchasing journey for a product or service, a recruitment marketing strategy increases awareness and leads a job seeker through the candidate journey. Today, the way that candidates search for jobs is very similar to how they shop for products and services. Candidates research online, rely on peer reviews, and follow social media. Because of this similarity, applying traditional marketing thinking to recruiting efforts is key in getting applications submitted.
So, where do you begin? Well, for a seasoned marketer, that’s an easy question to answer…whereas someone who has worked in HR their entire career might not know where to begin. Here are the key components you need for an effective recruitment marketing strategy:
Your company’s marketing team has put a lot of effort into building a corporate brand composed of logos, colors, brand statements, values, tone of voice, etc. These elements create an experience for your brand that dictates how you want the marketplace to feel when they experience your brand and the story you want them to know about your company. The same is true for the employer brand, but for candidates instead of customers. Elements like your mission, vision, values, and culture, which are intended to provide your story to your internal workforce instead of your customers play a role in your employer brand. You then layer these elements with benefits and career opportunities, and voila, you have your employer brand. Having a strong brand story that truly reflects your culture and what it’s like to work at your organization empowers candidates to know if they would be a good fit, and if they would excel at your organization before they apply, just like your external brand empowers customers to get a sense of if they ‘like your brand’ before they buy from you. Your employer brand should be infused into all facets of your recruitment marketing strategy.
What is the culture of your company? Why do you do what you do? What is most important to you as a collective? Figuring out your company’s cultural archetype is a good start in the process. A cultural archetype is the model for how an organization operates, how everyone gets along with one another, and how they go about getting the job done. There are 12 cultural/brand archetypes, and you can do a quick search to find plenty of information about each. There are also companies that can help you figure out your archetype by performing surveys across your company. The important takeaway here is to understand “who your company is,” and “how you do what you do,” and “why you do what you do,” etc. Knowing this helps you create effective campaign messaging. It is also an aide when it comes time to assess candidates to know if they are bringing skills that will enrich your culture and if they will be successful in your environment.
In today’s marketing world, content is king. Well-written, relevant, and search engine optimized content drives targeted traffic to your website and engages candidates through every step of their journey to becoming an employee. You should have an ongoing content plan mapped to each step of the candidate journey. When you think of “content,” I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is articles or blogs. But do not lose sight of the importance of keyword-rich job descriptions, job postings, and career site content. Primarily, the content you generate should be helpful and informative to the candidate. But, at the same time, don’t forget to utilize your content to convey your employer brand, tell your organization's story, and truly portray what it’s like to work at your organization, so candidates get a clear vision of what it takes to succeed within your business.
Identify the channels and touch points where you will likely connect with potential quality candidates. There are many sources at your disposal, and they mirror traditional marketing tactics: web, social, SEO, PPC, referrals, text, chat, etc. The key is to deliver a compelling message and/or content to drive them to landing pages with the goal of them entering your prospective candidate pool. You can do this through paid search ads, social media posts, display advertising, and more.
After the candidates express an interest in your company and you have the ability to contact them, be sure to communicate. It’s important to manage relationships with your prospective candidates by providing timely and relevant content throughout their journey.
This entire process aims to get quality candidates to complete applications for your open positions. You’ve attracted high-quality candidates, and you’re nurturing them…so when that perfect position opens up, be sure to send it to them quickly so they can apply. About 60% of applicants drop out of the application process because it takes too long. Make sure to structure your application process to be easy and frictionless.
Even the best process or strategy can be improved upon, and the only way to accomplish that is to analyze what is working and what is not. Be sure to track the success or failures of your tactics and how they impact your hiring metrics. Look for the areas where you can improve.
I have touched on each component at a pretty high level. When you dive into each one, you will quickly learn that there are many moving parts, which may seem overwhelming. Don’t be intimidated…jump in and reach out to your company’s marketing team. They’re experts in these tactics and are willing to help. You may also want to research Employer Branding strategies to understand the most effective way to form a recruitment marketing strategy and see how other businesses tell their story.