The art and science of recruitment marketing

Finding top talent today is harder than ever. Candidates today have a lot more say and power during the hiring process.

In a candidate-driven market, jobseekers are not willing to throw their resumes to the wind and hope for the best or pick the first job that comes their way. In fact, according to an industry research, 90% of the current job market is candidate-driven! This poses unique challenges in attracting and hiring the right talent; and becomes an even more daunting task when looking to hire someone with in-demand skills.

Attracting talented candidates and retaining productive employees has therefore become as important as attracting and retaining customers and needs application of similar principles.

Enter the era of recruitment marketing

LinkedIn, the world’s largest online platform for professional networking and job seeking, has some very interesting observations. It says that employer’s brand plays a crucial role in attracting candidates. Before putting in a job application, 75% of the candidates today, evaluate the potential employer by researching its brand capabilities and reputation as an effective employer. Rather, reputation of a company is a key decision-maker because 69% go further and say they would not accept a job in a firm with a bad reputation even if they didn’t have a job at the time! The LinkedIn study also revealed that 83% of employers said that the employer brand plays a significant role in their ability to hire the right talent.

Recruitment, therefore, has evolved into a strategic marketing process. Today, recruiters need to meet candidates where they are. It could be a social platform or a networking platform. They need to find, attract, and engage with these candidates to push them to  apply for a job. This pre-applicant phase of talent acquisition is called recruitment marketing.

Recruitment marketing is focussed on the first three stages of a candidate’s job search journey. It starts with building awareness about your company and establishing the employer brand. The next step is consideration, where potential employees start thinking of you as their next employer. Last comes the interest; it is the stage where you need to convince candidates to take the plunge and respond to your job posting.

Do you need recruitment marketing?

If you are looking for the best jewels to crown your company, embracing the tactic of recruitment marketing can always help. As the war for talent intensifies, companies need to step up and present a unique proposition to grab the attention of potential employees.

Some of the biggest brands in the world have implemented recruitment marketing strategies that have proven to be game-changers for them. General Mills, for example, instead of using plain videos to showcase the exciting work culture at the company, used virtual reality to elevate the experience, getting candidates super pumped about working there. At the same time, they sent out a message of being a progressive technology company at the edge of innovation.

McDonald’s leveraged the power of employee content. It took its employee-generated videos and placed them on Snapchat for the potential hires to see the cool work environment directly from employees themselves.

Amazon took a little riskier, out of-box approach and placed its job posting For Amazon Web Services on Tinder – a popular dating app. The idea was to show engineers that Amazon is a creative place to work and those swiping right were called Amazononians. The ad generated interest in the top of the funnel category of candidates and the internal team was able to pull out a large number of qualified candidates from the leads generated.

Kayak used a simple phrase ‘No stupid meetings’ as part of its job descriptions and saw success in attracting candidates.

Set your recruitment marketing plan in motion

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can use recruitment marketing for your firm-

1. Define your goal: First, you need to define what your recruitment marketing goal is. Do you want to create brand awareness? Do you want to be known as a top employer? Do you want to increase diversity of applicants? Do you want to leverage social media? Do you want to increase candidate engagement? This will help you create the roadmap for the entire marketing exercise.

2. Build a candidate persona: The next step is to build a persona of your ideal candidate. This is to demonstrate what it is exactly that you are looking for. It should define characteristics such as age, hobbies, preferences, motivations, frustrations, lifestyle and more. The more detailed the persona, the better it is.

3. Showcase your value proposition: What is it that you as an employer is bringing to the table. Tell the candidates how they can benefit from joining you. Demonstrate the opportunities you can provide – a flexible work culture, use of a disruptive technology, opportunities for career advancement, etc.

4. Create cutting-edge content: Create content that is relatable. Take inspiration from other successful employers. Build video content, blogs, infographics, games, interactive content – whatever you think will strike a chord with the type of candidates you are trying to attract.

5. Identify targeting channels: As important as the content, is the channel you distribute it through. It can be your company’s career page or a leading job site. It can even be a social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Snapchat. Go where your candidates are to engage them.

6. Make your current employees your brand ambassadors: There is no one better than your current employees putting a good word out. Take their help to share jobs with their social networks. Encourage them to record and post a video on why potential hires should consider your company.

7. Create unique ads: Use paid ads to get unique messaging across just as Kayak. Borrow from marketing strategies and invest in search, display and social media advertising. Ensure the content is simple but resonates with your candidates.

8. Build a talent pool: A talent pool is a repository of candidates that you can pick and choose from whenever the need arises. Invite candidates to be part of your talent pool. You can do so via blogs, webinars, networking events, social media, etc.

9. Measure recruitment results: Just as a marketing plan, you can track and analyse metrics to see what works and what does not in your recruitment strategy. Test different campaigns, measure outcome and tweak to get better results.

There are many smart recruitment marketing tools available to get optimised results. You can also partner with experts who know recruitment marketing like the back of their hand.

Get going and start your recruitment marketing campaign now or wait and miss out on the best talent!

About the Author
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Varun Sachdeva

Practice Leader-RPO


/ Varun Sachdeva