Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

How Can You Do Recruitment Marketing on a Shoestring Budget?

Money makes the world go round. Well not literally but the more you have the more you can do… right? Wrong, these days you can do anything on a small budget and recruitment marketing is no exception. There are lots of ways you can achieve the results you want without thousands in your coffers.

Don’t believe me? Well, let our team of experts share their ideas on how they think you can deliver the best recruitment marketing without a massive budget.

Joe Shaker

In all cases, but especially with a limited budget, it’s so important to have a flexible and accountable media spend.  It is essential that you get as much diversification with your media exposure as possible, and when something is underperforming, you don’t wait, but instead, make adjustments immediately.

Joe Shaker is the President of Shaker Recruitment Marketing.

Maren Hogan

Write great copy and hustle. Most people are fine with Instagram looking photos and iPhone videos. Get your team involved and hold fun get togethers. Do the hard work, the homework to ensure you are reaching out to the right people and did I mention WRITE REALLY WELL?


Maren Hogan is CEO and Founder of Red Branch Media.

Jared Nypen

First, I’d get as many tools in one product as possible, so that you don’t have to individually negotiate separate contracts. Second, I’d use employee generated content. Rally the team to provide videos, posts and other content that can be used on social media and in email marketing. This will keep production costs down and will and give authenticity to your content, which can be a winning strategy.

Jared Nypen is the Vice-President of talent at Great Clips inc.

Lisa Jones

Canva and Lumen5, one piece of content stretched across the month in a variety of ways, strong advocates (content cuddlers), engaged recruiters!

Plus, I say to my mentees “imagine if you only had 1 hour a day to make a real difference, what would you do? Then times that by 7 and that’s your job spec”. Often marketers spend too long not having an impact.

Lisa Jones is the Founder and Director of Barclay Jones.

Mark Cavanagh

The benefit of marketing within recruitment is that you are dealing with people, this means that there is not one answer on where to find and attract the best talent. If you start by making sure your mechanism for capturing interest is engaging and simple, whether this is a dedicated website, ATS landing page or job post, you should be able to convert visitors easily whilst still gathering the right information. From here you can choose your channels based on your budget, for those working on a shoestring budget, start by focusing on the FREE channels; Social Media, SEO optimisation and even Company Reviews (Glassdoor, Google) can all be done without any expense. These can be labour intensive unless you have an already established core brand to tap into.

Mark Cavanagh is the Marketing Manager at The One Group.

Charlotte Jones

Leveraging your employees and recruiters as your recruitment marketers would be a first step to a low cost, productive strategy: email marketing, social media targeted sponsored posts, growing a talent community with free tools, and good ole fashioned relationship marketing at targeted, local or online events are also an effective low-cost option. Partnering with your marketing or communications departments and aligning with the corporate brand platform and assets while inserting candidate specific messaging is another option. Co-marketing arrangements with suppliers and partners to promote career opportunities may also reduce costs.

Charlotte Jones is theRecruitment Marketing Manager at Lockheed Martin.

Phil Strazzulla

Yes. You can create video on your iPhone. You can manage your social with cheap tools. You can learn some basic coding to build out a better careers site. You can get access to Google Analytics to track progress. You can do SO MUCH for a very little amount of money. It just takes time and creativity.

Phil Strazzulla is the Founder of NextWave Hire.

Shelby Burghardt 

Leverage your employees! You don’t need a big budget to create a great story about your company. If you don’t have budget to hire a video producer and editor, send an employee a GoPro video and ask them to record footage of their office, or email a colleague and ask them to record a 30 second video on their iPhone. Then use a free/inexpensive app to edit the video footage, such as Lightworks or Shotcut. You can also reach out to employees to assist with building content such as writing a blog about their experience and then sharing those blogs on your career site and social channels – authentic content that didn’t cost you a dime!

Shelby Burghardt is the Global Talent Brand Manager at Thomson Reuters.

Rebecca Drew

You can start small and build from there. You don’t need a huge investment, you need a smart data-driven approach, to target the right audience. LinkedIn is a great place to build your employer brand on a shoestring budget – starting by creating your own company page or even a career page. We’ve done research which found that candidates spend 1-2 months gathering information on a company before applying for a job and will look to multiple channels, with the company websites, LinkedIn and search engines being the top options.

We have more than 25 million members in the UK alone, so having a strong presence on LinkedIn will give you access to the biggest talent pool in the world. The key is to post frequently, at peak activity times and make posts as interesting as possible- pictures and videos are very effective in communicating your brand in an accessible, authentic way. You will see who engages with your content making it easy for you to see who is potentially interested in working for or having an initial conversation with you.

Rebecca Drew is a Manager at LinkedIn Talent Solutions.

Bennett Sung

As the previous head of marketing at three early-stage companies, recruitment marketing on a budget can be very effective. First, smartphones are instrumental in creating your visual identity and evoking authenticity. Second, today’s college students are experts in digital marketing, so give young talent critical experience through an internship. Third, recruitment marketing technologies are subscription-based and often self-implemented, allowing you to turn them on and off when necessary. Plus, take advantage of free trials to validate the features you need. Finally, outsource marketing needs like graphic design and copywriting to freelancers to create more authentic, captivating and professional-looking recruiting materials.

Bennett Sung is the Head of Marketing at Allyo.

By Ushma Mistry

Editor & Content Strategist at Link Humans, download our new eBook now: Measuring Employer Brand: The Ultimate Guide and check out our latest product The Employer Brand Index.