Fast-forward through all the scary campfire stories that foretell the demise of talent acquisition. Yes, there are challenges to be sure, but let’s spend our time exploring solutions instead of re-hashing the same statistics that we already know.
Here’s the big picture concept: The solutions to many of talent acquisition’s problems can be solved through two strategic components:
- Modern recruitment marketing.
- A faster, more effective candidate evaluation process.
In essence, it’s managing the front-end of the store and the back-end. The yin and yang of recruitment. If executed properly, these strategic focal points will generate increased interest, more qualified applicants, better quality hires, and an improved candidate experience.
So, how do you do it? Let’s do a deep dive into the first concept, recruitment marketing.
What is modern recruitment marketing?
First, a quick definition so we’re on the same page. Recruitment marketing is the strategic and tactical implementation that allows a company to find, attract and engage job seekers to encourage more qualified applicants.
Many consider it top-of-the-funnel activity, but in truth, it’s actually pre-funnel; and therein exposes the evolution in thinking. Instead of focusing only on candidates who have applied, we now need to think in broader terms of anyone who may be interested in our brand or career opportunities. It is our job to bring them into the funnel through recruitment marketing activities.
Recruitment marketing largely happens through three segments:
- Awareness: Garnering name recognition for your brand so potential job seekers know who you are and what you do.
- Interest: You’ve captured their attention. Great job! In this stage, the job seeker wants to learn more about you and will explore many avenues to do so.
- Active search: The job seeker is ready to take action. How do you help facilitate that?
Pro tip: Best-in-class recruitment marketing organizations create strong internal partnerships with HR, Marketing, Legal, and the C-Suite. If you don’t have those relationships today, start with your marketing or sales team and sit down and learn what they do. Grab a cup of coffee and ask them a ton of questions. Listen, don’t talk. And take notes.
A blueprint for success
So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Many organizations have unique challenges to solve, but in general, the strategic components of a strong recruitment marketing effort include these nine elements:
1. Employer branding
This is a foundational piece. Before you work on anything else, ensure your employer brand is clearly established and properly reflective of your company. There are many great articles detailing what an employer brand is, how to optimize it, and signs you might be hurting your brand, so I won’t go into that level of detail here.
There are two additional elements to call out, however:
- Make sure your branding truly reflects your culture, purpose, value, and mission. It’s OK if that doesn’t jive with everyone; it’s not supposed to.
- You’ll want to infuse your employer brand into all of the components listed below (hence, the foundational comment earlier).
Pro tip: Don’t neglect your current employees in your branding efforts. Get their buy-in of the EVP itself and communicate the final product back out to them in simple, “elevator pitch” language. This helps encourage employee satisfaction and a subsequent boost in employee referrals.
2. Create target audience profiles
The next component to undertake is segmenting your target candidates. You have many roles to fill and your ideal candidate for an SVP of Marketing position is night-and-day different from an hourly employee in your distribution center. Learn about each of these target groups – what their motivations are and what they are looking for. Then, build unique profiles for them.
3. Content marketing
With your core EVP and your target audience profiles, you now have a foundation to build on. You want to take that knowledge and infuse it into your content, which, among other things, could include print collaterals, job descriptions, social content, website pages, employee interviews, and creative ads (need some inspiration?). Regardless of the medium, the foundational pieces should remain consistent themes throughout.
4. Careers website
Your careers website is still the hub of your recruitment marketing activity. According to a recent Talent Board survey, job seekers spend 1-4 hours researching a company and 65% of them found the career site to be the most helpful resource. Make sure yours provides the information job seekers are looking for, and a quick, easy way to search for open jobs from every device.
Pro tip: Want to redesign your site? Evaluate your current web analytics to determine what’s really important to your job seekers. For example, are only 1% of your visitors going to your FAQ page? Consider cutting it (or re-evaluating your questions).
5. Digital advertising
Taking its cue from retailers’ online activities, smart Talent Acquisition groups are using programmatic ad buying and retargeting strategies to stay in front of their job seekers. Remember, this is talent attraction, and utilizing your beautiful creative, captivating content and strong brand to capture your job seekers’ attention is the name of the game, folks.
6. Social recruiting
The best way to connect with your job seekers remains social media. It is the premier way to share an honest picture of your value and culture. But, don’t just talk. Listen. Engage. Entertain. Connect.
Pro tip: A social strategy should consist of more than just sharing jobs, so brush up on your content strategy and story-telling ability.
7. Candidate lead capture
There are many names for this: talent community, lead capture, talent pipeline, etc. Generally, only 10% of any career site traffic actually completes an application so you’re losing 90% of your audience. A lead capture form changes that and allows you to re-engage with your interested job seekers.
Pro tip: Some lead capture forms include automatic job alerts, but to truly be an effective component of your recruitment marketing strategy you need to include #8 below.
8. Candidate communications and nurturing
So, a job seeker joined your talent community. Great! But…now what? Engage with them. Chat with them. Have your recruiters evaluate their experience and see if there’s a fit. There are some new tools out there that help with this, but if you don’t have the budget for that at least have your recruiters manually source your talent community. These are job seekers who have taken an action and expressed an interest in your careers. That was most likely one of your top goals, so embrace this audience as the fruits of your labor!
9. Data collection
Every single component outlined here can and should be measured. Collect it. Evaluate it. And then evolve your tactics based on what it tells you.
That last note – evolving – is important. Everything discussed above should be considered part of an evolution, not a one-time project to implement. Experiment, learn from your data, and improve your recruitment marketing efforts as you progress.
Lastly, there are a host of HR technology companies jumping on the recruitment marketing train and have some nice product offerings to complement your strategies. But remember, they should fit your strategic needs; not the other way around.
Well, I’m impressed you’ve made it this far. I know it was a long read, but hopefully, you learned a few nuggets that will help your own recruitment marketing efforts and talent attraction strategies. Happy marketing!