Table of Contents
Table of Contents
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What Is Recruitment Marketing?
Recruitment marketing is similar to traditional marketing, but instead of being customer-focused, it is job-candidate-focused. Recruitment marketing consists of the inbound marketing strategies that an HR team uses to find, attract, engage, and nurture talent. It applies to the pre-application phase of talent acquisition; it builds the top of the funnel.
TalentLyft envisions the talent acquisition process in six steps: awareness, consideration, and interest, which is where recruitment marketing comes in; and then application, selection, and hire, which is the recruiting stage.
As HR teams look to move from a traditional requisition-filling model to being a value-adding business partner, recruitment marketing is a strategy that many competitive organizations adopt. Such strategies bring your recruitment process to the next level by leveraging data to make decisions.
Recruitment marketing sounds like an area that a marketing team might own, and while talent teams often partner with marketing on recruitment marketing goals, many recruitment marketing motions can be owned in -house by the HR team.
Why Is Recruitment Marketing Important?
Recruitment marketing brings the power of marketing to talent acquisition. Other areas of your business likely rely on marketing to drive traffic, increase revenue, or drive brand engagement. If you think of a job applicant as being a job consumer, all of these core areas of marketing directly apply to talent acquisition. If job applicants behave in similar ways to consumers, then marketing is the exact right strategy to get your open positions in front of the right people and influence them to apply to your open positions. Here are some specific benefits of recruitment marketing.
Elevate Brand Awareness
Traditional incoming applications can make the recruiting process simple, but that only works if the right people are applying for a job, and that only happens if the right people are aware of your company and your open positions.
Recruitment marketing elevates brand awareness. Even though brand awareness does not immediately translate to job applications, it is a strategic long-term play to increase incoming applications over time. Making monetary investments in brand awareness can be difficult to get budget-approved because the return on investment can be hard to measure. The best practice to elevate and increase employer brand awareness is to tie the campaign to metrics that can be measured.
Increase Candidate Conversion
Being driven by data allows your organization to understand where you are succeeding and where you have room for improvement. You can utilize recruitment marketing to increase candidate conversion: the number of people who see your company, see your open post and complete a job application.
You might be shocked at the number of qualified applicants who visit your career site and either never fill out an application or quit mid-way through filling out an application because of marketing-related issues. Recruitment marketing increases your candidate conversion rate by improving the application process, optimizing the career site, and tracking the candidate journey for ongoing adjustments.
Improve Candidate Experience
It might not seem major, but one of the biggest differentiators that can help your organization hire is the candidate experience that you provide your applicants. Use recruitment marketing to improve candidate experience. Candidate experience humanizes the candidate, promotes positive interactions with your brand, and increases your word-of-mouth referrals.
Increase Awareness of Open Jobs
Your team may not have the number of quality applications that you need to fill a role simply because those who would be qualified for the role are not aware of your opening. Recruitment marketing increases awareness of your open jobs. Larger household brands do not struggle with this issue as much as smaller organizations and startups. It can be very difficult for startups to fill open roles because most people have never heard of them. A candidate may be happier and more satisfied in their job at your small start up than they are at their current role, but that conversation cannot happen until that prospect is made aware of your organization.
Increase Incoming Application Traffic
While some organizations struggle with too many incoming applications to vet, those organizations are probably in the minority. Most organizations could probably benefit from more incoming job applications. Incoming job applications reduce the number of hours your team has to spend proactively sourcing passive talent. Recruitment marketing will help your organization increase incoming application traffic.
Keys to a Great Recruitment Marketing Strategy
A great recruitment marketing program is easier to start than you may think. Your recruitment marketing strategy can range from budgets close to zero all the way up through millions of dollars. Here are four keys to kick off your recruitment marketing strategy.
Key 1: Have a Strong Brand Voice
The easiest way to craft your brand and your voice is to tie it to your employer value proposition (EVP). The employer value proposition tells your job candidates what you have to offer them. EVP is what the prospective candidate will get from your organization if they bring their skills and talents to you.
Defining and staying true to your brand voice helps your audience know who you are and connect with you. Since not everyone will have heard of your company, your brand voice helps familiarize job candidates with who you are, what you do, what you stand for, and what separates you from the many other job postings competing for their attention.
Your recruitment marketing efforts need to consistently represent both your company culture and your product or service value proposition. You want to make sure that the branding you create matches what your company actually does.
Key 2: Define a Strategy
Your recruitment marketing efforts need a defined strategy. It’s not about the size of your budget; it’s about how well you define and execute your strategy.
You need to decide where you will market your jobs, who you will market them to, and what you will say to those people.
There are many places you can market your job; some cost money and some are free. Here are a few resources.
- Job boards. There are thousands of job boards that you can post to. Some software programs automate this process for you and market to thousands of job boards for you with one click. Major job boards include:
- Social media. Many top brands post job-related content and job openings to social media platforms. Social media platforms approach candidates where they are (outside of their job search) and can help you reach people who are not actively looking for a job. Each social media platform requires its own strategy and content voice. For example, the type of media you post to Facebook will be different from the type of content you post to LinkedIn. Here are a few of the major social media platforms that you may want to incorporate into your strategy:
- Search engine optimization. Many people begin a job search by searching for companies in their industry. Search engine optimization is the science that displays your company in the first few search results. There are professionals who devote their entire profession to search engine optimization (SEO), so don’t be distressed if you don’t understand the science behind SEO; just know it’s an important part of your recruitment strategy.
- Paid online media: ads. There are all kinds of different ads you can run. Some employers put banner ads or tap-through ads in mobile games. Job boards like Indeed or LinkedIn give the option to purchase ads. Ad agencies can also help you refine this part of your strategy.
- Paid offline media. Even though most of your strategy will likely be online, don’t count out offline media. When there is a lot of competition in the job market, everyone is looking for an edge, and that may include offline media. Here are a few areas of offline media that you may want to explore:
- Radio ads
- Transit ads on buses and trains
- Building banners
- Pass-along flyers
In addition to deciding where to post your marketing content to, you also need to refine your target audience. Posting to everyone is too large and ineffective; different cultural, social, geographical, and age demographics respond to different kinds of media. This is a great time for your team to incorporate diversity and inclusion into your recruitment marketing efforts.
Key 3: Content
The adage “content is king” (or queen) is not wrong. Your content is what attracts your target audience to respond to your call to action. In other words, you want to write posts or ads that will result in quality applicants moving to the next step in the hiring process
Good content does not happen by accident or with minimal effort. If you are not comfortable creating all the different kinds of content you need to create, see who you can partner with. If you do not have a marketing or creative team that you can partner with, partner with your manager to draft content that fits your brand.
Key 4: Analytics
Creating usable and insightful analytics can be a complex process. You may think you need to start tracking metrics and using analytics when you have a bigger team or budget. But data analytics and insights shows your organization how your recruitment marketing efforts are creating value for the organization, which makes them essential. Start small if you need to, but start.
Pick metrics that will show your return on investment in your recruitment marketing efforts. For instance:
- Time to fill measures the total number of days it takes to fill a role from the day you open the role to the day you close the role.
- Time to hire is the amount of time someone spends in the interview process from their first interview to offer.
- Funnel metrics track different metrics as candidates proceed through the hiring funnel, including:
- Number of applications received for an open role
- Number of outbound messages sent to prospects
- Number of candidates interviewed at each step
- Number of offers sent out
- Number of offers accepted
- Source metrics track where your applicants come from.
- Event attendance counts the number of people who attend a hiring event.
- Job post clicks are the number of people who click on an online job post.
Analytics also help you understand for yourself and your team where your efforts are effective and where you want to invest additional resources. Using data helps you move beyond the antiquated “post and pray” mentality of posting to as many places as you can to strategically investing your time and resources to post to the places that bring you qualified candidates.
How to Create a Recruitment Marketing Plan
Your recruitment marketing approach will be as unique as your company, but there are a few key elements that tie a plan together.
Step 1: Establish Goals
Set clear goals for what you want to accomplish. Choose specific bigger-picture goals, such as number of applications brought in, application conversion, number of applications needed to fill a role, etc. You also want to get granular with the goals for each element of your recruitment marketing strategy, like the number of applications from a specific source.
Goals will be your measuring stick to understand how effective your recruitment marketing efforts are.
Step 2: Define Budget
No matter how big or small it is, defining your budget is important because you may be placed in a situation where you have to exceed it, and the only way to understand if that move is responsible is to start with a clearly defined budget.
Here is an example. Say your organization had planned to hire 20 people throughout the duration of one year. You calculated your cost per hire, and from that number set a budget for recruitment marketing. If your organization comes to you and says that they need to increase the number of people hired from 20 to 35, you can now act as a true business partner and consult on what the cost of that increase in hiring headcount will look like. Without a clearly defined budget, you cannot respond from a data-informed place.
Step 3: Schedule Activity
Consistent activity is crucial in recruitment marketing. Each type of activity will have its own schedule. Schedule how often you refresh job postings, post on social media, and run ads.
Step 4: Create Content
Recruitment marketing has a vast array of types of content. Even if your content isn’t perfect, you can still get started. Here are a few types of content to think about creating.
- Job descriptions
- Job titles
- Passive candidate outreach email sequences
- Social media posts
- Branded content
Step 5: Map the Candidate Journey
With the expansion of online networks and social media, the candidate journey is not as linear as it once was.
The linear process that most people assume exists looks like this:
- Candidates apply to a job.
- Recruiter reviews job applications.
- Recruiter reaches out to job candidates to start the interview process.
- Candidates interview.
- A candidate receives a job offer.
The reality of the candidate journey is much more complex. Here is one example of the non-linear nature of the candidate journey.
- Potential candidate sees your company at a job fair.
- Potential company likes a post on your company’s social media page.
- Potential candidate gets a text message from one of your employees encouraging them to come work with them.
- Potential candidate sees an online job ad on their desktop computer.
- Potential candidate receives an email from your recruiter.
- Candidate sees a printed job ad at a bus stop on their way home from work and scans the QR code to apply on their mobile device.
The more accurately you understand the nonlinear nature of the candidate journey, the more empowered you will be to shorten that journey and increase your candidate-to-applicant conversion rate.
Step 6: Build and Manage Your Talent Pool
Your organization may have a sophisticated online applicant-tracking system (ATS), or you may keep paper resumes in a filing cabinet. Regardless of how you currently track applicants, you need to organize your talent pool.
Organizing your talent pool is an essential step to defining both your time-to-fill and time-to-hire. Time-to-hire is the length of your recruitment process; it is the amount of time that passes between the time your organization first comes into contact with a job candidate to the time they receive an offer. Time-to-fill measures the time that a job opening is open before it is filled; it is the total number of days a job is open. Your organization needs to know how long it takes to fill an open requisition, and the only way to do that is to have a complete understanding of your current talent pool.
Here are a few essential things you will want to keep in your talent pool:
- Contact information
- Contact source: where they heard about the opening
- Date of first contact
- Notes on subsequent interactions to help you keep track of how often you communicate with someone
- Contact information
- LinkedIn profile, if relevant
- Interview stage, if an active applicant
- Rejected candidates
Depending on how advanced your program is, you may want to differentiate two different talent pools: one for active applicants and candidates in the interview process, and another for prospects or leads that have either shown interest for the future or with whom you would like to contact.
Step 7: Turn Your Employees Into a Recruiting Extension
Why bear the burden of hiring alone when one of your greatest assets are your people? Employee referrals offer a vast wealth of qualified candidates. Turn your entire employee roster into active recruiters, brand evangelists and marketers. You will be amazed at how far you can launch your recruitment marketing efforts by effectively engaging your own employees. If you are a team of one and your company has a total of 100 employees, you can elevate your recruitment marketing from one voice to 100 voices.
Step 8: Rinse and Repeat
Keep going, and don’t give up. As your recruitment marketing efforts grow, take the time to look backwards so you can move forwards more effectively. If you understand what has been working well for you and what hasn’t, you can continuously improve your efforts over time.
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Questions You’ve Asked Us About Recruitment Marketing
Tyler empowers Talent Acquisition professionals, HR business leaders, and key stake holders to develop and execute talent management strategies. He is igniting the talent acquisition process through: team building, accurate time to fill forecasting, driving creative talent sourcing, and fine-tuning recruiting team effectiveness.