The War for Talent

4 Ways Recruitment Marketing Helps You Avoid a Hiring Crisis in 2021

May 20, 2021 - Cat DiStasio

As businesses in many industries start to rebound from the impact of the pandemic, employers face tough competition for top talent. Despite unemployment rates still rising, recruiters report talent shortages for many positions, ranging from hourly positions to experienced professional roles. While talent shortages have historically resulted from a true lack of qualified candidates, the current conditions are a bit different. The unique challenges of 2020 produced myriad reasons for qualified people not to actively pursue new employment or to have higher expectations of their next employer than they might have prior to the pandemic.

The growing preference for remote work might be one reason it’s challenging to find the right candidates. According to Prudential’s recent Pulse of the American Worker survey, one in three workers would not want to work for an employer that required them to be onsite full time. In fact, a majority of workers (68%) say that the flexibility to work both remotely and at the work site is the ideal model. Employers seeking to fill positions that require 100% onsite presence will have to work harder to identify the right candidates for their hiring needs. They’re out there, but recruiters need a proactive plan to reach them.

The solution is a robust recruitment marketing strategy. Given the heightened competition for smaller pools of candidates, employers must increase their investment in recruitment marketing in order to steer clear of a future hiring crisis. While things may improve soon—a quarter of workers do plan to look for a new job when the threat of the pandemic decreases—employers need to take action now to lay the groundwork for the future.

Stand Out From the Crowd to Appeal to Top Talent

The top reason to invest in recruitment marketing is probably the reason you’re reading this article. You need to find ways to differentiate your organization from your competition. Right now, recruiting in some industries is tougher than others, but the reality is that all industries will face competition for top talent at some point as businesses continue to reopen and rebuild after the economic downturn.

What this means for your budget will differ, depending on your industry, your location (if recruiting for onsite positions), and the types of positions you need to fill. As we navigate this difficult time, you may need to invest more in some channels than you are accustomed to, based on your unique situation.

Now is the time for employers to invest in updates to their career sites, from refreshing written and video content to adding a recruiting chatbot. Don’t overlook the areas of your website that tell your brand story, like your About Us page, and sections about your mission and organizational culture. You may also need to invest more in inbound marketing strategies, from sending out regular email newsletters to running programmatic advertising on sites your ideal candidates visit.

Attract & Engage Passive Job Seekers

One result of the pandemic is the rise in remote work, and an uptick in candidates who value remote or flexible work arrangements. While many national employers have already announced plans to make remote work a long-term option, many employers remain reluctant to do so. This may well increase the number of passive job seekers in the market, especially if people who are currently working remotely (and enjoying it) are expected to return to the office. According to our recent survey of people who looked for work in 2020, published in our State of Hybrid Recruiting Report (Q2 Insights), more than a third (39%) of people would look for a new job if remote work is not an option in the future for their current role.

Recruitment marketing strategies can help employers attract and connect with passive job seekers by generating interest, building trust, and offering many opportunities and options for engaging with recruiters and hiring managers. In the awareness stage of the recruiting funnel, invest in strategies that increase and improve communication from the first impression to the first conversation: a robust social media plan, coordinated email and text communications, and tactics that direct traffic to your new-and-improved career hub on your website.

Play the Long Game to Build Your Pipeline & Talent Community

Recruitment marketing is a proactive strategy. If you wait until you’re already struggling to fill positions, investing in recruitment marketing tactics can still help but they don’t work overnight. For best results, employers should create recruitment marketing strategies now to protect your organization from future hiring crises. Growing your talent community and building a diverse pipeline of quality candidates takes time, and your future self will thank you for investing now.

Pair with Lower Cost Tactics to Make the Most of Your Spending

While the challenges of the current talent market may require more investments in recruitment marketing, that doesn’t mean you have to max out your budget across the board to get results. You can make strategic decisions about which marketing channels to invest more in, and flesh out your overall strategy with lower cost tactics. For instance, Brazen clients are seeing positive results from participating in virtual hiring events hosted by other organizations (like workforce development agencies, universities, and professional associations), which help broaden your talent pool without a hefty price tag. Partnering with student or professional organizations in your industry also helps attract more candidates and builds your talent community. Finally, focusing on tactics that build engagement with job seekers on social media channels can also yield great results, without a lot of additional costs. While these low cost strategies all help, they won’t be enough on their own for employers to remain competitive, especially as more businesses re-enter the recruiting space.

Spend now, celebrate later

After the challenges of 2020, we’re left with a host of unprecedented circumstances in 2021 and a future that remains uncertain, at least in the near term. As businesses begin rebounding and start recruiting to rehire lost positions or add new positions, competition for top talent will continue to heat up. Savvy talent acquisition leaders will take swift action now, by creating detailed recruitment marketing plans that may include higher investments than the past. These expenses may be a hardship in the present, but the results they bring in the future will reveal their value.

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