Virtual Recruiting

Recruitment Marketing 101

Aug 10, 2021 - Cat DiStasio

Definition of Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing (n): the inbound strategies an employer uses to attract, engage, and nurture talent. Recruitment marketing is often used to refer to the pre-application stage, but its tactics can be useful to encourage engagement throughout the recruiting funnel.

“If you build it, they will come” does not apply to your career hub, your job postings, or your social media presence. To find talent and entice them to interact with your organization, you need a strategic approach. That’s where recruitment marketing (RM) comes in.

As the competition for available talent heats up, many employers need to invest more in recruitment marketing in order to stand out from the crowd and connect with the right candidates.

Recruitment Marketing and The Candidate Journey

As mentioned earlier, recruitment marketing is typically associated with the early stages of the recruiting funnel. Many RM tactics, such as paid advertising, creating candidate personas, promoting recruiting events, and generating employee referrals help employers grow brand awareness and reach new audiences of potential applicants. Boosting your investment in recruitment marketing at the awareness, consideration, and interest stages of the funnel could help you see fast benefits, but that’s not the only place recruitment marketing belongs.

Every talent acquisition professional knows how important it is to keep quality candidates engaged throughout the recruiting process, well beyond the application stage. Recruitment marketing can help here, too. Telling stories that strengthen your employer brand, hosting virtual events that enhance the candidate experience, and building trust throughout the relationship are just a few ways TA teams can leverage marketing techniques to improve hiring outcomes.

Benefits of Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing doesn’t automatically guarantee that top talent will flock to you, but it creates the conditions that make it easier to attract and engage with the right candidates. As we described above, RM can first and foremost build candidate awareness and strengthen your employer brand (often through storytelling), improve the candidate experience (by centering recruiting tactics on candidates’ preferences), broaden your talent pool by driving applications and conversions, and reduce time to hire. Because recruitment marketing supports and improves so many different areas, it’s a solid investment (in both time and resources). Effectively, investing in recruitment marketing can improve hiring outcomes while saving your team time and money, so the wins just keep on coming.

Types of Recruitment Marketing

Much like consumer brands marketing tangible products to individual buyers, recruitment marketing has a lot of moving parts and they all need to align with a cohesive tone and message in order to be successful.

  • Your careers website, including candidate lead capture tools such as a recruiting chatbot
  • Culture-focused content (especially videos) with employee stories, organizational values, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives
  • Programmatic advertising: job ads placed strategically where your ideal candidates are most likely to see them
  • Contests and gamification to make recruiting fun and engaging
  • Social media marketing (can be paid, but organic is also effective)
  • Managing employer reputation on employer and consumer review sites and company profiles (Glassdoor et al)
  • Employee advocacy and referrals: formal and informal programs to drive awareness of job opportunities and organizational culture

While it’s important to consider how you approach each item on this list, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a checklist to follow to ‘accomplish recruitment marketing.’ These are just some examples of how employers think about different aspects of their recruiting process through the lens of recruitment marketing. In order to be successful, you’ll want to start with a solid understanding of your goals, which will be unique to your organization and reflective of your culture and business objectives.

Measuring Your Recruitment Marketing Progress

Like so many things in life and in business, you can’t learn about your progress unless you know where you started. You might begin by taking a close look at your candidate journey and experience, and noting where things are working well and where they need attention. Your current employees and candidates can help share their insights as well. Once you have a good picture of your starting point, you’ll want to track as much data as possible to chart your progress over time.

For your careers web page, this includes new vs. returning visitors, most visited page, and average time on page. This will help you infer what content candidates find attractive and what they are not interested in. On your social media channels, look at impressions, clicks, and engagement. Initially, these numbers may not have much meaning but as you develop and implement your recruitment marketing strategy, you’ll want to see these numbers increase and take additional steps to encourage that growth.

Think Like a Marketer

As a recruiter or talent acquisition leader, you probably already know that your job is largely about marketing. Yes, it’s about finding candidates with the right skills and potential to help your organization thrive. But in order to get an offer acceptance, you have to work to make each candidate feel like your organization, the position you’re offering, and everything that comes with it is just right for them. The earlier in the recruiting funnel you start laying this ground work, the easier it will be to keep the right candidates engaged and get to that ‘yes’ in record time.

Like this post? Try these recruitment marketing resources.

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