When it comes to attracting the best talent, your organisation needs to work hard, really hard. With record low unemployment figures, it is an employee market and they hold all the cards when it comes to deciding if they want to work for you or not - and not the other way around.
That’s why your recruitment campaign has to really hit home and hit hard with anyone who is actively searching for a role, or just passively sitting at home not waiting for the phone to ring from anyone - but could be attracted to making the big leap to your organisation.
In this guide you will learn what a recruitment campaign is and the steps to start an effective recruitment campaign.
What is a recruitment campaign?
A recruitment campaign is a targeted process undertaken by an organisation to encourage the best talent to apply for a role in the targeted vacancies. It is like any other form of a campaign - think a marketing campaign - which is designed to encourage and attract the right candidates to apply and join the organisation.
A recruitment campaign should focus on three key stages of a candidate’s experience:
The first stage is interested in building awareness about your company and your employer brand*.
*Employer brand describes an employer's reputation as a place to work and their employee value proposition.
The second stage is concerned with getting potential candidates to consider you as their next employer.
Finally, interest is focusing on getting candidates to take action and apply for open job positions.
By taking these three aspects into consideration and understanding that the candidate experience has to begin by building your employer brand in order to make a campaign successful, you can easily maximise your chances of attracting top candidates and talent into your team.
However, a badly devised campaign will waste money and not deliver the results required. This can either be an issue which occurs during any of these phases listed or by simply not taking an interest into how the recruitment process is carried out.
Steps to start an effective recruitment campaign
We all want to be able to attract and retain the best candidates and the top talent. In a highly competitive labour market - such as the one we’re currently experiencing with low unemployment figures - you need to carefully consider not only how you do an effective recruitment campaign but also think about the consequences of not planning your recruitment activities.
As previously mentioned, a badly devised campaign can be damaging for the business, costing time and money. That’s why it is essential that you carefully plan a recruitment campaign to mitigate risk and raise the likelihood of success.
What are the effective strategies that you can use to make it happen? Here are some suggestions:
Determine and define objectives
As with anything that requires a set outcome, you need to clearly define the goals of the campaign. It’s a no brainer but often it is missed, even when you may be employing junior staff.
Setting very clear goals informs all aspects of campaign design. It helps you to keep track of progress and course correct when needed. Ultimately, by determining and defining the objectives of your campaign you can assess whether or not your campaign was a success and learn from failures and mistakes for the next round of recruitment initiatives.
Some of the more clearly defined goals could be the following:
- By [date] hire X new employees to fill specific job roles.
- By [date] attract applications from high quality, appropriately qualified and experienced candidates for these vacancies. [specific job roles].
- Increase candidate engagement by (X)%
- Increase employer brand awareness over the campaign period by (X)%
- Get more career site visitors than a previous campaign with a similar job posting
- Get more applicants from social media and measure the effectiveness of each platform vs Time spent on each platform.
Identify the target audience
Once you have clearly defined your objectives/goals, you want to be able to understand who it is you are targeting - which is more important than many consider.
It has become increasingly apparent that organisations just want the best talent, but are they the right kind of people for the business? Every strategy for recruitment from this point can be used by the target audience as an excellent factor to consider.
Candidate personas need to be drawn up to help narrow down the kind of person you want to apply. A candidate persona is best described as a “semi-fictional representation of your ideal job candidate.”
You want to think beyond the job requirements such as education, experience and skills. Dig deeper to really get a sense of this person. What are they motivated by? What are their hobbies? Who influences their decisions? What are they like as a person away from the office?
Use this checklist to help build out a clearer candidate persona:
- Likes and dislikes
- Personality types
Assess your employer brand
Understanding that you as an employer have a brand is essential. Your employer brand describes your employer's reputation as a place to work and the employee value proposition.
You need to clearly research and identify what your employer branding looks like and get a clear assessment of how people view your brand and what they think about it.
You want to be able to attract the best talent and one of the ways of doing this is by showing potential employees what the values and the culture of the organisation are and how staff appear to feel about working there.
Think about the times you’ve heard of companies doing great things - regularly - for their staff. The offices of Google with slides & break out areas or Bloomberg with Summer hours. These are all things that fit into the idea of the Employer Brand and they can have a massive impact on the recruitment process.
Define your employee value proposition
Your Employee Value Proposition is really the message that you will target your candidate persona with. An employee value proposition should tell potential candidate’s why they should come to work for your company.
Think of it as, “What’s In It For Me” (WIIFM). It’s more than just a great salary, it includes the typical high value benefits that are financial and beyond to attract the best talent to your organisation.
What can you offer that other companies can’t? The five areas covered in an Employee Value Proposition include:
- Career opportunities
- Work environment
- Company culture
Develop your recruitment content
Fortunately - or unfortunately - we have moved beyond the simple idea that you can create a job advertisement and stick it in a paper for someone to apply to it.
You need to really hone your skills at developing great content, especially those aimed at recruitment content pieces. Think about your website, blogs, social media etc. Hone a key message and repeat throughout all of your comms.
Importantly, you want to be able to think about the candidate’s journey and where they are applying from - how are they viewing your content and where are they interacting with it. The new candidate's journey is very different than even 5 years ago.
These are just some of the more common content areas that need considering when developing your recruitment campaign:
- Email messages
- Social media posts
- Reels & Shorts on social platforms
Select your platforms
Once you have selected your target audience, built your candidate personas and pieced together the necessary content, you want to think about which platforms are best suited for all of the above.
Ask the following questions:
- How will the identified target audience or audiences be reached?
- Which Social media platforms should be considered?
- Where should I post as well as job boards and advertising facilities?
It’s important to keep in mind that different platforms will resonate with different audiences and if you’ve done your research, you will know which ones are best suited to attract the ideal candidate.
Carefully consider the platform to personas and to the desired goals as well. If you’re looking to increase your reach on social media, do you have the right type of content? Are you on the right platforms? Is it optimised for different platforms?
Promote your opportunities
This is another way of basically saying, know which platforms are best suited to advertise your vacancies. Once you have selected the platforms, this is a shortlist that you can stick together to better identify any budget you have to best push your job listings.
When setting up your adverts - especially on social media platforms - you will be asked to identify what the goal of the ad is. Is it to get more traffic to the website? Is it to get more people applying directly from the advert? Is it to help build brand awareness?
Whatever the reason, try and find the most suited ones to your campaign goals and objectives. Think carefully about how much you should be spending per platform as the costs can run up, especially if it depends on the outcome you want to achieve.
I.e. Getting more site clicks will cost more than applying to a role.
Build a talent pool
This is where you want to take control of the applications you’ve received in response to advertising and promotion. Screening candidates and understanding where they have come from (which campaigns and which platforms) will give you clear insights into your management of the recruitment campaign and budget spend.
Building a talent pool is about collecting the candidate’s information and storing it in a central database so that you can always go in and out of it when a job opportunity is available. You get to maximise one campaign for multiple new vacancies in the future.
Another aspect about building the talent pool is to reach out to passive candidates and proactively invite them to join your talent pool. You can do this by:
- Include a call to action at the end of every article published on your career blog and invite potential candidates to join your talent network. “Want to be part of our team?”
- Create a social media post that links to an application form for your talent network.
- Invite candidates to attend your recruitment event and collect their contact information via the application form on a specialised landing page.
- Build content around the organisation or a topic of interest and get potential candidates to fill in a short application form in order to download it.
Your aim in all of this is to build a pool of candidates who are keen to work with the organisation and who fit the defined candidate profiles.
Measure results and optimise
As with all forms of campaigns, you want to be able to see how effective it has been and if it has measured up to the goals that you have set it.
Where are the applications coming from? I.e. If a campaign is receiving applicants from another country then geo-targeting is probably amiss.
Is whoever is applying meeting the candidate personas you wanted? I.e. If you were targeting more experience, did you use the correct platforms?
Getting feedback from applicants can help refine the candidate’s experience and helps ensure people don’t leave bad reviews online.
We all want to have the best teams for our organisations and we want to be able to tap into powerful tools to be able to get us there. Building your recruitment campaign has to really hit home and target the right people with the right skillset in order to do so.
From creating candidate personas to defining the candidate proposition, you want to be able to measure the activities at the end to see how successful your campaign has been - but equally - measure throughout to know you’re not wasting your time and money.
The Thomas Recruitment Platform is a powerful tool that can help with your recruitment campaign and manages to identify not only the right candidates but equally keep you on track to meet your goals.