Submitted by William Beaumo… on Thu, 08/18/2022 - 14:31

Anyone that has either worked in recruitment for many years or just started on that professional journey will understand that getting the best or the right talent can be difficult and in recent times, it has gotten a lot harder. Gone are the days of simply posting a job and expecting C.V’s to fly into emails. 

Technology has changed the way we recruit and both the traditional ways of recruitment marketing and the newer ways are no longer enough. From being able to use and trust systems which can better identify candidates, automation processes and even building better relationships with candidates, recruitment marketing has developed and changed very recently. 

In this guide you will learn what recruitment marketing is, the benefits of digital recruitment marketing and how to build a digital recruitment marketing strategy. 

What is recruitment marketing?

Recruitment marketing refers to the process of attracting the best talent to your organisation through strategies and tactics used by a recruitment marketer. The aim is to promote the values, benefits, culture, and other positive attributes of the business to potential candidates creating a “hard demand” for their company. 

This is all about bringing the talent to you rather than looking for individual prospective employees. The idea is to get qualified job candidates to apply, get interviewed, and subsequently hired as employees in the organisation.

Fundamentally, recruitment marketing is not the same or part of sales marketing or product/service marketing, it is a completely different beast. It requires its own budget, messaging, brand strategy and channel selection. 

You are creating the necessary attraction to get potential candidates to make a decision of whether or not they are attracted to your business - in order to do that you need to be actively searching for candidates above the traditional marketing funnel and getting them even when they are passive candidates.

If you were to look at the stats around recruitment today, you will understand that attracting the best candidates isn’t going to be easy - and this is where recruitment marketing comes into play.  One stat is that “as many as 86% of your best potential candidates aren’t actively job hunting – they’re already employed.” Candidates at this level are typically only available and recruitable for ten days on average before some other company snaps them up.

And what about those who are actively looking for work? Well, “more than half of them are reading online reviews of potential employers on sites like Glassdoor.”

Think of recruitment marketing as the magnet to attract the best and the most suitable candidates to your organisation - by actively making it about the values, benefits and culture of the business.

Benefits of digital recruitment marketing

What are the benefits of building digital recruitment marketing into your organisation and why should you make a more active effort to do so? Here are some of the associated benefits:

Builds a strong online employer brand 

Your brand is the sum of the values, culture and benefits of your organisation - you want to be able to help showcase your employer brand to elevate your company as an employer of choice for top talent.

75% of candidates will research a firm’s reputation and employer brand before applying for a job whilst 69% of candidates would not accept a job in a firm with a bad reputation even if they were unemployed.

Recruitment marketing gives you the opportunity to build the identity around the organisation and promote the key values and showcase this in the right channels to the right people.

Provides a positive candidate experience

If you want to attract the best candidates, you need to give them something that they can feel attracted towards, therefore creating the best first impression with prospective candidates is going to be important.

It helps to establish the ‘tone’ for the ongoing candidate journey - what will the organisation feel like to the candidate? What will the candidate gain from the experience in interviews and so on.

The ultimate mission is to find a way that engages prospective candidates at the right time in the recruitment process.

Accelerate the talent acquisition process

Because recruitment marketing occurs before the recruitment process funnel, you are already establishing how your organisation is going to be perceived by prospective candidates.

Importantly, by  conveying the values and culture of the employer, people who don’t think they will fit-in know not to apply. This in return will help to save time and money for your organisation.

Attract higher quality candidates

If you think about good product/service marketing, one of the key strategies used to identify the messaging/pulls for a consumer is to create buyer personas. A buyer persona is much like a candidate persona and it’s where the organisation is asking the simplest questions like - what does our ideal candidate look like? What are their values? What are their skill sets? What should they be able to bring to a team?

By creating these personas you are attracting the best and most quality identified candidates through your marketing efforts. You want to resonate with the most ideal candidates and in return have applications from those who fit with your requirements.

Multichannel marketing targets diverse audiences

As previously mentioned, recruiting today has become increasingly more difficult - one of the reasons as to why is because the traditional methods of just putting an ad out and hoping for a C.V. in return is no longer working.

Recruitment marketing helps to expand reach by using multiple channels - such as social media, third party job boards, industry specific websites, paid advertising and more.

By using these methods it helps to reach a more diverse audience and raise employer brand awareness far and wide.

Building a recruitment marketing strategy

Defining your recruitment marketing strategy will help you and your team in getting the best talent acquisition and understand their goals and what steps they need to take to help reach the best candidates.

Your recruitment marketing strategy is a blueprint for attracting the top talent, establishing your employer brand, and providing job seekers a positive candidate experience.

By setting out to create a solid recruitment marketing strategy from the beginning helps to make your recruitment efforts more effective. Here is how you can build your strategy.

Build a brand that’s loved by current employees and will attract top talent

As previously identified, 75% of candidates will take a close look at your organisation online to identify your business. They will be looking for clues around your values, benefits and culture. Your reputation is being scrutinised and it is being judged as one of the primary decisions for application.

You should spend the time building up your organisation's brand by reflecting the current employee satisfaction. This will help to attract the best candidates.

Define your recruitment marketing goals

What is it that you want to achieve from your recruitment marketing efforts? Is it greater engagement with your employer brand? Maybe you want to receive more applications through social media?

Other goals could be:

  • Increase employee referral rates for vacancies
  • Improve candidate engagement throughout the hiring cycle
  • Increase the number of applicants from defined channels (e.g. social media)

Whatever your goals, set these out from the beginning. Have a clear idea and identity of what it is you want to create for your organisation’s recruitment efforts and measure regularly to see what works best.

Create representative candidate personas

A candidate profile is similar to a customer profile; the main difference is that a customer profile identifies who your ideal customer is for the product or service you are offering whilst a candidate profile is designed to give you a vision around the ideal candidate who will be applying for a role in your organisation.

A candidate profile essentially functions as a blueprint, ultimately helping recruiters to map out the desired personality traits and attributes for a specific open role. It should be engaging, snappy and easily manageable for your recruitment team to identify.

Most candidate profiles are made up of three sets of qualities:

  • Personality traits
  • Past work history and experience
  • Skills and abilities, both soft and hard

Identifying the key traits of these candidates can include things like:

  • Education levels
  • Current and previous employment
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Social values
  • Age
  • Location
  • Career development aspirations
  • Workplace values

Clearly define your appealing value proposition

What is so unique about your organisation that a candidate would even consider applying for a position in your organisation? This is what your value proposition means - it should reflect why anyone should want to work for your company. 

Think about key elements such as? 

  • What does your company offer that makes it unique?
  • What differentiates your organisation from others in the same industry / niche?
  • Remuneration and benefits are important - but aren’t the only factors that attract top talent. 
  • Training, career development opportunities, company values and ethos are also very important.

Develop appealing and engaging marketing content

You have to clearly think about your marketing content and your messaging when trying to attract the best and ideal candidates to your organisation.

Think about where candidates are looking for further information about your organisation, and how they are finding you. You want to be able to take the time to develop a variety of styles and messages to engage with various candidates.

By bringing together the type of content with a clear strategy you can attract a higher quality candidate that meets your candidate persona.

For your content types, think of the following things you can create:

  • Blog posts
  • Video content
  • Images and infographics
  • Newsletters
  • Hiring events
  • Comments and reviews from existing employees
  • Job advertisement copy

Encourage existing employees to engage in social brand promotion

If you really want to attract the right people into your organisation, why don’t you start with your own employees giving the opportunity to help find you your next superstar with an employee referral scheme?

This is a combination of external and internal recruitment and it is not uncommon for many organisations - especially larger ones - to have programs in place in order to attract new employees into the organisation.

It works by getting existing staff to refer people they know for vacancies. The idea is that this method is very cost effective and it also means that staff are more likely to refer the role to people they trust and would reflect better upon themselves as well.

Expand the online presence and visibility of the employer brand

If you want to attract the best talent, then you have to be present in many different channels and the online method is proven to be one of the best ways to recruit - especially today! Therefore it is down to you and your team to expand your online presence and visibility and better communicate what the employer brand is all about.

Think about the following questions:

  • Where does the brand not have a presence?
  • Or where is the current brand presence weak or unrepresentative?

Once you can answer those questions, you can start to build on your recruitment marketing strategy. 

Continuously measure and improve recruitment marketing efforts

Finally, you want to be able to understand where your recruitment marketing efforts are working or not working. Do this by:

  • Gathering metrics and feedback throughout the recruitment process.
  • Experiment with different campaigns and varied tactics (e.g. alternative channels).
  • Use surveys to elicit feedback from candidates - and existing employees.

In summary

We have come to see that recruiting the best candidates can be hard in this environment. Finding the right strategies to communicate your brand and your proposition will always be an advantage but it takes time and work.  Effective recruitment marketing will improve the quality of job applicants, reduce recruitment costs and drive improved employee retention.

The Thomas Recruitment Platform can be used as part of the recruitment process and initiate searches for candidates as well as managing the recruitment process from one centralised area.