Become every candidate’s Plan A with this recruitment marketing strategy

10th September 2019
Author: Chris McKay
Posted in: Strategy & planning

According to a study by the Korn Ferry Institute, there will be a global candidate shortage of more than 85 million people by 2030 and this shortage could cost $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues. Job sites are looking more like The Hunger Games every day, and it’s only going to get worse. You need to have a solid recruitment marketing strategy in place to make sure your candidates see you as their number one choice. 

Why do you need a recruitment marketing strategy?

The robot apocalypse has been predicted for years. It starts with robots taking our jobs and ends with our enslavement to sentient iPhones. But it turns out we might be facing an entirely different future.

Dancing robot

ManpowerGroup conducted a survey of almost 40,000 employers across 43 different countries and territories. Here’s what they found:

“More employers than ever are struggling to fill open jobs. Forty-five percent say they can’t find the skills they need, and for large organizations (250+ employees) it’s even higher, with 67% reporting talent shortages in 2018.”

Recruitment teams have to start thinking and acting like marketers if they want to fill roles with the right people. In the past, attracting prospects to your roles could be as simple as posting an ad on a job site and waiting for the inevitable stream of applicants. Now, recruiters need to be more proactive in attracting talented applicants. Not only that, but you have to market that role through the entire hiring process, to make sure your candidate isn’t going to lose interest and jump on a better offer.

A good recruitment marketing strategy is an essential tool to position yourself as Plan A for the candidates you’re targeting. Here’s how you build that strategy:

Employer branding

Building a strong brand around your business and work culture is essential for any recruitment marketing strategy. 

With this shift in function from traditional HR to marketing, one of your key focuses should be differentiating your company from its competitors. In this way, you’re starting to think about your candidates as consumers. These “consumers” have a wide variety of “products” (job roles) to choose from, so you need to make your company seem the most attractive.

A poll from CR Magazine and Cielo Talent found that 50% of workers wouldn’t work for a company that has a negative reputation, even if the salary and benefits were significantly better.

A major step to overcome this is to be extremely transparent about your company’s benefits and culture. You should allow resources to create content and social media posts around work events, birthdays in the office, calling out who left their tuna salad in the refrigerator for over a week, etc. Display the human aspect of the business front and center. 

Party in the office

Your work culture might not be for everybody, but that’s actually a good thing. By being transparent, you’re filtering out candidates who would be unhappy with your role before they get to the “danger period”, where they can damage you by dropping out at a late stage.

When you draw back the corporate curtain, you allow candidates to build an emotional connection with your employer branding. It’s much easier for them to accept a job offer if they can already imagine what day-to-day life is like working for your company, stinky tuna included. 

Candidate segmentation

You can’t paint all your candidates with the same brush. What looks attractive to someone who works in customer experience might be really offputting to someone who works in sales. Your marketing has to be more personalized than that.

Is 65 year old Steve going to be interested in the free pink gin every Thursday in the office? Maybe! Who am I to assume? That’s why you need to do your research so you know as much as possible about the people you’re dealing with.

Group of happy people

Product marketing is increasingly focusing on segmentation and your recruitment marketing strategy should take a similar approach. Based on your experience as a recruiter and the data analytics functions available out there, you should be able to segment candidates into specific types of people. These profiles must inform every interaction and piece of content you share with each candidate type. 

By doing this, you avoid alienating talent by sending them unrelated or unattractive content and can achieve better personalization to minimize dropouts.

Content marketing

When I talk about “content” in the context of recruitment, I’m referring to a wide variety of things:

  • Web pages
  • Job descriptions
  • Social media content
  • Advertisements
  • Thought leadership
  • Welcome packs
  • Onboarding content

Every single time you communicate with your candidates is an opportunity for you to incorporate everything from employer branding to targeted content based on the segmented profiles you’ve created. 

The key here is differentiation. You need to elevate your content beyond what everyone else is doing. Static content like the PDF is not engaging or insightful enough to set you apart from the hordes of other recruiters competing for talent. You need to subvert the content marketing norms with interactive pieces that incorporate imagery, video, polls, etc. to distinguish your company and role as the number one choice for any candidate. 

A good recruitment marketing strategy doesn’t stop at the job ad. Your content should be a touchpoint throughout the candidate’s entire journey. After a candidate has accepted a job offer, you can’t relax. They could still lose interest or be poached by another recruiter. This “danger period” is a very vulnerable time for the recruiter and you can only offset it by keeping them excited about the job with regular new content.

Social media recruiting

The impact social media has had on recruiting can’t be overstated enough. Anyone who’s ever been pestered with LinkedIn messages from every recruiter under the sun knows this only too well. But, done right, social media recruiting can be an extremely effective channel for your recruitment marketing strategy. That’s why you’ll find 9 out of 10 recruiters using it.

While it’s great that so many are leveraging the power of social media recruiting, it can feel a bit like adding a drop to the ocean. You have to be smart about it. Just sharing job ads across LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook won’t cut it anymore.

Woman scrolling through social media

Social media recruiting should be used to build your brand as a recruiter, build the brand of the company, publish content marketing relevant to your target audience, inform personalized approaches to prospects, and make valuable connections with candidates.

It’s a particularly effective method to connect with young, emerging talent as 99% of people aged 16-24 use social media every week. This is increasingly important as one of the major challenges facing recruiters is accessing emerging talent to fill roles in industries hit hard with skill shortages. 

Don’t be afraid to stray from LinkedIn, either. You need to stand out in social media recruiting. More visual formats like YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram have the potential to provide an even more engaging way of delivering branded content to your candidates.

Leverage analytics

All of the above can only get you so far if you’re not using analytics to monitor your content. 

Whether it’s google analytics, social media analytics, or some other software that helps you monitor how your content is being received and by who, you should be collecting data on everything you have. 

You will make mistakes with your recruitment marketing strategy. Probably a lot of them. But every mistake, which you’ll be able to track by leveraging your analytics, helps you adjust your strategy and optimize it. Over time, you’ll develop a recruitment marketing strategy that candidates won’t be able to resist.