Today’s competitive hiring market has HR teams thinking like marketers, employing techniques from other disciplines to attract top candidates. Recruitment marketing is a new way of looking at and solving a traditional problem.
In a market saturated with job opportunities and where workers aren’t bound by location, it can be hard to stand out as an employer. This new field uses marketing tactics to attract qualified individuals by advertising your company’s strengths.
So how can you adopt ad agency tactics to boost your recruitment efforts? In this article, we’ll cover recruitment marketing’s role in your hiring success and offer some practical ideas for implementing it.
What is recruitment marketing?
Let’s start with a definition. Recruitment marketing combines tactics to “market” your company and culture to prospective new hires. The aim is to drive top talent to apply for open positions. But also to keep your company front of mind as they search for job opportunities in the future.
Today’s employees care about company culture and want to identify with the organization they work for. Advertising your company’s strengths helps you retain existing talent and attract the expertise you need.
But there’s more to this new discipline than just traditional recruitment or employer branding. Here’s how it differs.
Recruitment marketing vs. traditional recruiting
Though they sound similar and both live in the same department, recruitment marketing and recruitment are not the same thing.
Recruitment is an entire process that involves locating, screening, hiring, and onboarding qualified job candidates. Recruitment marketing is the earliest stage in that process. It’s the strategy you use to advertise your company’s culture to prospective hires and draw their interest.
Recruitment also focuses on evaluating and contacting individual candidates, whereas recruitment marketing targets categories of qualified individuals. It seeks to advertise your company’s appeal to a broad population of potential good fits and bring them to you.
Recruitment marketing vs. employer branding
It’s important to present a brand that top talent wants to work with, and that’s what employer branding is all about. It’s actively building your reputation and making improvements where needed to show current and potential employees what makes your organization a good place to work.
Recruitment marketing is about promoting the brand you’ve built to qualified talent. Instead of focusing inward to improve your company, you’re turning your focus outward to get the word out about what you have to offer.
While you don’t have total control over what your employer brand is (it depends on how people see your organization and what they associate with you), you do have control over how you advertise it. Recruitment marketing involves how you decide to communicate your brand to those outside it.
Recruitment marketing vs. recruitment advertising
Another important distinction we need to make here: recruitment marketing is not advertising your job ads. Surely, you want people to see and apply for your open roles. But the goal behind a recruitment marketing strategy is to identify your ideal candidate profile (the same way marketing identifies customer personas), find ways to reach those people, and showcase why your company culture is a good fit for them.
Recruitment advertising, on the other hand, is more reactive. And linked to current open positions you want to fill.
So how does recruitment marketing fit into your hiring efforts?
The role of recruitment marketing
Recruitment marketing isn’t just another way to find new candidates—a new take on advertising open roles. Instead, it’s a strategic move that helps you establish your reputation as an employer and build strong teams in the long run.
Candidates on the hunt for new positions approach it like consumers these days—researching companies online, reading reviews, checking out social media, and generally becoming educated on a company and its opportunities. Recruitment marketing meets them with the information they’re looking for, in the formats that speak to them.
So what does it do for you? Here’s why you should consider investing in recruitment marketing:
Faster, more reliable recruitment
Recruitment marketing speeds up your hiring process by helping you find more qualified candidates more quickly.
When you promote your employer brand, you give job seekers a chance to learn about your company culture and objectives. It gets them thinking about how your business aligns with their values and can affect their decision to apply for a position or accept an offer.
This helps you create a network of potential candidates, and when you have urgent hiring needs, you can fill roles faster.
Recruitment marketing helps create stronger teams as you bring on new hires that complement your existing talent. It’s your chance to tell your own story, which helps you appeal to lookalike audiences (that is, candidates who share the same values and business goals as your current star employees).
Investing in this particular strategy helps you replicate what’s working for your teams already and reinforce the best qualities.
More engaged employees
Internal recruitment marketing efforts ensure current employees also have a positive impression of your company culture and mission.
You can involve current employees in your marketing by interviewing them or having them share positive impressions of you as an employer. It’s persuasive to potential candidates, but also has an impact on the employees.
When you involve your employees, you show that you’re invested in their experience as well. You make them part of the company’s progress and you keep them engaged in the long run. You might create such strong relationships so even those who leave your company could consider returning in the future.
6 marketing ideas for recruitment
So what exactly does recruitment marketing look like? Just like there are many ways to reach consumers with your message, you have plenty of options for reaching job hunters and potential employees.
Here are six ideas to get you started:
1. Showcase your culture on social media
Post a constant flow of content about your organization to keep people’s attention.
Include information on company initiatives and community involvement and keep followers apprised of the latest updates to your company’s growth. Post pictures of real employees and your office environment or work location to paint a picture of what it’s like to work with you.
2. Manage your reputation by engaging with employer review sites
Social proof is big with consumers. People love checking out reviews of everything from products to new movies before putting their money out there. Job seekers are equally interested in social proof.
Make sure you’re a part of what they’re seeing by checking out your ratings and responding to reviews on various employer review sites.
3. Use paid advertising to market directly to top talent
Organic posts are great, but when you’re targeting specific groups, it can be worthwhile to pay to get in front of them. Just like you would with consumers you want to reach, keep your brand front of mind with your target hiring pool by placing relevant ads in their daily feeds.
4. Engage your followers in conversation with a live Q&A
The purpose of social media is to build networks and communities. Get people connected with your brand by listening, not just talking.
Host a live Q&A session for people curious about your company. Start a conversation that lets them see that you value input and curiosity.
5. Use the power of video to promote employee stories
Help prospective candidates understand what it’s like to work with you by letting them hear it from current employees. Create a series of quality production videos showcasing employee testimonials and interviews. Then post them on social media or use them in email campaigns.
6. Create a unique hashtag to turn employees into ambassadors
Encourage your teams to share their experiences with a company hashtag challenge. Have a contest that inspires people to join in and post content with your unique hashtag.
Employee-generated content is authentic and will engage current employees. It will also create awareness for others within their circles of influence.
Recruitment marketing is an investment
Recruitment marketing is not a marketing hack. It’s not advertising to convince others of your excellence as an employer. Not everyone is looking for the same things in an employer. And not everyone is a good fit for your organization.
Rather, recruitment marketing is a strategy to help you identify and attract the right people faster. Investing in this new discipline will build a community of potential good fits and draw them to your organization. You’ll fill your open positions more quickly with the right candidates, support your company’s growth, and improve your employees’ experience.