It’s no secret that people are key to the growth and success of any organization. Building a team of diverse talent that lends various perspectives, ideas, skill sets, and backgrounds is vital, but it’s also one of the most challenging aspects of any business.
Sourcing, nurturing, and hiring the right people to join your organization is a pretty complex process—one that requires a team-wide effort if you hope to attract top talent. Oddly enough, this process isn’t too dissimilar from the work marketers do to attract customers to your business. The question, of course, is how?
That’s where recruitment marketing comes in.
What is recruitment marketing?
Recruitment marketing is a set of tactics or methodologies you can use to market your employer brand to candidates. Done well, recruitment marketing builds awareness and visibility around your company culture to help attract top talent.
It’s important to keep in mind that recruitment marketing extends far beyond sourcing talent—in fact, it applies to the entire recruitment life cycle, from attracting to engaging and nurturing potential talent.
Like marketers, recruiters can approach recruitment marketing like a funnel. Let’s call it your recruitment marketing funnel.
Start by increasing awareness
While top-of-funnel candidates can be sourced from around the world, in today’s job markets, most job seekers are passive, which means they are currently employed but open to new roles or opportunities. Seventy-three percent of candidates are currently passive, for example.
In order to attract the right talent, recruiters need to market their organizations not only to active job seekers but passive ones, too. This means marketing your organization on platforms and through networks where passive candidates are active.
Typically, this involves creating content—blog, social media, video, and other formats of content—that candidates actually want to consume and which helps drive awareness of your business.
Then, focus on generating interest
Once you have their attention, you’ll want to focus on providing prospects with the information and insights that will increase their interest in your organization.
This can include content that’s tied back to your employer brand initiatives—like social media content, collaborations, and frequent content updates on your owned channels.
The key to generating interest is to ensure that your recruiting team is aligned on the content you’ll create, how you’ll distribute it, and the frequency at which you’ll produce content to nurture the interest of job seekers. Remember, recruitment marketing is an ongoing process, and that applies to engagement, too.
Next, start nurturing decisions
As candidates show greater interest in your organization, it’s time to help them make a decision about joining your team. Nurture is a critical stage of your recruitment marketing funnel.
Consider the types of information and insights a job seeker would need to have in order to make the jump from their current company to yours. For example, they’d likely want to know about your company’s DEI initiatives, sustainability commitments, benefits and perks programs, and growth/development opportunities.
Making this information transparent as well as accessible (whether it’s through blog content, a company culture web page, or something similar) can help nudge talent in the right direction and incentivize them to join your organization.
Finally, drive candidates to action
So, you’ve attracted, engaged, and nurtured candidates with your recruitment marketing, but now it’s time for them to take action and apply to your open roles. What happens when they run into obstacles?
The reality of recruitment is that many job seekers abandon application processes for a range of reasons. We all know how time-consuming job hunting and applications can be—from cover letters to clunky applicant tracking systems (ATSs) and more, you need to eliminate as many barriers to entry as possible for candidates.
This means cutting out any unnecessary steps in the application process; simplifying the sharing of resumes, cover letters, or job histories; removing unnecessary qualifying questions or tests; and providing the pertinent information they need to follow through with an application.
Even if a candidate makes it to this stage but chooses not to apply, don’t despair! This is a great opportunity to grow your talent pool and start building relationships with talent that may join your organization in the future.
How to develop a recruitment marketing strategy
Prior to developing a recruitment marketing strategy, you’ll need to align your team on your employer brand. That’s because employer branding is necessary for marketing your organization and building awareness around it.
Your employer branding comprises elements like:
- Employee value proposition
- Company mission and values statement
- People and culture
So, once you have your employer branding in place, you can focus on developing a recruitment marketing strategy that helps you attract and hire top talent.
Set your team’s goals
Your strategy will only be successful if you have clear and measurable goals for it, which means you need to first establish what it is you hope to accomplish by practicing recruitment marketing.
For example, your team may focus on growing your talent pool, increasing hires for a specific department, or bringing on more senior leadership. Whatever your goals for recruitment marketing, ensure you’re outlining each goal and have coherent plans to measure them.
Define clear roles and responsibilities
Roles that have clear job descriptions and transparent requirements help both your team and the candidates you market to. When everyone involved in recruitment is aligned on these roles, it makes it easier for your team to market those roles and position them properly to potential hires.
This can also help in simplifying the application process for candidates that are aware of and interested in joining your organization. Recruitment marketing carries on through to the hiring stage, so don’t forget to tie it back to how you’re positioning new roles.
Determine the channels you’ll use
Your team is likely to have target candidates you want to reach when marketing roles to a wide range of talent. When you’re ready to market open roles, you’ll need to identify the right channels to leverage.
For example, there are platforms that exist to help recruitment teams market roles to diverse candidate pools, while others are hyper-specific to role types (think: developers or software engineers). Whatever demographics you’re looking to target, knowing the best channels to use will help your teams quickly reach diverse talent.
While many candidates are active in online communities and networks, digital recruitment is not the only method at your disposal. In-person events or networking days can be additional channels through which you find candidates.
Identify resources and capacity
Whether your organization has a 20-person recruiting team or a 2-person team, resources can be limited, which means you need to do more with less. It may also mean starting slow and working your way up to things like frequent content development and social media management.
Consider asking your marketing team for advice or insights into how they manage their tasks, budgets, and capacity for marketing initiatives. If you don’t have the capacity to handle everything internally, outsourcing various tasks may make the most sense for your team.
The important thing is to ensure you can consistently work at your recruitment marketing—if you treat it like a one-and-done initiative, your team could invest time and resources with little ROI to show for it.
Content is going to be your best friend when working on recruitment marketing. But how, when, why, and where you work on content will largely determine how successful your recruitment marketing efforts are.
That’s where calendars come into play. Content marketers develop calendars that encompass content goals, the types and formats of content they develop, timelines for content, and how/where they’ll distribute it. You’ll want to do the same for your recruitment content.
This benefits both your team and your long-term initiatives. When you have everything clearly planned out and documented, it helps you create repeatable processes you can leverage now and into the future.
5 easy ways to use recruitment marketing
Now that we’ve covered what recruitment marketing is, and how you can develop a strategy for it, let’s dive into 5 simple ways you can use it to attract top talent.
1. Leverage organic and paid advertising
Social media is a large part of virtually every organization’s employer branding strategy, but using it to market roles and company culture is altogether a distinct challenge.
While you can use social media organically to do this, keep in mind that not all social platforms are suited for recruitment marketing, and it’s critical to know where your target candidates are spending their time. For example, LinkedIn may be a more effective platform when posting open roles organically, but Instagram Stories reach more millennial and Gen Z candidates, which could mean sponsoring IG Stories to reach those audiences. The same goes for recruitment content you share.
Whatever your goals, you can tie both organic and paid advertising into the marketing of roles and recruitment content to get your organization in front of your target candidates.
2. Take advantage of owned channels
One of your greatest resources for recruitment marketing is your website and your blog. These owned channels are perfect for promoting both your employer branding and marketing-based content that generates awareness and interest for candidates.
A Careers page, for instance, is an ideal web page to consistently update and add content to, because many candidates will visit these types of pages as your recruiters build a well-rounded, transparent image of your company culture.
Don’t be afraid to ask your marketing team for help in creating web pages or dedicated sections of your company website where you can promote content, employer branding, and other content that can help attract candidates.
3. Develop internal subject-matter experts
Above and beyond looking at company profiles and social accounts, more candidates and audiences are following people, not just companies. And this is crucial for recruitment marketing, given the goal is to attract real people to your organization.
While it’s important that your company has active and updated online profiles, leveraging internal subject-matter experts can help drive your company’s reputation forward while sharing valuable recruitment content to attract, engage, and nurture top talent.
You can develop internal subject-matter experts by supporting leaders and other colleagues in creating thought leadership content and positioning these individuals as experts in their respective roles and fields. Then, you can use their experience across your website and social channels (think: employees posting their own content to LinkedIn, or contributing to your company blog).
4. Use newsletters to engage candidates
Contrary to popular belief, email isn’t dead. But this type of initiative isn’t just relegated to marketing—you can also use email to engage and nurture passive candidates through newsletter marketing.
As you build relationships with candidates, staying in touch with these individuals and developing a robust talent pool will be key for future recruitment. Newsletters allow you to do just that, through personalization and engagement. For example, you can communicate business updates, new roles, company culture news, and other relevant information to candidates as they join our newsletter lists.
They’re also a great way to encourage one-to-one conversations with candidates who engage with your newsletters!
5. Repurpose your recruitment marketing content
A trade secret of content marketers is repurposing valuable content—ensuring that your efforts aren’t being focused just on creating new things from scratch, but also leveraging existing content so it does double duty. The benefit of repurposing your recruitment marketing content is that you can make everything you create go further, which is especially helpful if you’re short on resources, budgets, or capacity.
Let’s say, for example, that you create and host a webinar. This webinar can be repurposed into short video clips for LinkedIn, quoted and linked to in blog content, turned into short videos for your Careers page, and more. This makes one piece of content go much further without adding unnecessary time and resources to creating net-new content.
Work with an ATS that supports your employer brand
Building a robust candidate pool of talent is no longer a “nice to have.” In today’s job market, talent acquisition leaders have to do more than reach out to candidates or rely on job postings to attract talent. The right ATS can help you supercharge your employer brand with features and functionalities that drive recruiting forward. Our guide to 8 ATS Must-Have Features makes it easy for you to choose the best ATS for your recruiting needs, so you can build lasting relationships with candidates, diversify your pipeline, and convert job seekers into hires, quickly and efficiently. Get your free copy below.