Why do companies invest so much time and resources in recruitment marketing?
Gone are the days when companies could easily go cherry-picking among hundreds of applicants. Sure, CVs are flying in all the time, but they are predominantly interns or juniors looking for a job in a different industry or field of work.
Top brands invest significantly in recruitment marketing.
What is Recruitment Marketing?
If you’re running a business, then you know how hard recruitment is.
If, for whatever reason, you are unfamiliar with recruitment marketing, this is basically the type of marketing that is bringing applicants closer to closing an interview successfully.
Nowadays, applicants have a lot more opportunities to find great companies than companies have to find top talent. It is also becoming more and more expensive and harder to find talent, which is what is really increasing the cost companies incur to find talent. Additionally, if your retention rates are going down, you will have to keep looking for new talent, spend time onboarding, and in training.
This is why companies, especially larger ones, are starting to invest more and more in employer branding, in reputation building, in different perks and benefits, in supporting specific causes, charities, and whatnot, for the sole reason of being in a better position than most companies when it comes to recruitment and employee retention.
Here is an awesome infographic by TalentLyft that depicts the stages involved in recruiting and recruitment marketing.
Accordingly, recruitment marketing happens within the first three stages: awareness, consideration, and interest.
- Awareness – This stage is all about building awareness around your company and your employer brand.
- Consideration – The next stage involves getting candidates to start seriously considering you as their employer.
- Interest – The candidates must now take action and apply for the job positions available in your company.
Then you step into the recruitment cycle by itself which is application, selection and hire.
Now, let us discuss the 11 most important aspects of your business that you need to focus on and tips for recruitment marketing.
1. Employee Motivation
Make sure that your employees are happy because when they are, they would be more than happy to recommend your company and your organization, and make sure that more and more awesome people are going to join the organization.
I have previously mentioned that among the hiring paradigms to consider in 2021 is to look for intrinsic motivation among your employees and to nurture it. In the same blog post, I have shared the following tips:
- Gather information about your staff
- Focus on their individual needs
- Grant them work autonomy and flexibility
- Provide career guidance
Often, their intrinsic motivation is what drives most people to work harder. External factors come in second. If you want to reward them with anything remarkable besides giving them cash, here are some great ideas:
Keep your people highly motivated and engaged at work so they will become your biggest ambassadors and refer several potentially great hires.
One of the leading channels for us is referrals. We ask our people to just chat with their best friends, former colleagues, and former fellow students, and just ask them if they are looking for a job, and to invite them to come to us.
If someone is a friend with an employee of yours, chances are they are going to be a good fit in the company. Not 100% of course, but that is just something that you won’t know.
2. Career Growth Plan
Using clichés and an impressive salary number without any company traits doesn’t work.
This targets only two groups of people:
- Extremely money-driven ones
- Juniors and inexperienced folks
There is nothing wrong with both groups, but this does not invite qualified and experienced folks who care about a bunch of other factors, especially their career path.
Caring about career growth planning helps you retain people for a longer period of time, and second, be able to hire people throughout different pieces of the journey.
You need anything from an internship position, an associate, or a junior to a VP of marketing, or tech or any similar position in your organization. This way, great people may be able to join at any point.
3. Company Culture
I want to work in a company that is friendly, not hostile; healthy, not toxic. And I am in the best position to make this happen so that everyone is satisfied. It is harder at first while people “prove themselves”. This makes optimizing recruitment and onboarding extremely important to alleviate this process.
Try to find a common ground with your team. Finding common ground is possible when you share a cause and are aligned in terms of organizational goals.
When you create a positive culture and nurture a strong community, it will resonate with the people you would love to get on board. Hiring and then losing an experienced employee due to cultural mismatch may be disastrous.
But, creating a positive culture to boost your recruitment marketing efforts can help prevent conflicts and escalations by attracting people who are aligned with your organization’s values, mission, and vision.
4. Community Involvement
Sometimes, it helps quite a lot to support a specific university, school, conference, charity, or other organizations that your people enjoy. Because apart from taking part in great causes, you may entice people who share the same interests and happen to be experts in your field to apply in your company.
Trust me, even if I’m looking for interns or junior level positions, it becomes extremely more complicated because everyone who is outside of the job market has only heard of the HP’s, Microsoft’s, and the IBM’s of the world.
Make sure you have cleared out your company culture and you have invested enough time to find the right causes and initiatives, conferences and educational centers, and whatever it is to support.
5. Recruitment Marketing Platform
The common features of a recruitment marketing software according to Rally are:
- Talent network or community
- Job alerts
- Enhanced job descriptions
- Employee referral management
- Text recruiting and chatbots
- Social media sharing
- Internal mobility careers sites
- Recruitment event management
A recruitment marketing platform makes it easier for you to access the tools and insights you need to manage recruitment and acquire talents swiftly.
It also helps a lot to use a business process management software that can help streamline your HR workflows and optimize processes.
But, what it boils down to is that you use technology to boost your recruitment marketing efforts.
6. Executive Brand
It still surprises me that there are still organizations that undervalue executive branding considering the struggles in acquiring and retaining top talent.
Recruitment is one of the most important activities that a CEO should engage with. It is a known priority for most successful founders and business owners, which is why I’m investing a lot in our hiring process as well. According to a survey by DATIS, these are the top five priorities of CEOs: recruiting, retention, employee engagement, satisfaction, and talent management.
But, even other executives are expected to engage with their companies’ hiring processes. The goal of using your executive brand to boost your recruitment marketing efforts is to make it easier for the recruitment team to do the actual field work.
Through your branding channels, you can announce open jobs publicly. When invited to speak at an event, one great tip would be to add a slide to your presentation that shares information about your job opening. You can also use your own social media channels to promote and tag prominent people that you know to spread the news about your recruitment.
The benefits of having an established brand actually lie in the volume. With additional exposure, you can have a broader reach making it easier to source and find top talent in less time and for less money.
Indeed, executive branding can be the sharpest tool among all other tools in your recruiting toolbox. Although it requires an ongoing commitment to maintain your executive brand, there is also a good reason that top CEOs apportion a great deal of time on it.
7. Leadership Team
While building an executive brand also helps project a confident image of the leadership of the company, it is important to not just take care of the image, but also the authentic qualities of the leadership.
Your leadership team must possess the qualities that would inspire everyone, even the potential hires, to work better. This matters a lot in making sure that your retention rate remains high given that 79% of people would quit and seek new employment because of bad leadership.
Also, your leadership team must cultivate trust in one another. Encouraging all leaders to build trust and loyalty will definitely help boost your recruitment marketing efforts.
Those are just some of the critical qualities that top candidates really appreciate in organizational leaders. Great candidates will be more likely to apply to an organization where the executive or leadership team does not only appear accomplished, but are actually capable.
8. Offline and Online Presence
In the same way that building a brand is a journey that entails multiple touchpoints, recruitment marketing also requires that you engage in offline activities.
Here are some of the ways you can reach your target candidates through an omni-channel approach:
- Engage in different PR campaigns
- Be present at networking events
- Engage proactively in social media
- Run useful newsletters and blogs
- Teach at a university
- Participate in career fairs
- Join mentorship events
LinkedIn is also one of the channels we use for hiring. In fact, we hired our first sales engineer through LinkedIn. One of the reasons I like LinkedIn as a platform for recruitment is that we can easily monitor trends. Just a few days ago we announced another job opening on LinkedIn.
This approach is recommended by John Hall in his book, Top of Mind. This also entails the use of several communication channels. Being everywhere at all times is definitely the bulletproof approach in reaching your ideal candidates.
Just make sure that you look for more ways to meet, interact with, and get to know your prospective employees.
9. Knowledge Sharing
Top talent actively seeks for empowered employers.
They take pride whenever they work for reputable industry leaders who keep pushing towards innovation and R&D, and looking for the next breakthrough.
These A-players are also driven to keep excelling at what they do so they must do their due diligence in making sure that their values are aligned with those of whom they will be working for.
How do you communicate your values to these kinds of candidates? Blog.
Knowledge sharing can definitely help attract more great hires. Whatever platform you use, it is important that you make an effort to share what you know and who you are through blogging. The more platforms, the better.
I spend several hours every week on Quora, LinkedIn, and Twitter. My answers there serve as my content for the following purposes:
- Sharing Quora content with my team in order to reduce the training/onboarding time
- Increasing organizational transparency since everyone can read what the CEO is up to and what the business goals and processes look like through my lens
- Receiving applications from people who interact with my content.
10. Employer Brand
Employer branding is the sum of all efforts that revolve around knowledge sharing primarily because developing the persona of a thought leader is built upon the principles of knowledge sharing.
Although executive branding, employer branding, and even recruitment marketing get mixed up sometimes as their goals can be very similar, employer branding is specifically about positioning your organization well in the talent marketplace as a great company to work at.
I have discussed in one of my recent blog posts some tips to improve your employer brand so scaling smoothly becomes achievable. Here they are:
Essentially, employer branding has more value as your team continues to grow since this builds credibility among your existing team members and aligns the expectations of your prospective employees.
11. HR Activities
Sometimes, your own HR activities can be your downfall. Instead of helping you boost your recruitment marketing efforts, there are HR practices that just do not put your company in a good light.
After working so hard on all the aspects mentioned above, you would not want your own HR processes to be counterproductive of what you are trying to achieve in recruitment marketing.
I have shared on this blog some commendable HR practices that can help boost your recruitment marketing efforts. Here are some of the stories:
- A recruiter once emailed me that I’ve been constantly popping up in his feeds, and he’s incredibly excited to meet me in person – listing my accomplishments, community activities etc. He asked me for a short meeting next to my office over a coffee, where he asked me a bunch of questions related to my community, folks in my field, what we are looking for in a job, what are our priorities (cash, time, working locally). He was not selling anything, but merely getting acquainted with our needs and assessing what sort of opportunities may be desirable for me and my network of contacts.
- One local HR agency asked me to prepare a curriculum for a short technical training (a series of seminars) on technologies, stacks, frameworks and the like. In the end, we couldn’t arrange all of the details and conduct the training. But during our initial meetings they were eager to coach all of their reps on the differences between server, desktop, web, mobile, embedded technologies, which language is suitable for what, what’s the difference between the main programming languages in different niches, which frameworks are comparable and how to filter requirements from employers before passing on to candidates. Even though we didn’t get a chance to train the folks, I think that this is paramount for any recruiting agency hiring niche employees – be it in IT, legal services, finances and so on.
- I’ve met several HR reps at some conferences and community events. One of the main reasons engineers may be rude to recruiters is simply because developers often don’t receive outstanding offers while getting tons of emails and calls every single month. Being able to exploit different contact mediums (including face to face) and get educated about an industry by meeting people in person, listening to conference talks and discussing similar problems with other agencies in need is a great step toward becoming a professional recruiter who closes more deals and annoys less people.
If you want to hire experts, then you need to understand that many of them could already be hired and well-compensated. They have been working in the industry for many years so they value their time more than they value their money.
There may be a lot of people who have accepted recruitment offers through LinkedIn. But these standard templates and cold emails can be very annoying and may lead to dissatisfaction among great candidates.
Take note of this before reaching out or targeting an ideal candidate. It will require a lot of communication, background research, meetings, events, and building referrals among others before you can close the deal with them.
Most recruiters skip these steps and hope that they land a talented professional by simply sending a template email to random LinkedIn profiles.
Smaller companies have lesser chances to meet people early on. And once people join the enterprise bandwagon, it becomes significantly harder to retain them and to actually get them onboard with a startup or with a small organization.
That is why recruitment marketing is so important. That is why larger corporations are investing so much in it, and that is why you should think about it as early as possible.
Invest in branding, invest in your people, and make sure that everyone is satisfied and happy to recommend other people to your organization.