Why The Future of Your Company Depends on Recruitment Marketing

The case for recruitment marketing is a strong one. And just as importantly, there are many different ways to go about marketing in this way.

Recruitment marketing is exactly what it sounds like. It erases some of the boundaries between your company’s desire to sell products and services and your efforts to find and recruit promising talent. There’s always going to be a place for product placement as well as traditional job listings, though — so why explore this concept? What are the benefits?

To answer these questions, first consider the benefits of digital advertising to begin with. With the right kind and quality of content, customers can do a substantial part of your job for you, even without the benefit of a salesperson. They’ll find your social channels, your videos, your FAQ pages, your testimonials and everything else you’ve put into the world to help folks find you and make up their minds about you.

Recruitment marketing does a similar job of streamlining the talent management process. In addition, culture itself is a competitive advantage when it comes to selling something.

We’ll speak shortly about some practical ways to engage in recruitment marketing. In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the benefits.

1️⃣ It Helps You Attract Passive Talent

Passive talent isn’t quite as “passive” as it sounds. Passive job-seekers are those who are already employed, likely in a similar position to the one you’re offering, and who aren’t necessarily looking for a new job in an organized fashion. So the question is, why would you want to target employees like these?

For a start, the average job cycle for millennials — now the dominant cohort in the labor force — is about two to three years. Your own talent might be coming and going for one reason or another, but it also means you may find yourself courting promising young professionals online who just need the right kind of gentle push to come aboard.

Capturing the attention of passive talent means making your case to individuals who already have a track record, already have a good idea of what it takes to succeed in a professional setting and who may even have a good understanding of your industry and what their place in that industry might look like. They’re more likely to be straight shooters during interviews, too, and won’t have as much to gain by overstating their qualifications.

Today, the negative connotation with job-hopping is lifting, and millennials agree — 57% stated the stigma is losing ground when it comes to influencing an applicant’s candidacy, per a Robert Half survey

Passive talent in general, and millennials especially, might be reasonably comfortable in their roles for years at a time, but it doesn’t mean they’re loyal to the company presently employing them. In fact, young professionals today are saying “no more” to the stigma surrounding job-hopping. So the question is, if there are qualified candidates out there who don’t yet know they’re candidates, and who are looking for the right benefits or work environment to make a life change, why shouldn’t it be your company that’s waiting to make that value proposition? Recruitment marketing is one way to do that.

2️⃣ It Helps You Avoid Culture Clash

Employee turnover is usually expensive — and it can be crippling for newer companies or those just getting on their feet, financially speaking. Replacing an employee could set you back by as much as one-and-a-half times their annual salary, give or take. Recruitment marketing is one way to ensure you’re getting the right people on your team the first time around.

The true cost of turnover is: Turnover cost = 1.5x salary +/- net team productivity

Ordinary job listings say everything and nothing about what an applicant can expect when they apply to work with you. It gives details about titles, salaries and benefits, and it usually provides a vague idea of what the day-to-day is like. But proper recruitment marketing goes deeper. It puts a face to the name, shows off the work environment and gives applicants an idea of the “social scene,” the pace and the atmosphere they’re in for. A detailed job listing on a relevant site helps you target qualified job seekers, but combining it with recruitment marketing helps ensure you’re getting folks with the temperament and attitude you’re looking for, too.

You designed your sales funnel deliberately. It’s structured in a way that casts a wide net across multiple channels and then deliberately steers qualified leads toward an informed decision. Recruitment marketing offers a similar way for companies to help applicants feel more assured and confident about responding to a job listing. It puts both parties more at ease than they would be otherwise, as well as more secure in the knowledge that a lot has already been said and understood, even before the first phone call or sit-down interview.

3️⃣ It’s Inherently More Organic

Compare recruitment marketing with other, more conventional, forms of advertising. For example, there’s something automatically artificial about using social channels to flog a product or service. It feels like it goes against what Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were designed for in the first place. Unless it’s a particularly well-crafted piece of advertising, it can be an uphill battle to get those messages to go viral.

On the other hand, marketing that has a focus on company culture and recruitment can come across as far more genuine and organic than mere product placement. You can let your hair down and be a little less polished, rehearsed and “corporate.”

4️⃣ It Helps You Build Your Brand

Branding is everything these days. Google has always been careful to cultivate a brand that’s as synonymous with having fun as it is with relentless innovation. This is a textbook case of recruitment marketing doing its job. Applicants flock to Google because of the possibility of adding their names to world-changing products — and because of the undeniable character and sense of culture the company sports every time it shows off its in-house mentorship programs, ping pong tables and “nap pods.”

The Home Depot is another company that’s great at using recruitment marketing to blur the line between general advertising and seeking enthusiastic job applicants. Their Twitter feed is chock full of employee headshots and testimonials, plus a look at all of the educational and just plain fun events that local stores either sponsor or host throughout the country. Shoppers viewing a timeline like that see a company that takes an interest in providing personable and competent service. Job-seekers looking at the same content see a dynamic, plugged-in and community-driven company that looks like a blast to work for.

The point is, recruitment marketing is the secret sauce here that takes already-strong company cultures and branding exercises and turns them into effective talent management and general advertising tools, all in one.

How to Engage in Recruitment Marketing

Ready to get started? Here are six different ways your company can get started with this incredibly important kind of marketing, today.

1) Get Employees Involved With Your Blog

Your employees are some of your most valuable assets when it comes to doing recruitment marketing well. After all, how better for job candidates to learn about what life is like at your company than by hearing all about it straight from the source?

Having a company blog is already a great way to communicate with your customers in a way that’s a little less salesy and a little more educational and entertaining. If you do it right, your blog is about more than touting the selling points of your products. It can be a source of knowledge that positions you as a leader in your field and makes you a genuinely helpful resource for customers (and future customers) looking for advice.

Getting your employees involved with creating blog content is a great way to help them feel more engaged — and it gets passive and active job-seekers engaged, too. You can begin simply by asking your employees a set of open-ended questions, such as how they made their way to your company, what their jobs are really like and what kinds of lifehacks or advice changed their lives recently. Posting employee showcases like these on a regular basis can be a great way to retain talent as well as court new talent that shares your passion and your values.

2) Use Video as Much as Possible

YouTube and Snapchat are hugely popular channels for brands these days — and it’s not hard to see why. More than blog content prefer video content over more text-heavy methods of communication and marketing. And why shouldn’t they? Videos can convey in mere seconds what it might otherwise take hundreds of words to communicate.

72% of consumers prefer videos to text marketing

Make video an integral part of your recruitment marketing efforts. Your videos don’t need to have the production values of a Roland Emmerich film, either. You can start with video tours of your offices, campus or factory floor, or lighthearted interviews with employees as well as goofy videos designed for nothing more than to get your audience laughing. No matter the form it takes, video has a tendency to connect with an audience like few other creative mediums can. That makes it perfect for showing off your company’s personality and culture — and making the case for why somebody should come work for you.

3) Have Your Marketers Interview Your Other Professionals

Do your marketers interact with the rest of your teams? Maybe it’s time for them to start. You can’t communicate effectively with passive job-seekers if your marketing team doesn’t know what actually goes on under your roof in other departments and what drives your brightest innovators to think outside the box day in and day out.

Encourage more inter-departmental activities. Have your marketers take your product design specialists out for coffee and ask them what they know, how they do what they do, how they got here, what their lives are like and to generally share their part of the company story. During your next marketing campaign, this kind of awareness might be invaluable as your social media and native marketing experts are deciding how to frame their message or where to point the camera.

This is a marketing blind spot that’s easy to remedy — and helping each of your departments feel more like a united front can help enrich and inform your marketing efforts with a greater sense of context.

4) Share Company Milestones and Events

Employee birthdays and advancements, company acquisitions and partnerships, appearances at trade shows and college career fairs — these are all opportunities to show your audience how active and successful your company is and what kind of role it plays in the greater business community and talent pipeline.

If you make a great big hullaballoo out of employee anniversaries when they’ve stuck with the company through thick and thin, this is premo material for recruitment marketing. Maybe your company gives awards for most books read per quarter, most valuable new idea or most spirited attempt at innovation that ended in failure. Rewarding failure is more popular — and more important and effective — than you might think!

Job seekers these days are looking for companies that are generous with feedback, quick to recognize thoughtfulness and encourage both personal and professional growth in the workplace. Sharing these kinds of events proves you’re that kind of company.

5) Build a Culture of Giving Back — And Then Share It

Modern job seekers want and deserve a company that encourages and rewards personal growth. But almost as importantly, they want companies that cultivate a sense of corporate citizenship. Does your company give a portion of its earnings to charity? Do you reward employees for giving some of their precious time to volunteer efforts? No matter how you give back, make sure your audience online knows about it. The world needs compassion and attention to unsolved problems — and you want to field candidates who share those ideals.

6) Keep HR and Recruiters Active on Forums, Job Boards and Social Sites

Truly organic brand interactions “out in the wild” of the internet can be some of the strongest marketing materials you’ll ever generate. And they’re much harder to ignore than ordinary internet ads — especially with more than 25% of desktop computer users employing ad-blocking software. But it means you need to make a point of responding to customers who engage with you, whether they bring positive feedback or something more negative.

Passive talent exploring your online presence will inevitably find these interactions, and they’ll come to certain conclusions about how well you internalize feedback, how personable your employees are and whether or not your company is open to change.

Online forums, job boards and social websites can be easy ways to pick up some face time with potential recruits and to respond to the buzz surrounding your company — both the positive and the (hopefully only occasionally) negative. So take the time to ask your audience what they want and need. You can improve your brand image and show your true colors for the world to see — including job-seekers who want to know about the “real you.”

The Case for Recruitment Marketing

The case for recruitment marketing is a strong one. And just as importantly, there are many different ways to go about marketing in this way. It takes some creativity, but the rewards are clear — including more effective talent management, a better sense of brand personality and an easy way to prove your company’s undeniable humanity to everybody watching.

Nathan Sykes enjoys writing about how the latest innovations in technology affect business. He has been published on Simple Programmer, Best Techie, and TNW among other business and technology blogs. To read his latest articles check out his blog, Finding an Outlet.

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