9 Key Benefits of Recruitment Marketing
Are you struggling to attract and hire front line or skilled workers for your company? Then this article about recruitment marketing is for you.
The phrase “Recruitment marketing” seems like an oxymoron. It was a mere buzzword tossed around like a hot potato in HR blogs for the past few years. But with pressure mounting to attract and hire the right talent faster, it is today an essential strategy for any successful talent acquisition initiative … and a critical skill required by every recruiter. Unfortunately, it’s mostly included in marketing budgets and rarely if ever considered an HR competency. So let’s start with Recruitment Marketing 101.
What is Recruitment Marketing?
Recruitment marketing includes all communications that an organization uses to reach and engage job seekers, from the job posting and personal emails to social media and career fairs. It’s really much more complex than that but simple is always a good place to start. It leverages HR technology to maximize the benefits of proven digital marketing strategies such as SEO, build an engaging employment brand, and create a spectacular candidate experience.
Recruitment marketing gleans best practices from the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and applies them to the world of talent acquisition. And as most digital marketers know, it gets results and saves business owners a ton of time and money over traditional-and-no-longer-effective marketing.
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Continue reading to learn more about how recruitment marketing can help solve your talent acquisition woes.
Your Company Will Be Seen by More People
Long gone are the days when placing a job listing in the weekend edition of your local newspaper’s classified ads yielded a stack of resumes. Today’s labor markets are divided and segmented. Newspaper classified ads are defunct. Job boards are becoming specialized and despite the enormous popularity of social media, no individual platform reaches all demographics of the labor pool. To get the attention of such a diverse and wide audience, technology must be used to spread your message to as many people as possible.
Reach is the R in my recruitment marketing blueprint acronym R-E-A-C-H. It’s the top of the recruitment funnel. Without candidates entering the funnel, no new hires come out. Recruitment marketing includes social media, text messaging, video marketing, email, print and billboard ads, and Facebook or YouTube Ads. They are all effective ways of sharing information with other people but there’s no realistic or affordable way you can use them apply them all without technology and automation.
Recruitment marketing is all about spreading a message to as many people as possible. Using multiple platforms to reach more people will increase your chances of finding your top performing employee.
You Will Receive More Applications
One of the biggest benefits that come from marketing recruitment is that you’ll end up receiving more applications. Because your message is being shared across many platforms, more people will apply when they see an opening. Even when the job seeker isn’t a good fit, they can simply click and share the listing with friends and family.
But I can hear the groans and feel the angst I’m causing for many of you. “We already get too many unqualified applicants,” you say. “I’m already overwhelmed by a massive number of applications filling up my inbox.” Yes, the wider your reach, the more applications you’ll get and that can be exhausting. That’s where technology comes to your rescue. You can use Applicant tracking software to create screening questions that quickly rank the high potential candidates and identify the high risk. much more effective than standard keyword parsing resumes.
You Can Choose Your Target Audience
Technology has advanced recruitment marketing over the past few years. By applying marketing analytics to the data captured in a recent campaign, you can identify the best sources for qualified applicants, fastest times to hire, and lowest cost per hire with a few clicks. The more campaigns you do, the better you get at targeting top talent.
For example, let’s say you are a Philadelphia based company. It’s easy to target job seekers in the Philadelphia area by zip code. You can target by job title, education, and even years of experience. But did you know you can target them by commute distance too, one of the primary reasons that workers seek new jobs. You might even reach out to alumni who attended a school in your area.
Job- and work-related data is available to recruiters and HR because job seekers share it all the time using social media. Targeted searches using networking platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter allow you to select job titles, location, and other demographics to laser focus who sees your job listings and who doesn’t.
Analytics Make Better Recruiters
HR collects as much if not more data from its “prospects” (aka candidates) and “customers” (employees) than any other function in your organization. But up until now, few companies have used it. According to research firm Gartner Inc., just under one-quarter of large employers currently track whether or not their hiring process is resulting in good candidates or employees. The number is significantly smaller for small business. That’s just nuts. Peter Capelli writes in the Wall Street Journal:
What many employers do measure and track obsessively are costs per hire and time to hire. Think about that for a minute: It would be like a marketing department telling you how much an advertising campaign cost and how quickly they put it together, without telling you whether it had any effect on sales.
By using the data and applying even basic analysis,you can learn which messages and sources are working and which aren’t, which new hires work out and which ones quit. You can test different recruiting messages on select job boards and begin to target job seekers who are most likely to succeed and stay.
Right now, most HR departments only track completed applications. That’s equivalent to neglect and malpractice in today’s world. Software like Google Analytics (which is free) allows recruiters to track how many job seekers viewed your job listing, what job boards referred them, how long the job seekers stayed, and if they clicked to apply. And that’s just for starters.
There are even ways to track what the job seeker reads, when he reads it, and the path he took as his eyes scrolled down the page. Tracking engagement lets you know what part of your message or page design worked or what you need to improve. If candidates abandon your listing right away without reading or clicking, that’s a problem…a waste of money and lost opportunity. If you have ads scattered across different platforms and some aren’t performing well, you have the instant ability to change it, to terminate the listing, or upgrade your approach.
The Recruiting Gift That Keeps on Giving
Let me let you in on a rarely shared insider secret. More job listing views and more applications boosts your job listing visibility. Yes, you read that right. More traffic indicates people are interested in your business and search engines thrive on giving job seekers what they want. The more traffic and clicks you get, the higher Google and other job search engines rank your jobs. It sounds a bit incestuous – the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Truth be told, the better you get at recruitment marketing, the easier it becomes.
Unqualified Applicants: A Hidden Treasure?
Remember what I said about the downside of increasing your reach. Well, here’s another insider tip. Don’t ignore unqualified applicants. Treated with respect and courtesy, they will hopefully spread the word about your business. The bar for candidate experience is set pretty low right now. Only a few companies really get it. Seize the opportunity before the competition gets wind of better ways to acquire top talent. Employment brand is becoming more important as more job seekers read and rely on reviews hosted by Google, Indeed, Glassdoor, and Kununu. You want to encourage even poor fit candidates to share a positive experience. Besides, many applicant’s might even be customers and you don’t want to disenfranchise them due to a bad job application experience.
You Are Able to Control How You’re Perceived
For years, marketing and recruitment were like HR oil and water. Today, they fit like fingers in a glove. When you invest in recruitment marketing, you invest in shaping, protecting, and managing your image and reputation. With your employment brand taking center stage, you just can’t leave managing your reputation to the marketing. Marketing historically was “owned” by sales and pays little attention to what goes on in human resources. Few companies even allocate any budget to employment brand. Just take a look at the career page on most company websites. This is the “home page” for human resources and yet it’s treated like a forgotten step-child in web development.
By ignoring the benefits and insights gained from recruitment marketing, your company is at risk for a boatload of unintended damage when job seekers and employees complain to the rest of the world about what it’s like to apply, interview, and work at your company. At a time when nearly every skilled worker who wants job has a job and top talent in high demand, a negative review deters other top performers from applying. They simply swipe left and delete. “Why leave one bad job for another?” they think.
Recruitment marketing allows you to showcase the positives about your company. You get to tell your own story in a way that reaches and engages job seekers you want. You can’t please everyone but it’s critical for HR to take back responsibility for managing its employment brand and improving candidate engagement.
Your Employees Will Engage with Each Other
Recruitment marketing isn’t just a function of marketing or human resources. An effective campaign engages the entire workforce. Job seekers want to know what it’s like to work within your company. What’s the job like? What opportunities for advancement exist? Who will be co-workers be? Recruitment marketing allows everyone to tell the story. Get your employees to sell candidates on why they should work for you.
By the way, if having your employees sell your company scares the crap out of you because you don’t know what they’ll say… it should! They’re talking about you any way. If they’re talking trash, that’s the problem you need to address. More marketing doesn’t erase a bad reputation. If employees aren’t happy, what makes you think new hires will stay? Recruitment marketing doesn’t fix poor employee engagement, but it forces you think about it.
Recruitment marketing allows you to engage the entire workforce in talent acquisition. It’s good for morale. It’s good for the brand. It’s good for the bottom line.
Recruitment Marketing is Cost-Effective
A common objection I hear about recruitment marketing is it’s expensive. Another concern is it’s for big companies. Hogwash! Ignoring the benefits of recruitment marketing is both expensive and bad business.
Spending money on sponsored copy-and-paste job descriptions and placing job listings on social media without a plan is just throwing dollars down the drain. Using technology to extend your reach, capture data, engage candidates longer, and adapt quickly is what recruitment marketing is all about.
Find The Right Talent With Recruitment Marketing
Recruitment marketing isn’t a task but an investment in helping recruit more qualified workers faster. It is a strategy to help attract and acquire the right talent when you need it. If you would like your business to thrive and grow, it’s time to put a recruitment marketing strategy in place.
You can also incorporate hiring assessments into your recruiting process to further identify high potentials and screen out high risk candidates. All this can help you reach people with the right skills, interview them quickly, and get them on your payroll without delay.