In a global recruitment landscape that’s facing a challenging period, there lies an opportunity for the HR and recruitment teams of small, nimble companies, to embrace innovative new ways of working.
Talent volumes are low, skills are in short supply and professionals are more willing to move between roles, industries, and even countries for work. So, demand for the best candidates is higher and more widely spread than ever.
Being able to make great hires, quickly is essential to staying ahead of the competition in the race for talent and, without the red tape and processes that might hold back their counterparts in larger enterprises, smaller, niche players have the chance to do so.
How can recruitment marketing help?
Big, exciting, market-leading companies – particularly those that operate in the B2C space – have to do very little to attract candidates. They are well known for their brand and the “badge of honor’ that comes with working for them.
So companies that are not necessarily well known outside the niche industry they service, have to work harder to position themselves as a great employer.
The days of having any success with just “spray and pray” tactics, such as posting a job ad on multiple job boards and waiting for the applications to flood in, are long gone.
Today, in order to attract the attention of great candidates, brands need to show up in the right places, at the right times with authentic and personal experiences.
This is the new recruitment marketing.
The evolution of recruitment marketing
Although the concept of recruitment marketing is not new, it has recently gone through somewhat of an evolution.
It was once about LinkedIn InMails and job boards – tactics seen as “push” techniques in the marketing world. These relied on assumptions, databases of contacts and the hope that great candidates would be actively looking for a role.
Now, it’s about recognizing the opportunity in the talent pools outside of those actively applying, understanding your employer value proposition (EVP) and using that to tell an authentic story about your company.
Marketers have had to get smart about the best ways to get a brand in front of customers, with personalized and meaningful content, and now recruiters need to do the same. To be effective you need to keep up with this shift, moving away from old-school techniques and delivering what your audience actually want to know, via the language and channels they actually use.
There are three key recruitment marketing principles that will help employers to do this.
1. Be current
People used to apply for a job having seen an advert in the newspaper. Then recruitment advertising evolved with the growth of the internet and candidates applied for roles from online job boards on their desktop.
Today, to avoid losing candidates at the first hurdle, you have to enable them to apply from their mobile device.
The lines between our professional and personal lives are becoming increasingly blurred. And, as we order food, book accommodation and buy gifts on the move, from our mobile device, we expect to be able to apply for our next opportunity in the same way.
Professional experiences have to live up to consumer expectations. Modern marketers know how absolutely critical it is to offer a seamless, mobile-first experience. Good recruitment marketers will need to do the same.
2. Be authentic
It’s a buyer’s market – as consumers we are inundated with choice and the same can be said for candidates.
Today, the power is very much in candidates’ hands when it comes to the outcome of a recruitment process. They will be applying for multiple opportunities at once and they will have a very clear understanding of the type of organization they want to end up working for.
People want to work for companies that align with their values, that offer them more than their basic needs and give them purpose.
More than that – people want to trust the companies they work for.
But who you are and what you stand for as a brand cannot be created overnight. It has to be authentic and driven from the inside out – a reflection of your company culture and how it feels to be an employee.
Once you know who you are and the story you have to tell, use social media to share it and make employees your online brand ambassadors.
3. Be searchable
As is the case for any brand looking for new business, you must be easily discoverable online when searching for talent.
Chat with your marketing team, get to know the basics of SEO and keyword research and understand the words and phrases people are using when job hunting online.
Make sure your content contains these keywords or phrases so you appear in their searches. They might not know your company name but if your jobs keep showing up in their search results, they will soon get to know you.
Move away from your generic job descriptions with titles that you use internally and use titles and terms that people are searching for – think about what the job does rather than the title, tell the story about it.
When the pressure’s on to fill vacancies, it can be tempting to stick to the status quo – doing things the same way they have always been done for ease and speed. The irony is that traditional ways of seeking candidates offer neither of these. A shake-up of your talent attraction strategy will broaden the talent pool you have access to and ultimately deliver better recruitment results.