Traditional marketing strategies are becoming commonplace in recruitment. The war for talent is on and recruiters must start thinking like marketers in order to streamline processes and compete for the best talent in this tight labor market. We should be familiar with campaign-based marketing, nurturing, omnichannel engagement, and each stage of the recruiting funnel.
Where to Start? The Talent Brand Audit
Your employer brand is the common thread that runs through all of your recruiting marketing efforts, and it’s also the first place to begin when reviewing your current processes to determine what you can do better and more efficiently. Often called a talent brand or employment brand audit, this comprehensive analysis looks at all aspects of your digital brand and candidate experience. It focuses on many areas, but specifically, the top four are:
Your applicant tracking system is the heart of your recruiting and application process. Your ATS can enhance the candidate experience with customization, including social media job posting, sharing, and apply buttons that make it easier for qualified candidates to apply quickly and easily for the jobs they want. You can also set up messaging automation with a FAQ for candidates and use your apply bounceback email to direct candidates to questions most asked by them during the interview and hiring process, as well as use the opportunity to re-engage previous applicants with content marketing.
Technology can help you move more quickly to secure a strong candidate. As the time these candidates are on the market gets shorter, taking the time at the outset to establish a clear process and plan for all those involved in the hiring process with your recruiting technology gives you the freedom to move quickly when it counts. A speedy process will help you lock in a great candidate before they move on to another opportunity.
Your Social Media Channels
With 76% of all U.S. Internet users on social media (Pew, 2015), and 92% of employers using social media (The Muse), social channels are low-cost and necessary channels for amplifying your brand. Work with your marketing team and collaborate on a dual strategy to drive a strong presence on social media by cross-posting customer and employee stories to engage new customers and drive quality candidates to your career site to apply.
With more than 6.5 million jobs posted and 500 million members, nearly 90% of recruiters report using LinkedIn to attract and source candidates. Regular content, co- branded profiles and featured (paid) jobs on LinkedIn could go a long way to provide candidates information about your company and drive qualified traffic back to your career site.
Facebook, especially Facebook videos, and Instagram stories can also give potential candidates insight on what it’s like to work for your company. Ask questions to engage candidates, create a unique Instagram hashtag and encourage current employees to use it when sharing workplace photos, and tap your existing talent to share their expertise in articles on LinkedIn showcase pages.
Employee testimonials are a powerful way to share what makes your organization unique and a great place to work. Companies such as Twilio combine video with testimonials that complement their employment branding and social media efforts. Beyond research and employee testimonials, visual media helps to set employers apart from one another. This includes photography, videos and other digital assets that complement your job posting. For similar examples, check out AT&T’s career site, T-Mobile’s career “tours,” and careers at Airbnb.
Your Job Descriptions
The best job postings provide information on the qualifications and skill sets needed in order to be successful in the role. The single most important part of your job posting is the title. Like an email subject line, it is the first piece of information your candidate will read. It should accurately describe the job, provide information about the skill sets required, and encourage the candidate to either explore or move along to another opportunity. A poor job posting headline can keep you from reaching the best talent and draw out the hiring process possibly indefinitely.
An effective job description should include key responsibilities for the position as succinctly as possible. You might consider a short version for posting to job boards and elsewhere online, with a link to the longer description on your career site. The second most important feature of a job posting is a call to action that drives candidates to apply. Keep your call to action short and to the point. It could be as simple as, “Apply here,” but you want your call to action to stand out from those of your competitors. Take a look at your competitors’ job postings and consider conducting A/B tests with different calls to action to see which drives better results.
Your Career Site
Your career site is your company’s most important recruitment channel and the top resource candidates access during their research process. A 2017 report from LinkedIn discovered that not only do candidates spend one to two months gathering information, your company website is the first destination for research (53% of candidates), followed by LinkedIn (38%) and job search engines (35%). Candidates are looking for company values, what current employees have to say about working for your company, transparency (especially in job descriptions), and what makes your company stand out in your industry.
Your talent brand includes the perceptions of prospective, current, and previous employees and influences whether or not people choose to apply, accept offers, and stay at your company. A talent brand audit is an excellent way to measure this information with regards to where you are now, set goals and define where you would like to be, and implement or change processes based on the information gathered via your audit. This is how you control (most of) the information that is out there about your company, your messaging, and the perception of your company for the long-term. It’s dynamic by its nature, which means that a long-term candidate marketing strategy that supports your employer brand must be maintained and audited frequently.
In part two of this post, we’ll focus on what lies beyond your brand, including identifying your audience, developing marketing personas, and what metrics you should focus on to evaluate the benefits of your recruitment marketing strategies.