How can you develop a campaign that targets qualified candidates and positions your company as a top employer? Employing an effective recruitment marketing strategy can help achieve that goal. This should include a wide variety of tactics aimed at promoting your employer brand message. The goal is to identify and engage new quality leads, convert them into applicants and end up with an employee that is the right fit for your organization and its needs.
1. Define your ideal candidate and the best recruiting channels for reaching them:
- Create a candidate persona. Just like a traditional marketing campaign, it can be helpful to think about all aspects of who your target profile—or in this case your ideal candidate—really is, not merely the job-specific skills they possess. This process can be enlightening and fun! Think about the demographics, characteristics, skills and traits that define this person. Give them a personality and a name—anything that will help you envision and communicate with people like them. Look to current stellar employees for inspiration and ask them key questions about how they would describe your company culture, why they like their role and what they enjoy most about their day. This process will also inform your employer brand strategy, discussed later in this post.
- Develop relevant job descriptions. Now that you have a clear image of your ideal candidate, take the opportunity to craft a job description that uniquely appeals to that individual. Think of it as an engaging invitation to join your team that speaks directly to them rather than limiting your description to a checklist of roles and responsibilities.
- Determine the best recruiting channels for reaching them. You’ve determined what attributes this individual possesses, now take a moment to consider what their current situation may be. Let’s say your persona development helped you determine that they are likely an employed passive job-seeker. To source passive job candidates, you wouldn’t take out an ad in the classifieds, for example—that’s not where they’re looking because they’re not actively searching for a new job. Let’s take someone in the field of Epidemiology. They routinely subscribe to a well-respected epidemiologic journal and read it regularly to stay up to date on current trends in their field. What a great place for them to find your appealing ad! They’ll already feel like you “get them” because you’re meeting them where they are. Look at all the additional channels available to you: social media, employee referrals, optimized web content, and blogs, to name a few.
2. Strengthen and communicate your employer brand. Up to this point, we’ve talked a lot about your ideal candidate, but what is their perception of you?
- Develop your company’s signature brand story. A signature brand story allows you to talk about your brand in a way that surpasses a recitation of dry facts about your organization and delves into what makes your company noteworthy. It may reflect your values, mission, culture or relationships with the customers and community you serve. Don’t just make this story about your brand alone, consider where they are in the process and speak to their story as you unfold your own.
- Stand out. Really think about why someone would want to work for you. Rather than focusing on what you think an ideal candidate wants to hear, identify what makes your company unique and communicate it in a way that’s memorable.
- Create a strong visual brand identity. This will dictate the overall feel of your employer brand and govern a consistent look in your ads.
- Consider your overall marketing strategy outside of your recruitment efforts in order to keep your brand in view for target applicants, even when you’re not looking to push an open position. This will support future recruitment efforts through overall awareness of your brand.
3. Turn your job description into an engaging ad.
- Highlight why an ideal candidate would want to work for you. Perhaps you’ve been awarded “best place to work,” or you have amazing perks or benefits. Maybe an existing employee has a story to tell in the form of a testimonial that will resonate with a prospective employee—showcase whatever you think is most appealing about your organization.
- Within the structure of your visual brand identity, use exciting, relevant and informative images to convey this message. Brand visuals play a crucial role in conveying a message that will arrest a potential candidate’s attention.
4. Think through the logistics of each part of the application process so you don’t lose qualified potential applicants along the way:
- Create an easy way to apply. Remember that, especially in the case of recruiting passive job-seekers, your approach should be to tell them all the reasons why they’d want to apply for a position at your company rather than a “why should we hire you” attitude. They may not be highly motivated to change jobs, so provide that motivation and make the application process easy.
- Capture information/leads. Use data from leads and candidate’s interactions with your brands to deliver personalized content through your recruitment channels.
- Continue the conversation/interaction. Create an authentic experience for the candidate that focuses on their needs. Employ automation to help drive meaningful interactions but maintain human involvement to ensure candidates don’t get lost in the shuffle.
5. Enlist the help of a media partner like the KERH Group to help strategize your recruitment campaign.
According to Mike Hennessy, founder and CEO of SmashFly Technologies, “Organizations that employ recruitment marketing techniques can generate three times more leads, 10 percent greater revenue and a 100 percent higher close rate.” Recruitment marketing has become its own discipline, and that’s all the more reason to partner with an experienced media representative that understands the landscape. They work with industry-specific leading publications that connect you to your ideal candidates. For more information, contact us here.