Written by Chris Russell
16th June, 2021
What is Recruitment Marketing?
Recruitment marketing has become such an accepted part of talent acquisition that Google lists more than a million references to “every recruiter is a marketer” or some version of it. There isn’t a recruiting or HR conference today that doesn’t have a session or two on the topic, some feature marketing as the conference theme.
What makes marketing so central to successful recruiting is the need for employers to stand out in the crowded marketplace in order to attract and engage with the talent they need and convert them into applicants they want and hire.
In the past, when jobs appeared in the newspaper and workers had little access to detailed knowledge of an employer and its culture, recruiting was transactional, with the recruiter holding most of the cards. With the rise of social media and employer review sites like Glassdoor, candidates are more sophisticated and what they learn about an organization influences their decision about applying.
That alone is reason enough for a company to invest in recruitment marketing. A second and perhaps even more significant reason is to reach those not yet looking for a job. With more open jobs than applicants and competition fierce for the best people, promoting a positive brand and building awareness of an employer’s values and opportunities develops interest in the organization and hopefully encourages passive candidates to become candidates.
Defining Recruitment Marketing
Recruitment marketing involves working across multiple-channels trying to get talent to click on your opportunities. It involves leveraging social media, showcasing the company and jobs on the career page, monitoring employer review sites and responding as necessary, ensuring good SEO in job descriptions while planning the job posting placement to most effectively target the desired candidates. As if that isn’t enough, recruitment marketing strategies extend to building and communicating with the talent in candidate pipelines and ensuring that the application process itself is as simple and easy as possible.
As the list illustrates, the range of recruitment marketing activities is broad. For that reason larger organizations have dedicated marketers on their talent acquisition team and also work with recruitment marketing and advertising agencies. However, many smaller companies also work with outside agencies. Even more have their recruiting team handle the marketing.
Whatever the process, all recruitment marketing has the same goal: to attract and interest talent in your company, building and nurturing the relationship to convert these potential candidates into employees. Though the strategies will differ, all have the same basic blueprint: to tell the company’s story by highlighting the work it does and the people who do it.
The company career site becomes the window into the organization. Job opportunities are listed, but the primary focus is to show potential applicants what it’s like to work there. Recruitment marketers most effectively do that with video tours and employees describing their experience and what excites them about their work. On social media, recruiters will interact with potential candidates engaging with them in Q&A sessions or something as simple as a poll.
It’s just as important to talk about the company’s mission and its role in society, as well as describing the company culture honestly and transparently. More than a few companies forthrightly admit to what many would consider a negative, for example that long hours and frequent weekend work is part of the job. While that may seem a negative, it warns off candidates uninterested in that type of culture.
While “every recruiter is a marketer” may be more of a hope than a reality, it is true that every recruiter has a role in recruitment marketing. It may be as simple as improving the application process or keeping up with the Facebook page or posting company pictures to Instagram. The more touchpoints, a marketers call them, a company has, the more opportunities there are to promote the brand and communicate with candidates.
In that sense, every recruiter can participate in recruitment marketing. At the end of the day, recruiting IS marketing.
Contribution by John Zappe