Today’s candidates are far more subjective.
They care about what they hear about your company from friends, they listen to the twittering of social networks, they’re interested in intangibles like ‘culture’ and ‘brand’.
Recruitment marketing has emerged as a multi-faceted approach to attract, convert and engage candidates. It’s a framework that allows you to take control and approach this brave new hiring world proactively.
Marketing strategies can help recruiters improve the way they measure the hiring process, rethink their social recruitment strategies and rewrite their job descriptions.
With the best candidates off the market within as little as 10 days, we need to make sure that we focus on candidates from the very first time they encounter your brand.
We think recruitment marketing is a huge deal, so a little while back we decided to sit down with 25 of the most respected figures in the recruitment industry to hear what they had to say.
The verdict? Is Recruitment Marketing important?
Well it sounds like it’s a pretty big deal! Find out why below:
This article is a pretty long one so we’ve distilled a choice selection of the advice below into a neat handout you can share with you team
1. William Tincup
Principal analyst at Key Interval, William Tincup is also one of the main hosts for HRDriveThru Radio, a daily HR podcast. William is one of the leading thinkers on social media application for human resources, an expert on adoption of HR technology and an excellent blogger.
“Often said, recruiters are sales people. Also often said, recruiters should think like marketers. Maybe the truth is somewhere in-between? With all the advancements in CRM, sales force automation and marketing automation in the last 15 years you’d like to think recruiters would be further along in their evolution.
Well, not-so-much. But, help is on the way… the recruitment software segment is where ALL the innovative tech is these days. I can’t wait to see where we are in 10 years. Will we be leading or lagging CRM?”
2. Matt Buckland
Matt heads up the talent team at fashion ecommerce platform Lyst and blogs (excellently) at The King’s Shilling. His extensive recruiting career has taken him to multiple countries and ranges from startups to globally recognised brands such as Bloomberg and Facebook.
“It’s often said that recruiters should be marketers but the truth is that we’re still light years behind. We live in a world of personalised adverts delivered to individual users based on their personal browsing history, yet in recruiting we still give out awards for careers pages and newspaper ads.
We’ve been mass marketers for so long now that the formats and conventions are almost set in stone. It’s only when the industry get’s so excited about being “social” that we realise we fail to engage on an individual level.
The future of recruitment marketing needs recruiters who understand that their role is not pumping our people like a hiring factory but that there is a greater network effect of their actions. Those that will be successful in a candidate led world will be both brand savvy and empathetic in their engagement.”
3. Steve Boese
Steve is the Co-Chair of the HR Technology Conference and Co-Host of the HR Happy Hour Show and Podcast (recommended listening).
“Everything in business comes back to marketing, eventually, so it makes perfect sense that viewing recruiting as just another aspect of marketing has become popular – and essential.
Top talent has always had power, but now they have much more information than ever before – about your company, your reputation, and much like you screen applicants for ‘fit’, top talent is screening you right back.
Smart marketing can help cut through the noise and clutter and help you connect with your target audience, in fact, it might be the only way to connect with them in the modern, information overload age.”
4. Josh Bersin
Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, a firm that provides talent management research and advisory services, HR expert Josh is a frequent speaker at industry events, leading LinkedIn influencer and popular blogger for Forbes.
“Recruitment has shifted from a “sales” focus to a “marketing focus” today. Companies that create a compelling, authentic employment brand, communicate their values and mission, and clearly articulate the nature of their workplace are winning out in their recruitment efforts.
I encourage recruiters and entire leadership teams to make recruitment a corporate mission, driven top down by the CEO and VP of Marketing. Not only does this improve candidate quality, but it gives the company valuable feedback on how it is perceived in the markeplace.”
5. Bill Kutik
The father of the HR Tech Conference, Bill Kutik has been the tech columnist for Human Resource Executive for 25 years. He is also host of the The Bill Kutik Radio Show and is one of the foremost industry analysts. A true HR technology specialist, when he speaks, we listen!
“The advertising model for recruiting is on life-support and soon to expire. The recruiter as a fisherman in a boat with a baited hook over the side hoping to attract candidates is over. The new model is recruiter in scuba gear with a spear gun hunting down candidates.
That’s why in the future, recruitment marketing will be key to every organization’s process. And of course, that means more than getting the company’s name in front of people’s eyeballs. Companies are already doing that to little benefit on all the major social networks.
It means building relationships with candidates, discovering who they really are by which content you send them that they end up reading.”
6. Franz Gilbert
A Talent Acquisition Executive with Korn Ferry and great blogger, Franz Gilbert is one of the best people to turn to when you’re trying to work out where the human resources industry is headed.
“There should be little debate as to whether Recruiting Marketing is important, as consumer marketing professionals have shown that marketing can influence every major decision in our lives – such as which college, which car, and what medicine. It should be of no surprise that the same marketing principles apply to “which job.”
As a result, HR should not try to re-invent marketing, which is already a very mature discipline. The concepts of brand, value proposition, target audience, multichannel marketing, and recency, frequency and monetary – all apply very well in this space. The recruiting functions that understand marketing, will be the ones that win the best talent in the future.”
7. Greg Savage
Greg has founded numerous successful recruitment companies and is now heavily in-demand as a advisor, speaker and investor. He regularly creates excellent content on his blog The Savage Truth.
“That recruitment is in fact merging with marking. Job seekers are behaving like consumers when they look for jobs and so recruiters have to think and behave more like marketers and less like salespeople. So now, building brand is a key skills and content is king in a social strategy, even at the recruiter level.
Recruitment companies need to focus less on sales and more on marketing, especially using social media to build communities and CRM to connect and build relationships.”
8. Sharlyn Lauby
President of the ITM Group and blogger at HR Bartender, Sharlyn Lauby is one of the most respected figures within the HR industry. She also finds time to produce great content for Mashable, and is on the hunt for the world’s best cheeseburger.
“Recruitment marketing continues to be an important part of the hiring process. Smart companies are building brands and engagement strategies to attract talent before candidates have even decided to apply. Frankly, before candidates have decided to look for a new job!
The recruitment market is changing. Everyone is open to hearing about new opportunities. Open requisitions aren’t relevant. Companies are starting to hire talent when they find it – not when the opening exists – because it makes good business sense”
9. Tony Restell
Founder of Social-Hire and widely renowned social media expert, Tony is the first port-of-call for any recruiters unsure of how to manage their social recruitment strategy. He has a firm grasp of the importance of marketing to the recruitment industry.
“The hiring market has fundamentally changed these last years, from a situation where most open positions would be publicly advertised to a situation today where most recruiters will try to fill vacancies via direct approaches to target candidates. Everyone though is battling with how to address declining LinkedIn InMail response rates and general candidate fatigue at the volume of unsolicited approaches being made.
The absolute key to winning the War For Talent this decade is going to be driving up the conversion rate your recruiters enjoy when they approach target candidates in these ways. Does the candidate already have a relationship with your business, have they engaged with you on social media or been appreciative of blog content they’ve seen you publish? Have you ensured your business is one that your target candidates warm to and are already familiar with, so that when that approach is made by a recruiter they are far more receptive to it?
That’s the power of your recruitment marketing and your company’s recruiting presence on social media.”
10. Miles Jennings
Miles Jennings is founder and CEO of Recruiter.com, a startup that helps make hiring easier and more cost effective. Job seekers can discover new opportunities while currently employed. Miles has over a decade in the the online recruitment space.
“Recruitment marketing is not only about advertising jobs; it’s the whole way that employers present their workplace to the outside world. Great companies know how important it is to attract and retain the best talent, so they make a real effort to brand themselves as attractive places to work.
Most communications that employers create can be thought of in the context of hiring – does that commercial make you seem like a fun company to work for? Does your website highlight staff accomplishments? As skills get more specialized, employers need to consider recruitment marketing as a key strategy for success in the future, and integrate that branding deep in their communications.”
11. Mervyn Dinnen
Mervyn Dinnen is an award winning blogger who helps recruiters and HR teams with content marketing and social engagement.
“For recruiters to really think like marketers they need to structure talent acquisition campaigns like strategic marketing campaigns. That means really understanding what they have to offer (EVP, employer brand, employment experience) and their target market – i.e. who are they trying to reach and why, in which way are they likely to consume messages and what they are likely to respond to.
Then the channels and content, the actual messaging – is it compelling, concise and consistent? Will the target audience engage with it, respond to it, or will it confuse them? Might help to start with the job description, because if poorly drafted or misleading then the chances of a successful outcome are severely limited.
How about the call to action? – Is the application process seamless and easy? Plenty of great marketing campaigns fail to deliver if the mechanisms and processes for the action and interaction are clunky, complex or overcomplicated, and stats show the same is true for job applications”
12. Matt Charney
Executive Editor and Head of Content for Recruiting Daily, Matt is a marketing expert. One of the best in the business at creating great content, Matt regularly publishes thoughts and insight into the recruitment industry on his blog Snark Attack.
“I define recruitment marketing as inbound marketing focused on career or employer focused content, with the major distinction from all other forms of online marketing being only that the call to action is around buying an employer instead of consumer focused brand. From segmentation to lead nurturing to marketing automation, social, SEO/SEM and other integrated marketing campaigns across external channels and internal databases.
I think that it’s important to the future of recruitment because it will allow recruiters to finally measure quality of hire (lifetime customer value); efficacy of employer branding and company culture (net promoter score) and most importantly, create accountability and opportunity for individual recruiters to establish competitive differentiation and directly tie activities to a P&L and overall shift recruiting from a cost to profit center due to the analytics and strategy inbound enables.”
13. Jeffrey Fermin
Jeffrey Fermin runs marketing for performance feedback platform WIRL. He’s a canny entrepreneur and a has some interesting thoughts on marketing’s role within recruitment.
“Data seems to be what HR practitioners are preaching nowadays. The more a practitioner can quantify an aspect of HR, the better it will serve the company.
The concept of Recruitment Marketing proves this, as companies can now research and measure what type of individuals can be a great fit for an organization. This makes it even easier to find the ideal employee that fits within a particular position in a company.
Using the right tools businesses can use inbound recruitment marketing to find an optimal fit for the company and the job-seeker. So if your company’s brand and culture are strong and you know the kind of employee you’re looking for, assess what type of recruitment marketing strategy you should use to obtain that perfect fit. And, of course, in doing so save your company a lot of money in the long run.”
14. Marvin Smith
Committed to leveraging technology to put the human touch back into recruiting, Marvin works for a Fortune 50 organization (Lockheed Martin) focusing on HR technology (automated recruitment marketing), strategic talent sourcing and creating talent communities for key talent segments.
“When I think of Recruitment Marketing, I think of 3 R’s—Revolution, Relationship, & Relevance. Recruitment Marketing with its inbound (white papers, blogs, infographics and social media participation) and outbound (job ads, job fairs, email blasts, direct mail and webinars) marketing-like features offers a revolutionary approach to talent acquisition.
Not only does recruitment marketing allow organizations to glean metrics and ROI, it also affords the ability to engage and nurture short and long relationships with targeted talent. Instead of dangling a job in front of people that aren’t reading job ads, recruitment marketing focuses engaging target talent with information, conversations and content that is relevant to them. A recruitment marketing platform is an essential tool for an organizations’ talent acquisition team.”
15. Todd Raphael
Todd is Editor-in-Chief of ERE Media, home to some of the best recruitment writing on the web. Charged with controlling content management, he’s the perfect person to consult on the influence of marketing on recruitment.
“Recruitment marketing is important, but what’s most important in the future is the brand — the perception — of a company. In other words, I believe most people will tell you that the best recruitment marketing is marketing that sells a job and a career at a company. I’ve got a different view: that the best recruitment marketing is a successful, interesting, unique, exciting company.”
16. Kevin Grossman
“Here’s the deal: Job seekers are the buyers in this recruitment marketing realm and today the well-informed, well, they come to the table well informed. Like other buyers in the B2C and B2B marketplaces, they can find out just as much information about a company’s culture and the reality of what it’s like to work there and who they’d be working with than the company’s talent acquisition team can find out about them.
This is why distributing highly targeted, relevant employment brand, job and industry content is key, preferably in multiple mediums, especially video. Authentic and ‘real’ opportunities in the form of smarter and engaging content and storytelling, personable and professional, can remove even the most elusive ‘passive’ invisibility cloak. And don’t forget, anyone can go from passive to active in the read of the right story. Real stories rock and that’s immersive marketing 101 these days anyway. The best marketers know this.
These stories make for relevant and real conversations, which ultimately what job seekers and employers want. Savvy marketers can and should educate recruiters and sourcers how to engage prospects in real conversations. Whether it’s on a forum, user group, blog, simple email or any social network, or the old-fashioned phone call or at a live event, the relevant conversation should always be the goal.”
17. David Kippen
David Kippen is CEO of Evviva Brands, the brand shop for people brands. He has conducted talent market research in more than 35 countries and developed employer brands for many of the world’s best-known technology, energy and financial service brands.
“Recruitment marketing is a unique form of advertising because it’s focused on marketing a reverse cash flow. When you buy a product, you give cash and get a widget. So the goal of traditional marketing is to position the features of that widget for maximum cash value.
In recruitment marketing that flow is reversed: the employer’s “selling cash” but buying time. The seller’s goal is to get the best quality time for the lowest amount of cash. So while recruitment marketing also focuses on positioning features attractively (“great perks!”), those features are being positioned in lieu of cash.
The DIY nature of social media has made some folks wonder whether this specialized form of marketing will someday go away. That’s possible, of course, but seems really unlikely to me. Employers have trouble doing it themselves and marketing organizations generally don’t know how to work with the reverse cash flow and don’t understand HR or the workings of large organizations.
And hey, they work in advertising–how much do they care about understanding the working life of a systems process engineer?”
18. Steve Browne
Executive Director of HR at LaRosas, Steve is a well respected human resources strategy expert that specialises in ensuring HR is fully integrated across the breadth a company. Take a look at his excellent blog Everyday People.
“Marketing in the recruitment space is the next logical evolution for recruiting. It’s needed because candidates are looking for companies who differentiate themselves. If you look like everyone else, you tend to blend in. Having a distinct message, brand and approach through Recruitment Marketing is key in today’s employment market.”
19. Craig Watson
Craig is a Director at Recruitment consultancy Watson Collard and has over 18 years in the recruitment industry. He’s a prolific blogger at The Written Reference, and definitely a figure whose opinion I trust.
“With the shift in recruitment more and more to an online presence, coupled with the ability of social media networks to create and sustain ‘engaged talent communities’ it makes sense that this is reflected in marketing.
I see recruitment marketing as a means to amplify a business’ message and service. However, it must be specific, add value and reach the right audience. It also must be delivered via technology and be measurable.”
20. Cyndy Trivella
An employer branding and HR communications expert, Cyndy is the marketing manager at Smartsearch and an important figure at TalentCulture. A big advocate of recruitment marketing, she has a great vision of how hiring might look in the future.
“Recruitment marketing is a combination of communications, recruiting, branding, data, and marketing. A great recruitment marketing strategy is strictly aligned with a strong employer brand and with a deep understanding of an organization’s mission, vision and values.
Further, the organizations that understand this have a distinct advantage. They are forging enduring relationships today, with all constituents, that will help them achieve their business goals for the future. Knowing that people are at the nucleus of the hub is an understanding that will serve an organization now and well into the future.”
21. Matt Alder
“Recruitment marketing has always been held back by the shackles of its print based origins and it is still yet to fully shake them off. The move to digital in some ways has only exacerbated this and for many potential candidates recruitment marketing just feels like spamming.
There are huge opportunities for employers who look beyond the same old jaded tools and approaches, with so much incredible innovation going on in the broader digital marketing space. The audience is demanding a more sophisticated mobile first approach and the employers who deliver this will be the ones who win”
22. JoAnn Corley
“To attract exceptional talent it will take sophisticated actions and strategy. Recruitment marketing falls into this category. The evolution of recruitment marketing and it’s need for it has been enhanced by the addition of Social Media into the recruitment toolkit.
The essence of the definition of marketing includes promotion and selling. So I see it (recruitment marketing) as a part of talent management practices executed via “brand attraction”. So the activities are intentionally designed to attract (through promotion and selling) talent.”
23. Ben Eubanks
“In recent years organizations have evolved to be more focused on the candidate experience and treating candidates like customers. Through these changes, recruitment marketing has come into play as a way to differentiate the organization and stand out from the crowd in terms of employer branding and value proposition.
As more providers enter the space to help businesses weave marketing tactics and measurements into the recruiting process, the discipline will grow into a powerful talent acquisition tool. I see this as a major change to the industry as companies focus more on targeted marketing to specific demographic segments and have the analytics to back up their actions. It’s an exciting time to be working in the talent industry and doing research on these and other leading practices.”
24. Suzanne Lucas
Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers. Check out her great blog Evil HR Lady.
“What many companies don’t realize is that recruiters are marketers. They are marketing the company to the candidates–and not just to get them on board. Not every candidate will be hired, but every candidate will develop an opinion about the company based on his or her interactions with recruiters.
When recruiters don’t update candidates, give them the run around, bring them in for multiple interviews and then never even bother to say the position is filled, you are getting terrible marketing. Those people, who your recruiters have treated poorly, will go forth and tell others about how awful your company is. So, remind your recruiters of their marketing role and make sure they treat candidates like customers.”
25. Robin Schooling
Robin is on a mission to make organizations better by making HR better. She consults with organizations, advises HR teams, speaks to business and HR audiences, and writes about all things HR.
“Recruitment marketing, just like consumer marketing, creates a memorable and emotional connection that compels the intended audience members, in this case the candidates, to respond to a call for action – “come work for us!”
This may seem like a daunting task to small or mid-sized business without a dedicated recruiting function, but a growing number of HR professionals realize they must ‘think’ like marketers. HR teams of all sizes are now defining their brand, targeting their audience via appropriate channels, and building candidate relationships; all while focusing on – and measuring – the results.”
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