4 Undeniable Similarities Between Recruiting and Marketing

4 Undeniable Similarities Between Recruiting and Marketing

Mike Roberts

In the past few years, we’ve heard a lot of people say, “recruiting is marketing.” We’ve even said it ourselves. While the main difference between recruiting and marketing is who the target is—buyers versus candidates—the list of similarities between the two disciplines is massive.

That said, it’s no surprise we’ve seen lots of professionals in recent years move from marketing to recruiting roles, or to a hybrid role like “employer branding manager.” We can expect this trend to carry on into 2017 as the line between the two disciplines blurs even more.

Although recruiting may not technically be marketing, there continues to be far more similarities than differences. Let’s explore a few of the key similarities in this post.

1. Consistently Creating Good Content Is Really Hard

There is perhaps no better medium for connecting with and nurturing buyers or candidates than content. Quality content can influence people’s decisions, give credibility to your brand, and feed social, email, and SEO strategies. The trouble is, creating sharable, relevant, quality content is a serious challenge.

Our recent study supports this. In our 2016 State of Employer Branding report, creating employer branding content was the number one employer branding challenge in 2016 (ahead of proving an ROI for employer branding and securing budget for future campaigns).

Although marketing teams are traditionally more adept at creating content, they still face the challenge of routinely creating good content as well.

Our research shows that more than 72% of companies report partnering with marketing on employer branding initiatives, so we can be hopeful that the powers combined will be enough to ideate and execute on content that impacts recruiting efforts.

2. Candidates (Like Consumers) Do Extensive Research

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who makes important decisions these days without first doing extensive research on the web. This is true for a person buying a TV or a car, and it’s also true for nearly anyone looking for a new job.

Just take a look at these stats:

  • 76% of candidates search for jobs through their own research and due diligence
  • 38% of candidates spend 1-2 hours researching a new opportunity
  • 76% of full-time employed workers are actively looking for or at least open to new opportunities
  • Job seekers use an average 16 resources in their job search
  • 74% of candidates want to find salary information when researching a job opening

Like marketers, recruiters have to take this research process into account and adapt. This means identifying which channels candidates are using to research your company (social media, your career site, Glassdoor and other rating sites, Google, etc.), and working continuously monitor and optimize them.

3. Delivering Qualified “Leads” Is a Main Focus

Interestingly, both marketing and recruiting have counterparts that depend on them to find and connect with qualified leads—or candidates.

For marketing, their counterpart is sales, while recruiting’s counterpart is hiring managers. Each group faces pressure from the other side to perform well.

In both scenarios, quality is vital. If marketing is giving poor leads to sales, two things will typically happen. First, sales will lose faith in marketing over time. And second, the business will suffer. Sounds a lot like recruiting, right? Recruiting-hiring manager relationships, as well as business performance are closely tied to the quality that talent acquisition can produce.

There’s also a qualification process both groups go through. Marketers are looking for the right type of buyer and recruiters are looking for the right type of candidate. Poor communication from or with each group’s counterpart can make this difficult.

4. Not Everyone Is Ready to Buy or Apply

The internet has made it easy to passively peruse products, jobs…anything.

Both marketing and recruiting face the fact that not everyone who visits their site is ready to pull the trigger (buy or apply). For that reason, nurture marketing and recruitment marketing have emerged as important variables in getting buyers and candidates from the top to the bottom of their respective funnels.

Effective nurture marketing in the digital era requires content marketing, email marketing, conversion optimization techniques, social media marketing, and much more. Like content, doing this all well (in a way that moves buyers or candidates along the funnel) is difficult. But when it’s done right, it can accelerate movement through funnels and also differentiate your company from the pack.

Those are some of the main ways marketing and recruiting are similar, but there are much more. If you’ve got any ideas on this topic, shoot us a message on Twitter @jibe.

Interested in the topic of employer branding? Check out our new eBook, The 2016 State of Employer Branding. This eBook is key for companies both starting or well into their employer branding journey:

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