Expert Panel: Recruitment Marketing Defined and Its Role In Candidate Experience
It’s interesting to watch a concept start to morph into a strategic initiative. With recruitment marketing, this has been happening for the past few years. And action behind it is starting to gain momentum. Today’s leading companies are trying to identify new and innovative ways to leverage marketing techniques in their recruiting efforts.
Since we’ve seen an increasing amount of interest in this topic, we decided to ask a few industry practitioners, bloggers, and thought leaders for their views on recruitment marketing. Below, we inspect how they define recruitment marketing, and how it plays into the candidate experience journey.
Recruitment marketing is yet another one of the subjective terms in our industry. What does it mean to you?
Recruitment is marketing. I feel that you can’t be a successful recruiter or recruitment agency without it. And I’m not talking about posting job ads. What you’re trying to do is build awareness, trust and engagement in your brand with a pool of talent who may not necessarily be looking for a new job right now. Recruitment marketing helps you create advocates for your brand. These people will refer others to you, and will come to you either when they’re ready to move, or willingly take a call from you to hear about an opportunity that no one else is applying for.
To me, recruitment marketing is all those things we do in Talent Acquisition to attract candidates to our organizations. Online job postings, candidate referral automation, social recruiting, CRM, college career fairs, radio/tv ads, billboards, and so on. All the stuff we do to let candidates know we are hiring and we want them to apply.
I don’t necessarily think that the term “recruitment marketing” on its own is descriptive enough. Recruiters aren’t becoming more like general marketers, they’re becoming more like digital marketers—ones focused on leveraging digital media and the internet to connect with people. All of the elements of social media, content creation, nurture campaigns, web analytics, and even SEO that digital marketers have in their arsenal are starting to impact the way recruiters attract and engage talent. And we’re really only at the beginning.
Recruitment marketing isn’t new. We have always advertised jobs and in some instances promoted agency brands through bill-boards or radio. Online media has increased accessibility to marketing tools and reduced costs. The term covers marketing jobs, company/agency brands and personal recruitment brands.
To quote Josh Bersin, “the war for talent is over, talent won!” Today’s candidates will search for your company in the same way as they would any other major purchasing decision–much like you screen applicants for “fit,” top talent is screening you right back. As a result, the way companies market themselves to potential applicants is essential. Recruitment marketing helps organizations connect with the right candidates and project the right hiring brand–invaluable in today’s hiring market.
For me, it is multi-faceted. One is contacting and engaging of candidates. Two is about the marketing of a company, and its openings to help make them an employer of choice.
From your perspective, what is the role of recruitment marketing in candidate experience?
Through the use of technology such as integrated CRMs, marketing automation tools and social media marketing, there is absolutely no reason why a candidate’s experience cannot be personalized. They should not feel like a number with their applications and questions going into a black hole. We have NO excuse for not responding to each applicant, respectfully. And certainly with the introduction of one of the best channels for customer service, there’s also no reason why we can’t engage and respond to talent on social media within minutes of their inquiries. When it comes down to it, candidates want to be communicated to. With all this technology at our fingertips—and let’s not forget the all important telephone—we have the opportunity to give candidates a wonderful experience. So why don’t we?
Candidates are like any other consumer. They are attracted to brands for some reason or another. I’ve liked Nike since I was a kid because those athletes I looked up to wore Nike. That’s my brand. Recruitment marketing’s role in the candidate experience is that first touch point to your employment brand. Our hope is that first “touch” will be great and they have a positive view of your brand. For many it’s not.
Candidate experience has so many different elements, and thanks to the internet it now starts well before a job seeker even visits your career site or sees your requisitions and extends beyond the visit. As I said at a recruiting conference recently, Google is now the first page of your career site. Most job seekers are using search engines to find opportunities. Others may come across a link to a requisition on social. And then once they’ve visited your site, tech like job alerts and email marketing can help nurture them over time. These are all elements of the candidate experience that overlap with recruitment marketing, and they’re all in the control of recruiting organizations.
Candidates generally get exposed to recruitment marketing when they visit job boards, however, increasingly they are seeing job adverts on channels where they are used to viewing consumer marketing, i.e. YouTube.
The advent of the digital age has made life pretty easy for consumers. Companies today compete to simplify the purchasing journey—think about the seamless experience of buying from Amazon. This idea has not been echoed by the recruitment industry, application processes are often clunky and time consuming, and candidates are mistreated. Recruitment marketing has developed as a framework for companies to dramatically improve the candidate experience. It applies many customer acquisition concepts to recruitment to, quite literally, treat candidates like customers.
It is a very important one in that if we market the company right, the position right, and we communicate correctly, it can increase our position within the market space as it relates to candidates.
One aspect of recruitment marketing is job alerts and nurture campaigns. Check out our new eBook, “The Role of Job Alerts in a Modern Recruitment Marketing Strategy,” to learn more.