How to Build Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy To Attract Top Talent

Todd Kunsman

Head of Marketing

16 minute read

Recruitment Marketing Strategy

Building a recruitment marketing strategy will ensure your company is constantly attracting top talent.

But not only is this strategy used for attracting smart people, recruitment marketing also attracts people with the right cultural fit. 

And since the employment options for people continue to grow, being able to find and hire qualified candidates has continued to be challenging. 

Especially now and into the new decade — as the hiring power has shifted into the candidates hands and they have control.

Meaning, there are so many opportunities and brands focusing on the employee experience — that candidates are actually leading the hiring process instead of recruiters. 

Below I’m going to dive into recruitment marketing further and how your organization can build a successful strategy. 

 

What is Recruitment Marketing?

If you are in recruiting or any human resources role, then you might be familiar with recruitment marketing already. If so, feel free to jump to the next section about building a stronger strategy for your organization. 

But if you want a refresher or new to the term, stick with me here. 

So what is recruitment marketing? 

Recruitment marketing means that you and your hiring team use digital marketing methods to get candidates interested in your company and build a work culture that people will want to apply to any current available positions.

Similar to how the buyer personas work with marketing, your organization must create a candidate journey as well (more on that below). 

This helps your team build out what you need at various stages for attracting top talent and filling the recruiting pipeline. 

Companies believe that social media marketing will be the most in-demand HR skill by 2020 and beyond, 2nd being data analysis, followed by predictive modeling skills.” (CareerArc)

 

The Benefits of Recruitment Marketing

Like the definition, I don’t want to focus too much time on the benefits. I think you probably have a pretty good idea or already know how valuable it is. 

But, I’m going to quickly list some of the benefits of recruitment marketing below. 

  • Builds a strong employer brand online
  • Helps reduce the hiring costs
  • Improves employee retention
  • Creates a more diverse and qualified talent pool
  • Boosts the overall candidate experience with your company
  • Drives a quicker hiring process
  • Helps build candidate relationships for future hires too
  • Your company can drive the work culture narrative
  • Current employees become more engaged with their company
 

Related: Learn how Atkins Global used social recruiting and marketing together to boost their company reach and build a recruiting pipeline of top talent. Download the case study.

 

Building Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy

In order for your recruitment marketing to be effective, you have to build a detailed strategy. Guessing and randomly piecing things together leaves for a sloppy candidate experience and weaker talent pool.

Below are some steps and tips to ensure your recruitment marketing is top notch. 

 

Build a brand and culture that attracts talent

This sounds so easy, doesn’t it? 

Yet building a brand and work culture that attracts talent is no simple feat. On top of that, it takes time for the brand build-up to reach audiences and build trust. 

But if you want your recruitment strategy to succeed, it begins with your organization building an attractive brand that current employees love and one that makes outside audiences envious of those who do work there. 

Value your employees, get them involved, appreciate their feedback, make it a place that employees want to feel proud to say they work for. 

While a recruitment marketing strategy can build on the below tactics that I’ll get into —  without a strong brand and culture, audiences will begin to see the cracks.

And you’ll be missing out on a much stronger candidate pipeline. 

So before anything, your company must work on the internal culture and employee experience. 

“When making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important.” (TalentNow)

 

Develop your recruitment marketing plan

Okay, let’s say your company has built a brand and great work culture. What’s next? 

This is where you need to start to develop your recruitment marketing plan. 

What are your ultimate goals for your recruiting efforts? Clearly, attracting and hiring top talent is the overarching theme.

But you can take this a step further in multiple goals. 

Additional recruitment marketing goals include:

  • Increase the number of applicants from social media
  • Boost engagement on employer branding content
  • Increase employee-referral rates for open jobs
  • Improve how engaged candidates are in the hiring process
  • Showcase better employee reviews online

There are probably more and others that matter to you and your organization. 

But just ensure you have these defined goals organized and ways for you to measure them down the road. 

 

Create your candidate personas

As mentioned earlier, you want to build candidate personas for your potential hires. This is similar to buyer personas in marketing and sales. 

You want to know who your ideal candidates are and think about the characteristics of the people you want to attract. 

Really think about what they are all about. You want to get an accurate preview by creating these fictitious candidate personas. 

But even though they are not real people, they help you organize key traits to help your recruitment marketing needs.

Build personas and answer questions around:

  • Education
  • Hobbies
  • Location
  • Age
  • Current job(s)
  • Career interest
  • Brands they like
  • Personality traits
 

Define your value proposition for candidates

When you are getting closer to executing your recruitment marketing, you will still need to define the value proposition for potential and current candidates. 

In fact, defining this and making it highly visible is key for your current employees and retention as well. 

The value proposition should showcase why anyone should want to work for your company. What do you offer that makes your organization unique? 

Salary and benefits are always a help to perk up attention, but monetary items are only a piece to what top talent wants in their job. 

Your company should be defining how to develop and nurture their careers, enabling education and training for further advancement, how your team’s work together, what kind of work environments exist, transparency and communication between company leaders and employees, etc. 

 

Build your recruitment marketing content

A lot of your recruitment marketing strategy so far is defining and mastering your goals. But all this info leads you to understand the content you need to create.

You’ll want to work with your HR and marketing teams do get what you need created to hit multiple areas of the candidate journey. 

Long gone are the days of just having a career page with some open positions or paying for a job ad. Sure, those are still components but expecting just that to build your recruiting pipeline is a mistake. 

You’ll want a variety of content like:

  • Blog posts
  • Images and videos
  • Newsletters
  • Infographics
  • Hiring event coordination
  • Job ad copywriting

You’ll want to build up an arsenal of great recruiting and employer branding content. 

Additionally, you may have your marketing team coordinate the posting and sharing of content as well. So definitely strategize and loop marketing leaders into your recruitment efforts. 

 

Enable and encourage employees be social

The era of social media in the workplace has shifted and social recruiting is more powerful than ever.

For your recruitment strategy to reach top audiences, your company should enable employees to share recruiting and employer branding content on social. 

But not just sharing recruiting content — creating and curating as well. 

People trust people over other forms of marketing (like ads or branded content).

And employees have many untapped social media networks with potentially tons of great talent that would be a great fit at your company. Plus, you will be building your brand and value for more audiences. 

This is why companies like T-Mobile and Adobe are harnessing an employee advocacy program. Software like EveryoneSocial becomes the central hub of organized recruiting content for employees to have access too. 

In the program, employees can share to their social networks, create content themselves for sharing about their work and job culture, tag and connect with other employees to also draw their attention to the content. 

  • Employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate – only 7% of applicants are via employees but this accounts for 40% of all new hires. (Jobvite)
  • Socially engaged employees are more optimistic, inspired, connected, and tenured. (Altimeter Group)
  • Job seekers rank social media and professional networks as the most useful job search resource compared to job boards, job ads, recruiting agencies, and recruiting events. (CareerArc)
  • When asked which employee-shared content consumers found most relevant, recruiting rose to the top: 30% of consumers find job posting useful. (EveryoneSocial)
 

Related: Looking for more statistics around employer branding and social recruiting? Find more data in our post right here.

 

Increase online visibility of your company 

Everything is digital and that means your recruiting strategy must focus on increasing visibility online. I already touched on the value of social media and your employees on social, but that is only one major component. 

You’ll also want to work with marketing teams to define how your about page and careers page on the website might look. It should be compelling and give people a reason to apply for open jobs. 

Additionally, you’ll want your recruitment marketing strategy to include PPC and SEO efforts. 

When people are searching for jobs, about your company, and career info — you want to ensure your brand is highly visible on search engines.

You can also pay for ads in search engines, on social media, or considering retargeting job ads to people who have previously viewed your open careers. 

Lastly, using job boards and employer review sites like Glassdoor or Comparably are also great places to build visibility.

These will rank well in search engines, so building a great profile and responding to reviews of your work culture will be important. 

 

Master the candidate experience

As your recruiting pipeline fills up from your great marketing and strategy, your job is not over. 

Nothing is more defeating to candidates when their application and hiring process tanks after a great experience of being attracted to the company. 

So that means part of your recruitment strategy, is the process of giving them the best experience right from the start — even if you do not hire them at the end.

Quickly what you built from first impressions, can be knocked back with bad job reviews and word of mouth from past candidates or employees. 

To keep candidates engaged, you should harness work culture videos, be prompt in follow-ups and move fast, don’t ask cliche and convoluted hiring questions, make web and mobile job descriptions and content easy to digest, etc.

Essentially, identify and create everything you need from the awareness, to application, to hiring conversations, to on-boarding, through continued employee retention.

 

Measure and adapt results

Finally, you need to measure the success of your recruitment marketing efforts.

By gathering metrics on what works and what doesn’t you can adjust and improve your recruitment marketing plan.

In order to achieve even better results, you need to experiment. 

By tracking your metrics, you can test different campaigns and identify job ads and calls to action that work best.

You can also consider anonymous surveys from current employees or job candidates to learn how areas can be improved. 

Thus, HR teams must constantly measure, store and evaluate data and track the most important recruitment marketing metrics. 

 

Looking for more? Learn how to build your employer brand online to attract top talent and to improve your hiring process. Download our employer branding guide

 

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