If candidates are customers, how do you attract them?
Apart from leveraging the conventional job advertisement, career sites and working with third-party recruiters, companies today are turning to internal facing recruitment marketing strategies. By posting content relevant to candidates on their online platforms and social media channels, they are engaging potential job seekers in a two-way dialogue, and ultimately, creating long-term potential employees.
Here are six steps to help you get started with your recruitment marketing strategy:
Establish your team and goals
One of the first steps on the journey is to put together a cross-functional team and decide on your goals. For example, a tech company built a recruitment marketing team led by human resources that included people from marketing, sales, and engineering. The team’s main goal was to increase the number of qualified job seekers visiting its online sites, and boost the percentage of conversions from seeker to applicant and applicant to hire.
Identify your target candidates
Use data analytics to develop personas of your ideal candidates. The personas should include their career goals, background and experience, the information they seek and where they find it, and the people and resources that influence their decisions. See this persona example from Indeed. Some companies go one level deeper to include candidates’ needs and values.
Define your employee value proposition
Incorporate what you learn about your target personas into your employee value proposition, or EVP. Your EVP should succinctly communicate what’s unique about your company culture. In a few sentences, you need to articulate who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Everyone in your organization, including third-party recruiters, need to convey your EVP in a way that appeals to target candidates. Integrate your EVP into the content you create, and make sure it’s part of how you do business. If you don’t walk the talk, you’ll quickly be exposed on social media. Facebook’s Connecting the World is a great example of an EVP.
Create your inbound content.
Develop content that showcases your culture in action. Use a variety of author voices and media types, such as YouTube videos celebrating a successful product launch and blog posts on community service projects. Employees can even create their own video testimonials and then have team members share this content in their social networks.
Candidates that come from employee referral programs and social networks perform better and stay longer than those from other sources. Why? They’re self-selecting into your culture. Let these candidates experience your company firsthand by inviting them on site to engage with you. If they like what they see, they’ll continue to refer others.
Another way to share content is to present how-to advice in professional communities that your target persona visits. These outlets give you the chance to tell your brand story and position your company as a thought leader. Also, include this story along with your job postings, explaining why these jobs are critical to your mission. Amicus, for instance, talks about how its developers make the world a better place by helping nonprofits raise money with digital tools.
When posting job descriptions and other content, always include links to related articles and a clear call-to-action. Influence & Co. boosted traffic to its career site by 200% with video links in its job descriptions that encouraged visitors to share them with their networks.
Make your content mobile-friendly and findable.
Make your content easily accessible on mobile devices, as that’s what millennials use to find opportunities. Leverage search engine optimization for keywords (70% of all job searches start on Google) and post content on social sites, including your blog, Twitter jobs handle, and LinkedIn and Facebook pages. Starbucks Jobs’ Twitter handle has 85,000 followers who read its latest content and careers news.
As you’re putting information out there, you also need to improve your talent brand and reputation by continually refreshing your content and monitoring what is being said about you on sites like Glassdoor. Addressing negative comments is just as important as encouraging employees to write positive reviews.
Develop the right inbound-outbound mix.
Leverage both inbound and outbound marketing to attract qualified candidates across multiple channels. A general rule of thumb is to make inbound recruiting at least 30% to 40% of your mix, although this percentage is often higher for startups.
Reap the Benefits
As Ben Yoskovitz, founder of Instigator Blog, says, “Successful recruiting is hard. The companies that do it well win.” To do recruitment marketing well, you need to devote people, time, and money—and track your progress to make real-time improvements. However, your investment is worth it because the benefits go beyond increasing the flow of qualified applicants. You enhance your company’s brand equity and increase sales as job seekers, and the people in their networks, become your customers.