How does one make an effective recruitment marketing strategy?

When one hears the term “job market”, it’s not uncommon for them to view the term from the perspective of job applicants. We bet just glancing over the term here evoked some rather unpleasant memories in our readers: memories of scrolling hopelessly through job websites, of preparing anxiously for job interviews, of sweating through formals waiting for your turn in some equally-tense, crowded waiting room (remember those happy pre-pandemic times!), of having to do all of it again and again till you found something suitable…

It’s no secret that the job market is a challenging arena for those in it fighting for a living, with each generation’s iteration of it shocking their parents in its sheer competitiveness. However, believe it or not, even making yourself visible on the job market as an organisation is such an uphill struggle that it has its own name: recruitment marketing.

But what is recruitment marketing?

The term, in general, refers to the strategies utilised by an organisation attract and nurture talent before they apply for a job.

Simple enough definition, right? However, before we dive into the meat of the article, we feel it’s important to understand the two major types of recruitment marketing out there:

  1. Outbound: The kind that involves reaching out directly to an organisation’s desired candidates through advertising, job descriptions or (hint hint) third-party recruiters.
  2. Inbound: Which involves the creation of the kind of social media content that aligns with the interests of the kind of candidates an organisation wishes to attract.
Step 1: Team, assemble!

We’ve already dropped a hint in the previous section – linking to one of the industry’s finest recruitment service providers who are more than able to take care of most of the recruitment marketing process themselves for a reasonable price. But if you’re going to go at it alone, then you need to put together a cross-functional team that’s designed to meet your decided-upon goals. While the kind of people you choose will obviously vary depending on the kind of organisation you are, here’s what a few of these positions might commonly be:

  • Job description writing
  • Social media marketing
  • LinkedIn sourcing
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Step 2: Identify your targets

Given that you already have your goals mapped out, it’s time to identify the kind of candidates out there that you really want for your coveted position(s). The best way to do this is to develop personas of your ideal candidates using data analytics. This persona typically encompasses the following:

  • Background
  • Career goals
  • Experience
  • Sources for information
  • Influences
  • Needs and values
Step 3: Employer Value Proposition-ing

Now that you have your ideal persona(s), incorporate them into your organisation’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP): i.e., the core benefits your organisation is willing to offer candidates that help make up your wider brand. Specifically, its few sentences should focus on and/or summarise what you see as being unique about your organisation. After coming up with the ideal EVP, make sure:

  • You integrate it into your content across all channels
  • Members of your organization as well as third party recruiters convey it in an appealing way

This might seem like an easy step, but do remember to walk the walk in addition to talking the talk. If potential candidates find you faltering on your EVP promises, then you might just end up being exposed on social media!

Step 4: Content inbound

We’ve already explained earlier in this article what the two major types of recruitment marketing strategies are. While most of the steps thus far fall under outbound recruitment marketing, focusing on the inbound aspect of your overall strategy is just as important. Here are some common and effective examples of such content:

  • Celebrating successful product launches through YouTube videos.
  • Promoting your organisation’s community service (i.e., CSR) activities through blogging.
  • Having employees record video testimonials which are then posted across social media handles.
  • Inviting candidates onsite to provide them with a first-hand experience of an organisation’s workings.
  • Creating ‘how-to’ guides in the form of videos and posting them in the kind of professional communities that match your desired candidate personae.

Keep in mind that while inbound recruiting should ideally account for around a third of your total recruitments, the figure might be even higher if you happen to be a start-up.

Step 5: Step into their shoes

Did you know that 3 out of 5 job seekers have been found to quit in the midst of filling out job applications simply because said applications happened to be too hard or long (or even both)? This is just one of many things you will have to consider whilst designing the right kind of online experience for your potential candidates. Here are just some of the many others:

  • The accessibility of your website’s careers/jobs section.
  • Your website’s performance on the average smartphone.
  • The convenience of your website’s job search function.
  • The frequency of negative comments – if any – on your website and the steps taken to properly address them.

And there you have it: five easy steps to create the ideal recruitment marketing strategy for your organisation!

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