Marketing and recruiting are becoming inexorably intertwined, with recruitment marketing emerging both as a distinct discipline and a core competency affecting every part of the talent acquisition cycle. Preparing for the future of talent acquisition, and overcoming the talent shortage (real or imagined), means rethinking the way we approach recruiting - and recruitment marketing.
For recruiters, that means increasingly thinking like a marketer, and adding some core marketing competencies into their talent acquisition toolbox.
Here’s the good news: the game hasn't changed, only the tools.
And some more good news: like recruiting, marketing ain’t rocket science. That is, if you can understand these basic recruitment marketing fundamentals
1. Brand Marketing
Employer branding, while a relatively new discipline, used to mean creating slick collateral and creative campaigns created under the auspices of an outside agency, allowing organizations themselves to shape perceptions and employer value propositions.
With the rise of social tools and technologies, however, there’s been a democratization of information, and, as much as HR wants to believe otherwise, the organization no longer controls its employer brand. Your current (and prospective), employees do – and people are talking about your brand, whether you like it or not.
That means ditching the generic smiling stock photos and platitudes about people being your greatest asset on your career site and actually developing a brand that shows what it’s really like to work at your organization, 'warts and all.'
Not only does authenticity resonate more profoundly with candidates and current workers, but it also acts as an effective screening mechanism when it comes to ensuring culture fit and meeting expectations set forth in the hiring process, leading to better quality of hire and, ultimately, retention.
2. Lead Generation
Another of the major trends we're seeing in talent acquisition is the increase in proactive sourcing; increasingly success at recruiting, like marketing, has become incumbent not only on being able to create a pipeline of the right leads, but nurturing them, as well.
This means that applicant tracking systems, once designed to capture exclusively inbound leads, must now have the functionality to generate outbound leads as well, transforming once dormant databases into CRM systems.
The days of the proverbial “black hole” are rapidly disappearing, and it’s not too hard to predict that as these capabilities become more prevalent and more utilized, organizations will err on the side of over communicating with applicants, a significant shift when it comes to candidate experience. Of course, there’s still a long way to go.
3. Lead Nurturing
Striking the right balance, and turning leads into hires, means not only generating candidates, but nurturing them as well. Enter talent networks.
According to a recent Talemetry poll, 78% of candidates will join talent network and share information with potential employers, but only about 19% of companies actually have one. This represents a tremendous opportunity for employers to help close the talent gap while building an easy to engage pipeline.
Of course, when it comes to building talent networks, candidates do have expectations; it’s not the recruiting field of dreams: building it isn’t enough to make them actually come. Creating a meaningful talent network, and the lead nurturing that goes with it, requires adding value, rather than simply trying to extract it.
That means not only blasting job postings, but also sharing information and insights on your company, the hiring process, and general job search best practices which create not only more engaged leads, but better – and more viable – candidates.
And ultimately, those qualified leads are what define success in marketing – and recruiting.