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1 December 2015

How Recruitment Marketing Compares to Traditional Marketing

Posted by Team Talemetry

Today’s recruiting professionals would do well to learn traditional marketing tactics and change their recruiting approach accordingly. The results from incorporating more marketing techniques into recruiting and increasing your talent acquisition capabilities can be compelling. From a 2014 Bersin study, organizations with a mature talent acquisition function are:

  • 1.3x more effective on business outcomes
  • 2.6x more effective on talent acquisition outcomes
  • 1.7x more likely to have effective relationships with hiring managersBusiness man sitting at table with stock market graph 3d letters.jpeg
  • 2.6x more likely to have robust talent pools
  • 5.3x more likely to have effective social media campaigns
There are many parallels between strategic recruitment marketing and broad marketing (business to business and business to consumer marketing), in terms of steps and decisions that need to be made in order to attract consumers and candidates. The key parallels include:


The first step for marketers is to identify their target consumers by demographics and behavioral information. That target is then segmented to hone in on the best prospects. In recruitment marketing, candidates are segmented by job descriptions, skills, experience, and job types. Focusing on job categories, skills, and competencies is a great way to target a prospective candidate.


Once a segment is defined, it’s necessary to develop and showcase your brand and relevant messaging to those key segments in order for them to become more familiar with who the company is and what they offer. As a recruiter, it’s necessary to showcase your employer brand including your Employee Value Proposition (EVP),  your relevant jobs, and the key messages about what it’s like to work for your organization that you want to get out to prospective candidates.


Marketers identify which channels (ads, databases, social media, etc.) should be used to target potential customers based on their demographics and segmentation information. Recruiters do the same when they decide whether to post on job boards (and which ones to post on), social media, and external candidate databases.


Get The Recruitment Marketing Handbook Free DownloadMarketers communicate with prospective customers via video, email, events, etc. Oftentimes, the channel drives the communication vehicle, i.e. television ads are delivered via video. But social media and the Internet provides multiple options for delivering messages within the channel. Marketers test multiple messages and communication vehicles and measure results so they can optimize response rates by content and delivery mechanism. Recruiters can do the same by testing various pieces of content such as job ads and the like, through multiple channels: social networks, job boards, email campaigns, etc., and optimize their communications based on response rates.


Once marketers receive an initial response from target audience members, they need to determine what tactics (special offers, specialized landing pages, newsletters, testimonials, etc.) they will use to convert those who are interested in the solution, product, or service into qualified leads or customers. What is compelling about the offer that’s going to make them convert? For those who aren’t ready to purchase or engage right away, marketers can develop a list of the non-buyers to nurture and educate in order to develop a relationship with them over time as they may need the product or service in the future. Recruiters should take a similar approach. What’s compelling about the position that will encourage potential candidates to apply? And if they don’t apply or aren’t right for one job, it’s important to stay in touch via newsletters and educational content in case they are a better fit for a job that may become available in the future.


For both marketers and recruiters, it’s necessary to regularly look at the data and review the process in order to make tweaks that will improve the program overall. Both recruiters and marketers have access to systems that can provide a good deal of data about response rates for messages, segments, channels, and conversion methods. The more strategic recruiters can be about utilizing well researched, repeatable methods for engaging talent and subsequently measuring the results, the greater the results in terms of hiring success and scalability.

Linear vs. Relational

In order to fully utilize the methods of broad marketers, recruiters need to move from a traditional recruitment model to a modern recruitment model. A traditional recruitment model is built around a supply chain mentality. The candidates are the raw materials that get pushed through a process and get spit out on the other side as hires. It’s a very funnel-driven, linear, transactional model that is hire focused. The process results in “winners” and “losers” since, when a position opens up, one person is hired but the rest of the applicants, who might be extremely good for the organization in different roles, end up “losing” because they didn’t get that particular offer.

Marketers used to think this way as well.

While the fundamentals of this process are still relevant, modern recruiters should see that within that linear process there is a lot more going on, which is where modern broad marketing tactics come into play. Using a modern recruitment model, recruiters are focused on building networks (similar to traditional marketing lead databases) instead of building supply lines. Recruiting is now about access to talent through a centralized talent pool and access to external networks (social, databases, etc.) that can be folded into the centralized talent pool. There is an increased focus on relationships and connecting with candidates at various points in the process which improves scalability. Even if a candidate doesn’t get one job, the relationship is maintained in case they are a good fit for a future position.

It’s about building talent pipelines and creating supply ahead of the demand so that recruiters don’t need to start from scratch with every job opening.

To learn more about how to recruit like a marketer through the entire recruiting process, check out our free Recruitment Marketing Handbook.

Related Resources:


Topics: hr technology, recruitment marketing

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