Aptitude Research Partners, a new HR Technology research firm founded by the highly respected team of Madeline Laurano and Mollie Lombardi, recently released a report called Talent Acquisition Systems 2016. The report is a look at current trends in talent acquisition technology along with an overview of a selection of ATS providers.
One of the most interesting findings was that recruitment marketing is a critical investment. In fact, 70% of the companies surveyed indicated they will be investing in a recruitment marketing platform in 2016. That’s great news for Talemetry and other providers of recruitment marketing platforms.
But there is a lot of confusion about what recruitment marketing really is. This is something we’ve tried to clear up over the years. When people ask us what is recruitment marketing, we say “it’s something you’re probably already doing.”
Recruitment marketing breaks down to a few basic building blocks:
- Employer Branding. Branding is the identification and stewardship of the combined perception of everyone who interacts with your organization. Here is a great collection of various definitions of branding. Bottom line: you don’t create or even own your brand. You can understand it and influence it and amplify it through programs and channels, but only if that amplification resonates as truth to the employee or candidate.
- Inbound Attraction. Attracting candidates to your jobs by getting them in front of candidates via job boards, social media, recruiting agencies, digital ads, and more.
- Outbound Sourcing and Engagement. Actively searching for potential candidates, communicating with them over time, and inviting them to apply for your jobs. This is typically supported by a candidate relationship management system or various candidate databases, both internal and external to the recruiting organization.
- Candidate Experience. The quality of the candidate experience from the time they first see one of your jobs all the way through to signed offer letter.
So if you hire people in 2016, you are already doing some or all of these functions. You are likely communicating what kind of place your company is to work for through words and graphics, at the very least. You are likely advertising jobs, either on job boards or your career site at a minimum. You likely are reaching out to potential candidates through LinkedIn searches or career fairs, referrals, and the like. And finally, candidates are finding your jobs and they are having some kind of experience as they navigate your evaluation and selection processes.
You’re “doing” recruitment marketing. But if you’re like most organizations, you’re just not doing it as well as you could or should be. There’s no shame in that, but if you’re not on a mission to formalize and align your recruitment marketing efforts, then you run the risk of losing the battle for critical talent (remember, for 70% of your peers, this is a critical issue they are focused on right NOW). We’ve developed a Recruitment Marketing Maturity Model that you can use to map what you are doing today with what fully optimized organizations are doing with regard to recruitment marketing.
To do recruitment marketing right, at the most basic level, it takes three key elements:
- All your recruitment marketing elements must work together. Attraction programs must support your outbound sourcing and engagement efforts by helping to grow a centralized, proprietary pool of candidates to connect with and source from. Your candidate experience draws from your branding efforts and makes attraction and sourcing efforts more effective by creating a compelling and friction free experience that converts the highest percentage of candidates to applicants and applicants to employees.
- You need to know what’s working and what’s not. What programs and recruiter activities are driving the most job views, applicants, and hires? Do more of what works, less of what doesn’t, and improve on what’s working.
- You need a common platform. One that is integrated both horizontally across the various recruitment marketing functions and vertically with your ATS.
Most companies are not yet doing this well, and one of the biggest obstacles is that many have multiple internal employee groups sharing pieces of the recruitment marketing pie, and using more than a handful of non-integrated technology tools to get the job done. And many believe their ATS can, or will be able to, support most or all of their recruitment marketing needs. ATSs do a lot of things well. Some systems do better than others. But the more you learn about recruitment marketing, the more you understand that a recruitment marketing platform is a completely different beast.
A good, integrated recruitment marketing platform can be shared by recruiters, marketers, sourcers, and analysts to drive coordinated hiring programs and analyze the results. It can also replace siloed, non-integrated tools for career sites, job distribution, social network posting, sourcing, and the like.
Once you have a consistent, integrated platform to support consistent processes, then you have the foundation to exponentially grow your ability to find and hire the right candidates for your jobs.
It’s no wonder 70% of organizations in the Aptitude research cited recruitment marketing platforms as a critical need for 2016. If you’d like to learn more about recruitment marketing, check out Talemetry’s free strategic eBooks, The Recruitment Marketing Handbook and Predictable Hiring.