Recruiting Brief

How to Shift Your Recruitment Marketing Approach to Improve Results

Modern recruitment is modern marketing. But to start thinking like a marketer, you have to make a fundamental shift in how you approach your recruitment strategies. During last week’s webinar with Cameron Laker, CEO and Co-Founder of Mindfield, a leading RPO provider for hourly employers, and Peter Clare, SVP and GM of Talemetry, making this transformation was front and center in their discussion.

In recent years, there has been a seismic shift in how candidates expect to interact with companies based on the modern consumer experience—and this is true not only across industries, but across all types of levels and hires. But when you start talking about high volume and hourly positions, it’s even harder to attract the right talent. Operating at scale requires the right mix of automation, consistency and relentless focus on optimization. During their presentation, Cameron and Peter examined the huge competitive advantage for companies that are embracing modern marketing techniques in their high volume recruitment practices.

Invest in your own talent database

So just in case you missed it, we’re providing a recap of what these two high-level recruitment execs discussed by examining five key shifts you can make in your own recruiting organization to improve your high volume hiring results, including how to:

  • Invest in your own talent database
  • Make your career site the hub for recruitment
  • Focus on the funnel
  • Convert, convert, convert
  • Get the most out of what you put in

Shift 1: Invest In Your Own Talent Database

Peter began the discussion on the first shift with Cameron by examining the parallel to the consumer and B2B marketing environment, where nothing is more valuable than building a customer database. Then he asked Cameron to discuss the importance of investing in a proprietary talent database.

Cameron provided a great answer that began by examining the evolution of recruiting. Back in 2005, when Mindfield started, the recruiting landscape looked very different. Job boards and recruiting tools were nowhere close to what we have today. Over the past 13 years, there has been tremendous change in what is included in a talent database.

Today, a talent database features all the key sources that make up your data, provides a mechanism for investing in rich data sources, and helps you take talent through a lead qualification process. Cameron indicated that it is essential to always consider how to get more data into your talent database and to map out the steps you should take to go through to build engagement and relationships in a high volume fashion.

Cameron also drew the parallel between marketing and sales functions to recruiting—typically, a sales organization gets a list of names from marketing and then qualifies them. The same should be done with the talent database. Once an individual is qualified, you should engage them and try to link them to a job immediately. By focusing on two aspects of getting new sources of candidates into the talent database and then maximizing the ability to match individuals to jobs, you can identify how to best engage with your talent and build a more robust talent database.

During this discussion, Peter also indicated that of the companies who have built their own talent databases with Talemetry, 87% are made up of past applicants. This is important because past applicants typically have very high engagement rates—with over 50% open rates on emails and 17% click through rates—far surpassing industry standards. And perhaps most important, customers have been able to reduce their external advertising spend by as much as 90% by focusing on efforts into free sources and their own talent pool.

Remember, your goal in building a talent database is to use the data and information you have to more effectively engage candidates and nurture them to the apply process. According to Cameron, you can’t just blast an email with jobs to high volume candidates—it’s far more cost effective to get candidates in the recruiting process with the appropriate job, and to try and make sure you stay front and center in an ongoing basis to keep them engaged. This means you should provide high volume talent in your database with an ongoing stream of valuable content they can use—whether it’s new job opportunities, resume tips and tricks, a hiring manager video or interviewing techniques.

Shift 2: Make Your Career Site Your Hub for Recruitment

Thinking like a marketer also means focusing on your career site. Peter best described it by saying that at the end of the day, all roads lead to your career site, and pointed out that 50% of your career site traffic comes from mobile devices. Cameron also weighed in that the career site is extremely valuable in conveying a strong employer brand. But complementary to this are targeted microsites that hourly employers can leverage to speak to high volume candidates directly. You must think about how you tailor your messaging on your career site to relevant hourly hires and offer a visual approach that doesn’t rely too heavily on text-based descriptions.

Cameron also indicated that leveraging a modern candidate apply process—like the solution offered by Talemetry—can improve application completion rates. Mindfield has seen hourly hiring application conversion rates increase from 35% to 80% by using the Talemetry Apply solution. This lightening fast approach to the application process on your career site is essential in getting top hourly talent to apply for your positions.

Peter and Cameron also discussed the importance of audience segmentation in the hourly hiring environment on the career site—particularly with regard to alumni or new job seekers. Similar to corporate marketing that focuses on industries or customer type or business size, a career site should offer navigation that is overt and speaks to candidates in a very clear and specific way. Cameron’s advice—if you’re talking to everyone, then you’re talking to no one.

Shift 3: Focus on the Funnel

Just like your marketing colleagues focus on the customer journey from the lens of the funnel—top, middle and bottom—so, too, should you consider recruiting from the funnel perspective. Peter opened up discussion on this third shift by indicating that whether you have too many applicants, not enough applicants or not enough quality applicants, you must ensure you have a clear view of each of the stages in your recruiting funnel. He further expressed that with more overall candidates and more quality candidates at the front end of your funnel, then the more quality and efficacy you will have in meeting your high volume recruiting demands. In the recruiting world, this means segmenting your talent pipelines in your talent database and proactively moving candidates through the process. And once you have a clear strategy, the right recruitment marketing platform can help you effectively focus on your funnel.

At Mindfield, Cameron indicated that the company has purposefully invested in ways to focus on the funnel to attract and hire the right kind of high volume talent for customers. He expressed that his company uses the same model that sales and marketing do when working together in a corporate structure. Mindfield has a separate talent marketing team whose only job it is to get candidates into the funnel. Then it’s about the qualification process. A separate team leverages technology to focus in on candidates in the funnel—including keyword searches, proximity and local and overall culture fit—helping reduce the funnel to around 10 – 15% of individuals really worth looking at. Cameron said this is a lot like sales and marketing—where marketing helps drive the funnel, and a sales representative manages and qualifies the lead for his or her assigned territory. This shift in thinking helps to repurpose the recruiting organization into separate functions and leads to a much higher level of recruiting efficiency.

Shift 4: Convert, Convert, Convert

When they discussed the career site as the hub for recruiting, Peter and Cameron also mentioned the importance of optimizing it for application conversion. But conversion can mean all types of candidate interactions, including applying for a job, joining a talent network, signing up for job alerts, or even passive conversion, like gathering information to personalize the candidate journey. So why is conversion so important? Peter indicated that you spend so much time and money on recruiting talent, you must be able to convert them to outcomes.

Think of it from the modern marketer’s perspective. If you are going to spend money on advertising, then you must find a way to capture those leads coming in. Otherwise, it’s absolutely throwing your money out the door. Cameron said that if you are not able to speak to conversion, then you are missing the point with your talent acquisition leadership. And the truth is, you probably have enough hourly candidates hitting your website, but you are not converting them properly along the way. 

Peter also added that the best candidates are typically those who will fall out first from your poor application process. He cited that only 4% of Fortune 500 companies are demonstrating best practices when it comes to conversion. But upwards of 60% of these large enterprise organizations receive a failing grade in their efforts to convert candidates in the recruitment process. Remember, focusing on conversion and the importance of making every recruitment dollar count should be a driving force for your recruiting organization just as it is for marketers today.

Shift 5: Get the Most Out of What You Put In

The last shift that Peter and Cameron discussed was the importance of measuring impact. Peter indicated that it is really important to measure everything and to examine the impact that improving your process could make on your high volume recruitment results. Things like shortening your apply process to increasing the frequency of your emails to leveraging A/B testing can help lead you to a really solid competitive advantage.

Cameron also provided thinking into how his company has evolved in terms of data-driven insight. By starting initially with how many applicants were needed per job, how many should be hireable and then evolving into more sophisticated metrics, Mindfield is now getting the highest value for its customers through all of its recruiting outcomes. For example, he indicated the company can now focus on how many emails need to be sent to drive the appropriate number of open and click through rates to produce the appropriate funnel for a specific job. And that is so much better than the post and pray method, or crossing your fingers that stores managers can figure this out for themselves.

 He also encouraged recruiters to use data to provide confidence in how to move the needle to get more candidates into the recruiting funnel. Just like all companies who are data rich, remember, it’s about picking five or six key metrics that actually make the biggest impact on your recruiting performance. 

Start Making the Shift Toward Better Recruiting Performance

Making these five shifts may feel daunting, but it’s important to stay relevant and to deliver the kind of candidate experience that your talent expects and deserves. So don’t be discouraged—there are steps you can take to get there. Start by understanding where you are struggling most in your hourly hiring efforts and get clear on who your candidates are. Remember, thinking like a modern marketer will not only change your outlook, it will change your recruiting results and improve your performance. We trust you have learned some key insights from these recruiting pros and we invite you to view the webinar replay to hear their expertise first-hand.

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