Companies competing for talent in a candidate-driven market, in an era of minimal attention span have got it harder than ever.
It seems like the expectation for everyone to be a marketer grows every day. From eye-catching, creative campaigns to seamless, technology-led candidate journeys, a marketing-centric approach to talent attraction is becoming a top priority for anyone hoping to appeal to the best candidates.
Where do most people fall short?
A simple oversight made by many organisations, both large and small, is the failure to recognise the interdependence of the marketing and the recruitment process. Companies might have the most cutting-edge creative campaigns in the highest traffic areas but may not be able to get back to candidates applying within a reasonable time.
Businesses may have a conscientious team of people recruiting but they might not be reaching the right candidates. There can be many reasons for this, including advertising roles on job boards to people who have little resemblance to their ideal candidate persona.
Understanding your audience
There will never be a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to recruiting, and nor should there be. Job fairs might not be right for your business, because they aren’t relevant to the type of candidate you’re hiring. For example, display stands at a job fair recruiting for experienced senior executives within financial services.
Having something in the way of a candidate persona can help guide marketing efforts and spend. If this is an area you’re unfamiliar with, you may consider outsourcing to a specialised agency, or teaming up your recruitment and marketing functions to consider how best to target your audience.
Delivering your message
Getting candidates’ attention is only the beginning. There are important stages in between getting the right message to the right person and making a hire.
Are the people you’re looking to hire more likely to listen to someone reaching out to them on LinkedIn? Are they busy, experienced contract executives who want a quick telephone conversation, or are they new graduates with a need for more guidance, and support?
A simple message is sometimes best, and while companies should look at a diverse range of media platforms, they should also not spread their message too thinly. Communicate your values and what you’re looking for clearly – a focused effort on the right medium for your organisation will have the most impact.
After all, why spend time posting your roles on Facebook when your company has a great employer brand presence on LinkedIn? Why post on a job board to recruit photographers when they’re more likely to use a platform like Instagram to showcase their work?
A little research goes a long way. Consider industry-specific job boards and forums, as well as industry events. Ahead of your next campaign, if you’re on the front line speaking to candidates, ask about where they’ve seen your advert or how they look for new opportunities. There’s always room for experimentation.
The candidate journey
An application process with a low-time commitment is likely to mean more applications, but also may require more manual checking of applicants than one with a lengthy form. If assessing a candidate’s telephone communication skills are more important than the amount of experience they have, that may not matter to your recruitment team.
If you have an applicant tracking system built into your website or careers page, you may find that a few highly engaged candidates are applying to your roles. However, you’re potentially missing out on those who are put off by a long application process, such as those in candidate-driven job markets. An example of this is people in roles highly in-demand such as software engineers and developers.
Also, consider what happens once a candidate has applied – how long are they waiting before being contacted by the team? The impression you make on a candidate stretches far beyond an advertisement on a job board, or on social media. How they’re treated could mean the difference between them telling their peers about their negative candidate experience, versus them referring the ideal person.
Forgetting about things like this could ultimately increase your cost per hire as you’ll be wasting the money you’re spending whilst also diminishing the value of your employer brand, making it even more costly to reach potential candidates in the future.
Effective recruitment marketing campaigns are clear, concise and have been thought out from start to finish. Ultimately the success of a campaign will be just as dependent on how those qualified applicants are managed. Think holistically, and you’ll have the right people on board in no time.