There’s a Measurement Problem in Recruitment Marketing, and We Need to Solve It

25 August 2021

Recruitment marketing and traditional marketing really aren’t that different. Ultimately, you’re promoting messages to a specific audience and trying to sell them something. Whether that’s a product or a place of work, it doesn’t make too much difference. However, when it comes to measuring success and innovating, recruitment marketing falls behind. Over recent years, consumer marketing has become more reliant on data and insight to fuel strategies and ensure optimum results. Recruitment marketing, however, is yet to catch on.

To put it lightly, there’s a measurement problem in recruitment marketing. These campaigns are about ten years behind consumer marketing campaigns in terms of interpreting data and measuring success, which makes very little sense. We use the same platforms and tools for recruitment marketing campaigns. We can learn so much from these data points to improve our marketing strategies and gain higher levels of success, so why aren’t we doing the same in our recruitment marketing?

Many talent acquisition professionals think that the role of recruitment marketing is to fill the job role and little else. However, this couldn’t be less true. Just like consumer marketing, digital campaigns can give you a vast amount of insight into your potential candidates and talent pool. You can create innovative and more intelligent strategies with the knowledge these campaigns provide, and the tools are ready to be used, as consumer marketing teams have been using them for the last decade. It seems it’s the mindset surrounding recruitment marketing that needs to alter.

So how can we change this?

Experimenting is key

In the world of consumer marketing, there has been a substantial cultural shift. Companies are no longer afraid to fail, and experimentation has become the key to success. In the fast-paced world of digital marketing especially, you need to pilot things to understand what works and how they work. From messaging to new ad formats, you can never know how audiences will respond or how successful they would be until you try them. In consumer marketing, we have realised that it is better to learn through failure than always to play it safe. It’s better to understand what works through a campaign that fails than never to try anything new, or else how will you push the boundaries and connect with audiences?

In recruitment marketing, however, there seems to be a fear of failure. As if a recruitment marketing campaign cannot teach us the same things as a consumer one can. Of course, it’s disappointing if your digital attraction campaign doesn’t bring you the right calibre of candidates. However, what you can learn from these failings could be invaluable to your recruitment strategies going forwards. For example, from looking at the analytics and data sources, you’ll have a considerable amount of information that can inform where to focus your budgets in the future. If, for example, Facebook hasn’t generated results for you or all the candidates aren’t at the skill level you require for a senior tech role, you know not to use it in future.

Using analytics for knowledge-based insight

With no analytics set up, you can’t measure the success of your recruitment marketing campaigns. Therefore no one is learning any lessons. We can use Google Analytics or a similar analytics tool to monitor traffic levels to your website and where these users come from, which will tell you which platforms are the most successful. You can also assess if any particular campaigns generate more applications that may tell you something about the messaging used. The possibilities for learning are endless and could really help any future recruitment marketing campaigns that you implement. You’ll learn things about your audience and potential candidates, which can inform better and more strategic hiring decisions in the future.

Measure the candidate experience

The candidate experience is a vital part of the recruitment process. Your job advertisements and recruitment marketing may be great at generating interest, but if the applicant has a bad or frustrating experience when applying, they may give up.  When recruiting, HR leaders don’t tend to measure the length of time for an application because no one considers that candidates will walk away. However, the harsh reality is that candidates can afford to walk away from lengthy or problematic applications in a candidate-driven market like the tech recruitment market we’re currently experiencing. Why spend 45 minutes on an application when many other jobs are waiting for them that will be easier to apply for?

Of course, for high-calibre tech roles, a more complex candidate experience is often needed to test for skills and knowledge. Otherwise, you are left with unsuitable candidates. However, testing and experimenting with your candidate experience means you’ll know what works best for you, whether it’s encouraging more applications or ensuring a better quality of applicants. Sometimes, a quick application is all you need to ensure that you’re getting more applicants through, whereas more information may be necessary in other instances. However, if you never differ from your standard candidate experience, you’ll never know.

Remember, candidate needs and expectations are constantly changing, so in order to keep up, it’s vital that you try new things and push the boundaries by experimenting.

Realise AI isn’t just for time-saving

In the world of recruitment marketing, we’re all keen to use digital innovations to save recruiters time, but we’re less focused on using these technologies to help us create more innovative strategies. Where AI can help us shorten the screening process and automations can reduce the number of hours we spend on admin tasks, there are many more innovative uses for these technologies. For example, once you have data at your fingertips, you can use AI to personalise the candidate experience or gather even more information about your potential candidates, which can better inform the content, messaging, and tools used in your recruitment strategies.

The technologies available to us and possibilities for recruitment marketing are constantly improving and changing. Candidate attitudes and expectations are therefore changing alongside this. As they get used to new technologies and innovations, they come to expect it. Consequently, we cannot afford to be stuck in our ways when it comes to recruitment marketing. If consumer marketing is currently around ten years ahead when it comes to measuring data, gathering knowledge and innovating, imagine the possibilities we could have if we applied the same mindset and technologies.

By measuring successes and failures as well as removing the fear of trying something new, recruitment marketing could become a much more exciting and intelligent tool for hiring managers. Rather than just focusing on filling open vacancies, having an insight-driven approach to recruitment marketing could elevate recruitment strategies and ensure a greater level of success for many years to come.

At Talent Works, we help brands of all sizes launch recruitment marketing campaigns using data-driven strategies and the latest developments in digital talent attraction. We work with our clients to experiment and push the boundaries, helping their recruitment marketing stand out from the competition and give them crucial insights and learnings for the future.

If you’d like to learn more about our Digi.tal service or how we use recruitment marketing tactics to promote employer brands or fill large numbers of vacancies, get in touch with our team and let’s be more innovative together.

You can see some examples of our recruitment marketing campaigns by visiting our work page.

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