Marketing is a significant piece of the recruitment puzzle. But what does it entail, when and why do you need to use it and how can it help with attracting and retaining talent?
Why do you need to use marketing in your recruitment?
Similar to any product or service, recruitment needs to make extensive use of marketing. But why? What is the main purpose of marketing in recruitment? Two of the most significant reasons are to advertise vacancies, or to find candidates. Recruitment agencies are all different, so some will use marketing for finding candidates, and some for advertising vacancies. Some offer both services, so will use it for all of their activities.
There are differences between the type of marketing needed for sourcing candidates and advertising vacancies. Advertising a vacancy may seem simple, but there’s more to it than just writing and publishing a job advert. Targeting is important – you don’t want to spend any budget reaching the wrong audience. You need to ensure you’ve added as many details as you can to refine your audience to the people you want to reach. Choosing platforms and channels is also an important decision. Do you know where the people you want to reach search for opportunities? Are you using this information to feed your campaign? If not, perhaps you’re spending money to reach the wrong people.
Sourcing candidates is different – you typically have clear requirements, but finding people that match them is the challenge. Using social media platforms, paid adverts, careers sites etc. can be useful, but doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive applications from quality candidates. Sourcing requires outreach, building pools of talent and using both online and offline resources to help find & engage potential talent. Sourcing candidates, therefore, is a much more hands-on task than advertising vacancies.
What are the different components of recruitment marketing?
Marketing for recruitment can comprise many elements including paid advertising, social media, email, digital content, creative assets, analytics and more. The strategy and needs of the campaign determines which are needed. Some may have more need for advertising, whereas others might need more creative work, such as appealing digital content.
One of the most important marketing tools for any companies in the recruitment sector, is analytics. Data is vital in recruitment as it informs so many areas. It helps you identify trends and allows you to track users interactions with your content. It can also be used to find out where, when and how people are accessing and engaging with your content. Analytics can provide vital information for marketers and recruiters, who can use it to target their campaigns more precisely.
Since the main function of any marketing is to reach and engage your audience, content is absolutely vital. Digital content comes in many forms in recruitment, but website content, social media posts, emails and ads are typically the main types.
Something that can benefit recruitment agencies greatly, is automation. There are many tools out there which can help automate various aspects of your marketing. Adverts, website and social media posts, and emails can all be automated to save you time or prevent you from needing to constantly monitor the performance of all of your digital marketing efforts. Zapier is a service that allows users to integrate and automate web apps they use to improve their workflow. This can save precious time and resource, making it an extremely valuable resource for a reasonable sum of money.
What tasks require the use of marketing?
Recruitment companies need to use marketing frequently. Vacancies need to be posted, usually on websites, jobs boards etc. and these often get shared to social media accounts to help reach a wider and more diverse audience. Many businesses will make use of their own ‘careers’ page on their website for advertising positions (both internally and externally).
Companies often produce blogs, articles and whitepapers designed to position them as a thought leader and/or to attract business. Email newsletters are having something of a resurgence, with 77% of marketers saying they’ve seen an increase in engagement in email engagement over the past 12 months. Email is also a great way of building up a database of contacts, something that is vital to recruitment companies or ones that are trying to recruit.
Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have paid advertising features, allowing you to target candidates and those responsible for hiring. Many other platforms also offer paid advertising, with Bing, TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat being some examples. You can create and automate these adverts with spend limits, time limits and date-ranges, preventing people from having to constantly monitor their performance. There’s a range of targeting options across the platforms which help you try and reach the exact audience you want.
Marketing your Employer Brand & EVP
A company’s Employer Brand and Employee Value Proposition are inextricably linked to marketing. Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) needs to be crystal clear and easy-to-find for anyone looking to work for you. Whether the information is part of a job advert, or it’s published on the company’s website, it must to be there so prospective candidates can decide if your company suits their requirements.
Employer Brand is similar to EVP, in that it needs to be visible to people. As a concept, it’s different because it’s how your company is perceived, rather than what you offer employees. As it relies on the perceptions and opinions of others, there’s only so much you can control. For example, employee advocacy falls under the umbrella of Employer Brand, as do company reviews on websites like Glassdoor and similar services. To improve your Employer Brand, you have to continually monitor and refresh your EVP. If what you offer to employees matches what they want and need, they will be more likely to speak favourably about your business.