Opinion, advice, and analysis by the TNW community

If you want to hire better people, step up your ‘recruitment marketing’

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Adrian Cernat
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Adrian Cernat

Co-founder & CEO, SmartDreamersIn 2014, Adrian founded SmartDreamers, a platform that helps companies reach more, better candidates in record time by automating recruitment marketing activities to accelerate online talent acquisiti… (show all) In 2014, Adrian founded SmartDreamers, a platform that helps companies reach more, better candidates in record time by automating recruitment marketing activities to accelerate online talent acquisition. SmartDreamers was founded in 2014 and currently operates in Europe, the US and the APAC region.

AdiCernat

Have you noticed a shift in the tasks you’re being asked to do as a recruiter recently? Things like monitoring your company’s reputation on review sites, being sure to respond to mentions on social media, and even writing posts for the company blog you weren’t even aware existed? That means your department is moving into taking a longer view of the recruiting process and pivoting to include what’s called recruitment marketing (RM).

Recruitment marketing is the use of tactics borrowed from the world of content, or inbound, marketing and applying them to more traditional HR practices. There’s a heavy dose of digital savvy involved, making good use of social media and networking, as well as focusing on monitoring the organization’s online reputation. This is all in the interest of reaching the ~80 percent of the workforce that is not actively seeking a new position.

You read that right, these activities are aimed at drawing in potential candidates who are not even currently looking for work. 

So what’s changed that this set of practices is taking off with such gusto in the last few years? Several things, actually. Mainly, the current job market. It’s tipped decidedly in the candidate’s favor. Employment numbers haven’t been this high in recent memory, meaning that the openings outnumber the candidates. With things skewed this direction, the recruiter’s job has become a lot harder, there just aren’t enough interested people to fill all the openings. At least, out of the 20 percent that traditional recruiting tactics target.

Enter RM. With its focus on the long-game and attracting passive job seekers by providing ample evidence of your stellar employer brand and employee value proposition in the form of an active social media presence, informative and engaging content on the company blog, and even videos of all sorts gracing your YouTube channel.

By way of explaining why all this is good news for you and your HR team, I’ve compiled a short list of ways RM can help you be more efficient, and attract exactly the applicants you need for your next openings. These are by no means exhaustive, just a brief sample to help you understand the direction the recruiting world is moving and how it’s going to help you out in the long run.

Cost-per-hire: RM slashes it

Perhaps the single best known and most important metric in all of HR, cost-per-hire is the holy grail of RM. Traditionally measured by dividing the total cost of running a recruiting operation (internal costs + external costs) by the total number of hires brought in. This metric is what management uses when justifying budgets, demonstrating ROI, and making internal hiring decisions.

One of the best-established ways to lower these costs has to do with your talent pool (see #2 below) while at the same time slashing the number of employees needed to run your job searches/campaigns. RM automation can take the place of several people, allowing one recruiter to set up posts for the week, or even month, in just an afternoon. Then all they have to do is monitor the accounts in order to engage with your followers, keeping that talent pool at the ready. 

Talent pool: ready and waiting

As mentioned above, a large talent pool is one of the best ways to lower cost-per-hire. It’s also one of the primary benefits of engaging in recruitment marketing practices. RM simplifies this process of building a talent pool because it turns your entire base of followers into that pool. Rather than relying solely on past applicants or others who have expressed an interest in being added to your ATS, social media followers, blog readers, and Youtube commenters are all now part of your pool, just waiting for the right job to open up so they can apply and join the fray.

When a new opening does appear, all you have to do is ensure the landing page is set up and the position is in your ATS ready to accept applicants. Then get the word out with tweets, Facebook posts, and maybe a blog article with the spotlight on the team or a recently completed project. Then sit back and watch the organic clicks from that suddenly not-so-passive talent pool you’ve been nurturing.

The candidate journey: RM puts candidates in the fast lane

The candidate journey is a term borrowed from the buyer’s journey used in traditional marketing and details the process a candidate goes through, starting when they first hear of your company and culminates in their becoming a new-hire. The candidate journey is generally represented as having 6 steps: 

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Interest
  • Application
  • Selection
  • Hire

RM comes in and wipes out 1-3 in one go. With the expanded reach of your social media presence and all the posting you do spreading the word about your EVP, your pool of potential candidates already knows what they need to know, and they’re ready to apply as soon as they see the right opening in one of your other posts. Awareness, consideration, and interest; check!

Candidate quality: RM raises it

The passive job seekers targeted by RM tactics are, on the whole, a higher quality pool of candidates than you’re used to finding scouring job boards and agency databases. That’s because they let their work speak for itself. These folks aren’t actively marketing themselves, so there’s no resume double-speak to dig through. They have active projects and coworkers to use as references, so there’s no chance of surprising a former boss who wasn’t expecting to hear from you. And there’s far less chance of someone being desperate enough to lie about experience since they’re still actively working and know you can check on that.

Recruitment marketing is the long-term way to success for recruiters and HR departments overall. Between the shift in the labor market to a candidate focus, the possibilities for automation and other cost savings to improve ROI, and the relationships that can develop via engaging interactions online, RM is proving itself a great addition to the quiver of recruiters everywhere.

Published July 19, 2019 — 11:00 UTC