Recruitment Marketing 101:
a comprehensive overview of best practices

Optimizing candidate attraction through storytelling, technology and strategy

Intro to Recruitment Marketing

The goal of recruitment marketing is simple: attract, engage and hire the best talent for your organization. Employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that it remains a job seeker’s market, with an amazingly low 3.6% unemployment rate. As talent acquisition continues to be a hot topic at the forefront of recruiting efforts, it is imperative to have a comprehensive recruitment marketing plan in place.

Although targeted specifically to hiring, recruitment marketing employs many of the same principles of general marketing. It is designed to attract and engage talent and convert them into applicants through the power of your employment brand, and features tactics such as targeted messaging, multi-channel engagement, automated media buying and reliable analytics.

Communicating a strong employer brand starts with defining your goals and creating the appropriate marketing strategy. Essential components of a sound recruitment marketing plan involve three key components: storytelling, technology and strategy.

Storytelling

Branding

Every company’s story is unique, and it’s important to tell your story in an authentic and compelling way, which in turns helps form organic, genuine relationships with candidates. As a company, who are you, really? What are your employment value propositions (why would someone want to work for you)? What are others saying about you and how does the public (potential candidates!) view you outside of your own company walls? This is where your employment brand comes into play.

A strong employment brand answers the “why” for candidates and serves as the centerpiece of a candidate attraction strategy. It allows you to promote your corporate culture front and center, defines the essence of who you are through your own personal narrative and conveys the attributes of what makes someone choose to work for you over a competitor.

It’s important to keep your brand current and relevant. It should function as a living, breathing entity and serve as the conduit that allows you to communicate to candidates with authenticity and integrity. and remember that your employment brand lives internally and can work to help retain employees and turn them into brand ambassadors for your recruitment efforts.

Videos and Testimonials

The storytelling component of your employment brand can be enhanced considerably by the use of employee testimonials and videos. Candidates trust the advice of their peers, so adding quotes and videos from your people is a great way to engage and educate them. It also makes your site more personal if the images are of real people who actually work for you. Plus, this content can be used in multiple ways: to tell a day-in-the-life story of a job, to highlight certain value propositions or differentiators and to give job seekers a peek into your culture and working environment. Post your engaging recruitment videos on both YouTube and your site for maximum exposure.

Technology

Recruitment Marketing Platforms

When it comes to staying up-to-date and competitive in the world of technical offerings, many organizations have turned to cloud-based solutions that offer better site performance and enhance the candidate’s job search experience. Recruitment marketing platforms are available from multiple companies. What you should look for are features like minimal clicks to jobs, easy search functionality and refined search options that turn more job seekers into applicants. Additional features may include Talent Networks, sophisticated map search, mobile responsive design and a marketing component.

NAS’ recruitment marketing platform ACTIVATE™ combines intuitive job search functionality with fully branded career sites and job family content.

HR Analytics

Once your site is in place, you can make better decisions regarding your recruiting and site updates by regularly reviewing your career site analytics. With proper code in place, you can track a world of data, including website visitors, applicants, source of applicants, event landing pages and qualified applicants per source. NAS even offers an analytics package to track all the way to hire. You will then be able to see what is working, and what needs improvement, both in terms of site content and marketing strategy.

Career Sites

Even with the best technology at their fingertips, candidates will be reading your web site content to decide if they (and you) are the right fit. Just as with your brand, you need to tell them the right story – the one that will convert candidates into applicants.

There are a number of best practices for career sites. Your site needs visual impact, clear navigation and mobile-friendly design. Most of all, it needs to showcase your organization and easily show what sets you apart from every other employer out there. These tips will help it stand out and perform well:

  • Create a dynamic design that showcases your company and environment
  • Tell your story as compellingly as possible, using your own people
  • Make sure the path to a job search is always right in front of candidates’ eyes
  • Incorporate job family pages targeted to your candidates that can also serve as marketing destinations for your campaigns
  • Be flexible enough to create landing pages for special campaign needs as they arise
  • Consider incorporating new features like social content aggregators or AI chat
  • Be sure your site is maximized for search engines and indexed by Google
  • Use analytics to track candidate pathing and review candidate behavior

Strategy

Once you have developed your employment brand and put your central marketing platform (your career site) in place, it’s time to start attracting candidates and driving traffic. Active candidates will find you on their own, while attracting passive candidates will require a sound strategy. The goal is to “own” your recruitment marketing efforts by making your site the main destination, rather than relying on third-party sites where you are competing with thousands of other companies for the same eyeballs.

There are many traditional recruiting methods that are still valid for candidate attraction. You might consider approaches that include event marketing or text recruiting, as well targeting specific audiences such as students and the military. You’ll also want to leverage your own employees through an employee referral program and set up a boomerang strategy to bring back great people who have left your organization.

Beyond these strategies, you’ll want to explore programmatic advertising, social media recruiting and digital marketing.

Programmatic

You’ve probably heard about programmatic advertising for recruitment – it’s become an accepted standard. But what does it do, exactly? Programmatic media buying is the algorithmic purchase and sale of advertising space in real time. It involves the buying, placement and optimization of ads performed by software, rather than people. In short, programmatic means automated distribution of your recruitment spend to where it is most needed. It represents a proactive strategy and a new way of thinking. The results can be dramatic. We offer NAS MediaPro, designed to optimize your company’s recruitment media performance through a single, centralized command center.

Social Media

Social media recruiting involves the use of platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Glassdoor and LinkedIn to advertise jobs, find talent and communicate with potential recruits about company culture. Candidates read these platforms for their interesting content, while also making them an integral part of their job search. Social media has become so popular that a full 94% of professional recruiters use it to post jobs and communicate messages to candidates.

While there are many different approaches to social media recruiting, savvy marketers would be remiss to overlook the top talent that’s spending time on these platforms. To get the edge, understand your social media footprint through a comprehensive audit of your current social channels and the competitive landscape; develop a clearly defined, well-planned road map for your social media recruitment strategy; and gauge the effectiveness of your efforts through analytics and engagement.

Each platform has its own nuances, so a one-size-sits-all strategy may not be effective. For example, with Facebook recruiting we can target passive candidates for hard-to-fill positions or create campaigns to promote hiring events, increase your likes and create future organic engagement potential. You’ll also need to take into account the need for providing relevant and ongoing content, as well as responding to candidate comments and questions in a timely manner on all of these platforms. A recruitment marketing partner like NAS can often assist with these tasks and provide an overall strategy for social recruiting.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing encompasses a whole range of offerings. From those that reach both active and passive job seekers, to those that raise awareness of your employment brand and ultimately increase completed applications, digital marketing is definitely a game changer when it comes to reaching qualified candidates. A number of approaches are possible, often using Google for campaigns that involve Google AdWords marketing, display advertising, geotargeting and more. Digital marketing can overlap and supplement your social recruiting strategy, as there are numerous paid options on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Glassdoor that can be leveraged to attract and engage candidates in a variety of ways.

Unless you have an in-house marketing team with expertise in digital marketing, you will most likely want to partner with an agency like NAS, who has experts that can set the budgets, select the targets and continually monitor and adjust the campaigns as they run. You’ll also appreciate the detailed analytics and explanation of results that are possible in the digital realm – you will know what is working and where to best deploy your resources.

In Conclusion

These are just some of the strategies and tactics you’ll need to follow in order to create a candidate experience that makes job seekers look at all you have to offer and determine you’re the one for them. In addition to telling a great story, you need to back it up by using the right channels, placement and analytics.

NAS has been a leader in recruitment marketing for over seven decades. We invite you to take a look at some of the work we’ve done for our clients. Feel free to contact us with any questions or to talk to us about how we can assist you in enhancing the candidate experience for your organization.