It’s a common assumption that, because recruitment marketing has the word “marketing” in the term, it should be left to a general consumer marketing team to handle. Oftentimes recruitment marketing gets bundled in with consumer marketing and becomes a very low-level priority, competing for larger business initiatives tied to sales and the bottom line.
According to LinkedIn, 75% of candidates research a company’s reputation and employer brand before applying for a job. 72% of employers say that employer brand plays a significant role in their ability to hire talent. Employers state that cost per hire is reduced by 50% after implementing a strong, definitive employer brand. In other words, the need for a recruitment marketing strategy is too big to ignore.
Consumer Marketing vs. Recruitment Marketing
Consumer marketing’s function is creating and selling products, goods, and services to individual buyers. As consumer marketers know, while all products are different, the end goal is getting the intended audience to purchase a product or service. So, all the efforts in your consumer marketing plan will ladder up to the end goal of “completed purchases.” This is done effectively by leveraging a strong brand that resonates with a target audience’s desires and needs.
In recruitment marketing, we work on attracting and hiring top talent by clearly communicating an employer brand. Therefore, all efforts in our recruitment marketing plans ladder up to the end goal of “hires.”
Can the two goals cross over at times? Absolutely. Will the two marketing strategies be as effective in achieving separate goals if they are constantly diluting each other? Likely not. In order to be successful, you must be laser-focused on the end goal. The more focused the effort, the more effective it will be.
What does that mean for you as an employer?
While the branding for your consumer and employer voice and tone could (and should) be very similar, your employer brand message should be distinctly different from your consumer brand message because you are trying to get your end users to follow through with two completely different conversions.
The best way to do this effectively is to treat recruitment marketing and consumer marketing as two separate entities once you’ve established your employer brand. Particularly for content and social marketing, this means creating separate careers social media pages and website pages solely for recruitment purposes, making a home and several clear pathways for job candidates to access the consideration information necessary to make a decision on whether or not to apply.
Because the principles of marketing still apply to recruitment, your steps to create a recruitment marketing strategy will remain the same, but they will need some undivided attention in order to get it right. Taking the time to follow these steps strictly for recruitment purposes can go a long way for your strategy and ROI.
Set your goals and themes. Every marketing strategy needs an overarching goal to measure. Your best bet is to keep your goals smart and simple, but specific. For example, your company’s hiring goals may be to solidify its reputation as an innovative company, a compassionate leader in the industry and a strong contributor to its community.
Identify your audience. It’s likely that your employer brand will be trying to attract several different audiences. Use the resources within your talent acquisition team to narrow audiences down to your most hard-to-fill roles to be your evergreen audiences, and treat groups like seasonal hires as priorities when needed.
Discover your audience needs. Spend some time doing research on existing employees that currently hold a hard-to-fill role. Ask them questions about the pros and cons of their work environment and what keeps them coming back every day. Read your company’s Glassdoor reviews. Learn more about your employees from their perspective.
Create and distribute content. Content marketing has been a proven method in increasing lead generation, and with recruitment marketing it is no different. Using content to demonstrate your company’s commitment to its values proves to a potential candidate that you say what you mean and you mean what you say. Bonus points if the content is employee-generated.
Define and measure your KPIs. If there’s no way to measure your efforts, did they really happen? Be sure to set your KPIs before you implement your strategy with your team so that everyone understands what success actually looks like and is working toward the same goals.
Once you’ve separated your recruitment marketing strategy from your consumer marketing strategy, with its own goals, audience groups and KPIs, you can act on it with purpose and achieve your recruitment goals much faster and more effectively.