How Recruitment Has Become More of a Marketing Priority

With a focus on incorporating more data into the process

White chess pieces; blue people against a green background; one red person
Data isn't just useful for getting to know your consumers.
Illustration: Trent Joaquin; Sources: Unsplash, Pixabay

We’re in the middle of an employee recruitment dilemma, and it’s not just limited to agencies seeking talent.

More than ever, clients are approaching marketing agencies to help recruit qualified job candidates. The hiring landscape—for candidates and recruiters on both the agency and client sides—has dramatically changed, and there are a number of contributing factors to thank for the evolving hiring landscape.

Most notably (and not surprisingly), technology has majorly impacted recruitment by expanding a candidate’s potential job opportunities. It has increased candidate-company transparency, personalized the experience and expedited the hiring process as a whole. Because of this, the candidate’s job search journey has been transformed but vastly differs depending on a candidate’s gender, age and socioeconomic status. For example, research shows that in order to apply for a job, women feel they need to meet 100% of the criteria while men usually apply after meeting about 60%.

Another contributing factor impacting some industries is the decreasing unemployment rate. Since 2011, the unemployment rate has declined significantly. In 2018, unemployment reached its lowest rate in nearly 50 years. Unfortunately for select industries, this means fewer candidates seeking employment.

In order to recruit a diverse pool of potential employees in the current climate, organizations need to work harder to reach individual candidates at each key point along their job search journey.

This had led to the need for a marketing campaign, which presents opportunities both in terms of agencies recruiting for themselves and new revenue streams for marketing agencies that can improve a client’s recruitment campaign outcomes.

A thoughtful, data-driven recruiting strategy can make meaningful progress toward reaching the qualified candidates needed to keep your business or your client’s business moving forward. Here are a few tips to consider when building these strategies.

Know your candidate audience

Like any good marketing campaign, in order to find a candidate audience, you must build a target audience. And while it’s important not to stifle your search efforts by narrowing in on a certain demographic, there are ways to hone your targeting to eliminate media waste.

For example, your media strategy is very different if you’re looking to fill an entry-level position versus a role for a seasoned professional with 20-plus years of experience because of the different media consumption habits of baby boomers, Gen X, millennials and Gen Z. Different generations also value different employer benefits, so hand-pick which ones to highlight based on the audience associated with your open positions. The field you’re hiring for is another key consideration. People working in marketing consume different content than those in the legal field. Use contextual targeting to your advantage to find the right audiences and identify potential employees who are in tune with their industry.

If you have a small budget that needs to cover multiple positions, leverage behavioral targeting within a single channel to home in on the most qualified audiences. Job title and industry targeting can be applied to programmatic campaigns and within some social media platforms, which makes it possible to reach multiple audiences within the same buy. Also, consider your geotargeting strategy. If your market is especially tight on talent, find out if there are nearby cities that have a deeper talent pool. If you are willing to pay for relocation, expand your targeting even wider.

Your audience will be different based on experience, life stage, industry and specialization. Catch their attention by personalizing your message and targeting.

Define your employer brand

Candidates have more choices than ever and are looking for more than a job that meets their skill set. After all, there are likely several open positions in your market that align with their search, so why should they choose you? Give them a preview about what it’s like to work for your company and how you stand apart from competitors. Showcase who you are as an organization and what you’re driving toward, and give a peek into your culture and team. Clearly defining this will not only help you stand out but will also hopefully eliminate talent that may not be a good cultural fit. Use media creative and messaging to highlight your company’s unique culture and benefits, and leave the job listing to address the roles and responsibilities.

Incorporate recruitment

If a recruitment campaign isn’t in the budget this year, there are other ways to get your message out there. Recruitment does not need to be a stand-alone effort. Take a look at your existing in-market campaigns and see if you can integrate a recruitment message.

Anytime you’re highlighting the great work your company is doing through PR, social media or onsite content, take it as an opportunity to plug your open positions. Has your company recently received any awards or accolades? Promote it on social media and add a “We’re hiring” call to action. Have you published any blog posts or industry POVs? Encourage readers to check out your open positions while they are on your site. If you’re running any paid search campaigns, add Careers as a site link and drive users straight to your job listings.