If you’re an HR or recruiting professional in today’s candidate-driven job market then you already know how hard it can be to fill open positions with great candidates.
Candidates are now in demand. These days, they are in control and they get to pick and choose where they want to work.
And with so many other companies competing for these same candidates, it can seem impossible to get top talent’s attention.
But with a well-rounded recruitment marketing strategy, it can actually be quite easy to build your talent pool and keep it filled with a steady stream of great candidates.
In this blog post, I’ll show you how to build an effective recruitment marketing plan.
You’ll be able to put into action immediately and start attracting great candidates right away!
What is recruitment marketing all about?
Recruitment marketing is HR’s latest tool for attracting candidates.
It means using marketing methods to get candidates interested in your company and eager to apply for your open positions.
Recruitment marketing is focused on the first three stages of the candidates’ journey:
In this first stage, your aim is to build awareness of your company and your employer brand.
In this stage, your goal is to get potential candidates to start considering you as their next employer.
In this stage, your goal is to convince candidates to take action and apply for your open job positions.
Recruitment marketing can help you differentiate your company.
Using proven marketing tactics, you can attract candidates attention and get them to apply to your open job positions.
How to create a successful recruitment marketing plan?
Here is how you can create an effective recruitment marketing plan in 11 easy to follow steps:
Step 1: Define your recruitment marketing goals
Of course, your overall goal is to attract great candidates to apply to your open job positions.
However, you should also define precise specific goals that can be measured.
Some of the common recruitment marketing goals include:
- Get more job applicants
- Get more high-quality candidates
- Increase candidate engagement
- Increase employer brand awareness
- Get more career site visitors
- Get more applicants from social media
- Increase employee referral rates
- Increase offer-acceptance rate
- Increase the number of diversity applicants
- Increase the number of recruitment events attendees.
Step 2: Identify your candidate persona
Think about what you want to achieve with your recruitment marketing strategy.
Identify your ideal candidate by defining your candidate persona.
A candidate persona is the semi-fictional representation of your ideal job candidate.
Who is your ideal job candidate?
Think beyond your job requirements such as education, experience and skills. Dig deeper to really get a sense of this person.
Try to pinpoint their interests outside the work, habits, motivation and goals.
Some of the characteristics you may want to think about when building your candidate personas are:
- Sex and gender
- Geographical location
- Brands they may associate with
- Current job
- Personality type
Check out our cheat sheet for defining a candidate persona!
Step 3: Define your employee value proposition
An employee value proposition is a message you will target your candidate persona with.
Why should your potential candidates come to work for your company? What can you offer them that other companies can’t?
The employee value proposition is so much more than just a great salary.
It also includes opportunities for career advancement, challenging work, working on interesting projects and with cutting edge technology, great company culture, attractive workspace, etc.
Employee Value Proposition is a comprehensive offering made up of 5 main components:
Step 4: Create recruitment content
One of the best ways to attract your candidate persona’s attention is by presenting them interesting and useful recruitment content.
Great recruitment content will help you target the best candidates at the right time with the right message.
There is a myriad of different types of recruitment content for each step of the candidate’s journey.
Here are a few examples of different types of recruitment content you can create:
- White papers, case studies and eBooks
- Infographics, diagrams, flowcharts & graphs
- Mini games and competitions.
Step 5: Optimize your career site
Your career site should be the hub of your recruitment marketing activity.
When potential candidates land on your career site, they should immediately find all the information they need to determine whether they want to work for your company.
A perfect career site explains who your company is, what you do and contain information about your company culture, values and work environment.
It also invites potential candidates to browse your open job positions and makes it easy for them to apply.
Finally, make sure that your career site is mobile friendly and optimized for SEO.
Step 6: Use social media
Social media recruiting is another key pillar of recruitment marketing.
Using social media is a great way to promote your recruitment content and reach potential job candidates.
However, presenting your employer brand on many different social media networks is a lot of work.
Make sure to communicate your recruitment marketing messages on the social media networks that your candidate persona prefers and uses regularly.
Check out our guide with detailed instructions on building a social media recruitment strategy.
Step #7: Develop employer brand ambassadors
Your existing employees are your best employer brand ambassadors.
Candidates trust employees 3 times more than the employer to provide information on working at the company, according to LinkedIn’s research.
So get your employees involved in your recruitment marketing plan!
Ask them to share your company’s recruitment marketing content on their personal social media profiles.
That way, you’ll be able to reach a much wider audience.
You should enlist them to help you create authentic recruitment content. Encourage them to:
- Write an article for your career blog
- Take photos of everyday life at your office and share it on social media
- Share an inside perspective of working at your company in a video
- Write a review of your company on Glassdoor.
Step #8: Build your talent pool
A talent pool is a database of candidates interested in working for your company.
You can dip in your talent pool each time you have an open job position to find great candidates.
Sounds perfect, right? So how can you build your talent pool?
You should proactively reach out to candidates and invite them to join your talent pool.
You can do that in many different ways using lead generation method.
Here are some great ways to build your talent pool:
- Include a call to action at the end of every article published on your career blog and invite potential candidates to join your talent network.
- Create a social media post that includes a link to an application form for your talent network.
- Invite candidates to attend your recruitment event and collect their contact information via the application form on a specialized landing page.
- Organize an online webinar that would be of interest for your candidate persona and collect their contact information via the application form on a specialized landing page.
- Create an interesting career guide or an eBook and ask potential candidates to fill in a short application form in order to download it.
Step #9: Manage your talent pool
Filling your talent pool with great candidates don’t mean a thing if you don’t actively manage it.
Successful talent pool management starts with segmentation. Divide your talent pool into different groups.
This will enable you to nurture your candidates with highly personalized and customized marketing campaigns.
You need to stay in contact with your potential candidates, nurture and engage with them until they are ready to apply for your open job positions.
You will do that by delivering useful, relevant content to their inbox via your newsletter regularly.
Step #10: Use paid advertising
When I mention paid advertising to HR professionals, they usually immediately think of paid advertising on online job boards.
But paid advertising offers so many more great opportunities to reach candidates, especially passive ones – those that you won’t find on job boards.
Paid advertising can put relevant content in front of your ideal candidates, whether they’re searching for jobs on Google, using social media or just casually browsing the internet.
Here are the 4 key types of paid advertising that are most useful in recruitment marketing:
- Search advertising
Many candidates start their job search on search engines like Google or Yahoo.
Paid search advertising can place your job ads on search engine results pages.
- Display advertising
Paid display ads are classical banner ads you see when you’re browsing the internet.
With paid display advertising, you can show your banner only to people who match your candidate persona’s characteristics and behaviors.
- Social media advertising
Social media advertising means paying to promote your ads, posts or sponsored stories on social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Paid ads on social media will ensure that your job post reaches a larger number of people who match your candidate persona.
With retargeting, you can show your ads to people who already visited your career site.
For example, you can retarget people who started filling your job application but left without submitting it.
Step #11: Measure recruitment marketing results
Finally, you need to measure the success of your recruitment marketing efforts.
By gathering metrics on what works and what doesn’t you can adjust and improve your recruitment marketing plan.
In order to achieve even better results, you need to experiment.
By tracking your metrics, you can test different campaigns and identify job ads and calls to action that work best.
Implementing a recruitment marketing strategy is much easier when you have all the help you need in one tool, created especially for recruiters!