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Recruitment Marketing: Attract Candidates in a Tough Market

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Right now, we’re in a race for the best talent. To stay ahead of the pack as an employer — attracting, recruiting, hiring, engaging and retaining the talent, you need — you must provide a high-quality recruiting journey and hiring experience. 

With better technology and more innovations than ever before, delivering these has never been more achievable, whatever the size and nature of your organisation. 

To put it bluntly, the organisations that don’t take advantage of today’s tech tools and digital platforms, will be behind the curve when hiring success. 

This blog will present some of the must-know approaches to amping up your recruitment and boosting your hiring power.

By making these powerful changes to your hiring strategies, you can bring in the best talent for your business today and pave the way for more successful hiring in the future.

The War for Talent is Competitive

Successful recruitment today is more than simply knowing the right people with the right skills for the right role. The Great Resignation is fuelling an employee’s job market so it pays to understand who you are targeting and how you can successfully do so. 

Here’s today’s reality for recruiters: job-seekers are empowered consumers. They look for roles that suit them (think work/life balance, remove vs office environment, pay and perks). But they also make judgments about their recruitment experience

If your processes are slow or lacking in transparency, a candidate may make judgments about the company and role you are recruiting for. If the candidate experience is positive, they are far more likely to proceed with a positive attitude or, if the role isn’t right for them, they might refer a friend. 

The bottom line is that employers can’t just post a job and hope the right candidate will stumble onto it. Talent acquisition is a proactive and long-term game. Treat the candidate like a customer or consumer. 

Implementing the right tools and practices to achieve results. How? Consider recruitment marketing and promoting your employer brand. 

Create a Recruitment Marketing Strategy

Given the talent shortage facing modern recruiters, they must harness the speed, efficiency and accuracy of great technology and streamlined platforms. This will make it easier to get in front of both passive candidates and active job seekers.  

Achieving this requires shifting your perspective to view the recruiting and hiring process as more about marketing your employer brand than ever before. 

To engage and attract great hires, you need a powerful recruitment marketing strategy with tactics and approaches that call on consumer marketing principles to successfully find, engage and attract talent. 

Recruitment marketing needs to build awareness about your brand and what it stands for. 

Good recruitment marketing means creating trust in your workplace as an employer and driving engagement with the people that will help grow and build your business. 

3 steps to approach recruitment marketing checklist on dark branded background

3 Steps to Approaching Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy 

Every recruiting team needs to develop a robust marketing strategy to attract the best talent in a candidate-driven market. Here are three steps to building an effective recruitment strategy of your own:

Step 1: Identify your Target Market 

Knowing the type and level of talent you need is the first step to building your recruitment marketing strategy. 

  • Do you need workers with a particular level of education or a certain skill set? 
  • Are you looking for global talent or specific, regional skills to cover a shortfall? 
  • Are you after graduates, junior managers or leadership standouts? 

Step 2: Check your Talent Pool 

You may already have been tending pipelines of talent (if not, you should be), but take note of who is in your talent sphere — those candidates that weren’t quite right for a previous role but showed promise, could now be assets to the organisation.

Step 3: Tailor your Messages

Recruiting is not a one-size-fits-all kind of process, and your recruitment marketing should not be either. 

Targeting your audience effectively requires more than just shouting “we’re hiring” into the world and seeing if anything sticks. 

Tailor your messages by using the language that resonates with great candidates and reaches them via the channels they actually use is a crucial initial consideration for getting in front of the talent you’re looking for. 

Once you know what you wish to convey, consider how to do so. 

What do all your Resources and Touchpoints say about your Brand? 

Expect that any decision a passive candidate makes about applying (or not applying) for a position with your company will hinge on research they do online. 

A serious and curious candidate will go much further than only reading your company website. Whatever information is out there, created by your company or not, will impact that decision — the good and the bad. To manage this consider who your brand ambassadors are and what your social media says about your company culture. 

Manage your Presence

Stay on top of your presence on social channels, job boards, and other sites. Your presence online can either detract from your brand or help you build it. 

Build a strategy for monitoring and handling outside reviews and feedback, as these can give you invaluable insight into the current perception of your employer brand. 

Don’t avoid negative reviews or respond defensively- this could do more harm to your public appearance than the feedback itself.  Choose a courteous and thoughtful path. Use feedback as a chance to educate and inform, future readers. 

Utilise your Ambassadors 

If you have trusted employee ambassadors who advocate for your brand, you may want to enlist them in monitoring and even addressing feedback on your behalf. 

Employees who believe in their organisation and are up to speed with your messaging are just as likely to want to set the record straight and will deliver a more authentic and personal response that can be achieved from a company account.

Best Practices to Win Candidates

Best Practises to Win Candidates 

After you have ironed out your messaging and are confident in what your various touchpoints convey about your brand, ask yourself, how can you attract and win candidates? 

Here are three best practices: 

Focus on your Candidates, not your Company

Check your messaging and content to ensure you’re not just conveying a company perspective without thinking about your employees’ and the candidates’ views. 

If your message is just that you want to hire people to help your company get to the front of the pack, you’re not focusing on your people, just your business goals.

Consider inviting employees to give their feedback and test your marketing approaches. 

Don’t Just Rely on Job Sites

Did you know, a solid social media presence can also help with recruiting? Social media advertising is a great way to expose truly passive candidates to your brand. 

Via social media, candidates can learn all about your employer brand. You can share with them your company values, who your employees are and what they are like and much more. 

At Xref each month, we welcome our new starters and celebrate our colleagues who have work anniversaries on social media. These are some of our most popular posts and makes our new starters feel welcome. The posts publicly demonstrate how much we appreciate each person and the contribution they make to our company. 

Each year, we also make a special effort to celebrate International Women’s Day. We love to celebrate the diversity of our team

All this helps to warm passive candidates up. 

Harness Employee Referrals

Employee referrals are proving an innovative and effective approach to recruiting for several reasons. When hiring becomes a team effort, everyone’s invested in a better outcome. Your employees may work to help facilitate a smooth recruiting and hiring process. 

Employee referrals tend to instil trust in candidates as well. To turn your existing employees’ networks into talent pools, consider an employee referral program that recognises and rewards employees who recruit and recommend qualified candidates.

Ensure your Employer Brand Stands Out

Job-seekers are highly sophisticated in their perception of brand messaging, particularly with digital content. They can make judgment calls on whether or not something appeals to them in a split second. 

4 tips to defining your Employer Brand checklist on dark branded background

Four Tips to Define your Employer Brand

To help define your employer brand, ask yourself: 

  • How do you define your organisation’s culture, values, story, mission, personality? 
  • Does it convey that you’re a great employer and a terrific place to work? 
  • That you take pride in staying ahead in the market and encourage innovation and collaboration? 
  • Do your people love their jobs and tend to stay? 

You want your employer brand to encourage people to connect with your company, whether they apply immediately or not.

Tip 1: Identify your Brand

It’s key to first understand your employer brand and have the ability to articulate that well before you start a fresh round of recruitment. Include:

  • Your story/history 
  • Your mission 
  • Your values 
  • Your culture 
  • Your short-term and long-term business goals 
  • What makes your company unique 

Tip 2: Identify your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). 

It should be clear what you offer employees. You may want to work with your communications and marketing teams to make sure the EVP aligns with the rest of the company. 

Focus on the following questions: 

  • What do you offer employees? 
  • What is special and unique about your organisation? 
  • How does your employer brand align with your company brand? 

Tip 3: Look Inwards 

Check how the employer brand is expressed internally: 

  • How are your people policies and your management strategies, policies and practices underlining that brand? 
  • Are your HR practices supporting the brand? 
  • What about learning and development opportunities - training, coaching, mentoring, compensation? 

Tip 4: Use Data Analytics to Monitor the Performance of your Brand 

Ask yourself: 

  • Are your hires high quality? 
  • Has the company retained good hires for more than one year? 
  • Do candidates come in aware and well informed about the brand? 
  • Are employees generally satisfied and happy to work at the organisation? 
  • Do you have an active group of employee ambassadors? 
  • Do you encourage and leverage employee referrals?

Make Sure your Employer Brand is Visible to Candidates

Determine how much should you share about your organisation. When you’re conveying your employee brand, don’t hide information. Not only will a candidate find out, but you don’t know what will appeal to an individual candidate. 

Consider how your employer brand appeals to all audiences. Candidates from diverse backgrounds will look closely into how your organisation embraces diversity - so they know they will feel comfortable and included, should they join your team. 

You can showcase how diverse and inclusive your organisation is through sharing images of diverse teams on your website and social media, being open about DEI goals (celebrating when you reach them), through job descriptions and much more.   

To make your brand visible, provide all the information it takes for people to be informed about your organisation. 

Most employers prefer candidates who do their research, are engaged and if necessary, have the relevant qualifications. Those are the candidates that make the best hires. They save time during the hiring process, reduce costs, and on the job, they tend to help reduce turnover and increase productivity, engagement, and business. 

Recruitment Strategies to Optimise your Hiring Process

Now your employer brand is on point and your recruitment marketing strategies are in place, consider what hiring strategies can you learn from others to attract candidates in this tough market. 

While large corporations will always attract talent, there are countless examples of companies doing recruiting and hiring right. They’re revolutionising their recruitment processes by using digital tools to free up their hiring managers’ time and energy for personal contacts and communication. 

Specifically, many are using automated reference checking to take the wait times and anxiety out of the screening process, turning a traditionally fraught process into one that is easy, quick, and user-friendly for the candidate. 

Automated reference checking is also useful in a world of remote work where your candidates are global and as such, referees may be in a different time zone to you. 

Organisations that identify the gaps in their recruiting and hiring, and then work with outside experts to fill those gaps, transmit that commitment into the look and feel of those processes. It’s a palpable difference that connects with both passive and active applicants — and helps organisations successfully recruit and hire the talent they depend on.

Final Thoughts

Hiring the right candidate in this competitive market may seem overwhelming. However, with the right employer brand awareness, finding your target candidate can be simplified. Even passive candidates are potential candidates, so it pays to diversify where talent may find you. 

Once you’ve hooked a suitable candidate, it pays to make their journey through your hiring processes a breeze. 

With Xref, our clients make smarter, more confident hiring decisions. Xref helps HR and recruitment professionals across the globe, complete reference checks with ease. 

Through our innovative, automated reference checking platform, our customers collect 60% more feedback from referees and gain insightful analytics. Xref helps to detect suspicious activity on a reference, giving a hiring manager more confidence in the recruitment decisions they make. To learn how Xref works, request a free demo at Xref.com.

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