Some businesses spend a small fortune on employing recruitment marketing techniques to attract and nurture talent. Why?
Because they know that by getting their recruitment messaging right, at the right time, they can attract better quality candidates, lower cost-per-hire, improve employee performance and engagement and improve retention.
But why should these huge benefits be limited to those organisations who have the budgets to match?
I don’t think they should.
Small businesses could, and should, do this too. But many smaller businesses (some big ‘uns too) think candidate attraction starts and ends with a posting on a job board or a call to an agency.
This week I hand over the reins to Emma Harding, a communications specialist from Hilltop Communications, to explain how you can employ recruitment marketing techniques to improve the way you engage with and attract potential employees, whatever the size of your business or budget.
Emma Harding has worked with organisations big and small to help them tell their story to the audience that matters – whether that’s consumers or potential employees – and I hope you find her insights useful for your business.
What is recruitment marketing?
“With buzzwords like employer branding, talent acquisition and candidate pipeline, the idea of recruitment marketing can seem intimidating and out of reach to a small business.
But, at its core, recruitment marketing is simply about how employers present to the outside world what it’s like to work for them.
It’s about creating and sustaining a positive (and accurate) impression amongst potential candidates about your workplace, before an actual job has even been advertised.
It’s about attracting and engaging with potential candidates before they’ve even applied for a specific position.
It’s about recognising that these days, candidates are behaving more like consumers – researching and evaluating potential employers via the internet.
And you can do this no matter what the size of your business.
Recruitment marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. Those very technologies – social media, online reviews etc – that have changed candidate behaviour when looking for jobs are the same tools you can use to reach out to those candidates.
The key to successful recruitment marketing is to be clear about the messages you want to convey, to whom and via what channels.
What’s your story?
The first stage in any recruitment marketing activity is to get your story right. What do you want to tell potential candidates about working for your business?
What makes your business an attractive place to work? Ask your current employees why they work for you and focus on the ‘intangible’ benefits rather than tangible things like salary and pension.
Who are you as a business? What is your ethos? Being clear about this will help potential applicants evaluate whether they’d be a good fit.
How do you differ from your competitors? It is not enough to be attractive, you also need to be distinct.
Be compelling but keep it real
Obviously you need your ‘offer’ to appeal to potential candidates but it’s also vital that you give a realistic portrayal of what it’s like to work for you.
Be clear and consistent
Is it obvious from your website, your social media activity, your application pack etc who you are? Would an applicant instantly be able to evaluate whether they’d fit in or would they be confused by conflicting messages?
Also, consistency isn’t just about what you say, it’s also about how it feels to engage with you. If those things don’t match, it can be detrimental to how a potential candidate perceives you. It’s no use having an all-singing, all-dancing website if your Facebook page can’t been updated since 2013. It’s no use saying you’re an innovative company if your application process is stuck in the 1980s.
Develop a pipeline
Do you have a system to engage with and nurture prospective employees before they’ve applied?
If not, consider how the tactics you use to nurture potential customers might be applied to potential recruits. Does your website provide engaging and regularly refreshed content about what it’s like working in your business? Is there a way to sign up for job alerts and other relevant communications?
Get out there
How can you raise your profile as an employer? Consider:
- If you’re recruiting locally, how can you engage with the community? Perhaps you could get involved with a local event for instance.
- How will you utilise social media to your advantage? Maybe a Linkedin employers page or a targeted Facebook page?
- Could your star employees be encouraged to post honest reviews of what it’s like working for you on a site like Glassdoor? Or by videoing life on site? Just as potential buyers trust and value real customer feedback so potential hires trust and value hearing from current employees.
Like nurturing and engaging your customers – you need to nurture and engage potential employees.
So what’s your story and how will you tell it?”