Acquiring good people for a business is every bit as important as acquiring new customers, but it is often not given the same importance. It is time to prioritise people over product and now more than ever marketing needs to be incorporated into a recruitment strategy.
There is no longer a silver bullet for hiring new staff where a full page newspaper advert or a job board post would generate hundreds of applications. We are dealing with a fast paced, candidate driven market and we are targeting a passive audience of people who are already in jobs, so we need to act differently to attract attention. Previously there would be a predominantly active market who would visit job sites and see vacancies but just like the theory of the two-way interview, we now need to be proactive and work harder and faster to reach, attract and retain candidates.
Firstly, a business needs to define its employer brand and proposition, outlining company culture, values and opportunities, and ensure this is imbedded in all marketing and recruitment materials. This is because content is king and effective storytelling will help get the message out there.
Start with the company website and social channels as highly engaging platforms are essential. For example, professional video content with subtitles is worth the investment as it can bring more personality to a brand. LinkedIn pages should include organic content such as staff profiles and a careers page listing vacancies should be prominent on the website as often these are hidden at the bottom of the page.
Once the content is refined, recruiters need to understand the audience – for example what media do they consume, what do they value most from an employer and how do they spend their time outside of work? Businesses can tap into insights from current personnel on interests and goals to develop personas for each role. In all that we do, we should also be mindful of diversity, equality and inclusion messages, and ensure that all content shared, including images and text, are reflective of company values.
Once all of this is established then businesses can strategically target audiences through clever ad placement and marketing activity.
This is why a company’s marketing function should be aligned with its recruitment function, whether that means teams collaborating together or those in recruitment upskilling in their knowledge of marketing. Often we see recruitment fall down the priority list for marketing but driving footfall or sales is almost pointless if staffing levels are not appropriate.
Essentially the theory behind marketing and recruitment is the same, it is about attraction and in this case, the attraction of people. In the current market, marketing flair and a knowledge of the latest and most relevant tools to target audiences can make all the difference. Ideally if budget allows, a dedicated recruitment marketing person could be hired to elevate a campaign in such a crowded market.
Simone Lockhart is the Group Commercial Director for Taranata Group
This article first appeared in the Herald Scotland on 7th March 2022 here