Talent acquisition strategy is changing, requiring new skills to help attract consumer-minded candidates. This change currently underway in recruiting is similar to how the marketing function has evolved over the past 10 years.
Marketing has largely turned “inbound” in the last decade ― customers are finding their own paths to products and services versus companies using ads to disruptively get in front of potential customers. Inbound marketing has been the most successful marketing method introduced in recent years for attracting sales-ready customers. Inbound marketing works because companies are creating value for prospective customers, which converts them into loyal buyers and long-term advocates.
Just take a look at these quick stats to gauge how inbound marketing efforts are increasing success for organizations:
- Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less.
- Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months.
- Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
To adopt these new principles of inbound marketing, marketing teams have transformed and expanded, adding new positions like content strategist and digital marketer, as well as expertise in social media, SEO and demand/lead generation. The modern marketing team has key roles with specific knowledge in the efforts that will attract more interested prospects through broader channels, and more importantly, will nurture them into qualified leads to deliver to sales.
What can recruiters learn from this marketing transformation?
How customer marketing inspires recruitment marketing.
Let’s do some quick word replacement:
Talent acquisition teams will need to transform and expand, adding new positions like content strategist and digital marketer, as well as expertise in social media, SEO and demand generation. The modern talent acquisition team has key roles with specific knowledge in the efforts that will attract more interested candidates through broader channels, and more importantly, will nurture them into qualified applicants to deliver to recruiters.
Sounds pretty spot on, doesn’t it? Recruiting and marketing are being blended into recruitment marketing, in which talent acquisition teams use current marketing tactics like content, email, social media, mobile, automation, etc. to engage candidates through more than just jobs. The process used to be: post a job to Monster and/or Careerbuilder and get candidates. It’s not that easy, or qualified, anymore. Because, let’s face it: No one prefers just a job. Modern candidates want culture, inspiration, incentive, camaraderie and meaning. And they want it to come to them through the channels they use most.
Who serves these roles on your team?
The recruiting function of your team primarily serves a “sales” function, the bottom-of-the-funnel: identifying the best candidates and then selling them on the company, the hiring manager, etc.
The recruitment marketing function of your team serves a “marketing” function, the top-of-the-funnel: attracting, engaging and nurturing new candidates until they are qualified to convert at the best time for them and your organization.
But both the recruiting (sales) and recruitment marketing (marketing) functions are essential in a modern recruiting organization, providing different skill sets for different stages of the candidate journey.
Recruitment marketing is where the new skillsets are necessary, and emerging, in talent acquisition, helping to proactively provide meaning and value through design, messaging and experience to impact the best candidates to apply. Who on your team owns the vision for your career site and its messaging? Who is the point-person for all landing page and conversion knowledge? If you need a blog post to attract candidates with your thought leadership, who will plan and execute it, and who will manage the long-term content calendar?
Reality check: Not every talent acquisition organization has the budget to add these positions to the team. And while it may be in the long-term plan, there is a way to get started today without hiring new people by cultivating these skills within your current team. The right technology, like a recruitment marketing platform, can enable your current team to start now, while also introducing them to some of the skills and tactics that will improve their inbound marketing knowledge.
Here are five essential roles your modern recruiting organization should have:
Employer Brand Manager.
- Defines the employer brand identity and your employer value proposition (EVP)
- Uncovers and tells employee stories
- Amplifies the employer brand across all channels in design and message
- Ensures consistency with corporate brand standards
- Supports recruiters with event assets such as signage, exhibits and giveaways
- Leads the vision for the candidate experience starting with your career site
- Manages your presence and reputation on candidate-facing sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, etc.
- Identifies target candidate profiles and creates messaging per persona
Why You Need This Role:
You can’t truly attract loyal customers without a solid, differentiated brand. Where would Coke be without red and white, happiness and polar bears? (They might be RC.) Candidates, and eventually employees, feel the same about being part of something unique and strong, something they can connect with. You need a dedicated employer brand manager to lead and answer:
- Who you are as an organization, really?
- What is the true value you provide to customers? What role do employees play in delivering that value?
- Why do employees stay with your company?
- What can you offer candidates in culture, education and employment?
- How will you inspire, motivate and connect with candidates?
- How will current employee stories come to life?
- How do you want candidates, employees and alumni to view you?
- What are the key skillsets and qualities that will help grow your organization?
Your employer brand is bigger than your career site. It is the foundation for your internal brand (how your employees view and communicate the culture of the organization), as well as for your external brand (how the candidates you want to attract see your organization).
- Owns the editorial calendar for the career site, company blog, social media channels, placed thought leadership articles, etc.
- Writes and creates content across types, candidate personas and candidate journey (blogs, email campaigns, job descriptions, infographics, etc.)
- Attracts and nurtures candidates with personalized messaging and communications
- Repackages content from existing Marketing resources
- Curates relevant content from third party providers/sites
Why You Need This Role:
Brands have already turned into publishers to provide education and entertainment, and recruiting organizations are next in line. Content marketing is crucial to inbound marketing―it is how your brand and message are searched, found and consumed by the quality candidates you’re trying to attract. Between blog posts, white papers, LinkedIn Pulse, videos, infographics, studies and more, candidates are looking to prospective employers for:
- Thought leadership, like visionary blogs from your CEO on company direction and your company’s take on industry trends.
- Actionable advice, like how to prepare for interviews with your hiring managers and customize your resume to the job position.
- Personal connection, like videos from current employees and Q&As with new hires.
- Entertainment and humor, like memes on Facebook and curated social shares on LinkedIn and Twitter.
It comes down to providing value to your target audience. Content needs a strategy, timelines, deliverables, assignments; it needs a sole owner who understands how to execute different types of content for different candidates in different stages of their career search. The desire and necessity for career-focused content is imperative to your talent acquisition strategy. The targeted content and messaging you require likely cannot be pulled from Marketing resources; it’s also too strategically important to produce ad hoc.
Social Media Coordinator.
- Understands social media best practices, strategies, emerging networks, etc. for reaching and engaging candidates
- Builds and manages the company’s social profiles, including execution, engagement and social ads/promotions
- Creates social personas and knows the right social channel to reach specific target audiences
- Follows the best news outlets and influencers to stay on top of trends and competition, and curates the posts relevant for your network
- Measures the quality of social followers through click-through rates, conversion rates and traffic sources
- Champion for social media sharing through internal networks (recruiters, employees, sales, etc.)
- Communicates one-to-one in real-time with candidates through social channels to answer questions and build relationships
Why You Need This Role:
This may be a role you have covered, but it’s probably time to step up your social recruiting game. According to a Jobcast survey, 94% of companies use social for recruiting, and 73% say they have successfully hired an employee from social media. But do you have a comprehensive strategy behind social recruiting? A dedicated social media coordinator or a team member that owns this channel will map out a communication strategy per each social network that candidates may be using, as well as the social personas of different demographics. He/she will have eyes on trends, inbox/direct messages, questions and brand sentiment around the clock. The biggest reasons you need this role is for constant communication to candidates ― and measuring its success. You should be answering:
- Which social channels provide you with access to your target personas?
- What types of posts get the most engagement?
- Which get the most link clicks?
- What ads / promoted Tweets get the highest conversion rates?
- How quickly does social communication influence candidates to apply?
- How do candidates from social sources compare to others in terms of quality?
- How much of your career site traffic is coming from social media?
And that’s just a start. You can really dive deep by adding stronger social publishing and analytics tools and using Google Analytics for campaign tracking per social source. Even further, recruitment marketing platforms track social analytics on a larger scale, in conjunction with all of your other talent acquisition efforts.
- Understands best practices of lead generation and nurture programs
- Creates and tests email templates, banner images and content for performance
- Writes and tests calls-to-action (CTAs) for all campaigns to drive conversions (i.e., joining talent network, subscribing to newsletter, registering for an event or webinar, etc.)
- Designs email drip campaigns for warm leads to keep your company top-of-mind
- Optimizes and designs landing pages for conversion
- Owns day-to-day career site management to keep content up to date
- Executes and tests retargeting campaigns to attract leads
- Masters SEO and SEM best practices
- Measures how attraction tactics convert via career site
Why You Need This Role:
While entertaining social media, engaging content and a compelling employer brand will help you attract candidates, the digital marketer will help you convert more candidates once they get to your career site, talent network forms and landing pages. They experiment and are never satisfied, using A/B testing to track how SEO, design and CTAs affect conversion. And once converted, the digital marketer owns all communication that will nurture candidates, with the goal of getting them to apply for the right job for both them and the company. You need to be able to find the quality and potential in the masses. Adding a digital marketer who fully understands the candidate lifecycle and how to personalize their communication through each touch point will improve the quality of candidates who apply.
Recruitment Marketing Manager.
- Leads recruitment marketing strategy, team, budget and processes to build a pipeline of high quality candidates
- Master of creating high-impact demand generation programs to grow the talent network
- Partners with talent advisors and business units to design integrated, cross-channel recruitment marketing campaigns in support of business goals
- Owns the CRM database and leverages technology and tactics to build rich candidate profiles that allow for better sourcing of candidates
- Segments qualified candidates for recruiters to match against open positions
- Owns complete recruitment marketing funnel metrics across channels to measure, analyze and report on the sources that produce the best hires for the organization
- Manages recruitment marketing technology and systems as well as vendor relationships
Why You Need This Role:
With an integrated strategy, there has to be an “integration” mindset across all of your team members. The recruitment marketing manager is the integrator. This person understands how individual tactics play a bigger role in quality demand generation and is responsible for the results and cost-effectiveness of each strategy. Everything he/she does in thinking and execution is to attract more qualified candidates, drive them through the pipeline and create more quality relationships through email, content, campaigns, social and more. On top of that, the recruitment marketing manager knows how to measure and affect this quality:
- Which strategies and campaigns are growing the talent network/CRM database?
- How can you reduce the time it takes for a candidate to apply, or take a different action that shows interest?
- Which sources are bringing in the most qualified candidates? From mobile or desktop?
- How can we better use content to nurture candidates through the funnel and convert them to the next stage?
- What key metrics should be monitored so that data drives our future tactics?
- How can we build a better candidate profile through interaction and information gathering?
Whether a recruitment marketing manager, or the champion on your team for recruitment marketing, this role serves as a check and balance for all your efforts and will consistently improve your program through actionable data.
Take a look at your current team.
Certainly, some of them are already using and building some of these skills. So you can start transforming your team today through developing more of these skills, making a key hire with recruitment marketing knowledge ― or even adding technology like a recruitment marketing platform to make the implementation and processes simple.
Developing your strategy for recruitment marketing and understanding where your team is now and the positions you need long-term will help turn your current recruiting team into a recruitment marketing powerhouse.