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This post is by SmashFly Chief Sales Officer Scott Fowle and is on the heels of SmashFly’s funding announcement yesterday.  To learn more, we encourage you to also read the article done by the Boston Business Journal.

It’s an exciting time for SmashFly and our customers! We recently announced $9 million in funding from OpenView Venture Partners. We are so excited about this important milestone! Now that we have additional resources, we want to start engaging with companies like you about the path ahead.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a good recruiter and what that has to do with a talent marketing strategy. Good recruiters are good at selling. They take the time to listen to hiring managers and candidates. They know know the top selling points for the company and job. They craft the message so that it excites an individual candidate and meets that person’s specific needs and interest. They overcome objections, negotiate pay and perks, and ultimately drive the “deal” to completion.

With that said, the recruiter is looking for a few good candidates — and that one hire for the specific job. They’re rewarded for that match, providing a good fit and doing so in the desired time-frame.

Recruiters are good at selling. What does that mean for companies who want to be strategic with their talent acquisition initiatives?

I think this perspective tells us a lot about what’s ahead for early adopters of Total Recruitment Marketing (TRM). While recruiters are great at selling and a more one-on-one exchange, it simply is not scalable and it is not strategic. Perhaps this focus is why employment branding, social media for talent acquisition and candidate relationship marketing have not reached their potential.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that recruiters stop what they are doing. Their skills are integral to a successful final outcome. However, I believe talent acquisition teams need the addition of marketing strategy, skilled resources and recruitment marketing automation to more consistently meet their goals.

If you aren’t quite with me yet, let’s take a look at the world of corporate marketing and insights it can bring to talent acquisition. To do so, think of candidates as potential customers. Employees also are potential customers who may choose to switch who to work for (or “buy from”) in the future.

With that in mind, let’s look at lessons from corporate marketing and automation…  

Fundamentally, how have companies added scalability, supported the sales process, and moved to a more strategic less transactional approach to ultimately acquire more customers than ever? Most major corporate brands have done the following:

  • Invested significantly in brand building efforts.
  • Implemented strategic, integrated marketing planning and programs.
  • Automated marketing efforts, from relationship management, segmentation, communications, salesforce enablement, and more.
  • Added experts trained and experienced in marketing disciplines to put it all in motion.
  • Built robust systems capture data and analyze all these programs and initiatives

This has all added scalability — the ability for companies to reach more potential consumers in a strategic way, guiding them through learning more about products and services until eventually they buy. The ones that become customers may do so with or without the involvement of sales. As we know, that depends a lot on what is being sold.  The one constant is that it’s about getting the right prospects in the door and cultivating a marketing mix that does this in the most effective way possible. So that your team has the funnel to be successful in selling.

We believe there are valuable lessons companies can learn from corporate marketing and automation. Some companies are already starting to look at the broad base of talent – internal and external – more strategically and they will be the first to learn from traditional marketing. HR leaders at these companies want to move beyond costly traditional job posting with every job opening, talent databases that are untapped assets and marginally successful internal mobility efforts.

We believe companies that want to identify, hire and retain top talent will need to do the following:

Increase Specialization in Your Recruiting Teams with team members focused on different initiatives and goals. It means having Recruitment Marketing specialists that are adept at implementing strategic marketing programs that address specific audiences, marketing communications, social media, and more with a primary focus of getting more qualified candidates in the door. And it’s relying on your Recruiters (which are increasingly becoming Business Advisors) to cultivate relationships not only with these qualified candidates but with hiring managers. All with the sole purpose of better understanding how talent acquisition efforts can best support and enhance the core business. And just as important close on candidates that receive offers.

Intelligently automate Recruitment Marketing efforts through a Recruitment Marketing Platform like SmashFly. This will provide the scalability they need by giving the team all the tools, technology and analytics to execute and improve a true Total Recruitment Marketing strategy.

Understand that in some cases, the recruiter “sales team” may not have a major role early on, as prospective talent may learn what they need to know through recruitment marketing efforts. They may be ready to engage directly with hiring managers as their first one-on-one contact in some situations.

Pay more attention to brand building, content and communications. The great news is that taking these approaches will help companies of all types, not just then ones with the most appealing corporate brands. And for lesser known brands, this is even more crucial.

We’ve spoken to hundreds of organizations about this evolved approach to finding and attracting qualified talent and in nearly every case, they agree with this strategy. It’s clear that this is happening today with or without your organization and the early adopters that embrace this approach will have a competitive advantage in how they recruit while being able to more quickly adapt to changing market conditions and trends.

The future of recruiting is not just technology although that’s a significant piece. It’s about the convergence of the people, process and technology to institute a marketing / sales approach to how we find our best people. There’s no step by step plan that works for organizations but it will be the companies that look to approach talent acquisition in different and better ways that will be able to build the teams necessary to win in their core business.

It’s an exciting time to be in talent acquisition and Total Recruitment Marketing is the next evolution in how companies build winning teams. If you are interested in talking to me about this evolution in recruitment, I’d be happy to talk.

Let’s continue the conversation.  Connect with me at sfowle@smashfly.com or on LinkedIn.

5 responses to “The Next Chapter is Total Recruitment Marketing”

  1. As I see it, Total Recruitment Marketing as Scott has it, is about including ‘Inbound Recruitment Marketing’ into the mix. That demands creating interest with the help of valuable content, engaging and building trust and, eventually getting the candidate ( the passive kind )to take up an offer. Creating an online Marketing Funnel so to speak.

    • Terence – Thanks for the comment! I think that’s a good way to put it and Inbound Marketing tactics as you expounded are integral to expanding your brand presence, educating candidates and delivering more value out of your recruiting efforts. There will still be outbound recruiting efforts around advertising on the right job boards and recruiting sites (which will get more selective with analytics) as well as having sourcing initiatives that find candidates online via LinkedIn and other sites.

      As you know, inbound marketing tactics are meant to be self-fulfilling and to be more valuable with time. I could easily see organizations begin to ween themselves off of paid channels (although I think it depends on the organization) with success in the other areas.

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