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When you’re a fast-growing company, everything seems to take longer than you want it to: getting new features out to customers, growing those customers, and especially finding the right talent to lead both. If you’re in growth mode, you know that finding exceptional talent quickly is no easy task. Finding talent for a startup is even harder because the people you’re looking for need not only the key skills, but also the experience in your space, to elevate your company based on their expertise and industry relationships.

It’s tough! I know firsthand because I’ve been involved in fast growth at SmashFly. And there is a secret sauce to what we’re doing: it’s called recruitment marketing. This secret sauce has allowed us to increase our team exponentially in the first quarter of this year alone.

For those of you who don’t know what the heck Recruitment Marketing means, it’s really quite simple. Recruitment marketing is every tactic—content marketing, email nurturing, social recruiting, mobile recruiting, career site, SEO, employee referrals, talent networks, job marketing, employer branding, recruiting events, recruiting analytics, CRM—that a talent acquisition team uses to find, attract, engage and nurture leads. It helps convert them into qualified applicants, fill jobs now, and build talent pipelines for the future.

In short, it’s the engine behind your talent strategy. It’s more than employer branding, and it’s more than a website or a job posting. It is not only who you are and what you say, it’s the channels and process that you create to turn interested candidate leads into applicants and hires.

I know. It sounds like a lot for a company in growth mode! So, let’s break it down to show how and why a recruitment marketing strategy delivers value, helps ramp up your talent pipelines, and builds a solid experience to drive the right candidates into your company.

 

MORE POSITIVE CANDIDATE EXPERIENCES

When you build recruitment marketing programs and campaigns, you create an experience for candidate leads who are interested in your company and want to contribute to your mission. Great recruitment marketing is designed to extend your brand through people first.

When you focus on creating a solid candidate experience, you show people that all interactions – from a first touch point on your social media channels, to the career site experience, to the application process, to onboarding – are important to you and the company. A people-first brand is essential to a high-growth company.

Start with job descriptions that don’t read like a business requirements document. You’re not hiring a desk or a computer, you’re hiring a person – so talk to your prospective talent like that’s what they are! A great job description should read like a love letter to the right candidate. Job descriptions are the content interested leads are most likely to interact with in their zero moment of truth, so it’s a critical selling point that can drive the most value.

For many candidates, their career search journey is not an exciting one until they get a phone call to talk about the opportunity. But recruitment marketing can change that, offering interaction after interaction that is authentic, compelling and human. Positive experiences build on your brand promise, even for candidates who apply but were not hired.

Here at SmashFly, we offer our applicants an opportunity to provide feedback on the process. With this simple step, we not only build goodwill, but we also learn a lot about our own process so that we can continually improve the candidate experience.

 

ACCELERATE YOUR ABILITY TO GROW

When you have amazing recruitment marketing and messaging, you are telling your company (and employees’!) story consistently to the talent who align with your mission, vision, and values. In growth companies, we are not afforded the luxury of training people on a new industry, which is why recruitment marketing is so important. Great recruitment marketing attracts the right talent to your company so that the people you hire understand what’s important to your company and how they can impact it.

It means a consistent communication plan through social media, events, referrals and your career site. It means targeted content based on job family to educate candidates before they apply. It means setting expectations for meaningful work, collaborative teams and a fast pace. Growth companies require new talent to wear many hats – and if you attract the right talent who expects this environment, it will reduce turnover.

 

NURTURE THE RIGHT PEOPLE

Recruitment marketing not only helps you attract the right talent to your company for the right reasons. It also helps you educate your talent pools on the skills and needs of the company so that they can start on day one and make an impact.

Consistent touchpoints through email nurture or from current team members that kick off with a candidate’s initial application and extend all the way through hire and onboarding will ensure applicants hear from prospective teammates and keep up-to-date on new projects, compare reviews and news, and more. Simply, it keeps your interested talent INTERESTED!

With an elegant recruitment marketing strategy that includes nurturing, you’re putting yourself in a position to help applicants screen themselves in and out. You’re also providing them with insights, information, and onboarding materials earlier in the process so that they know what their responsibilities and expectations.

 

GENERATE BUZZ

And what high-growth company doesn’t want more buzz?

Hiring is not only a function of HR, it is also a function of marketing, hence “recruitment marketing”. Never forget that people who want to work for you may also want to buy your product (or can influence people who do buy your product!). When you create an exceptional candidate experience and sound recruitment marketing strategy, your brand receives additional chatter and traction that it might not have had before. In SmashFly’s case, we are consistently asked how we do recruitment marketing. It creates a brand cache in our market that positions our company as experts in the field.

Recruitment marketing is also a powerful amplification tool. When you’re focused on creating an experience for talent, and you provide your employees tools and authority to share your messages out to their networks, you build more conversation and buzz about your company, your positions and your product. Growth is a powerful story to tell, and there is no bigger evidence than adding top people to your team – and letting them talk about it.

Recruitment marketing is a game changer for growth companies, and the best part is, it doesn’t have to be complex. Start simple with this quick Recruitment Marketing Blueprint for 2016: focus on being authentic and honest in your communication with candidates and outline specific goals you can measure.

Go forth and become recruitment marketers!

Originally featured on VentureFizz

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