Featured Image

Ah, the age-old debate of renting vs. owning. Only in this instance, we’re talking about talent acquisition assets. Why are so many talent acquisition professionals renting? They rent out their employer branding and career site to an agency; they rent databases of leads from certain social networks (for big costs); and many never fully own their recruiting data, leaving it to third-party channels or agencies.

Because just like with a home, owning is a little intimidating and a little more work upfront. Renting is more hands-off and convenient, paying for assistance in the yard and help when something breaks. When you own, the onus is all on you; when you rent, the onus is on someone else. It’s simply easier to rent, but you have nothing vested in it. Ownership is a long-term investment that builds expertise and (hopefully) gives you back much more than you paid for it, in cost and in value. Every year you rent, you throw more money out the window and have nothing that’s yours to show for it.

The time is now to own (in talent acquisition … don’t quote me on the housing market!). Who else can really own and manage your employer brand and recruitment marketing better than your team, who knows it the best?


Solving the Recruitment Marketing Equation

A recruitment marketing discipline is built on a combination of people, process and technology. Sure, agencies can help with sheer numbers: more people to help fill the gaps you don’t have time or expertise to cover. But working with an agency slows down process and doesn’t provide an in-house expertise and technology you have constant access to. Sourcing databases or social networks like LinkedIn can help with process, allowing you to find and source a broader range of candidates, but doesn’t help you build in-house expertise that fosters lasting relationships. Both agencies and third-party sites come at a high cost: price and ownership.

You don’t have to rent a database, and you don’t have to lend your assets to an agency for another opinion! In fact, lessening or eliminating your reliance on third-party sites, social networks like LinkedIn or agencies will give you more freedom, more flexibility and more ownership of your employer brand and your recruitment marketing discipline as the industry, your business goals and candidates change. Plus, you can save a large amount of dollars (big win!) and better optimize your strategy in both the short- and long-term.

What if you could control your own career site, have your own database of interested leads to source from and own all of your recruiting data without asking anyone for a report? What if you could build a recruitment marketing discipline within your organization on your own terms? What if you had the flexibility to continuously evaluate and evolve your strategy to generate improved results and better hires? You can.

Hello technology, a vital piece of the recruitment marketing discipline equation. Investing in technology as a foundation can help with both the people portion and the process portion, helping you work faster and smarter, and incrementally build an employer brand and recruitment marketing discipline you own.


The Case for Owning

The most immediate three assets that come to mind are your database of leads, your employer brand and your recruiting data.



How many times does your team go back to the same external databases and start from scratch for a new job req? How many candidates have you paid to attract to your career site or jobs but then lost because they weren’t ready to apply? How many employers are paying that same fee to tap into that same database of candidates? Microsoft just acquired LinkedIn – we’re all waiting to see what happens. But these are the type of industry moves that make relying on a specific network a little scary: Will pricing change? Will data exporting get stricter? There are a ton of unanswered questions, not to mention the current high pricing model. When you rent a database from networks like LinkedIn, you’re starting from the ground up every single time, along with every one of your competitors. You’re fishing in the same pool of candidates that everyone else has access to, yet no one is building relationships with. And you’re paying to continuously start from scratch with cold prospects that have no knowledge of you.

The case for owning: We’ve had two customers reduce their LinkedIn recruiter licenses: one from 31 to 11 and the other down to just two. When you invest in and own a technology like a Recruitment Marketing Platform, you can capture interested leads through a talent network form to start building a database that has opted in to future communication from you. They already found your career site and most likely one of your job opportunities. They raised their hand to say, “I want to learn more.” They’ve even given you information like job family preference or skills to help you segment them for future sourcing. These are the candidates you want to nurture for the future, and they already know who you are, which lays the foundation for building relationships with them until they are ready to apply. When you own technology, you own your database – one that can help you better fill both current and future job opportunities and reduce your reliance on 3rd party channels.



We heard from one of our customers, who eliminated all of their agency spend and instead opted for a Recruitment Marketing Platform, that they felt a lack of partnership and collaboration from their agency when it came to making changes to their career site and finding creative solutions for employer brand challenges. Agencies can help in your brand research but the truth is, you know your employer brand the best to own the day-to-day. When you rent out your assets to another team, you’re on their creative vision and their time. Change is slow. Contracts are big. And you’re constantly working through someone else to get things done.

The case for owning: This specific customer ended up building a content team within their talent acquisition team who manages all of their branding, content creation and career site. When they want a change, they can make it. When they decide to go a different route for a branding decision, they can do it. When there’s a problem, they can quickly fix it without relying on anyone else. When they want to change job boards or tactics, they don’t have a third-party opinion that might play favorites. When you own your assets and your creative vision, the win is two-fold: you build up expertise in your recruitment marketing discipline and reduce consistent agency add-on costs for w, x, y and z (and more).



Using multiple tools and outside resources segments your data into multiple siloes. You get reporting from X on this day, a report from Y at the end of this quarter and so on – and it’s likely all tracked in different ways and through a different lens. Can you trust it? Do you have access to the reports when you want them? Can you see how your efforts and dollars are driving results throughout the entire funnel? It’s probably more like putting together a puzzle with quite a few pieces missing. Plus, your team of recruiters and sourcers provide their own metrics, all proving the success they’re having. But none of this data is from a centralized source or an agnostic source of truth that tracks every candidate and every channel in the same way.

The case for owning: By using a Recruitment Marketing Platform, you can see, in one complete dashboard, exactly how their budgets on specific job boards and other recruiting channels are working for them to drive quality candidates. If they’re not driving quality, they reallocate the spend to a channel that does. This data is all in real-time in one dashboard that your team has direct access to – you don’t have to wait to pull reports from different tools or request a presentation from an agency. Owning your own data with constant access is perhaps the most important factor to consider as you build your recruitment marketing discipline: it’s not just from one siloed channel or from an agency who might have partnerships with certain channels, it’s a centralized, agnostic source of truth for all of your recruiting metrics. A standalone technology doesn’t care which channels are the most effective – it cares that you can access the data and see the results that prove it . Without that visibility, you can’t truly improve and optimize your strategy.


Creating a recruitment marketing discipline is a journey, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But you can start working on owning piece by piece of your strategy, leads and data by adopting technology – and realizing you don’t need to rely on external sources to own what’s yours. Renting year-to-year is convenient and can provide short-term value. Owning gives you the keys to your own talent acquisition success to prime your process, team and organization for the long-term to make better hires and build a pipeline of quality candidates.

Leave a Reply