You savvy recruitment marketers sure did ask some great questions during our recent webinar, Recruitment Marketing in 2017: How the Fortune 500 (and You!) Stack Up. There just wasn’t enough time to get to them all. Fortunately, our resident experts/rock stars Tracey Parsons (Director of Recruitment Marketing Practice) and Chris Brablc (Director of Product Marketing) are committed to arming you with all the information you need to compete for and win top talent. Lucky you!
Q: Should the recruiting or marketing team execute Recruitment Marketing?
TP: It depends on the organization and the relationship you have with the marketing team. In our experience, recruitment marketing is the responsibility of recruiters in most organizations because automation has eliminated some of their tasks (think job postings). Working with marketing to be sure your employer brand aligns with the corporate brand is important. There is a very good chance that your marketing team has a ton of content that could be repurposed into recruiting content. Find the short cuts where they exist. Not everything has to be created from scratch. Also, remember there is a lot of great content out there that you could curate into your social and email channels.
Q: What is the ideal percentage of social content about our culture versus job postings?
CB: I’d suggest a 60-30-10 rule. 60% can be about you and your culture, 30% can be curated content that is valuable to your followers and 10% can be new job opportunities. That 10% can also be much less but that’s a good rule of thumb.
For job postings, you need to set an expectation for what the candidate is signing up for, but you’ll also miss a huge opportunity if you don’t sell the company in the job description before getting to the job responsibilities. I’d ensure that the job posting communicates your brand through the style and word choice. Also, be sure to test it out internally on candidates and get their impressions of what it might portray to an outside contact.
Q: What are some examples of unique content we could use in job descriptions?
CB: It could be a video of an employee that does that job, it could be the benefits of working for the organization. All in all, it should be content that helps a candidate understand your company’s value beyond the jobs you offer, and it should encourage them to continue on in the process.
TP: It should also be written for people to really understand what you’re looking for. Speak in the candidate’s language and not in your company language. Since they don’t work there yet, they don’t know your acronyms. Finally, write a job description that explains what’s in it for them.
Q: Can you provide an example of messaging to specific job families and creating dedicated content?
CB: When we say messaging to specific job families, we’re talking about the skills that are critically to the success of your company. These might be developers, sales team members, customer service reps, etc. The key is that these are the candidates you are targeting with your efforts. When we talk about dedicated content, we are talking about personalizing our message to this audience. A great developer that goes to your career site doesn’t want to hear your employer brand boilerplate, but rather what it’s like to be a developer at your organization and why it should be his next career choice. Many companies do this with landing pages and the use of targeted stories in video form with employees talking about what they do and how they are involved in the organization.
TP: Take a look at how we do it at SmashFly: http://jobs.smashfly.com/page/show/engineering
PWC does a great job as well: http://www.pwc.com/us/en/careers/experienced/practice-areas/tax.html
Q: Can you provide some suggestions on how to build a solid mobile opt-in strategy?
CB: I believe wholeheartedly (borderline maniacally) in having an option for candidates to opt in to future communications with you outside of the apply process – and it needs to be multi-device. Your talent network opt-in forms should be easy to find and fill out on your career site, no matter what device candidates are using. Also, be sure to use technology that can help you insert this form as the first step in the apply flow to exponentially capture more candidate leads.
Q: You mentioned that we shouldn’t be sending third-party emails to candidates. Can you explain this further?
TP: 44% of the Fortune 500 are sending emails to candidates – mostly job alerts. These emails are coming from a third party, could be MailChimp, could be a product or service company who is managing their job alerts. The best practice is to send messages to candidates from your url. For example, messages to SmashFly talent comes from Talent@SmashFly.com. The messages you send to people should come from your brand. Think Talent@yourbrand.com. If it comes from someone else, the candidate will not think it’s from you and will assume it is spam. It will erode your brand instead of build it.
Q: How do you ensure you don’t overload your candidates with content, especially via email?
CB: Good question. While not part of your question, first I want to address candidates who opt out. This will happen and it’s not a bad thing. For any successful email nurture strategy, you’ll get those who opt out but it opens up an opportunity to evaluate the messages you send and understand what your audience truly engages with.
Now that I’m off my soapbox, let’s get to your question: Overload can be one of the big reasons for opt-outs and we have to set a cadence that is appropriate with candidates. I’d make sure you focus on 3 things:
- Set expectations up front when candidates sign up and in your confirmation email: If you are going to send them an email a week, tell them that.
- Ensure the content is valuable and targeted: The biggest cause of drop-off is just plain bad content. I’d focus less on frequency and more on higher quality pieces. That might be fewer emails, but candidates will get more value from each campaign.
- Test how time affects drop-off: Measure every campaign you send and ensure you isolate all the factors that affect performance. Timing should definitely be one of them.
TP: In terms of timing, I’ve found that the optimal cadence is about a month for response rates, so I’d start there.
Q: How do we automate propagating job alerts, culture, behind the scenes?
CB: There are a number of benefits to automation, especially when it comes to emailing. It enables you to ensure proper and timely communication that would otherwise be burdensome to your recruiting team, and a recruitment marketing platform can help you execute and measure it.
That said, the content populating the campaigns needs to be created first and a technology is only as good as the content and strategy you support it with. Things like job alerts are good automated email campaigns but when we look at providing content other than jobs in our nurture strategy we need to begin building, curating and creating content that can help us here.
Q: What are your recommendations for the specific channels for the content on our career site?
CB: The content on your career site such as employee stories, corporate values and other key messages should definitely be repurposed for other parts of your recruitment marketing strategy. Whether it’s in your email campaigns to candidates, job descriptions, social media, events, or elsewhere, each great piece of content you have should by rule be repurposed 5-10 times. Candidates will consume your content in multiple ways, and repurposing across these channels increases your content’s exposure and the likelihood that it will be consumed. And that’s the goal.
TP: Don’t underestimate the power of social media. It’s an excellent vehicle for your content and a proven way to get the attention of passive candidates.
There you have it. Your burning questions – answered. Have more? Ask us in the comment section below. Check out the full webinar for more tips from our experts. And for the full story on how America’s most successful companies use recruitment marketing (and pointers on how you can use emerging and untapped best practices to step up recruitment marketing in your organization), download the 2016 Fortune 500 Recruitment Marketing Report Card.