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It’s 2019. Recruitment marketing isn’t a new concept. The best employers use recruitment marketing to differentiate themselves from the competition, connect with potential hires and create more compelling employer brands.

Yet when I look at the 2019 Recruitment Marketing Benchmarks Report from the SmashFly team, I am blown away by the lack of prioritization of this critical talent practice. Beyond the shocking differences between the companies that actually follow positive practices and those that lag behind, a few key pieces of the report stood out to me as an independent observer in the industry.

In the Age of Automation, It’s Still About the People

Key indicators of recruitment marketing maturity revolve around technology and best practice, but in the end, the data say it’s all about the people. As we pointed out recently in our piece on how to hire a recruitment marketing pro, having the right talent on your team can mean the difference in talent acquisition success and failure.

While I can’t verify this yet, it seems that those employers that have a dedicated resource to recruitment marketing are more likely to take on some of the key activities. For instance, consider the following differences.

For reference, the report uses an A (best) through F (worst) scoring system to signify a company’s maturity and capability with recruitment marketing practices.

What employer branding and recruitment marketing high performers do better

None of these activities is rocket science. The problem is that they take time and someone to champion them internally. While some employers believe that everyone on the talent acquisition team should play a role in making these things happen, this truly seems to be the case of “if it’s everyone’s job, it’s nobody’s job.” These kinds of critical activities simply don’t get done without someone to lead the way.

Leveraging the Value of a CRM

Investing in a tool to help manage candidate relationships is smart. Using that database as a storage tool that you never actually leverage? Not so smart. If the purpose is simply to have a place to dump applicant resumes and contact information, there are cheaper options than a CRM to serve as a data warehouse.

The report shows that just five percent of the Fortune 500 send content to their talent networks beyond job requisitions, and this is a missed opportunity.

Let’s look at it from a consumer angle. You join the email list for your favorite brand to see their new announcements and products similar to what you’ve purchased before, but then they just send you a blanket list of products with no clear ties to the reason you joined in the first place. The next time an email comes into your inbox, you unsubscribe.

This is exactly what happens to the individuals that join talent communities. Maybe they saw a commercial, met a recruiter or saw a friend join the company, so they opted into the talent community. It doesn’t take much to realize that sending them random jobs is going to turn them off pretty quickly. Instead, why not share relevant, interesting content? Even if it’s stock content off the shelf, it can still hold appeal if presented the right way. What about sharing this kind of information?

  • A “day in the life” blog series covering your top three job categories that are hardest to fill
  • Videos demonstrating team culture and activities that highlight what it’s like to work at your firm
  • The best ways to prepare for interviews with your firm, including tips from people that were hired

In less than a day, it’s possible to create several items from this list and get it scheduled into your CRM to share, and we haven’t even gone down the road of deeper customization. For example, if the job that is hardest to fill is a technical role, why not have your CTO create a 30-second video on what he looks for in a new software developer? It’s incredibly simple, but it can create a connection with potential candidates that a written job requisition simply can’t.

Commit to a Strategy

In the end, this is about taking a more strategic approach to talent acquisition as a whole, and recruitment marketing in particular. I’ve yet to meet a team with unlimited budget and time that can simply throw labor at a project until it’s complete. Talent acquisition leaders know this all too well, and while we’re great at helping other business leaders get the most from their people, we sometimes fail to see how this applies to our own teams.

Taking a strategic approach to how you communicate with candidates, share information and create a more compelling employer brand won’t happen by itself, but the payoff is more than worth the effort.


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