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This is a view from the top.

And it’s here, up, up, up through the peaks and clouds and the mountains of mediocrity, where you’ll find the path to ultimate talent enlightenment — the path paved by the Recruitment Marketing Pioneer. Come, take a walk with me.

Up here, the air is a little fresher, the sky a little bluer, and the top talent roams in abundance. It’s a land of leads and infinite innovation — a bountiful place all companies dream to be. 

How do you find it?

How do you walk the path?

Well, you’ll need a map. A roadmap. And I have it right here.

Symphony Talent and SmashFly’s 2020 Recruitment Marketing Benchmarks Report is the industry’s most comprehensive collection of data from the Fortune 500. Building it took time and precision; a detailed, coffee-fueled analysis of 500 companies, over six total months, across 33 criteria and 25,000 data points.

Somewhere in this numerical nebula, we discovered a truth: not all companies’ recruitment marketing strategies are created equal. Some are a cut above the rest. There is the norm, the standard, the average…

And then there are the RM Pioneers.

Our Report is a tribute to them — a celebration of the 79 companies that never settled or stopped innovating, and ultimately achieved an “A” grade. It’s a chronicle of the efforts that helped them reach a level of success few others do, and an opportunity for others to read, learn, adapt, and evolve.

Because when you’re faced with the unknown, you shouldn’t approach it blindly. Follow the footsteps of those who have done it before. The RM Pioneers are your guide. These data points, your bread crumbs.

Let’s take that walk.


What RM Pioneers do differently. 

Take a look around. The first thing you might notice is that, on the whole, talent acquisition is getting better. You’re getting better.

Five years ago when we launched our inaugural Benchmarks Report, only 3% of the Fortune 500 received an A. This year, it’s 16% — and the B’s have increased as well, to the point of now owning the largest percentage of all grades. That’s progress, and it proves that recruitment marketing is no longer a subjective, optional discipline.

It’s defined. It’s tangible. And it’s critical to building competitive advantage in talent experience. The Pioneers, unsurprisingly, have aggressively advanced their recruitment marketing  strategies in the last half decade. Here are some of their current strategies elevating them above the field:

  • They utilize personalization and know where to share brand content for better conversion. Pioneering recruitment marketing organizations are almost 6x more likely to include content or video on job description pages, and 64% of A’s and B’s include content by job family/skills on the career site vs. only 28% of C’s, D’s and F’s.
  • They better understand CRM and talent nurture strategy. Pioneers actually nurture candidates. More than 61% of A’s and B’s have a talent network (most likely powered by a CRM) compared to 27% of C’s, D’s and F’s; more importantly 84% of A’s send monthly communication. And they use automation to scale outreach and smartly close the loop with talent; 16% of A’s send an automatic reminder to complete the application post drop off compared to just 6% of C’s, D’s and F’s.
  • They are much more likely to test new technology in the talent experience. Pioneers are innovative, daring, and never stop adapting. Get this: 23% of A’s have a chatbot on their career site compared to just 1% of C’s, D’s and F’s. 


Here’s what I love most about these strategies: they’re pretty easy to implement in a foundational way or even a phased approach. It doesn’t take an abundance of time or resources to become more personal and thoughtful with your job landing pages, or to automate an extra email or two with fresh and human-sounding copy (yes, you can change automated email copy!) — just a change in mindset.

Be the person you needed when you were looking for a job. Think about the level of communication and personalization that would have gotten you through the application process, then do that


The long road ahead.

Yes, we’ve made great strides in the last five years — especially the RM Pioneers. But I’m here to tell you that this isn’t the end of the road.

There’s plenty of things we should all be doing better, Pioneers included. For instance, only 8% of companies with a talent network share content besides jobs (for more surprising misses and opportunities, check out the full Report). There is always room to improve, and I’m confident companies will after they start leaning into the companies who do it well — and see the gains.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from doing this Report for five years, it’s that the best keep getting better. Pioneers never stop, never settle. Their recruitment marketing strategies are constantly evolving. The path they forge is never finished, and they’ll tell you that directly.

They understand talent is constantly changing. And they need to be, too.


Disclaimer: This article was originally published by Symphony Talent and was published here with their consent. SmashFly is a part of Symphony Talent.

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