Marketing Trends Changing the Face of Recruitment

There’s a transformation happening in recruitment right now, and you can get ahead of the curve. It’s all about marketing, which wasn’t the focus for many, if any, recruiters in the not-so-distant past. Why would it be, when HR had its own strategy lined out and it seemed to work just fine? But the marketing mindset is here, and it embodies the trends that are changing everything.

RELATED: Recruitment is About Adaptability Now

Capitalize on Your Brand

Brand awareness is what drives customers to buy a product or service. And now it’s what helps one business stand head and shoulders above the rest from the perspective of a job candidate. Capitalize on your brand, and more passive and active job seekers will take notice. Marketing has already proven that it’s a winning proposition.

What does your company have that others don’t? That’s your Employer Value Proposition or EVP, says Smashfly Director of Recruitment Marketing, Tracey Parsons in the talent acquisition resource, “6 Recruitment Marketing Trends: Changing Talent Acquisition in 2016.”

But before you can leverage your brand effectively, you have to know it inside and out. That comes from reading company reviews, surveying current employees and taking a big leap by asking for feedback from job applicants. Your perception might not equal their reality, and it can show you where to tidy up the image.

Use the Marketing Funnel

Some job seekers still go through the same old channels. They need a job, so they search job listings, and then apply for a job that seems to fit. But the climate is changing to one of customer cultivation and lead generation, just like marketing and sales.

According to Parsons, the traditional HR approach has been to focus on the bottom of the funnel where job applicants who have already found you take the next step to apply. That makes you a reactionary recruiter. Problem is, your candidates make decisions about your company in the top of the funnel, long before a job is even a consideration.

Treat candidates like consumers, because that’s really what they are. And your product is a job. How does marketing stir up interest? Through social media, advertising, great content, and many other tools. Think like a marketer and work to engage your consumers at every level.

Evaluate the Customer Experience

For most consumers, conversion takes time and a number of impressions. According to Google and Inmar, a total of 5 impressions, on average, were once needed before a potential customer would commit to buy. In 2013, that number jumped to 12. That’s 12 chances for you to affect a candidate’s opinion, and bring them into your pipeline. But your customers don’t often follow a set journey to conversion, says Parsons, so you need responsiveness at every touchpoint and an evaluation of what works and what doesn’t. More than half of consumers are less likely to buy your product if there’s no company response.

Social media might look great on the surface, but if you have thousands of followers and very few conversions, it’s not really working. At least not yet. The same applies to employment events and every other method that you use to raise brand awareness.

The solution isn’t to eliminate what doesn’t work, but to refocus how you use it, especially if it has an expansive reach. Those thousands of followers are a gift. You have a built-in audience, and the platform to reach and influence them through education and relationship building. It’s not always what you have, but how you use it.

Who knew that marketing and HR could have so much in common? But you’re both in the business of sales. For them, it’s attracting the right people and converting them into customers. For you, conversion means reaching and attracting candidates long before they think about becoming job seekers.

These trends are only predicted to grow in the foreseeable future, according to Parsons. They’ll affect everything from the way that you engage with candidates to how you’ll determine what works and what doesn’t.

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