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How Marketing Helps You Recruit the Best Employees

I recently ran into a recruiter for one of the top employers in Northeast Wisconsin and had a conversation about his biggest challenge to fill almost 400 open positions annually. Among other things, I was surprised to learn that they didn’t have a social media strategy as part of their efforts. In fact, he mentioned he wasn’t even quite sure how it worked.

As I thought more about our conversation, it dawned on me that recruitment has evolved into much more than simply a function of HR—posting jobs, interviewing, screening and hiring. Recruiting employees has increasingly become a function of marketing. Similar to how marketers use branding to create a preference for products and companies, the same process can benefit your hiring efforts. Instead of touting your unique selling proposition, you are essentially using things like your culture, perks, and pay to attract talent.

I’m no economic analyst, but from what I’ve seen over the last decade, business is picking up again. And that means companies need more employees. Combine that conundrum with an up-and-coming workforce generation (I’ll give you a clue, it starts with an ‘m’ and ends with an ‘illennial’) that is extremely selective when it comes to making employment decisions, businesses are facing a whole new set of hiring challenges.

Utilize social media to capture your culture: Create a Facebook page that showcases the daily life at your company, community involvement or outside-the-office friendships and encourage your employees to share posts with their friends and family. GlassDoor has also become an increasingly popular social platform individuals are researching when making their employment decisions. Implement strategies to capture positive reviews.

Bottom Line: Candidates relate to real people and real stories.

Consider A Separate Microsite for Recruitment: The way you sell your company to customers and prospects is quite possibly very different than how you ‘sell’ your company to potential new hires. A dedicated site also allows candidates to research your company on their own time so they can come into an interview asking the right questions to help them make their decision.

Bottom Line: Provide as much information about the jobs at your company and the perks of working for your company as possible.

Know Your Audience: Different positions may require different strategies to get the job postings in front of the right people. A one-size fits all approach may support quantity over quality but nowadays, the talent on staff is becoming a competitive advantage so finding the perfect hire may take more effort.

Bottom Line: Understand how prospects consume information and customize each touch point from the job description to the offer. 

Develop a Referral Program: Nobody knows what it’s like to work for your company more than your current employees. Consider incentivizing employees for referring friends and family for open positions.

Bottom Line: If there’s something in it for them, they’ll make the effort to spread the word!

So why hire an agency for help with hiring? Agencies are equipped to understand your audiences and craft messages and strategies to communicate the right messages to them. It’s what we do every day. The combination of this expertise with the knowledge of your HR team is a powerful force that can really drive a whole new type of recruitment effort for your company.

Over the last two years, I’ve already started to see more marketing strategies employed in the hiring process (no pun intended). Indeed uses a pay-per-click model to get your postings more visibility, almost all the larger job postings sites have mobile apps that automatically serve jobs of interest and Monster even offers a video profile service to businesses allowing them to showcase their people in action. This effort was likely derived from the fact that the popular social channel, YouTube, has transformed the way people search for and receive information (they’re the second largest search engine only to Google).

I leave on this note. I know many of you reading this may be seeing dollar signs, may be rolling your eyes, or you may be resistant to change. But consider this:

  • In 2015, Millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. workforce.
  • On average it costs $3,500 to hire an employee who makes $8/hour. Hiring the wrong employees can really add up.
  • You can choose to not evolve to changing times but I guarantee you, your competitors will. Playing catch up is a much larger challenge (and can be more expensive) than being a pioneer.

Happy hiring!


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