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How to Create an Effective Recruitment Marketing Campaign

04/03/2013 03:29 pm ET | Updated May 26, 2013

Whether your team building efforts are for a start-up or a well-established organization, the right hire can help your company get to the next level. The job market might be flooded with candidates, but according to a recent survey more than 60 percent of executives worry that the skills gap will make it increasingly difficult to find and recruit the right people for their growing teams. Traditional marketing campaigns can provide an effective framework for attracting the best talent for your open positions.

While posting your jobs is great, waiting for the right person to apply is unlikely to garner the results you need. Instead, creating a good recruitment marketing campaign can be just the key you need to unlock the flow of great candidates.

Here are some lessons you can take from the world of traditional marketing and apply to your recruitment efforts:

Know your target market
In marketing, it is vitally important to know your target audience. Are you marketing to men or women, Baby Boomers or plugged-in Millennials? Your message will vary, sometimes widely, depending on your target market. For instance, car company Cadillac uses Mad Men actor John Slattery in their TV spots, while tech giant Apple opts to back their commercial with popular indie music. Both of these brands are making clear choices based on the needs and likes of their target audiences.

Whether you are selling a car, iPhone or an open position and your company to the right candidate, the same principles still apply. Start with some market research. What kind of skills and qualifications does your ideal candidate possess? What programs do they use? What websites do they visit or blogs do they read? If your candidates are social media butterflies, where are they spreading their wings and connecting with others onlines?

Once you know these simple facts, it's easier to isolate and tap online talent communities -- places where great candidates go online to talk about the industry and share advice and thought leadership. For instance, if you know your target market uses Twitter to connect in industry-specific chats, hashtagging your open positions correctly will help them get noticed by the right people. If your target market takes part in lively LinkedIn group discussions, you can be sure to have your recruitment platform push your open positions to these venues. This will ensure your job descriptions get in front of the most qualified candidates.

Develop key messaging
Knowing what your target audience is looking for in an ideal employer will also help you develop your key messaging. Just as brands have slogans or politicians have talking points, your company should have a few key recruiting messages.

When developing your key messaging, you will want to look at what makes your company a unique and attractive place to work. What does your company offer that your competitors do not? For instance, maybe your organization is particularly good at creating a lot of internal room for growth. Using this as your key messaging, you will attract candidates who want to stick around for the long-term and grow with your company.

A well designed and branded careers site is another great way to promote your key messages to interested applicants. Familiarize yourself with search engine optimization (SEO) so your job postings appear prominently in search engines like Google. Focusing on your messaging and selecting the most relevant keywords for your job descriptions can help them show up in results when your target candidates are searching.

Your messaging should also be consistent across all channels, whether a recruitment video housed on your career page or a job description posted to your Facebook. Make sure your message comes across loud and clear to attract the kind of candidates who will be a great fit for your organization.

Distribute through multiple channels
Too many companies make the mistake of putting all their eggs in one basket, when it comes to recruitment. Maybe your company has been entirely focused on job boards until this point or is relying only on social media updates. The best method, however, is to spread your message, open positions and company culture across many different platforms. With that, you can analyze what outlets work best for the distribution of your jobs. After all, very few companies market on just one platform. For example, you might find a Coca-Cola ad in print, see a commercial on television and click on a Web or social media ad. Companies use multiple channels with the hope of drawing as much attention as possible from their target audience.

In your recruitment efforts, make sure to push your open positions out across your social media channels, internal and external referral sources, your career site as well as a select group of relevant job boards. The more targeted channels of distribution you utilize, the greater the odds that your job description will find great candidates.

Find what's working
It is also helpful to know which channels are bearing the most fruit. This is why analytics are essential to an effective recruitment marketing campaign. Using your talent acquisition and social media recruiting platform, dig deep into the numbers and see where your top quality candidates originate.

Maybe your best candidates are all coming through internal referral sources or perhaps via LinkedIn or Twitter sharing. Understanding the sources and other important metrics can help you further customize and focus your recruitment marketing campaign to the best outlets. In some cases, analytics might even help your company improve performance from the channels currently not bringing in the best results.

For instance, if your career site is not bringing in great quality candidates, could the reason be the length and difficulty of your application process? If many candidates are dropping out at the same step, perhaps you need to remove some questions or shorten the form. Your goal is to get as many great quality candidates to finish the application as possible, and your analytics can help you determine what you need to improve.

Running your recruitment efforts like a well-oiled marketing campaign will help you bring in the top quality candidates your company needs to thrive and grow. By putting some time and effort into crafting an effective recruitment campaign, you will soon be attracting top talent for your open positions.

What are some ways you can create an effective recruitment marketing campaign for your company? Share in the comments!

Sajjad Masud is the Co-Founder and CEO of Simplicant, a cloud-based social recruiting platform transforming talent acquisition and making enterprise-level recruiting technology accessible to companies of all sizes. Connect with Sajjad and the Simplicant team on Twitter and Facebook.

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