During challenging times in business, shouldn’t all of the oars in the boat be used to propel a company’s forward momentum? To safely navigate through the bumpy water, let’s discuss the relationship between two important oars: Best Practice Recruiting and Marketing.
Best Practice Recruiting is a process-oriented event. Marketing offers the ability to echo the employer’s differentiators and positive attributes, which leads to attracting the “right talent.” In many recruitment campaigns, marketing the employer’s brand is underutilized. Here are several ways marketing in recruitment can be leveraged:
An announcement of a critical need states to the marketplace, “We are growing and we need to add talent.”
A detailed position description can be used to highlight accomplishments and differentiators to the marketplace.
The position description should authentically incorporate the company’s values, culture and overall brand message to not only attract the right person, but deter potential applicants that may be the “wrong fit.”
For a deeper dive, we have asked a marketing expert to offer perspective and focus on how marketing and recruiting can work in tandem. Wendy Baird is president of Insight180 (insight180.com), a brand consulting and design firm for B2B advisory firms, located in the Greater Washington, DC region. Her clients include nonprofits, IT Consultants, Government Contractors and other advisory companies.
The following are Wendy’s comments from our recent discussion. It’s interesting how many of her comments naturally align with our views of best practices in recruitment, and they offer a valuable dimension.
Baird defines a brand as: “The essence of a company. Not just a logo and a name, although that is part of it. A brand is what the audience, whether that be the customer or a potential employee, feels when they think of your company. It is part reputation, part vibe, part aesthetic. A brand is also a promise from a company which is made through marketing/advertising/products or services and kept through actions and the test of time.”
From the perspective of a seasoned marketer, here are Wendy’s thoughts on integrating marketing into a recruitment campaign are as follows:
When you’re seeking the best talent in a competitive space, your brand needs to resonate with the potential recruit. It’s important to think about how the brand has been presented to the talent and whether that representation is consistent on your website, LinkedIn and other marketing activities.
It’s important to research and find out if the talent’s impression of your company is a good one, and if not, what you can do to change that.
Another question to ask is what your company is known for. For example, having a reputation for being one of the best places to work goes a long way in attracting the best talent.
Does your company have reputation for treating employees well and offering stimulating and secure employment with avenues for career advancement?
All of these questions must be addressed throughout the recruitment campaign in order to maintain the message you want to send to potential recruits.
One of the main goals of marketing is to put a brand in front of a target audience (in this case, the talent) in order to engage that audience and ultimately generate interested and qualified candidates. With recruitment branding, marketing’s role includes building a relationship between the company and the talent, making the audience feel a certain way about your brand and creating a customer experience. Marketing also includes developing a dialogue for receiving feedback and evaluating insights.
Baird emphasizes the importance of the integration of the leadership’s values into the culture of the company—such is a huge part of developing your “recruitment brand.” Once identified, these values need to be constantly reinforced, from word of mouth in employee training classes to visual reinforcement on the walls or in a handbook. All employees should be on the same page regarding company values, as this will reflect internally and externally and employees will feel they are part of something that truly matters.
This extends beyond the workday. Whether you are aware of it or not, your brand is being expressed by word of mouth. Employees talk to their friends and families about their employer. Whether it’s in a positive or negative light is a direct result of the current culture of the company. When the values and culture jibe, then your brand will be accurately and positively reflected. Employees with a well-spoken message make great ambassadors—they are essentially your recruiters—particularly when it comes naturally.
In today’s marketplace, candidates visit an employer’s website as part of basic research. Websites have become more important than ever. As an employer, one factor to think about is designing your website with future employees in mind. Also, engaging a target market on Social Media and on a company blog is a critical part of marketing. Having an online presence that clearly communicates the atmosphere and values is vital.The social nature of the Internet has become a big factor.
Many want to share what they’re doing from location based “check-ins,” through images, videos and other rich media. Just as employees enjoy posting Instagram pictures of what they’re eating for dinner, they also enjoy posting reviews of their job experiences. Many recruiting and job search sites now have review sections. Websites such as glassdoor.com and indeed.com make it easy for any site visitors to know exactly what your current and former employees think of working for your company. Your unique brand message in your marketing is key in helping your audience connect with you as a potential client or employer. If you aren’t managing the message, it leaves room for less desirable outcomes.
Baird also stresses authenticity. Create an accurate company representation. Lay out the facts. Let the talent know exactly what they’re getting into. Your audience is savvy. With social networks so prevalent today, potential candidates (and customers) can sense a disconnect from a mile away.
We would add to Baird’s comments the importance of constant internal communication interwoven into the overall marketing effort. While this may appear obvious, lots of employers could gain more “marketing benefit” with a minimal amount of additional effort. As every employee serves as an ambassador of their company, recruitment could be indirectly occurring when there is no formal open position and a seed is being planted for a future opening.
Through good internal communication, employees are always informed about the direction and focus of their employer, making the employee appear confident and knowledgeable, thus making the employee more attractive to potential future candidates.
In summary, remember that recruiting is a process. Integrating marketing into a recruitment campaign offers numerous advantages. Remaining competitive though every available means leads to a strong result. By leveraging brand messaging and marketing efforts as a part of a recruitment campaign, companies have the ability to attract the “right talent” while also improving the perception and awareness of the employer.
Good hunting and good marketing.
About the author + Boxwood Search
Bert Sadtler is the President of Boxwood Search and a Senior Contributor for SatMagazine—There is an ongoing battle for senior level talent. A great hire can make a long term positive impact and a failed hire can prove to be very expensive. How does a company recruit and hire the right talent? It is more than just networking within the community of friends and business associates. It requires focusing on results through a process oriented approach. We are committed to reaching a successful outcome. Our recruitment method has repeatedly proven to deliver qualified senior talent. Contact Bert at BertSadtler@BoxwoodSearch.com for more information.