With traditional recruitment being killed off by social media, recruitment marketing could be the answer you need, says Shelley Hoppe of creative content agency Southerly
Over the past 10 years, digital technology has dramatically altered the way businesses interact with their stakeholders. What was often a one-way flow of information has become a two-way dialogue, in which the stakeholder expects honesty, transparency and interaction. Initially most evident in the field of marketing, this shift is increasingly apparent in the world of recruitment.
Where previously the balance of power lay with organisations, jobseekers have started to take control. It’s all too common to hear candidates venting frustration with the traditional hiring process, which often involves a lack of information, and being kept at arm’s length by recruiters who are more interested in meeting targets than genuinely helping companies or candidates to achieve their goals.
Today’s jobseekers are using digital technology to cut out the middleman and develop relationships with employers of choice. As part of this, they are conducting thorough research into the values, culture and working practices of potential employers, and building a picture of what life is really like within the organisation.
Research by CareerBuilder suggests that candidates consult an average of 18 sources before they apply for a job. These include company websites, social media and platforms such as Glassdoor, which hosts business profiles and anonymous employee reviews that provide insights into the reality behind the job description.
Companies that create a positive impression during this research have a significant advantage, which is invaluable at a time when many HR professionals are reporting difficulties in attracting the best talent.
Most forward-thinking employers are already employing these techniques; global corporates such as Shell and Philips, or UK companies such as Innocent and new hotel brand Project 1898, are actively creating the right impression through an approach that takes inspiration from traditional marketing.
With recruitment marketing, companies focus on creating messages and content that showcase their employer brand and help them to stand out as a desirable place to work.
In its simplest form, that could be a ‘join us’ page or careers section on the company website, while a more sophisticated programme will include multiple pieces of interesting, shareable content – blogs, videos, infographics, podcasts – which can be distributed across multiple channels. This scalability makes recruitment marketing accessible to businesses of any size, providing an opportunity for smaller organisations to stand out against larger competitors.
Southerly’s own research, conducted among UK HR professionals earlier this year, shows that recruitment marketing leads to an increase in the number of applications, higher-quality applicants, reduced cost per hire and increased brand recognition.
This does raise the question of whether companies still need to engage the services of a professional recruiter, whether in-house or external, and the answer is still a definite yes.
Recruitment marketing is designed to interest and attract candidates, but there comes a point where a personal touch is required to take things to the next level. Companies should find a recruiter who will add real value by getting to know their business.
They need to look beyond qualifications or experience to identity candidates whose values and cultural expectations reflect the environment and role on offer. Combining this approach with newer recruitment marketing techniques will help employers overcome the challenges and find the right candidates.
To download a copy of Southerly’s latest research paper exploring recruitment marketing trends please visit hellosoutherly.com.
Shelley Hoppe is a member of IoD London