Job candidates are drawn to companies for many of the same reasons that attract them as consumers. They want to work for a company full of great bosses and co-workers as much as (or more than) they want to buy from a company full of great people. It makes a lot of sense, then, to make the tactics you use when marketing your company an integral part of recruiting new candidates.
Marketing became a model for company-consumer relationships when marketers began utilizing data to learn whom they were targeting. Since the early 2000s, brands have been able to break down minute details about their consumers' demographics, shopping habits, lifestyles, and personality traits. That data allowed for a higher-than-ever level of interaction between companies and consumers, and such interaction is equally important for matching jobs with the best candidates.
Whether in marketing or recruiting, focus on optimizing every interaction your company has with every consumer -- or, in the case of recruiting, every job candidate. That optimization should begin before you even make contact, and these three strategies can make it more successful:
1. Be obviously welcoming to diverse candidates.
Cultural diversity is easily one of the strongest features a company can have. For Thomson Reuters, a leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, the perks of diversity are obvious. "A diverse workplace is a great incubator for innovation, and we draw on these benefits on a regular basis," says Billy Cummings, infrastructure service manager at Thomson Reuters in St. Louis. "Our foreign-born employees bring experience and insight that adds a first-person dimension that, alone, would be subject to translation."
However, simply saying "We're diversity-friendly" doesn't make it so. You may need some help crafting job ads that are truly welcoming and market your company as diverse. To advertise in the most inviting manner, Cummings says Thomson Reuters uses a few industry-standard tools designed specifically to ensure job ads promote diversity. For example, writing platforms like Textio and Gender Decoder can analyze each job description and offer feedback on the language used based on previous job opening outcomes.
2. Develop an enticing employer brand.
Creating a welcoming front-end experience is one thing, but the best job candidates will only seriously consider companies that have established themselves as great places to work. As you market your company to potential candidates, one of the most important things to convey is your employer brand, which is composed of your business's values and focus.
Kristen Smalley, content manager for Randstad Canada, the world's second-largest staffing firm, encourages company leaders to seek guidance from employees when looking to bridge the gap between the employer brand they want to be and the one they currently are marketing. She says, "Nail your employer branding, and you'll have top talent vying to get a foot in the door and work with you."
For the emerging generation of employees, flexibility and the freedom to innovate are two of the most important values they seek from employers. If your brand is lacking in these areas, then ask existing employees why. Smalley recommends businesses make these values part of their employee value proposition.
3. Communicate and personalize everything.
With an inviting job description and a clearly stated employee value proposition, you have a much better chance of attracting the right talent. Yet personalizing the entire process as much as possible is the key to retaining these prospective employees' attention. To market your company as one where employees want to work, communicate with candidates using the same level of personalization as you do in your targeted marketing campaigns.
It all comes down to communication. For candidates who become employees, that communication is a given. However, one of the bad experiences candidates most frequently share about their job searches is a company's failure to advise them of their rejection. They may not have become employees, but the rudeness of leaving people hanging can cost companies customers. Even if candidates don't make it, be thoughtful of their time by communicating that fact to them to avoid your brand's leaving a bad taste in their mouths.
As with marketing to customers, personalization and communication are what reel in the talent that you've worked so hard to find. In your product marketing efforts, your company projects an image that appeals to its audience. In recruitment marketing, that means making the front and back ends of your talent acquisition process as welcoming, enticing, and personalized as your company's image promises.