An increasing number of organisations are embracing the concept that recruiters should be thinking more like marketers, and rightly so. However it is often challenging to integrate marketing with recruitment to ensure that there is a consistent message and clear lines of accountability.
Successful recruitment marketing tends to come down to two key components; firstly creating an attractive EVP promoted through a strong employer brand and, secondly, identifying the best channels to help you attract talent.
This Resourcing Think Tank focussed on the best ways to capitalise on a fully functional marketing and recruitment collaboration, whilst addressing the points below:
- What does best practice recruitment marketing look like?
- What barriers stand in our way when trying to integrate recruitment with marketing?
- Operationally, what’s the most effective way to integrate the functions?
These are the thoughts and takeaways from a Resourcing Think Tank (RTT) held on Tuesday 15th November 2016 hosted at QuantiQ by Liam Shah (Talent Acquisition Manager) titled ‘Integrating Recruitment and Marketing’?
The following summary has been prepared to reflect a segment of the discussion held amongst senior HR and Talent Acquisition professionals from leading national and international businesses. Specific company details, experiences and examples have been omitted from this summary as all discussions are held under ‘Chatham House Rules’.
- Switch the budget conversation around to what value you can bring to a business, rather than what you can save it.
- Be confident enough to share ideas with other departments and in return get new ideas from them. This will lead to building relationships within the business and getting a greater variety of views.
- Look at more disruptive/guerrilla style means of recruitment marketing e.g. Snapchat and YouTube.
- Consider how to reach the ‘passive market’ and decide what content to share with it.
- Have a planned content strategy, as opposed to acting in a completely random and ad hoc way. Know when and where particular content will have the greatest impact.
- If using social media, the most important aspect is the response to any comments. This allows you to add a human element.
What does best practice recruitment marketing look like?
If we could have a perfect mix between recruitment and marketing what would it look like? I imagine that most businesses can only dream of this. I considered what the aims of recruitment are and how marketing can help with these and most importantly being able to raise awareness amongst the passive market so that when they are ready to apply for your job, they know exactly how to go about it and what the brand will be like to work for.
The fact is that most company’s immediate audiences know who they are and what they do. But those companies that have worked through the immediate candidate pool and still need more people, have to reconsider how they promote themselves. They could market themselves in totally new ways that will reach people that they haven’t tapped into previously. This is easy to do if you are able to use social media and more specifically use social media well.
What barriers stand in our way when trying to integrate recruitment with marketing?
I imagine that most people will instantly say budget. Why does recruitment seem to be one of the only departments that continually has its budget cut because ‘it can find different ways to save money’? You get penalised for being efficient and recruitment is seen as an area for cost saving rather than a department that can actually make the business money. If you follow this link it takes you to a Resourcing Insight calculator. The calculator will show how you can actually make money from the recruitment side of a business e.g. if you can make your two hundred a year hires 1% more efficient at their job, then what impact will that have on your financial bottom line? USE THE CALCULATOR AND FIND OUT!
We need to change the way the business sees recruitment and make them understand that recruitment has a direct impact on the financial bottom line. If you can reduce the time it takes to hire by two days, then imagine the extra revenue per annum. This is the conversation that will make the powers that be give you the extra budget to run marketing campaigns to improve recruitment.
Operationally, what’s the most effective way to integrate the functions?
We talked a lot about how to integrate recruitment and marketing and we didn’t really come up with any definitive answers, mainly due to every business being so different. One idea that was discussed was the concept of having a ‘sub-board’ consisting of one representative from each department who could put forward suggestions and ideas that are pertinent to their own area. This would allow an integrated report to be put before the full board for action.
How to stand out from the crowd in regards to recruitment marketing?
The key to this is to do what you feel will work for the audience you want to attract. If you are looking to recruit senior site managers for a construction company it is unlikely that your target audience will be using Snapchat. So don’t use it for your campaign, instead consider what they will see. I would probably put posters up around sites where potential candidates might currently be working. Also consider offering a referral payment to people who you already employ as they are the best recruiters that you have (if you treat them right and they are loyal). If you are looking for entry level recruits then of course, Snapchat and YouTube would probably be a great option. But make it human. I see so many videos and you can tell the people making them are not comfortable with the process. Be brave. Stand out. I recently heard of a company giving a video phone to a worker and asking the employee to film a, ‘day in the life of….’ I feel this can really work as you get a real view and if you ask the right person you can make it entertaining. This will help reach the passive market as people will be interested in the video and how it was made and remember it when considering applying for jobs.
Using Social Media?
Using social media is something that most companies, if not all, do. It might be; LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Snapchat. Again what you need to do is use the platform that best fits your business. If your clients and suitable potential employees don’t use a specific platform then don’t waste your time with it. Pick one platform, or at the most two, and do it well, rather than using them all. If people post negative comments or complaints about what you do on social media use this as a way to gain trust. DO NOT DELETE THE COMMENTS as this shows that you are hiding something. Respond to the query and ask more questions. Show the human side of the business and how you take criticisms constructively.
Social media is great for showing people what you do as a business, sharing free content and focussing on the fun side of working for a company. Content should be pre-planned and posted at specific times, that way people will know when to have a look. If something is happening in the office, take a picture and post it. If you see something amusing that you know people will like, use it and caption it. If you are a global company it is okay to share the information more than once a day. You need to appeal to everyone, even those in different time zones, so being able to share information when people in America are waking up is vital.
With the way the world economy is going, being able to utilise both marketing and recruitment is key for every industry. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be doing this already and if you are not, you need to start. Both departments should be aligned to helping the business be successful as the better the people you recruit then the better the business will be.