We need to play the long game.
I’m not talking about hitting home runs. I’m not talking about training for a marathon. I’m not talking about investing years of your life to find out who is the mother in “How I Met Your Mother.”
I’m talking about recruitment marketing – and how it’s different from recruiting.
Recruitment marketing is a shift in mindset in the talent acquisition industry that helps battle the challenging employment market (now more than ever) and positions your organization as a top place to work.
The Basic Definition I Explained to My Mom
While visiting my parents in Cleveland a few years ago, my mom asked me a standard mom-question: “In 25 words or less, what is it that you do now?”
I didn’t have a good answer, but, knowing how quickly moms see through a lie, I had to come up with something.
“Everything it takes to get someone to apply for a job.”
At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was a great answer. But, in the weeks after that interaction, I became more impressed with my quick-thinking response. It’s simple, easy to understand, and makes a lot of sense.
So, What Does That Mean?
Let’s look at this whiteboard sitting in my office (well, when we had offices):
It’s neither a complete list nor a pretty picture, but it shows examples of touchpoints where candidates could come across your staffing agency’s messaging.
That’s where recruitment marketing comes in – it’s about controlling all of those touchpoints through content.
And that’s why it requires playing the long game.
How Is Recruitment Marketing Different from Recruiting?
This is the title of my blog post, so I probably should answer the question at some point.
Recruiters and recruitment marketers require different skill sets – they use different strategies and tactics.
Here’s what I mean.
Recruiting focuses on the one-to-one relationship. Most of this nurturing takes place after receiving an application. Recruiting is what it takes to get a candidate who has already applied for the job to accept the job offer and join your organization.
It can be challenging to change the mindset because your recruiters aren’t focused on marketing. (And they probably shouldn’t be – just like marketers shouldn’t walk into your recruiters’ offices and tell them what to ask during a job interview.)
Recruitment marketing refers to all the activities it takes to get a candidate (active or passive) to send an application. That’s why recruitment marketing is developing into a separate career from recruiters.
In recruitment marketing, we are focusing on developing multiple relationships at once. These relationships could begin with…
- …the active jobseeker coming to your website to apply for a job.
- …the baseball fan at your minor league stadium who sees your in-game promotion.
- …the passive job seeker who comes across your awesome video highlighting the company culture and thinks, “Gee, my company doesn’t have that. I want that.”
Then, that individual checks out your social media pages and realizes that video is just one aspect of your content. Your staffing agency is also pushing out blog posts and infographics, positioning you as a thought leader to active and passive candidates alike.
So they give your page a “like” on Facebook.
Now they make their way to your career site, which features all your employee development programs. It also happens to showcase testimonials and display your company benefits.
They add the career site to their bookmarks.
See how a relationship is developing? Now, when that passive job seeker comes home from work one day, fed up enough to become an active job seeker, they’ll go to your Facebook page, career site, or job board to find their next job.
That Sounds Like a Lot. Why Can’t I Just Post Jobs?
Because that’s the short-term fix. In some situations, a quick solution could be the right answer – it’s especially tempting to throw more money at job boards when you have a lot of open job orders that need to be filled ASAP.
But in the long run, developing your footprint (both online and offline) creates relationships that will pay off.
Active candidate numbers are down, so we have to reach passive candidates. With less than a quarter of employees actively engaged in their work worldwide, the market is accessible with the right strategy and tactics.
Think about everything it takes to get someone to apply for the job. Think about all the places they could come across your company. Think about that first impression you give.
Think about the long game and play it.
All of that training and practice will pay off.