By now, it’s basically a truism: “Recruiters need to be more like marketers.” The funnels are similar; the goals are similar; even the strategic functions of both departments are similar.

But there’s one huge problem: Recruiters aren’t marketers. They’re recruiters. As such, they haven’t been trained as marketers.

How can we expect recruiters to become marketers – and not just marketers, but great marketers – if, traditionally speaking, recruiting has not been like marketing?

For many, the answer lies in new tech tools that give recruiters access to the sorts of processes and procedures marketers have been using for years (email marketing campaigns, data analytics, targeted messaging, etc.).

That’s a nice thought, but it may fail to solve the actual problem. Giving recruiters access to marketing tools won’t result in any positive gains if recruiters don’t know how to use those marketing tools. It’s the old give a man a fish/teach a man to fish dichotomy all over again.

“We like to teach people how to fish,” says Lissa Juan, Jobvite’s director of product management. “We realize that recruiting is marketing, but a lot of people in the industry don’t really have that skill set. It’s not that they don’t know how to do that – but their expertise might not be in building landing pages and such.”

Jobvite is hoping to play a role in training recruiters to become marketers with Engage, a candidate relationship management platform (CRM) that aims to be more than just a software.

“We don’t want the product to just be a new software. When you have recruiters who are not familiar with these functions or metrics, you end up with a powerful tool they may not use. Or they might hire an expensive marketing firm to go in, learn the tool, and do it all for them,” Juan explains.

“We just want [recruiters] to be successful,” she continues.

Juan says she sees Engage as both a software and a set of services. She says Engage gives recruiters three solutions in one platform: a CRM, a campaign and communication tool, and an analytics tool. We’ll spend the rest of this post looking at how Engage performs these three functions.

1. A CRM: Capturing and Managing Candidate Data

CameraWithout a CRM like Engage, managing candidate data is a highly manual and time-consuming task.

“Many people have subscriptions to resume databases like Indeed and Monster,” Juan says. “They do their own search. Maybe they keep an Excel spreadsheet of what they find. Maybe they keep notes somewhere.”

Juan says Engage integrates search results, spreadsheets, and notes into one central system, which every member of the hiring team can access and contribute to. Candidate data can be added to Engage either manually or automatically (the platform can currently integrate with a number of other hiring technologies, and Juan says Jobvite is working on building more partnerships in the future).

“It’s all there, and you don’t have to have five or six different people with different methods, resumes, and [resume database] memberships [all trying to collaborate],” Juan says.

Furthermore, Juan believes that Engage is a great way for recruiters to help one another build extensive talent pools: “For example, if somebody finds a Java programmer and doesn’t need one – but they know their colleague needs one – they can tag that person and put them in the database for their colleague to see.”

2. A Campaign and Communication Tool: Putting Out the Right Message

“Much like any other funnel, [with the recruiting funnel], you want to be able to put out the right message,” Juan says. “You want that message to attract the right eyes. In this day and age, with social media and mobile, contextualized, personal messages are really critical.”

In other words: Engage wants to help recruiters catch prospective candidates’ attention and stay out of their spam folders. Through the use of simple templates and some marketing metrics, recruiters can launch targeted campaigns that carry “compelling messages” that relate to candidates, Juan says.

So, Engage really fits in at the top of the recruiting funnel, before job seekers are even candidates – maybe before they’re even job seekers.

“They’re first a person [before they are a prospect],” Juan says. “You want to get to know them and ensure that person is really the right fit for the opportunity, the company, and the hiring manage. We want to facilitate that match.”

3. An Analytics Tool: Teaching Recruiters How to Market

ComputersThis is really where the “services” aspect of Engage comes in. As Juan puts it, “The data is really good at giving you directions.”

Engage gives recruiters insights into a number of recruiting/hiring metrics that they should already be familiar with – time-to-hire, referral sources, etc. – but it also gives recruiters access to marketing metrics that may be totally new to them, such as click-through rates and cost-per-rating-point (CPR).

Juan says she realizes that data can “be scary to people,” but it’s absolutely necessary for hiring success.

“Otherwise, you don’t know what’s working and not working,” she elaborates. “You just kind of throw money at things, do the post and pray, and hope you get a good hire out of it.”

Engage makes analytics a priority in order to aid recruiters in their success, but also as a means of helping recruiters learn valuable marketing skills.

“Everything you’re putting out there should generate information so that you can use the tools to tweak the message or create another talent pool for a specific skill set,” Juan says. “You can [use the data] to trace everything back [to specific actions] – which specific campaign did this candidate or contact come from?”

Recruiters will need this data – and the skills that come along with it – and if they are to own their recruiting processes going forward.

“We want to give you the information so you’re not dependent on others for how you market and message about your requisitions and company,” Juan says. “Having those pieces of data brings insight and information into how to better campaign … and attract the right eyes.”

Is Jobvite Engage the answer to your recruiting prayers? Will it help all recruiters become great marketers? Who knows.

For now, all we can say is that it offers a different approach from the CRM platforms of yore, one that focuses heavily on techniques and data analytics borrowed from marketing. If you’re looking for a software platform that will help your recruiters become better marketers, Jobvite Engage is one you should check out.

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