Recruiting is a difficult skill to get right proactively. All too often, employers find themselves recruiting on a reactive basis. In essence, they discover they have a need to fulfill right then and there, and so they search for someone to solve this need. By this point it’s too late, and every day that goes by with the role unfilled equates to lost productivity and output. In an ideal world, a new hire could be made instantaneously as the need arises and a position opens up.
There is, however, a more efficient strategy — an inbound-marketing-led strategy.
Job boards, recruiters, and referrals might be good solutions when it comes to short-term recruiting needs. In the long term, however, building a strong employer brand in order to attract talent is necessary in order to win the war for talent. Recruitment should not be a function turned on or off depending on the needs of the business; it should be a consistent effort to communicate with the best talent suitable for your business and build the desire to join your company in their minds.
According to LinkedIn’s “Global Recruiting Trends 2015″ report, 75 percent of global talent acquisition leaders say their employer brands have direct impacts on their abilities to hire great talent. This statistic is evidence that there is a direct ROI to be found in developing a strong employer brand. If you are not investing in your employer brand, your competitors will be investing in theirs, and they will leverage their brands in order to draw in talent — talent that you are missing out on.
How Do Employer Branding and Inbound Marketing Interlink?
Inbound marketing is the process of attracting, converting, closing, and delighting customers. It’s the new standard of digital marketing. A recruiter’s challenge is to take this same strategy and employ it in order to build an effective funnel of candidates through online activities. Essentially, the recruiter’s job is to create an “inbound recruiting” process.
Every piece of communication is an opportunity to strengthen a company’s employer brand. This starts with well-designed career and about-us Web pages. Communicating what makes the company unique and a great place to work is the aim of the game. Being honest, authentic, and transparent is crucial in making this appealing and believable in the eyes of potential candidates.
It is equally important to use social media effectively by promoting open opportunities and sharing engaging content regarding the culture of the organization. It has been proven that social media has a place in generating sales; it also has a place as part of the recruitment-marketing mix. I suspect we’ll see many employers utilize platforms such as Instagram, Meerkat, and Periscope to capture the attention of potential applicants by sharing workplace-related content.
The next challenge for marketers is to capture and nurture leads until those leads are ready to buy. Applying this idea to hiring, recruiters need to look for ways to capture the attention of potential applicants and engage with them on a regular basis, keeping the company’s brand top of mind until the candidate is ready to apply. This can be done through the creation of talent communities or even email marketing, in addition to social media as mentioned above. This way, when an opportunity becomes available, the company has a pool of talent to which it can instantly market, a pool that is already engaged with the brand, ready and waiting to hear from you.
Recruiters are going to have to adopt a new range of skills in order to keep pace with the changing talent environment. Design, user experience, product management, community management, and the effective use of various marketing channels are all going to be equally important for recruiters as they strive to create, grow, and maintain remarkable online employer brands.
Revamping Your Job Advertisements
Every touchpoint with a potential candidate is an opportunity to attract talent. The messaging and branding needs to be consistent, and the candidate experience needs to be exceptional.
For many, revisiting the construct of job descriptions should be port of call No. 1. For many companies — especially small and midsize businesses — the job description is likely to be the first time a potential candidate has ever heard of them. Well-composed job descriptions are not just an opportunity to outline the requirements of the role, but also a unique chance to entice candidates and communicate the company’s employee value proposition and employer brand. The strength and depth of this brand beyond the initial job description will prove to be either a competitive advantage or a lost opportunity.
Whether a company realizes it or not, it already has an employer brand — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good one, or one that the company wishes to communicate. It’s time to invest in your employer brand before your competitors do.
A remarkable employer brand can attract great talent at a lower cost per acquisition. Over the long-term, the company with the more compelling story will have the upper hand. Will that company be yours?