What the Heck Is Recruitment Marketing, Anyway?

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To keep up with today’s technology-savvy job seekers, modern recruiting professionals are using recruitment marketing tools to proactively attract and engage passive candidates and build pools of talent for future hiring needs. iCIMS recently released a new study – “Recruitment Marketing: Fad or Future? ” – that provides in-depth, data-driven insights on the relevance of recruitment marketing and what employers and job seekers have to say about it.

And if there is anything I love, it’s tangible, quantitative data that proves the benefits of what we’ve all been buzzing about.

iCIMS analyzed hiring data from more than 760 human resources professionals and candidates in an effort to shed light on the rise and impact of the consumer candidate and the emerging trends within recruitment marketing. Fortunately, we were able to speak with iCIMS CMO Susan Vitale to get a better look at what the report has to offer recruiting professionals.

“Essentially, we wanted to create this report to get a sense of how relevant recruitment marketing was for HR professionals,” Vitale says.

Given all the chatter surrounding the topic, we’re happy to finally have some clarity on the value of recruitment marketing.

Value, as it turns out, happens to be one of the primary variables of the study. I know what you’re thinking: How can valuebe quantitatively analyzed? Isn’t this more of a qualitative judgment? Yes and no. The measure lies in the percentages. See for yourself, courtesy of the iCIMS study:

– 86 percent of HR professionals agree that recruitment marketing automation is an effective strategy to identify, attract, engage, and nurture candidates.

‐ 76 percent of HR professionals currently using recruitment marketing automation tools agree that their company has received a strong ROI from these solutions.

‐ 90 percent of HR professionals agree that having a strong employment brand is more important today than it was five years ago.

‐ 48 percent of HR professionals already have or plan to hire someone in 2016 who is responsible for recruitment marketing.

‐ 61 percent of HR professionals said that the HR department controls their company’s recruitment marketing investments, but only 44 percent feel equipped to own recruitment marketing for their company.

‐ 75 percent of job seekers agree that companies should develop more talent pools to keep job seekers up to ­date on company information, including job alerts and other announcements.

‐52 percent of job seekers surveyed report Facebook as their first choice to research jobs, ahead of LinkedIn.

Recruitment Marketing: A Full-Time Job

RoadNow that you have the numbers, what does it all mean for us, the recruiters?

“Companies need to prepare for future hiring needs and avoid talent shortages by thinking like marketers,” the report says.

Come again?

According to Vitale, “What we see time and time again in research is that talent pipelines are what hiring managers and recruiters, as well as senior-level HR professionals, see as a critical priority for a business.”

Building a pipeline is almost always a priority for recruiting teams, but this is now becoming even more of a concern for organizations across industries.

“What we’ve found is that, if you deploy marketing tactics, you’re in a better position to hire more quickly and build that pipeline,” Vitale says. “We’ve seen marketing really lead to sales funnel, and we’re now seeing that recruiters are starting the connect the dots there, too.”

This creates a flurry of questions, like: Well, who should be in charge of talent sourcing? Recruiters? HR? The marketing team?

Of the 760 professionals surveyed, only 4 percent believed the marketing team should take charge, while only 14 percent felt the task belonged to recruiters. The majority of respondents agreed the job belonged to HR.

But we all know that HR has its hands full with so many other responsibilities. So, what’s the solution?

Drumroll, please. Say hello to the “recruitment marketer.” No longer a buzzword – now it’s a job title.

“We’re seeing that more organizations are expecting to hire somebody responsible for recruitment marketing,” Vitale says.

This recruitment marketer is, generally speaking, someone who knows recruitment tactics and automated email campaigns while also being savvy about and adept at content marketing.

“Right now, people are sending out communications that are just like, ‘Hey, check out this job,’ and that’s not really valuable or strong content for candidates,” Vitale says. “What we really want recruiters or talent acquisition departments to recognize is that candidates are consumers.”

Given the rise of the consumer candidate, it only makes sense to bring somebody on board that knows how to sell things to these candidates.If you want to hire the best of the talent pool, it’s time to really start selling the opportunity you’re offering.

In the end, it’s human nature to look for value before agreeing to something, even down to the purchase of something as insignificant as an orange. Why do I need this orange? What makes this orange better than an apple? How is this orange going to benefit me?

Replace “orange” with “this job,” and recruitment marketers are going to have the answers to those questions before a candidate even thinks to ask them.

Or at least, they’d better.

By Hillary Ferguson