How to Build Your First Recruitment Marketing Campaign

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Nov 17, 2015
This article is part of a series called How-Tos.

Often companies are on the cusp of achieving something great, just waiting for the right hire to help them get to the next level.

The problem is that traditional methods of finding that awesome person are failing us. The growing skills gap makes it hard to find and recruit the right person.

Luckily there’s an alternative:

Traditional marketing campaigns can provide an effective framework for attracting top talent. When you go about setting up your first recruitment marketing campaign, there are a few things you need to consider.

Who You Are Targeting

When your marketing department embarks on a new campaign I guarantee that they sit down and talk through their target audience.

Start here too. Are you trying to hire Gen X or Gen Y? Are you recruiting for a specific skill? Your message should vary depending on the answer.

Lets look at some examples from the marketing world.

Lincoln hired actor of the moment Matthew McConaughey to advertise its latest car — his encounter with ‘Cyrus’ makes for one of my favorite ads. It definitely makes an interesting comparison to one of electric car company Tesla’s recent ads.

While Lincoln is appealing to the everyman, Tesla sets itself aside by targeting those with a futuristic outlook.

Connecting with your target candidates is no different from connecting with customers — it’s all about working out what kind of content works best. Clever recruiters have found all manner of creative ways to get in front of top talent using this principle.

Atlassian Stealing Geeks

Take software company Atlassian as an example. Struggling to deal with the shortage of Australian developers, the company launched a campaign to hire 15 European developers and relocate them to Sydney.

Atlassian branded the campaign “We’re coming to steal your geeks,” and drove a branded bus around Europe, hosting meetups and interviews. Potential candidate could track the bus’ progress and apply for a chance to move to Australia’s “Silicon Beach.”

This is a particularly inventive example, and it’s definitely not something that you need to copy don’t worry.

What you should be doing is working out what kind of websites your target candidate visits and finding out which blogs they read. Go one step further and find out which social networks they use.

This research should let you tap into online talent communities and build relationships with awesome people who might make great hires.

What You’re Trying to Say

Once you know what your target audience is looking for, it’s much easier for you to develop your messaging. This doesn’t mean you have to have a slogan, but you should have a few key recruiting messages.

How do you want candidates to see your brand? What is it that differentiates you from competitors? Ask yourself these questions when you’re thinking about showing off your employer brand.

If you’re a company that gives new hires a lot of responsibility for example, make sure you make that clear from the outset — this should help you attract the right kind of people.

One company that has really nailed its careers site messaging is Onefinestay.

Onefinestay’s Excitement

Compare these two sentences and think about where you would rather work.

  1. Onefinestay is the world’s first “unhotel.” And we need the freshest, the finest, the flyest talents out there, to help us make it, evangelize about it, and get guests through our doors. If you’re ready to ride a rocket, we’re looking for astronauts.
  1.  By joining Company x you will gain unparalleled access to an array of rich experiences, knowledge, and opportunities that will prove invaluable to your personal and professional growth. (Company X is a major hotel chain)

Both descriptions discuss personal growth and opportunities, but Onefinestay’s copy is far more engaging and makes the role sound far more exciting — I know where I would apply!

How Effectively You Are Spreading Your Message

The next step is spreading the word and connecting with your target audience.

Just like any great marketing campaign, the key here is a varied approach. If your company has been focused on job boards or social media updates until now, branch out.

Spread your message and opportunities across a wide sphere of platforms — this should help you understand which outlets work best for your jobs, as well where your target candidates tend to hang out online.

Once you hit go on your campaign, you can’t just sit back and watch the applications roll in — know which channels are bearing the most fruit.

Analytics are at the heart of every great marketing campaign, and it’s no different with recruitment marketing. Pay attention to the numbers.

Constantly measuring your process let’s you dramatically increase the ROI of your campaign. For example, if you find that your best candidates are coming in through LinkedIn, focusing your resources and doubling down on that channel will give you much better returns.

Analytics can even help you fix sub-performing parts of your hiring funnel:

You may discover that you’re getting a lot of dropoff from your application process. This could mean that it’s too long or too difficult. Changing some of the questions might greatly reduce your bounce rate and help you turn more people from interested visitors to enthusiastic applicants.


image from Shutterstock

This article is part of a series called How-Tos.
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