Recruiting Is Marketing — 4 Lessons Your HR Team Can Learn From the Marketing Department

Dec 3, 2013

Today’s companies find themselves in one of the most challenging times to build sustainable and strong organizations. Between automation and software, it’s never been easier to start a company. But it’s the employees that ultimately make the company, and true talent in today’s marketplace is scarce and fickle. Finding and keeping those employees has become a company priority, which has demanded a shift in how recruiters approach their jobs.

It used to be that changing jobs was a momentous decision that only occurred every 5-10 years, like buying a home or a new car. These days, it’s common practice for professionals to shop for jobs on a continuous basis. There is an ongoing battle for talent and it has become a much more competitive environment for jobs across all industries.

Much like marketers have to market constantly, recruiters must now recruit constantly. For years, sales and marketing professionals have successfully used “the funnel” as a means of finding, engaging, and closing prospects. I’ve found that the most successful recruiters use many of the same tactics as they source, vet, and ultimately hire candidates. There are some general best practices I believe recruiters must adopt and use to ensure your company attains top talent.

Market the Opportunity

The more you market an opening, the more — and higher-quality — candidate options you’ll ultimately have. Be proactive about filling the position: think beyond the online job board and activate your current employees’ and company’s social networks. Make a compelling hiring video or a unique career site. The wider you cast your net, the more likely you’ll find the ideal candidate. With more options, you naturally build a spectrum of candidates and can pick and choose based on their qualifications and fit with the company. Building your talent pool is the first step toward connecting your company with top talent.

Keep Track of Your Candidates

Use a centralized database to build, manage, and mine a lasting talent pool. With an organized system to manage prospect information, you’ll know exactly how to engage candidates through social, email, and targeted digital campaigns. A database with everything in one place and accessible by those who need it is the most efficient way of filtering through prospects. It gives you the perspective and efficiency to sift through large numbers of people until you’ve reached a manageable pool of candidates.

Additionally, a centralized talent pool that you own will prove to be a long-term asset towards future hiring campaigns. You’ll often find candidates who apply for a position not because of the role, but because of the company brand. Even if they’re ultimately not the right fit for the job, you can still have that candidate’s information for when you are hiring for that position.

Stay Top of Mind

Staying relevant is a priority for marketers, and equally as important in filling your open role. Marketers use powerful digital campaigns to stay top of mind in e-commerce, and now recruiters must do the same. With a well-organized database of prospect information, recruiters can execute highly specialized campaigns that target skill sets, job titles, geographical locations, or even interests and friend groups. Knowing your talent pool and strategically reaching out to them with targeted, consistent, creative and relevant information is the best way to turn a prospect into a candidate and eventually, a hire.

Analyze, Learn, Improve, and Repeat

Successful salespeople and marketers analyze where their sales come from and how they can improve their process. Recruiters must implement the same process. Use your best employees and past hires to educate yourself on what is and is not working to strengthen your entire recruiting process. Where do most of your applications come from? How much are you spending per candidate? Are your social accounts or website driving traffic to the career page? How long is your average time-to-hire? How can you make the timeframe shorter? There is always room for improvement, lessons to be learned, and inefficiencies to be weeded out. With modern software and analytics, recruiters can measure their performance and efficiency, and improve their quality of hire.

Attracting top talent in today’s market is more difficult than ever before, and demands a change in the way recruiters do their job. However, with a “funnel-driven” approach and the tools to find, engage, and close prospects, recruiting is best understood through the lens of marketing.

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