Melinda Morella-Olson | Recruitment Marketing | 6 minute read
Get More Amazing Employee Candidates with 16 Tips for 2021
Hello, fellow hiring managers! Your job is so important, especially right now when talent acquisition and recruiting are mission critical. In a very real sense, everyone’s job security and the future of the company depends on bringing great people into the pipeline. But as you well know, recruiting is hard. Job seekers have options, and more control than ever before, so it’s time to expand the use of job ads and career sites, as well as innovative ideas.
But never fear! We are here to help, with 16 tips that we’ve seen work wonders, especially with “passive candidates” – all of those currently employed people who are not really looking for a job but could be convinced that your grass is greener. We’re not ashamed to say that one of the best strategies can even be to poach the best people from your competitors!
So how do you get quality candidates to see your opportunity when they’re not even looking?
What Is Modern Recruitment Marketing?
As you can see from this diagram, Recruitment Marketing is focused on the early stages and leads into the act of Recruiting itself.
Awareness: Grab the attention of potential candidates and present your organization as a great fit. Give a glimpse of what it’s like to work with you, the personal and professional benefits of a job at your company.
Interest: You’re on their radar, so it’s time to share more about the company and the position. Candidates are looking at your website and careers page, following you on social media. They might even opt-in to a recruiting newsletter to stay in the loop about opportunities.
Consideration: You’ve sparked their interest and by this point, the candidate is thinking about applying. They’re in research mode, reading job postings and reviews, perhaps even reaching out to their network to ask for opinions on working with you.
The Candidate Funnel is a helpful framework for thinking about how to make people aware of your organization, attract them to what you stand for, and trust that your culture matches your message.
So let’s get to the practical tips...
16 Recruitment Marketing Ideas That Work Right Now
To connect with people on a real (human) level, you’ll need to think strategically about your marketing channels, get diligent about execution, and measure everything to test ROI. We can help you build these skills, starting with the following tips:
1. Polish Your Career Pages
Make sure your career page is a main feature of your website, not an afterthought – with the kinds of information candidates want most: benefits, growth opportunities, your amazing culture and attractive facility.
For inspiration, check out the Work at Trek page: it’s full of detailed benefits information and an incredible culture video. Johnsonville takes its career section to the next level with a full microsite featuring employee profiles, culture, and benefits.
2. Give a Snapshot of Life at Your Company
It’s important that content be relevant to the job searcher. Consider creating a Recruiting Content Calendar that gives a sense of what life is like at work – what events and activities might spark a candidate’s interest?
• Employee perks
• Career development (conferences, training)
• *Wow* success stories from various teams
• Team-building events
• Travel opportunities
• Community sponsorships, giving back
• Environmental stewardship
You can even encourage employees to share these experiences on their own social channels, too.
3. Have a Social Conversation
Authentic connection must be part of any digital marketing recruitment effort. Once you’ve published content, keep the dialogue alive. Respond to comments. Thank people for posting and sharing. If candidates see you’re present and engaged, they’re more likely to start a conversation of their own.
4. Share Employee Stories
Job seekers look to other employees for trustworthy information on what it’s like to work with you. They want to see what real people have to say, so they can start to imagine themselves in your workplace. So let your employees shine!
Share employee profiles, success stories, and video testimonials. When employees tag you on social media, thank them and get the go-ahead to repost. If you catch wind of a compelling story, ask your team member to help you share it with a wider audience (although, of course, never force participation or manipulate the message).
Kohler stands out with an inclusive, wide-reaching range of employee profiles ranging from corporate jobs like finance director to customer service and skilled trades.
5. Amplify Employee Ambassadors
Remind employees that their voices are an important part of how your company is perceived. Rather than silencing “Negative Nancys” or “Downer Dans,” activate “Positive Petes” – ask them to be vocal advocates for your organization.
This doesn’t mean sending a company-wide email asking employees to leave a positive online review. Create the kind of culture that makes employees want to say good things.
Some tips for activating employer brand advocates:
• Ask for stories during annual reviews or stay interviews
• Give out branded gear to encourage company pride
• Say “thank you” when you see an employee sending good vibes your way
• Offer training on what makes a good social post
• Reinforce and repeat: “Your voices matter. You are our best advocates.”
• Create a company culture hashtag, (e.g., #DeloitteLife, #TargetVolunteers, #IWorkForDell) and promote it at internal company events.
6. Connect with Your Alumni
Past employees, who retired and those who left for other jobs, can be a valuable recruitment network. Stay connected via social media or email newsletters, and ask alums to help refer good candidates.
You may even recruit “Comeback Colleagues”: former employees may be lured back by new jobs and growth opportunities. Some companies even tap retirees as a source of temporary seasonal staff or short-term project consultants.
7. Get Active on Employee Review Sites
Glassdoor, Indeed, kununu, and Fairygodboss are hugely influential. How you participate on these sites can turbocharge your recruitment strategy.
The first part is easy: Claim your company profile and build it out with benefits and opportunities. Upload a few photos that show off your dynamic facilities and company culture.
Next, respond to employee reviews, both good and bad, showing that you appreciate and care about feedback. Criticism is uncomfortable, but job seekers see value in a company that listens and responds. Georgia-Pacific, for example, has a well-developed Glassdoor profile, and company representatives actively respond to employee comments.
8. Encourage Resume Drops
Offer a way for people to submit their resume even if you don’t have a job opening. It’s nice to know that people are sincerely interested in working with YOUR organization, not just landing an available job.
But you have to do something with those resumes; too many companies just file them away. Breakthrough, an energy technology company, gives this sort of encouragement in an FAQ section on their careers page.
9. Keep It Simple
Your application process should be simple. Yes, you want to weed out candidates who are not a fit, but the goal is getting great people into the funnel. Don’t let a long, complicated application process scare them off.
According to CareerBuilder, 1 in 5 candidates will not complete an application if it takes more than 20 minutes. Appcast found that conversion rates increase by 365% when an online application takes less than five minutes.
Streamline your process to make it as easy as possible. Test it yourself and ask a few friends to try it out. Did it work as they expected? Any broken links or confusion? User testing is a way to catch mistakes and opportunities that people super close to a project can unintentionally miss.
10. Get Mobile Friendly
Mobile job search is king. According to Glassdoor, 52% of mid-career workers search for jobs on their mobile phone, and the numbers skew considerably higher for blue collar jobs. Be sure your application experience works just as well on mobile as it does on a desktop.
Hint: Use a platform that lets candidates upload their resume from Google Drive or Dropbox.
11. Get Listed on Google for Jobs
Google aggregates job postings from across the web into Google for Jobs. They provide easy steps to make sure your open positions show up, by using the necessary HTML coding and structuring your data to be search-friendly. Note that mobile-friendly site design matters here, too; if your site isn’t set up responsively for mobile, Google is liable to ghost you.
Looking to make some bacon? Search for butcher jobs and you might get a results pane like this.
12. Try a New Social Channel
Meet your candidates where they are. You may already have Facebook and LinkedIn well in hand, but if your ideal talent pool skews younger or less professional, it’s time to look at other platforms.
Instagram, SnapChat, and TikTok hold new potential. JP Morgan, McDonald’s, Taco Bell are just a few employers recruiting via SnapChat. Even the U.S. Military is experimenting with TikTok for recruiting.
13. Geofence Your Competitors
You can easily set up geofencing parameters in apps like SnapChat, Google Ads, or Facebook to market to users within a limited geographic area (down to a few miles). Recruiters might geofence a college campus, a competitor’s facility, or even set up a short-term fence during an industry conference. This can be an affordable way to zone in on a highly targeted talent pool.
14. Create a Lead Generator
Give people a compelling reason to join your talent network, like an e-book, quiz, or guide that helps people advance their career in your industry. Offer these tools as downloadable resources on your site in exchange for their email. Then continue to nurture interest with career tips via automated emails with insider looks into your company culture and job openings.
15. Track, Monitor, and Measure
Traditionally, employers only track a candidate once they open an application, measuring time to hire, acceptance rate, and candidate experience. All valuable information.
What recruiters are tracking (via Beamery):
If you move up the funnel, you’ll find other key insights. Tracking social engagement, for example, can help you understand what people are saying about you online and how compelling they find your messaging.
If you’re not ready to invest in a robust applicant tracking system, talk to your marketing team about their lead tracking tools. Google Analytics can tell you a lot about how candidates are coming to your careers page. And each social platform has their own metrics to help you track engagement, giving you data that can make your outreach stronger.
16. Bump Up Share Value
Add a quick “Join our talent network” or “If you like this, you’ll love working with us” message at the footer of newsletters, blog posts, and social channels. If you create a short hiring promo video with a link to your careers page, employees can include it in their email signatures.
Recruitment tech firm Beamery added a flag to their main navigation, so every site visitor knows they’re looking.
One Word to Rule Them All
The most important tip we can give you? Be real. Tell an authentic story about your company culture. No fluff, no fabrications, no stretching reality. The best way to do this is to learn what current employees truly like best about working with you, then target candidates who want those experiences.
You don’t have to do everything listed above: pick one or two of the tips above and get started; once the momentum starts growing, choose another one.
And remember, we’re here to help. We guide companies into strategic recruiting and retention implementations, through employer branding and recruitment marketing strategies. Reach out to learn more about how we can help attract more quality talent to your authentic employer brand.
Melinda Morella-Olson is Imaginasium's director of strategic engagement. She is responsible for uncovering client needs and matching them with Imaginasium’s capabilities. Melinda is also instrumental in developing the strategic partnerships and marketing strategies that help Imaginasium connect with prospective clients.