Why you should recruit like a marketer

by Lauren Acurantes29 Nov 2016
“The competition for the best talent is fast and furious and, in many cases, that battleground is the social web,” wrote marketing consultant and author Mark W. Schaefer at Harvard Business Review. 

Schaefer added that just as marketing has gotten a boost from HR in identifying and training new skillsets, HR can benefit from adopting several marketing principles, particularly when it comes to recruitment:

‘Compete for talent the way companies compete for customers’
Many high potential employees go to websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Glassdoor to check out a company before they decide on which ones to apply to, and Schaefer said many of these company sites are controlled by the marketing or PR department.

However, he said many of the sites take a sales-oriented approach to their web presence. HR can leverage these sites by adding a more balanced, recruitment-approach to find the best employees.

Go digital but be human
“We have fantastic opportunities to use technology to tear down barriers between people instead of erecting them [but] the most human companies will win,” he said.

But after his evaluation of many HR-oriented webpages, he noticed that most use stock photos, text heavy descriptions of what the company can do rather than stories of people that work there, and a lack of use of videos to further illustrate the company culture.

Marketing has always been about being able to tell a story and HR recruiters should utilise that when seeking new hires.

‘Build employees’ brands to help them amplify your message’
“On the marketing side, we frequently dream about networks of employees who post stories about our products, leading to massive new views to our content,” said Schaefer.

“In reality, that doesn’t happen too often.”

Give your employees the training and tools to create content about the company culture. Something as simple as a post about a company picnic can tell a strong story, he said.

‘Try contextual advertising’
Marketers often use paid promotional content and Schaefer said he doesn’t see why the same thing can benefit HR.

“There are people talking online about their job hunting experiences all the time. It might make sense to show targeted ads that can help prospective employees with their questions and problems,” he said.

Build strategic touchpoints
Marketers understand that customers can get their information about the company from various places, such as online ads, through search engines, or through friends. They endeavour to have some form of content for customers as they go through various channels

“Consider adding content for each of the decision-points in a potential employee’s journey. Help them assess (and perhaps even compare) your company culture, pay, benefits, etc,” he said.

‘Use influencer marketing to recruit’
Social influencers are a tried and true way for marketers to gain traction amongst their target audience. 

Schaefer said that HR can more likely benefit from the same strategy by getting a well-known personality to create content about the company culture and employee benefits in order to attract potential employees.

Related stories:

The ever-changing role of recruiters

Build your personal brand to recruit quality candidates

Why situational interviews work so well

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