Recruitment marketing (RM) is making fast inroads in the normally staid world of HR. Borrowing heavily from the inbound marketing methodology, this school of thought aims to attract and engage potential candidates in the same way inbound attracts potential buyers to a brand.
With the diversity of online resources available to recruiters today, it can be hard deciding where to focus your likely limited time, energy, and especially budget. Well, that’s where we come in! Today we’re going to look at our pick for the top 5 RM channels to watch in 2020. Presented in no particular order, each of these channels has shown itself to be worthy of your attention as you work to nurture your own talent pool of high-quality potential candidates. And before you ask, yes, we know most of these are channels you already know. What we hope to convey today is just how much they’re changing for the better and encourage you to take another look if you’ve dismissed any of these channels in the past.
Just What is Recruitment Marketing?
We touched briefly on this in the intro, but a deeper definition will help as we move into our list. A more comprehensive definition might look like this, presented by Jobvite:
“recruitment marketing is the strategy and tactics used by an organization in order to source, manage, and nurture passive talent — before they apply to your job.”
This strategy includes using blogs, social media, videos, and more to present your employer brand (EB) in a way that will make your audience jump at the chance to submit an application.
As for the other term of art in today’s piece, channel, when we say that we’re referring to every place you put your brand messaging to achieve the goal of generating interest in working for your company. From traditional marketing options like print ads, job boards, and your company career portal; to 21st-century additions like social media, gamified recruiting platforms, and other digital options.
1) Social Media
Despite the rumors to the contrary, marketing on social media is most assuredly NOT dead. In fact, if you’re looking to reach a diverse group of potential candidates where they’re already spending their free time, look no further than a solid social media strategy. You know your audience better than we do, so we’re not going to tell you how to go about spreading your employer brand gospel, but what we can do is give you a one-sentence summary of each of the major platforms’ user base to get you started:
- Facebook — Everyone and their cousins are on the granddaddy of social media networks, however in recent years, their demographic has been skewing toward the upper end of the age range.
- Twitter — Again, this one crosses demographic lines with an even distribution ranging from older Generation-Y down to older Generation-Z (let’s call it 18-30) who are an extremely active bunch of tweeters.
- Instagram — Trending to the younger end of Twitter’s demo, Instagram is a growing market for RM as it’s a graphic platform ripe for new and creative campaigns.
- LinkedIn — The business networking standby, going strong around the world for mid-career and above folks looking to grow their business networks and share information with each other, look here if you’re recruiting for C-suite as an example.
2) Job Boards
Job boards aren’t what they used to be, so it’s a great time to jump in and test the waters. Many of the old guard boards are...well, generic. They look the same, feel the same, work the same, and worst have the same jobs listed. You’re promoting your brand as unique and authentic, right? So don’t settle for the same old, same old.
Instead, look to the cutting edge and innovative boards that are arriving on the scene in 2020—like all-in-one gamified recruiting platforms. These sites offer a selection of pre-screened candidates who are already on the market. You can submit challenges and academies so job hunters can bone up and prove they have the skills you’re looking for. You can also use these platforms as a launchpad for a whole new style of campaign, “play a game, win some swag, and see if you’d be a great fit for our culture!” The results of this game would then be forwarded to you for analysis.
3) Career Portal
With all the focus and attention being given to outside channels, many companies are letting their own in-house career portals languish. Don’t make the same mistake, after all, once someone hears about your awesome employee value proposition (EVP) where are they going to go first to check for openings? Yep, your company site.
Be sure your portal is easy to navigate, with plenty of links to not only open jobs, but also to pages for each department so people can see what’s going on in the group they’re looking at joining. Then turn your attention to your application process. This needs to be mobile-friendly, or even mobile-first as more and more people use a mobile device for their primary internet connection. No more 45-minute rote data entry, make it 5 quick questions and a resume upload. Or for the most mobile-friendly option, forgo the resume until later when the applicant can send it in from their home computer.
Don’t underestimate the power of a complete, attractive, and easy to use career portal. It makes your job easier by putting all the information people are asking you for in one place so you can direct them there and call it a day. For bonus points, look into installing a chatbot to answer FAQs 24/7 and watch the applications roll in!
4) Niche Forums and Community Sites
This item is a bit more nebulous than the others for one primary reason—we have no idea who you’re targeting. Are you looking for developers with expertise in on particular language? Set up on Stack Exchange or GitHub. Need someone with strong knitting skills? Find an active knitting forum and go to work.
The basic idea is that by finding people with specialized skills in a place they’re comfortable shows them not only that you care about their skills, but that you value their time enough to come looking on their home turf. This is the single best way we know of to show people the personality of your company and that you truly get them.
5) Recruitment Marketing Automation
OK, we know, this isn’t a channel. But the AI-backed technology that powers the new crop of RM automation solutions has gotten so good, we had to include it. Recruitment marketing automation (RMA) gives you a single dashboard where you can monitor your social media accounts, schedule blog posts, post new openings to multiple boards, and even integrate with your ATS to closely track applicants once they enter the system.
Automating your posting schedule, tracking candidates’ end-to-end through their candidate journey, and monitoring your social media presence is just the tip of the RMA iceberg. We’ll have more to say on this in future posts.
Context is crucial when it comes to RM. Your job as a recruitment marketer is to convey your EB, EVP, and overall brand story in ways and places that attract and engage the people you want to hire. Whether or not they’re actively looking for a new position. Your goal is to grow and nurture a thriving talent pool of awesome, highly-qualified potential candidates so that when a seat opens up, you can draw from this pool, saving time, energy, and money in the process. The channels we introduced today should provide you with a good starting point. Now get out of here and start spreading that EB!