What Is An Awesome Recruitment Marketing Strategy?

an awesome recruitment marketing strategy with a light bulb highlight
The steps to an awesome recruitment marketing strategy is only a short post away!
Recruitment advertising and marketing are important. There is no doubt about it.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported in January 2016 that between September 2015 and November 2015:

  • The number of people over 16 years of age in employment was 31.39 million, or 74% of people aged 16-64.
  • The unemployment rate was 5.1%, which is the lowest rate for over 10 years.

In the UK, we’re nearly at full employment if these figures are correct. There is something wrong though..

A quick look at the job boards such as Totaljobs and Reed will tell you that the number of jobs available are high and rising. In fact, they are much higher now than they were at this time last year.

Budgets are getting cut, workforces are being reduced and yet we have more jobs available and not many people free to apply for them. That War for Talent has nothing on this situation!

This leads to the reason for writing this post where we want to answer one question –

How are you going to attract prospects?

TIght belt and wallter for recruitment advertising
Budgetary belts are getting tighter. Positive ROI has to be shown.

Has your recruitment budget shrunk over the last few years? What about the size of your recruitment team? Has that shrunk too?

Companies are still tightening their budgetary belts.. Recruitment functions are usuallythe first place where the decision makers look to save a few ££.We’ve all been affected by this!

This means that you’ll have to do much more, with much less and still get the same results! Hardly fair is it?

OK – We’ll put the violin away for now! We’ve got a lot of work to do!

Justifying your existence

You’re going to have to scrap for every little bit of budget that you get.

It’s easier to get what you need if you can prove that there will be a benefit to the business. The way to do this is by showing an ROI (Return On Investment). It means making a benefit out of what you’re spending.

ROI has never been important to recruiters. After all, as long as a vacancy is filled nobody really cares, right? This is no longer the case and you need to get into the modern world. Every last penny has to be accounted for by the decision makers.

You are responsible for your own destiny here, so measure everything! It’s common sense, but you need to be able to measure your efficiencies, savings and ROI. If the C-Suite haven’t already asked for lots of reports from you, then they will be doing soon enough.

The Good Old Days

“Back in the day”, an advert on Monster or Totaljobs would have been all that you needed for a full inbox of applications from great candidates.

You could have built a great career in recruitment just by knowing how to find people’s CVs on Indeed, or by using Linkedin.

Do you remember those days? They weren’t so long ago!

This has all changed since that famous “War For Talent”. Recruitment teams are struggling and are now having to try new strategies and approaches.

Mainly these are:

  • Using more than one job board
  • Using more than one CV library
  • Spamming random “prospects” on Linkedin…..

Please tell me that you’re not one of them!

The end result of this is a whole industry producing the same pretty poor results through streams of ineffective work.

This is particularly true in recruitment advertising; generic job descriptions and wasted advertising spend, attracting little to no candidate interest. This ultimately leads to bad hiring decisions and a revolving door approach to hiring. “There are no candidates out there” is the response to the hiring managers.

What a load of rubbish

There are candidates out there. Lots of them. You just haven’t got off your backside and started to think how the candidates do!

There. I said it – You’ve been lazy!

A recruitment advert for a job should only be one small part of the recruitment marketing campaign. The recruitment marketing campaign should only be a small part of your overall talent attraction and employer branding activity.

Use your grey matter

Look at the last job advert that you created. (Open it up now for reference!)

Did you copy it from the job description? Did you copy it from another vacancy, making only a few small amendments? Does it have a clear Call To Action (CTA)? Does the candidate know what the job is?

It’s common sense (again!).

In the best case scenario, your job ad that you spent 2 minutes creating  isn’t going to do much in getting anyone to act on a CTA, or even in getting passive prospects to turn into active candidates.

We’re all like goldfish

Goldfish in a tank have about the same attention span as a goldfish!
Attention spans aren’t what they used to be!

What? Yes. We have the attention span of a goldfish!

You watched the TV last night. How many adverts did you see? Think of one and let me read your mind…..

Think of one and let me read your mind…..

  • Was it around 30 seconds in length?
  • How many words were used on screen, or spoken? Probably around 75 – 100….

How does he do this?

A magic formula for recruitment advertising

Well, there is a template (or magic formula) that is used for every type of advertisement. The human attention span and format being used limit what consumer adverts can contain. Just like the length of a tweet on Twitter or the size of an image that can be used on facebook.

TV adverts are usually 30 seconds or 60 seconds long. 30-second ads are cheaper (usually) so are most commonly used. In 30 seconds you can only realistically pack in 75-100 words to keep it understandable.

Consumer marketing knows everything about this and they give the audience what they  need, in the way that they want it – each and every time. They all have to follow these rules while trying to make sure that their own brand stands out.

It’s not a new game

Employers, don’t think about marketing or advertising like this. They are playing their own game and making the rules up as they go.

They treat recruitment advertising like it’s an essay writing contest. Pumping out dictionary length job descriptions, full of bullet points and cliched stock phrases, to an audience who are not interested or engaged.

Meaningless “adverts” with no thought about the prospects needs or wants.

The best advertisers in the world follow the rules – for recruitment advertising to work you need to follow them too.

We’re all consumers

We’re all used to awe-inspiring advertising that includes special effects, complex storylines and brilliant brand marketing.

Companies spend millions, if not billions, of pounds promoting their brands. For the household names, this is still important and is usually more about the style of the advert rather than the actual content in it.

Employers need to follow this approach too so that they stand out from the crowd and don’t get lost in the current noisy employer branding exercises.

Time is of the essence

You can’t get everything about your employer brand, EVP (employer value proposition) and all of the reasons why your company is the best place to work in one job advert.

You can’t even tell them everything about the job in one job advert realistically. (How many times have you been asked additional questions about the job from someone who has already read the job spec?!)

Don’t even try!

Your prospect’s attention span is short. They may be at work, they may be in the middle of a project, they may even be in a meeting.

Be clear and concise and tell them why they should stop and give you some of their time and attention.

The best thing that you can expect to get here is to spike their interest long enough for them to look you up and research you. Even if they only remember you for later. That’s good enough.

In an ideal world, they would go straight into the top of your recruitment marketing funnel.

Recruitment Marketing Funnel for recruitment advertising inputs
You Do Have A Recruitment Marketing Funnel Don’t you?

We have a post coming up on how to build a recruitment marketing/ recruitment advertising funnel shortly.

Using a recruitment marketing, or recruitment advertising funnel you will build a pipeline of talent ready to approach as soon as you need to turn the tap on! This fills vacancies at a reduced cost and delivers a shorter time to hire. That is the whole point of recruitment marketing and advertising.

You’re being pushy, not strategic

No-one likes a pushy salesperson.

Why then do the calls to action (CTA) on job adverts lead straight to a job description and application link on an ATS? The job description that they see I probably the same text as the job ad that they’ve just clicked from!!

You’re putting people off and probably scaring them away! What a poor candidate experience and what a waste of your own time.

In most cases, the applications that you do get by using this process won’t lead to quality candidates and hires.

You might then argue that your candidates are good though this route. If that is the case, why are you spending ridiculous amounts of time speaking to candidates who don’t know anything abut the job and is some cases can’t even remember applying for it?

Self-sifting candidates or putting them off?

There is a school of thought that thinks that long, wordy job descriptions (as recruitment advertising) will pre-qualify prospects.

The truth is that the top talent who already have a job and who are likely to be at work when they see you job ad won’t have time to read through your epic tome of a job description.

This ultimately means that your  job ads are driving away the best candidates too, which leaves the “spray and pray” candidates. They don’t read job adverts, they just click and apply.

Even they have to climb Everest to make an application through the non-mobile and lengthy ATS application process!

Talent attraction or distraction?

Most employers approach talent attraction by spending lots of money (in the scheme of things) trying to attract the attention of every single prospect in the candidate market.

On the odd occasion that someone does actually show some interest they shoot themselves in the foot by sending that prospect straight to a bullet pointed, generic job description.

This is a bit like spending £10 on creating and making up a product and then spending £1million on advertising it!

Yes – you’ll get some interest, but no matter how good the advert, the product is still going to be rubbish!!

An awesome recruitment marketing and advertising idea

Lightbulb shows an awesome recruitment marketing strategy idea
A great recruitment marketing and advertising idea!

Why not spend some time and effort on creating an awesome job ad?Not a mediocre one, an awesome one!

It might even cost a little bit of money.

By investing your resources in your recruitment advertising, you will always be more likely to get great candidates coming to you; no matter what the current economic or social situation.

Although there is a place for agencies, careers fairs, newspaper adverts and all singing, all dancing campaigns, they don’t add much value. By sticking with the traditional approaches and not adapting, you’ll lose candidates, reputation, money, time, resource and also your budget the next time you ask.

Remember to focus on the ROI for your recruitment advertising – Give the candidates what they need and want and they’ll come to you in numbers and willingly.

You’ll then be able to prove your worth and maybe, just maybe, get some extra budget next year!

Now that’s an awesome recruitment marketing strategy.

Share some great examples if job ads in the comments below.


For more recruitment marketing posts click here

Content Recruitment Marketing

February 16th 2016

What Is An Awesome Recruitment Marketing Strategy?

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