Recruitment Marketing – What Is It?

what is recruitment marketing

Recruitment marketing 101

Recruitment marketing is a term that is getting mentioned more often. What do you know about it already?

In this post we will cover the basics of the marketing of recruitment functions and processes.

The definition of recruitment marketing

…all activities and strategies aimed at building and maintaining employer brand, extending reach and exposure of career opportunities, building and nurturing candidate relationships, and all management of messaging and advertising of talent acquisition efforts.”  Wikipedia

There are a few related phrases relating to recruitment marketing that are also worth consideration:

We can now narrow down the definition into the following key points:

  • activities
  • strategies
  • building and maintaining employer branding
  • extending reach/exposure of career opportunities
  • building and developing candidate relationships
  • management of messaging and advertising of talent attraction activity

We will now give a brief introduction into each of these subject areas. 

Recruitment marketing activities

These are made up of 2 types of activity that can be used – Traditional and Progressive.

Traditional activities are:

  • job board advertising,
  • CV library searches
  • careers websites
  • press advertising

Recruiters have been using these to attract candidates for quite some time now. These channels have come under scrutiny over the last few years due to the high levels of applications being received from low calibre candidates. This comes as a result of “spray and pray” tactics that recruiters have been using.

Examples of Progressive activities are:

  • social media marketing
  • online marketing
  • Pay per click advertising (PPC)
  • SEO (search engine optimisation)

These are more up to date than the activities above. They approach candidate attraction from a marketing point of view by treating candidates as the company does its customers. It is more like inbound marketing than advertising.

Marketing departments struggle with the different approaches that are required for recruitment marketing. They usually look to attract sales (money) from customers through their marketing activity.  Marketing to candidates is pretty much the opposite. They are marketing to someone to get them interested in their jobs, but will then be giving them money in the form of salary and benefits aswell!

Recruitment marketing strategies

The strategies that you can use depend on which approaches you are using. Clue – it should be both of the above!

You are looking to drive quality, targeted candidates through to application stages. How you approach them will depend on whether they are actively looking for a new job, or whether you are trying to attract them out of one!

You have to think about the candidate’s situation when you create a recruitment marketing strategy. Recruitment marketing is much more than advertising job vacancies; it is extremely candidate focused.

Building and maintaining employer branding

Employer branding is not the same as recruitment marketing, but they are similar. Employer branding is about getting your company name and logo in front of a candidate. Recruitment marketing is attracting them to your career opportunities by offering a personalised experience.

Without one, the other wouldn’t work, but they are definitely different topics.

Expanding reach and exposure of career opportunities

As we’ve mentioned recruitment marketing needs different skills and tactics to general corporate marketing. We are marketing to people, that is a fact, We are actually marketing to them so that we can give them a job, a salary and benefits. We only ask for their time and skills in return, not their money!

As this is the case, we are not really interested in using recruitment marketing to support our marketing or PR teams. There is one exception here. If it is employer brand related, or if it serves to increase the reach of our career opportunities then we may consider it.

As far as recruitment marketing goes, we only want to focus on how a candidate or potential candidate will benefit out of the work that we are doing. Are we showing the company as an “employer of choice”? Is our audience interested in what we are sharing?

Building and developing candidate relationships

This is really where recruitment marketing and employer branding are different. 

Every part of the recruitment process should be based on relationships. Whether the candidate applies for a job or not, as a recruiter you are still an ambassador for the company and should be developing relationships. Candidate experience is really important in the onboarding process, so any recruitment marketing strategies that you use must also bear this point in mind.

Management of messaging & advertising of talent attraction activity

General marketing teams work to specific guidelines. This makes sure that their approach and “voice” is consistent and is targeted to the campaign’s specific audience.

Recruitment marketing strategy is also targeted to specific candidate personae. It also targets important parts of the candidate journey.

This means that the recruitment message and activity has to be delivered consistently to guarantee a great candidate experience.

So, what is recruitment marketing?

Recruitment marketing is a broad-ranging approach to recruitment. It includes traditional and progressive marketing approaches. It is different to employer branding and corporate marketing, although it is similar to both in some ways.

We hope that this has given you a basic understanding of recruitment marketing.

If you have any questions about this topic, please contact us.


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Content Recruitment Marketing

January 4th 2016

Article Name
Recruitment Marketing - What Is It?
Recruitment marketing is a term that is being used often, but what is it? It differs from employer branding and corporate marketing in a few ways. Read on to find out more.
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Content Recruitment Marketing
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Recruitment Marketing – What Is It?
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