During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a plentiful supply of candidates due to high unemployment, and many organizations had an easier time finding talent. However, since then, organizations are beginning to hire again, and the market has become more competitive.

Great talent is always out there, but during these uncertain times, attracting candidates who are the best fit for your organization requires more than the traditional recruiting methods. In addition to attracting candidates for today’s open positions, you’ll also need a longer-term strategy for engaging passive candidates through creative employer branding and recruitment marketing.

What Is Recruitment Marketing?

Recruiting marketing applies marketing principles to attract and engage talent along all stages of the candidate journey. Similar to traditional marketing, recruitment marketing uses a mix of content and branding strategies to attract candidates to your employer brand, similar to the way marketing attracts and nurtures potential customers.

Recruitment marketing can offer value to any organization because it offers strategies for tapping into the vast market of passive job candidates, who make up an estimated 70 percent of the workforce. Without recruitment marketing activities to engage these individuals, they might never appear on your recruitment radar.

When done right, recruitment marketing can make the difference between struggling to attract the right candidates and building a solid candidate pipeline for a range of open positions. The core strategies of recruitment marketing include:

  • Building employer brand recognition among potential candidates who are unaware of your organization and its opportunities
  • Growing interest in your organization through a combination of content such as video, stories, and testimonials, to help candidates learn about your organization
  • Providing tools to make it easier for candidates to express interest and apply for jobs

The Benefits of Recruitment Marketing

The key benefits of recruitment marketing are stronger candidate engagement and an improved candidate experience. With better employer branding and targeted content delivery, you can not only give candidates a sense of what it’s like to work in your organization, but you can also help them see how they could potentially fit into your culture.

Implementing effective recruitment marketing strategies and tactics helps you realize these other benefits:

  • Increase exposure to your employer brand among a broader pool of diverse candidates
  • Obtain more applicants for each open position
  • Improve your standing as an employer of choice
  • Move candidates through the hiring process quicker
  • Gain better insight into which recruiting activities have the most impact in helping you meet your recruiting goals

Top Recruitment Marketing Strategies for Finding Great Candidates

Recruitment marketing has the potential to change the way candidates engage with your organization. When you improve the candidate experience, you do more than provide a smooth process for potential employees. Studies show improving the candidate experience makes a candidate more likely to accept a job offer and more likely to share their positive experience with their professional network.

Try these recruitment marketing strategies to attract more candidates and improve the candidate experience with your organization.

Boost your employer brand

According to Glassdoor, 75 percent of job seekers are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand. Reviews, profile updates, and regular social posts offer a window into your culture and work environment. You can boost your company brand by routinely updating your company page on sites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn, and by asking existing employees to share their experiences and write positive reviews.

Improve and monitor your careers site

Enhance your careers page with new content, videos, and job search features. You can also use tools such as Google Analytics to understand metrics such as page views, the amount of time viewers spend on the page, and the number of clicks per open position.

Use storytelling to illustrate the employee experience

Storytelling helps prospective candidates visualize a potential career in your organization. It can also keep your organization top of mind among candidates who are not actively looking for a new position. Research reveals that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone. To make your organization more memorable, you should educate readers about your company history through stories, post video messages from company leaders, and create “day in the life” stories of employees doing great work.

Personalize your messaging 

Not all candidates are looking for the same thing in an employer, so it’s wise to target your career messaging to different groups of potential candidates. For example, the messaging and tone of career information for dietary aides in a healthcare organization is likely to be different than for physician candidates.

Redesign job postings 

Modern technology allows you to do more in a job posting than list job responsibilities and requirements. For example, you can include a description of a typical day on the job and a link to job-specific resources. You can also make a job posting come alive by embedding a targeted careers video within the posting. 

Use your employee network

Your existing workforce can be a powerful tool for conveying your organizational culture. In fact, according to LinkedIn, candidates trust a company's employees three times more than the company to provide credible information on what it's like to work there. Since existing employees are more likely to know what it takes to be successful within your organization, they can also recommend candidates they believe to be a potential strong fit. You can make it rewarding for employees to make candidate referrals by starting a referral program and offering a referral bonus.

Simplify the application and screening process

When a job application is too long, candidates are more likely to lose interest. An Appcast study found the application completion rate dropped from 12 percent to 4 percent if an application took more than 15 minutes to complete. 

By keeping applications short and offering multiple ways to apply—through online postings, the company careers site, and social media—you create more paths to your organization. As candidates progress to the offer and background screening stage, you can leverage your ATS/background screening technology integration to make the process even more efficient.

Leverage social media

In addition to posting open positions on social media, you should also post stories and relevant content for the types of job-seekers you want to attract. You can use social media to boost your recruiting success by taking these actions:

  • Encourage members of the HR team to share job postings on their professional networking profiles
  • Post employee “spotlights” and special achievements on company social pages
  • Create a network of employee ambassadors who can promote job openings and other news on their social media accounts

Nurture passive candidates 

Passive job candidates aren’t actively looking for a new position, but they will notice attractive career opportunities. You can use recruitment marketing techniques to catch the interest of passive job seekers and offer the following sessions and resources: 

  • Career-related webinars
  • Information sessions about career paths within your organization
  • Virtual open houses
  • Q&A sessions with senior leaders

Improve the Hiring Process and the Candidate Experience

Recruitment marketing highlights an important reality of the candidate experience: it starts long before a candidate submits an application and requires a mix of activities to inform and engage candidates. By employing recruitment marketing strategies, you can cast a wider net and build a more robust candidate pipeline.

The success of your hiring process depends on the experience you offer candidates from the moment they become aware of your organization to the point of hire. Background screening is a critical component of the hiring process, and it requires efficient processes to support a better candidate experience. Regular reviews of your hiring and screening process can help you learn about best practices and identify areas for improvement. For more tips and ideas, read our guide, Auditing and Improving Your Background Screening Program.