Recruitment is Marketing
You may recall that I’ve spoken about how recruitment is more of a marketing exercise than an HR one. Effective marketing is about having a good strategy, and then managing that implementation very closely. You need accurate reporting and you need to tweak what works and what doesn’t to ensure good ROI. With the skill shortages, at the moment, marketing your brand story is really important.
‘Effective marketing is about having a good strategy, and then managing that implementation very closely.’
Jane and I started chatting after we released our post on using social media to engage more candidates and here I’ve asked Jane to share some of her insight, including her top recruitment marketing tips, with you.
How to Differentiate Yourself
Karen: Perhaps we could start with how you think marketing can help with your employer brand, so that you can show up in the market to candidates and not just customers?
Jane: That’s a really good question because when marketing comes to mind, people usually think about getting new customers. At the moment, with such a tight market, when you go out with an ad for a new person, you might get one or two applicants. In days gone past you might have attracted 200.
‘At the moment, with such a tight market, when you go out with an ad for a new person, you might get one or two applicants. In days gone past you might have attracted 200. ‘
How do you differentiate yourself? You don’t want to have to just hire whoever’s going, you want the best candidates to apply. And you also don’t want to have to fight on salary, that’s like fighting on price in the market.
Telling your brand story is so important. You need to include in your brand, a little bit about your culture, and a bit about what it’s like working within your team and your business. That brand’s story can double up – for example, if you do the right sort of pre-production on a good video, you can tell a story about your business that will attract both customers and potential staff.
Karen: That’s so true. And your customers or clients, depending on your business, actually do care about the culture of the business as well, don’t they? These are not mutually exclusive things when you’re thinking about your brand.
Jane Absolutely. In our agency, for instance, our clients love our culture. The things that appeal to new staff about the way we collaborate together, our clients love too. It can double up. Your marketing can approach both customers and staff.
How to Use Social Media
Karen: I have clients that really dislike social media, including founders who resist even having a LinkedIn profile. And my advice is that it’s really difficult to attract candidates, particularly in a service space, if you don’t have those things in place.
I remember when I started my business, Amplify HR, six and a half years ago, which is a long time in social media, and I was told even back then, if you’re not on social media, you don’t exist. Do you find similar resistance to social media and how do you encourage people to consider their social presence?
Jane: We do get resistance. The first thing everybody thinks is Facebook and Instagram. But with the time and effort and energy you have to put into Facebook and Instagram to have a good presence nowadays, maybe these are not the best platforms. I often say to clients and businesses, maybe you don’t have to be there.
But in a B2B environment, or even a B2C environment where you want your brand story told, you do need to be on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of those platforms that you can outsource. If you get the profile right, and you get your targeting right, a team can do it for you, or your marketing manager can do it for you, working with you.
I understand that some of my clients don’t want to be on social media all the time; I understand the owners don’t want to be sharing what they did on the weekend with their dog. But there is a need to have a presence, because if we’re going to go out and advertise for new staff, one of the first things they will do is check out the profile of the owner of the business. They want to know who they’re going to be working for. It’s really important to have a profile.
‘I understand the owners don’t want to be sharing what they did on the weekend with their dog. But there is a need to have a presence.’
Karen: That’s a great point. You don’t have to do it all yourself, you don’t need to be a slave to your mobile phone. But there are lots of ways to have other people manage this for you and still have a presence.
I did a focus group for a client where I asked the staff, ‘why did you start here?’ The majority of them said ‘because of the founder’. That gave me a lot of information to be able to demonstrate the importance of keeping the founder’s profile up-to-date, because people were looking at it.
People want to work for someone they can learn from, that they can respect. The tonality of your posts is also important, sounding like someone that people want to work for seems to be really important.
Jane: Yeah, absolutely. And then people see your business as a company that they can be proud to work for.