The talent acquisition landscape is more competitive today than it has been at any point in history. Specifically, the global talent shortage stands at 40 million workers and is forecasted to reach more than 85 million by 2030, costing employers around the world more than $8 trillion in lost revenue. This means that, to stay ahead, employers need to implement new strategies and reimagine what talent acquisition can be; talent leaders need to be able to draw in candidates in the same way that brands draw in consumers.
To make that process even more difficult, the types of offerings that job-seekers want from a potential employer has shifted dramatically in the past few years: According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Report, since 2019, there’s been sharp growth in members posting about the following topics:
The data is clear: Candidates are seeking employers that can provide flexibility and a greater work/life balance. As a result, organizations that excel at highlighting a company culture that’s compatible with current talent market trends will remain competitive in the hunt for talent.
As a talent professional, you may not think about marketing as a recruitment function. However, a large part of ensuring that your talent pipeline is stocked with the best talent involves making sure that your organization is an attractive place to work for candidates. Thus, recruitment and marketing need to work together. The job of a talent acquisition team is more than just hiring great talent; it also includes attracting talent and enticing them to commit. In this four-part section, we’ll cover how employers can leverage modern marketing techniques to recruit and better engage candidates at each stage of the recruitment marketing funnel.
The Case for Implementing Modern Marketing Strategies
Typically, consumers require engagement across multiple touchpoints before deciding on a purchase—and it’s up to an organization’s marketing team to facilitate engagement at each stage of the sales funnel. Job-seekers are no different and often need multiple interactions with an organization’s employer brand before applying for a role; in this case, it’s the job of the talent acquisition team to facilitate these interactions throughout the recruitment funnel.
Granted, the stages of the talent acquisition funnel depend on an organization’s hiring practices, but we can make some generalizations. For the purposes of this article, we’ll cover three vital functions in the recruitment marketing process: 1) attracting candidates, 2) converting candidates and 3) closing candidates. During each of these functions, talent teams need to properly engage and nurture job-seekers with the right recruitment marketing strategies. Below, we outline smart recruitment marketing strategies for candidate engagement.
According to LinkedIn, 70% of the global workforce is passive talent, with the remaining 30% of talent actively seeking jobs. With that in mind, the first—and arguably most important—function in recruitment marketing for talent acquisition teams is to determine a strategy to attract candidates. Of course, candidates may already have some idea of your organization as a consumer brand, so the main objective of this stage is to introduce your organization’s employer brand to job-seekers for the first time.
At this stage, your engagement with candidates should be designed to gain and retain their interests, with the hope of converting them later in the recruitment marketing funnel. As such, building employer brand awareness and providing positive candidate experiences is key. For instance, consider how candidates will perceive your organization through the channels listed below. Will they have a positive view of what it’s like to work for your organization? Do they get an accurate picture of your company culture?
The main marketing priority for talent acquisition teams during the candidate conversion stage should be to steer candidate interest into action, thereby converting them from job-seekers into active prospects in the talent pipeline. This step occurs when candidates gain a positive impression from the touchpoints they encounter in the attraction stage.
Fortunately, there are various methods for converting candidates. For example, they can sign up for a newsletter, register for an event or request job posting updates via your career page. And, while they may not have applied to any of your open positions yet, they’re interested enough in your organization to provide their contact information. Similarly, employers can also leverage talent communities to convert candidates looking to connect with other professionals in their industry. Remember, to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), just make sure to collect two types of consent when collecting personal data (such as email, phone, address, name, etc.) from applicants.
Additionally, at this stage, keep in mind that you’re asking candidates to provide your organization with two of their valuable resources: Time and personal information. Next, at the conversion stage, you’re asking for contact information, but only a small amount of time. Then, to get to the next stage, candidates will have to give your organization even more of both. Therefore, in the touchpoints listed below, consider what the experience is like for candidates; is it positive and easy enough to get someone to a closing stage?
During the closing function in recruitment marketing, talent teams are managing a flow of vetted and engaged candidates with a goal to turn these candidates into applicants. This means that candidates are willing to take the time to complete your application and provide you with a significant amount of personal information. Notably, the candidate is also making an emotional investment in your organization; they’re excited for this role. As such, they could be setting themselves up for disappointment if they don’t make it through the process. For this reason, it’s important to consider what you’re asking of candidates to help get them through the closing process.
Furthermore, while closing prospects, your recruitment marketing materials should aid the candidate’s decision-making process by informing them of open positions, inviting them to recruiting events, or even proposing a virtual meet-and-greet where the candidate can casually meet with members of your team. Think about the touchpoints listed below and how candidates will experience them. Likewise, communicate about your interviewing and hiring process upfront for a more seamless experience for both candidates and hiring managers.
In parts two and three, we’ll go into greater detail on how talent acquisition teams can leverage modern marketing techniques to intelligently engage candidates at each stage of the recruitment marketing funnel.