As Erica Levenson pointed out in her August 8 post, recruiters wear several hats, and one of those hats is “Marketer.” HR professionals in general, and recruiters specifically, have adopted many phrases that originated in the marketing world: value proposition, candidate experience, branding, and so on. That’s a good start, but the recruiting world still has a long way to go to match marketing’s genius for crafting the right message and getting it in front of the right people.
Red Bull recently provided a great example of just this concept. The company had world champion cliff diver Orlando Duque dive from a helicopter into the Hudson River, in front of the Statue of Liberty, to promote their Cliff Diving World Series. Who is the target consumer for Red Bull? Young male adrenaline junkies. Does this type of extreme advertising appeal to them? You bet!
Now, I’m not suggesting that recruiters dive out of helicopters to attract candidates. The point here is that effective marketing makes people stand up and take notice. Red Bull provided a satisfying experience to their target consumer segment, and in the process branded itself as a hip, exciting company that knows what young male adrenaline junkies want.
You provide an experience and reveal your brand every time you market a job. With that sobering reality in mind, here are three tips to keep you thinking—and winning—like the marketer you are:
- Use Big Data to measure your recruitment marketing effectiveness. Just as recruiters have adopted marketing language, you can also adopt marketing’s newest tool. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that you have to take night courses to become a data scientist. Ask the job boards and social media channels you work with for access to the data they gather on when and where candidates interact with your postings. Big Data analytics can show you where the majority of your candidate responses come from, so you can eliminate channels that don’t produce results. You can even see what day of the week, and time of day, is best for each type of job and for each marketing channel. Focusing on only the channels that work for you saves time and increases ROI—that is true recruitment marketing effectiveness.
- Make your job titles work for job seekers. My current favorite horrible job title is “Snack Superstar Curator.” What is a snack superstar, and how would you go about curating one? Furthermore, what candidate is searching online for a snack curating position? That would be no one. People sometimes take the marketing concept too far, trying to cleverly pack all the organization’s culture and mission statement into a job title. Leave that for the job description (see below) and write job titles that explain in the fewest and most recognizable words what the job is.
- Take time to craft your job descriptions. This is the aspect of recruitment-as-marketing that so many recruiters either forget or are ignorant of. How can I say that? Just look at most job postings. Little care is given to how the posting is worded, and the focus is on the employer: “Here’s what you need to give me.” In addition to the list of required and preferred skills—which should not be so long and pie-in-the-sky that no rational person would ever apply—a job description is an opportunity to talk about what an employer has to offer. Use that opportunity to create an effective and truthful marketing message about the company’s culture and values. Remember, you can train for skills but not for culture fit.
This post was written by David Bernstein is the head of eQuest’s Big Data for HR Division. He writes and speaks internationally on how data analytics can predict future behavioral patterns of candidates and create a competitive advantage in candidate sourcing. Bernstein has a long history of creating innovative HR strategies for Fortune 100 companies.