people sitting in a row waiting for job interview
From putting out consistent messaging to offering attractive benefits, employers must draw new employees with more than just a great job. — Getty Images/Cecilie_Arcurs

Despite the struggles of managing a team during COVID-19, many companies are still hiring - some even are having a surge in demand for rapid hiring. For these companies recruiting has become a lot like marketing. It takes more than just a job to draw in today's candidates — employers must also attract them with their brand, culture and incentives.

"Today's workforce is motivated by much more than salary," said Denise Leaser, president of GreatBizTools.com. "Employees value company culture and mission, approachable leadership, potential job growth, work-life balance and recognition."

If your business wants to draw in top talent, it's important to have a recruitment marketing strategy in place before you start posting your open positions.

What is recruitment marketing?

According to Jennifer Almodovar, vice president of human resources for Magid, employers must package, communicate and build a candidate experience that highlights the intangible and tangible benefits of a company in a way that resonates with candidates.

In the same way marketing helps customers choose a company to do business with, marketing can package, brand and communicate the story of a company in a way that gets great candidates to say, “Yes! Sign me up!” said Almodovar.

Managers recognize that they are selling a job, and employees 'buy' a job with their labor, added Will Bachman, co-founder and managing partner of Umbrex.

By using marketing tools that effectively communicate your company's mission and brand to potential employees, you'll be able to reach and attract more top-tier talent.

[Read: What Is the Difference Between Hiring and Recruiting?]

Tools for recruitment marketing

There are many ways to draw candidates in to apply to your open positions. By using the tools below, you can ensure you're reaching the right talent at the right time.

  • Your website: Make sure you have an easy-to-find career page with job postings that are written in the same tone as the rest of your marketing materials. Just like for prospective customers or clients, having pictures and testimonials about life at your company will really sell your employer brand.
  • Social media: Elizabeth Spayne, the head of marketing for WinterWyman recommends using social channels to tell the story of what it's like to work at your company: "The more you can demonstrate what it's like to be part of your organization, the easier it is to connect with candidates and the more apparent it is for them to imagine working with you," she said.
  • Recruiting software: Recruiting software allows you to source and screen candidates, track their application process, review background checks and even onboard them once you find the right candidate.
  • Recruitment agencies: The hiring process can take a long time, which is time spent away from the work at hand. By hiring a trusted recruitment agency, you can use them to effectively filter through candidates for you.

[Read: The Best Hiring Strategies to Attract Top Talent]

Employees value company culture and mission, approachable leadership, potential job growth, work-life balance and recognition.

Denise Leaser

Tips for successful recruitment marketing strategy

These four tips will encourage successful recruiting:

Be consistent in your messaging

Almodovar recommends building a consistent message, look, feel and images that capture the essence of what your company offers.

"[This] can then be integrated into candidate communication, collateral, social media, job fairs and outreach efforts to attract the candidates that best fit the company need and culture," she said.

Put yourself in the candidate's shoes

One of the best ways to entice candidates is to think like them and be mindful of their needs, said Lauryn Sargent, co-founder of Stories Incorporated.

"People who have never heard about an employer will need content meant to inform or grab attention," Sargent told CO—. "Candidates who are currently interviewing or considering an offer will need more substantive information … about culture, the team, company mission, vision [and] values."

Sell the whole package

A competitive salary is, of course, still an important part of your overall compensation package, but it takes more than just a paying job to entice candidates to your company.

Beyond cash compensation and basic benefits, Bachman said a good, well-rounded package may also involve formal training, on-the-job skills development, mentoring, travel opportunities and "even a source of meaning and purpose."

Get your whole team involved

Spayne said your whole interview team should be prepared to sell the job to potential employees.

"Ensure that everyone … is prepped and ready to talk about what the organization can offer the candidate," Spayne said. "Good talent needs to be courted and wooed."

[Read: Best Job Interview Questions to Ask Candidates]

Network with candidates

The hiring process doesn't have to end once the job is filled. You can still keep in touch with candidates who seemed promising but simply wasn't the right fit for the role. Leaser suggests creating an email sales funnel for people who applied for jobs at your company.

"Send them emails to highlight your company, its values and how it values employees," Leaser explained. "Even if they accept another position somewhere, they'll remember you and might come back to you if the other position doesn't work out."

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published May 11, 2020