From the onset, marketers know that they’re up against a variety of challenges to attract customers. Factors include market demand, consumer reviews, public perception, budgetary restrictions, and, of course, direct competition. In today’s tight labor market, marked by low unemployment rates and widening skills gaps, recruiters can identify with many of those same challenges while trying to attract quality hires. Talent acquisition doesn’t always connect itself to revenue generation for the business as well as marketing does; subsequently, it may not receive as many resources to get the job done. Still, unfilled jobs cost the U.S. economy as much as $13 billion per month, or $160 billion per year.
Therefore, it’s imperative that employers build up their talent pipelines as well as their sales pipelines, both to avoid a costly talent shortage and to protect the growth potential of their businesses. Filling the hiring funnel starts with an engaging employer brand, which shapes job seekers’ first perceptions of a company’s work culture. When developing (or improving) employer branding and recruitment marketing, collaboration with marketing professionals can be incredibly helpful.
EMPATHIZE WITH THE BUYER’S JOURNEY
With countless information resources at their disposal, today’s candidates have a consumer mindset when searching for and applying to open jobs. They approach looking for a job much the same that they approach making a major purchase: they do research, compare the data, then make the final decision about whether to “buy.” The impact of this information gathering can- not be overstated. For instance, iCims research found that when researching a potential employer 94% of working Americans visit its social media pages (and one in three workers have declined a job offer primarily because the company had negative online employer reviews). By understanding this behavior, recruiters can begin to visualize the steps of the hiring process that are most crucial to the candidate experience.
If a company’s marketing team has social media planners on staff, they can offer advice on company-approved methods for responding to negative reviews. Recruiting and marketing can also work together to create social media content calendars that highlight the best aspects of the workplace.
LEVERAGE CULTURAL STRENGTHS TO CREATE AN ATTRACTIVE EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION
Social media is a fantastic vehicle for showing off an organization’s unique culture. But before building out any content, HR must set the tone for what the company wants to convey by defining the employee value proposition (EVP). That definition lies in the answer to one question: “What do potential employees stand to gain by working for the organization?”
Enterprise Holdings (the parent firm of several transportation organizations, including the car-rental companies Alamo, National, and, of course, Enterprise) is one great example of a company that puts its people first. Its EVP highlights the organization’s internal growth opportunities while simultaneously layering in some of its most sought-after employee competencies, such as integrity and teamwork.
For values-driven individuals who want to be proud of their career decision, Enterprise Holdings is the employer that provides the things you need to feel secure and successful in a reputable, team-oriented culture.
Enterprise reiterates this idea throughout its career site—in job descriptions, training program details, internship program year- books, employee spotlight videos, and even in a “How to Apply” section that guides candidates through the hiring process.
Job seekers crave this kind of content. Fortunately, there’s a good chance that an organization’s marketing department already has the resources in place to produce the copy, images, and video elements that recruiters need. There’s also probably a lot of useful content that can be repurposed in the company history or on the “about us” page on the website.
COMMUNICATE WITH MODERN TOOLS
Amazing content doesn’t accomplish anything if no one sees it. Google for Jobs helps job seekers find job postings more efficiently. But for companies that want to truly nurture and engage a quality pool of candidates, a candidate relationship management (CRM) tool is essential.
Salesforce, one extremely popular CRM tool in widespread use in marketing departments, enables marketers to keep ongoing records of prospect and customer interactions, send communications, and pass them through the sales process. In talent acquisition, a CRM tool has very similar functions. It allows recruiters to collect contact information, organize candidates into talent pools (by department, skillset, etc.), and send e-mails relevant to their specific interests (such as new job openings or thought-provoking content that’s relevant to their fields).
Companies that want to attract job seekers needs to figure out new ways to engage them (especially if they want to tap the significant pool of passive job seekers who aren’t actively looking for new opportunities but would be interested in exploring good ones that come their way). The marketing department has long used some excellent strategies for connecting with customers by getting to know their wants and interests. By applying some of those strategies in a collaboration between recruiting and marketing, organizations can improve their outreach to prospective candidates.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in Advanced Resources' HR Insights Magazine.
About the Author: Raquel Lawrence is a content strategy associate II at iCIMS Inc., a leading provider of innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) talent-acquisition solutions that help businesses win the war for top talent. To learn more about how iCIMS can help your organization, visit www.icims.com.
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