If you think recruitment marketing only revolves around posting job ads and targeting people on Linkedin, think again.
Employer branding is the cornerstone of your recruitment marketing efforts and should be taken very seriously if you want to attract the best job candidates.
Candidates nowadays have the freedom and luxury of choosing who they want to work for due to the current state of the job market. To attract the best candidates, many employers have been putting in a lot of effort into recruitment marketing: posting job ads on social media channels, posting team photos etc.
An important part of these recruitment marketing efforts is employer branding. Employer branding refers to the process of creating an internal and external face of the company. Employers try to let the prospective hires know how great it is to work from them and how well they treat their employees. They approach their prospective hires as if they are their customers.
A good example of what employer branding looks like is Google. Google successfully promotes a fun, challenging and genuine work environment and has been voted the best company to work for – seven years in a row as of 2016.
So do you want to give your recruitment marketing efforts a big boost? Read and implement the five tips listed below and make you company popular among job seekers!
#1: Communicate your Company Values, Goals, and Culture
Get out a piece of paper and a pencil (or pen or marker or whatever floats your boat)and write down any words that you associate with your company. A few questions you can ask yourself to come up with these keywords are:
- What does the company offer to current and future employees?
- What is the company’s product and purpose?
- What do employees at the company value, in the company and in themselves?
- What color is the logo? (This is something you may not be able to change if you are late in the game, but at least take note!)
- What are some accomplishments of the company?
While this is just a start it should be the focus point of your recruitment marketing and employer branding efforts. Try two come up with a cohesive list and then narrow it down to the most important things that make your company unique. Every recruitment marketing campaign should be carried out with this in mind.
MOD, a pizza place that celebrates diversity and does it right. “Join the MOD Squad” is a catchy phrase, and there is a clear, memorable value statement on their careers site. This is a very good example of how to incorporate employer branding in your career site. Having a good career site greatly increases the effectiveness of your recruitment marketing efforts.
#2: Recruitment Marketing begins with your Employees
Your employees are your greatest asset in your recruitment marketing efforts. Your employees are the ones that actually make up your brand and communicate it to the outside world. It is therefore very important that your employees believe in the employer brand that you are trying to build.
You need to view your employees as the ambassadors of your employer brand. After all, many job seekers often reach out to individual employees to ask them about their experiences at the company. That’s why you have to make sure that your employees have positive experiences at your company and support you in your recruitment marketing.
This is not something that will happen overnight, but will happen with careful consideration of employee needs. Not sure what your employees need? Ask them! Offer comment cards to see what the company can improve upon. Look on Glassdoor and work on reversing any wrongdoing from the past. Create a strategy for a positive workplace.
There is one essential thing to keep in mind though: this must come from a genuine place. No one likes phony “team-building” activities. Rather, build a work environment that is open and welcoming to new ideas, new people, and new opportunities for growth. Make sure your benefits are fair, the office is inviting, and hard work is rewarded. It seems like a lot to take on at once, but with patience and determination, it will all fall into place naturally and make your recruitment marketing efforts easier in the long run. Happy employees = a positive employer brand.
LUSH is a perfect example of creating a cohesive, enjoyable employee culture. They have an entire YouTube playlist devoted to getting to know LUSH and their employees. In the video below, they showcase a few employees passionately explaining how a LUSH product is made.
#3: Work on your Brand Image & Recognition
Your company has an impeccable work environment. You know it, and your employees know it. But do potential candidates know how great the company culture is? Well if they don’t, your recruitment marketing needs some tweaking. Brand image is important in establishing visibility and cohesiveness, ensuring that job seekers recognize and acknowledge your brand when looking for a position.
Brand image is the perception of a brand in the minds of people. It is your most important asset in attracting high quality job applicants. The way they perceive your company to be is a crucial factor in their decision to apply at your company or not. Keep in mind that applicants often scroll through 100s of job openings. So in order to stand out, you need to be recognisable in a positive way.
Your brand image is an important visual asset in your recruitment marketing. So make sure that you get it right. There are a few basic categories you want to think about when crafting this image:
- Logo, colors, and fonts
- Careers site (office space, benefits, etc.)
- Writing style
- Type of employee
- Values and culture
These may seem simple, but you need to take the time to pin down exactly how you want your company to be represented. Get input from every department and keep it consistent. To give you an idea of a successful brand image, we will fill in these categories for Google.
- Logo, colors, and fonts: Simple red, green, blue, and yellow logo, and sans serif font
- Careers site: “Bring questions. Build answers.”
- Writing style: Simple and direct, yet intelligent and friendly
- Type of employee: Innovative, fresh-thinking individuals, veterans, cool problem-solvers, diverse
- Values and culture: Innovation, problem-solving, and inclusive
This shows through their careers site and entices job seekers to want to be a part of that journey. To do this for yourself, take Step 1 and Step 2 (which should now be aligned) and make your brand image reflect them.
#4: Content is key in Recruitment Marketing
Now that you have the general vibe down that your company wants to give off as an employer, it’s time to start creating content. Before you start posting right away, here are some tips for content to keep in mind:
Tone and voice: Be unique, but don’t be offensive
This sounds obvious, but what you may think of as playful may be offensive to a certain group. Employment is all about diversity and acceptance of different cultures working together. So make sure you do not make fun of other cultures or that you appropriate other cultures. Your recruitment marketing efforts should be fun but as neutral as possible. An example of what NOT to do is found in this Urban Outfitters’ apparent office party flyer from 2014:
Even though the bottom of the flyer mentions donations, and the whole thing could be a celebration of diversity, due to their previous offences of a similar nature, it was not appropriate. This sends the wrong message to potential hires, even though Urban Outfitters has been quite successful despite their mishaps. For smaller firms; you might want to be less risky in your recruitment marketing efforts as this might cause serious harm to your employer brand.
The right thing to do in a situation such as this is to have one designated spokesperson that is relatable to the target audience affected. Immediately apologize as soon as you are aware of the blunder. Own it, and make sure the public knows that you are doing everything in your power to resolve the situation. This reestablishes trust, and future employees like to know that they can count on their future employer to take responsibility for its actions.
Strength showcase: Promote office perks and benefits
This is perhaps the most common practice in employer branding and recruitment marketing. Showcase what your company has to offer to potential employees. Twitter is a great example of this, providing free health classes, acupuncture, meals, gym memberships, and unlimited paid-time off, according to Glassdoor. Plus, just look at their office space!
It shows that Twitter works hard to make their space fun and inviting for their employees. The reviews on Glassdoor for Twitter are also massively positive. You can infer from this that whatever Twitter promises to employees, they deliver. This is worthwhile, as it comes back to help a company in the form of reviews and ratings.
While Twitter is a largely successful social media platform and your company may not be (yet), you can still offer perks. Make your office space as fun and productive as possible, and allow employees to have a good work/life balance. Most importantly, don’t offer something you can’t deliver!
If your offices have a great view or you offer free lunch use that to your advantage. If you are realistic about your benefits and successful, this will turn into glowing reviews from employees and buzz around how enjoyable and valuable it is to work for your company. This makes it your life a lot easier when doing recruitment marketing.
Another simple way to show how fun your office is is to take team photos (and videos)! If you talk the talk, you should walk the walk. Take professional, yet candid photos and videos at team events, fundraisers, meetings in the park, or just around the office.
If your employees are truly happy with the company culture, it will be apparent. Get creative with your media, and show the company’s personality through its employees and workspace.
#5: Content Distribution
The content for your recruitment marketing and employer branding has been created, but where should you share it? When do you share it? How do you share it? There are written and unwritten rules for the various places around the internet to distribute your content. Here are the main places to post and how to do so:
Blogs are on of the most effective channels for marketing and could also be effective for recruitment marketing. Whether it is on your blog or as a guest post on another relevant blog, articles written in a consistent, informative tone can generate organic traffic to your employer brand. Write a blog post about the hiring process, linking back to your job openings in a relevant spot.
Most blogs that allow guest posts don’t allow purely promotional content or content that is available somewhere else on the internet. It’s important to create original, useful content so that search engines will index the post, as well as your company does not appear to be spamming blogs with promotional content.
A great example is this blog post about Tiqets, the fastest-growing Dutch startup. It tells the story behind the hiring process, offering useful information about the company, and also offering a place to put links to Tiqets’ careers site.
Job boards are a no-brainer as an outlet for your job openings and employer brand. Mainstream and niche job boards can boost your SEO and increase visibility. Make sure that the job description is clear and doesn’t contain too many gimmicky buzzwords. These job description templates are a solid place to start, but make sure to tweak them to match your hiring needs. Job boards are the most commonly used channels in recruitment marketing so keep in mind that you will face a lot of competition here.
Instagram is highly image-centric. Twitter has a 140-character limit. LinkedIn is strictly for professionals. Each social media platform has its own uses and preferred form of content. To adapt your content to Instagram, for example, create a visually-appealing graphic that entices people to want to work for your company.
Do some research on the best practices for each platform. Be present on each platform and make sure to have processes in place to continuously update each platform. These platforms are highly effective for both consumer marketing as recruitment marketing and companies like Coolblue have completely mastered their social media game. They post funny and informal things about their company culture which makes consumers want to buy from them and job seekers apply at them.
Reach out to influencers in your field. Do the work, and get your company name on “top 10” lists that come up high in relevant searches. Publish white papers that are, again, useful for the target audience. Good press is important for SEO and gaining credibility in the eyes of potential candidates. This list of 100 best companies to work for from Fortune is a top-notch example.
Marketers are already utilizing video content as it has been proven to be one of the most effective types of content for their campaigns. So when you are doing recruitment marketing you should definitely make use of this as well. People are more likely to watch a quick video about a company than read a lengthy post.
Like the LUSH video above, you can make a good quality, genuine video showing the behind-the-scenes action of what a potential candidate can expect from your company after the date they are hired.
If you don’t have the time and funds to make the next award-winning feature film as your company video, it’s perfectly fine (sometimes better, even) to create a less-polished video. As long as you are genuine and showcase the positive things about working for your company, the video can give potential candidates just enough insight into the company culture to feel as if they know it well. Take this video from Impraise, for example:
Email marketing has been around for a long time and is still very effective. In recruitment marketing email campaigns can be used to nurture the candidates you are not proceeding with. You can send them newsletters and mention upcoming job openings so they can apply again or share it with their network. There are certain rules for email etiquette to follow, but in general, don’t overload their inboxes. Being marked as spam is not a good thing!
The careers site is the backbone of recruitment marketing. It is the page that job seekers go to when they want to size up a company as a potential employer. It is the top used platform by employers and candidates, alike.
For this reason, you should seamlessly inject employer branding best practices into your careers site. Take all of the insights about your employer brand that you have learned up to this step, and allow them to culminate into a careers site. This website can be SEO optimized, have expressive imagery and videos, and showcase the benefits and perks of working for your company. Always link back to your original website so candidates can easily find more information. Here is the careers site for Hotjar for your inspiration.
Hotjar designed this web page with Recruitee’s careers site editor. Notice how it uses the cohesive color scheme and clearly states what type of employee they are looking for. There are clear guidelines around the site with the tabs at the top and a link back to the company website.
It’s a wrap!
But wait! Before you celebrate your newly found employer branding best practices, you must keep something in mind. It is important to constantly build your employer brand in order for you recruitment marketing practices to be effective.
The more you learn about how you want your company to be perceived, the more you can shape and mold your content into something that reflects that more accurately.
Use feedback from consumers, candidates, and current employees to continuously optimize your employer branding best practices and make sure your other recruitment marketing activities are being improved on a continuous basis.
Change and flow with the events around you, allowing your company to stay afloat amidst a sea of companies that are just as appealing to candidates. Social media, for example, requires regular updating, so keep abreast of new techniques and tags that can help boost your job listing.
As your company grows, your employer branding should grow with it. And keep in mind; happy employees are good for your recruitment marketing efforts!
Relevant: Listen to our podcast on building an effective recruitment strategy here