How we recruit is changing. In a candidate-led market, attracting and hiring the right person with the right skills is harder than ever. Over the past few years, as competition for talent has increased along with the prevalence of hard-to-fill vacancies, recruitment marketing has become the go-to strategy for proactive recruiters. 2019 will bring a wave of fresh recruitment marketing trends and technologies that will shape and improve your recruitment process. The list below can help you to stay competitive in today’s difficult recruitment market.
Recruitment marketing trend 1: Nurture campaigns
Lead nurturing, or candidate nurturing, is the process of building lasting relationships with potential candidates. It’s about focussing on the needs of the candidate and providing relevant, valuable information at each stage of your candidate journey.
Email is often the ideal format for nurture, or drip, campaigns, but essentially what you’re doing when you build your campaign is designing a workflow for each stage of your candidate journey. Ask yourself “how do I get this candidate to the next milestone?” This will include email, but you can also trigger text messages or reminders to hiring managers to give the candidate a call.
Getting started with email nurture can seem daunting. It’s not something you can do manually (seriously, please don’t try, it will consume your entire life) and bespoke recruitment marketing systems can be an expensive commitment.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Lead nurturing has been an important part of commercial marketing since search engines changed the way we buy products, so there are lots of free or cheap options that you can use. Mailchimp, for example, has some basic email automation capabilities that are free, whilst Drip offers powerful automation for $49 per month.
These systems are a great way to get started with candidate nurture campaigns without spending a fortune. And the great thing is, they come with pretty comprehensive reporting, so you’ll be able to demonstrate the impact of your hard work and secure ongoing support (read: budget) from department heads.
Recruitment marketing trend 2: Employer brand
With each year comes another round of buzzwords. It’s safe to say, employer brand is more than a buzzword and its role in your recruitment marketing strategy is significant. Without a consistent, authentic and engaging employer brand, your nurture campaigns, social recruitment and digital advertising are likely to fall flat.
Your employer brand is about identifying what makes you a great place to work. What makes you competitive? What’s different about your organisation? What do you offer your employees and what do you expect in return? And it’s about more than photos of bearded men playing ping pong. As William Tincup puts it, your employer brand is “your unique scent. It’s everything that makes you stand out.”
Defining your employer brand starts with knowing what recruitment goals you are looking to achieve and understanding your candidate personas. We have a great template to help you do this, if your personas could do with a bit of a refresh. Once you’ve done this, focus your attention on defining your employee value proposition (EVP) – what do your current employees love about working at your company? Why did they choose to work with you in the first place? Once you understand all of these things, you can communicate with your target candidates in ways that inspire and engage.
I’d always recommend involving a third party in the development of your employer brand: someone that can have a high-level view of the goals and where the project is heading. There are some fantastic agencies out there that specialise in employer branding, so if time is a concern then outsourcing this could be the right option for you. But it can work just as well by involving your marketing team. They’ll be used to developing brand propositions and personas and will provide the perfect combination of marketing expertise and business acumen.
Recruitment marketing trend 3: Creative job adverts
Repeat after me: “a job description is not the same as a job advert”. One of the biggest developments in recruitment marketing this year has been the development of advanced, content-rich job adverts. Google for Jobs has changed the way people search for vacancies, but we’re also seeing revolutionary changes to the type of ads organisations are posting.
Since the old days of newspaper ads, job adverts have remained largely text-based. They’re often long, dense pieces of copy that tend to form more of a list of requirements than an advert. Well, not any more. The focus on employer brand means that job ad design is being thought of as part of an employer brand story. It’s just as important to tell your story in job adverts as it is across other channels.
This could be as simple as ensuring that your job advert is well written and optimised for conversions, but to get the best results you want to think about other ways of telling your story. Video content, photography and employee testimonials will help people visualise their futures at your company and thanks to new technologies like nthuse, you can now build stunning, sophisticated adverts easily.
Recruitment marketing trend 4: Inbound recruiting, content and SEO
Inbound recruiting is a strategic recruitment marketing trend that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined target audience. By taking an inbound approach, you can connect with, engage and delight both passive and active jobseekers throughout their jobseeker journey.
Inbound recruiting is particularly important in a candidate-driven market. Employers no longer have control over the hiring process; instead, candidates are calling the shots. Just like consumers, candidates do their research upfront, visiting multiple online sources before applying for a role, and more often than not this research starts on Google. Having an inbound recruitment strategy is key to competing for talent in this tough candidate market.
The cornerstone of a successful inbound recruiting strategy is great, search-engine optimised content. You should be creating content that is valuable for your target candidates and gives an authentic view inside your organisation. It’s important to post regularly and consistently, and to create content that will appeal to your candidate persona.
The internet is literally swimming with articles about how to optimise content for Google: check out Hubspot’s guide to SEO optimisation as a good starting point. The most important thing, however, is to write helpful articles that your candidates will want to read.
These four recruitment marketing trends mark a seismic shift in the way we hire. As recruiters and employers, we need to be smarter with our approach to recruitment, make the most of the new tools available and focus on engaging with candidates in thoughtful, relevant ways from the very start of their journey.