Recruitment Marketing

3 Ways Talent Marketers Win

The rules for talent marketing are as dynamic as today’s labor market.

Nearly every industry is competing for a limited number of knowledge and data-intensive workers. And for this reason, there has never been a greater need for strong brands that can attract, engage and retain the best people.

Today, some organizations, particularly financial services firms, focus on reversing the “brain drain” that has plagued them for nearly a decade following the last recession. Other organizations fight to be recognized as relevant employment options for specialized workers like IT and creative pros. And there is a large number of employers that just can’t ditch the baggage of a tired brand. In this context, the role of talent marketers couldn’t be more important—in their potential to build awareness, increase attraction and enhance reputation - to influence.

Having spent the past 6 months speaking with a wide range of talent marketers from enterprise-sized employers around the world, gathering their input, and weighing that against my own experiences over the past 20+ years in talent acquisition, I’ve distilled three key strategies that talent marketers can use to win.

Market capabilities

If your talent marketing content is still all about your values, benefits, culture and perks then you’re behind the curve. Younger workers want to know what capabilities they will gain from employers. In today’s market you need a narrative that describes what people will learn from working for you.

Greg Pryor, Workday's VP of Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, has been researching and talking about optionality. During a presentation at Workday’s annual sales kick-off, Pryor noted that younger generations expect regular feedback and look for frequent opportunities to learn new capabilities.

He attributes this to workers having lived though the last recession which left them anxious about getting left behind and, even worse, the first to get laid-off. Pryor went on to explain that younger workers "collect" capabilities to future-proof themselves from inevitable uncertainties. Innovative talent marketers that are messaging to workers’ thirst for acquiring new skills and experience have a competitive advantage.

Act locally

“Act locally.” This phrase was coined in the ‘70s and it helped create the environmental movement as we know it. Do right to your local habitat and “Act locally” should be a mantra for those of us in the talent marketing world too.

“Acting locally” is about giving people a sense of belonging– a purpose. More than ever before, people want to be a part of something. Understanding the cultural shift towards this longing by the global workforce, the most successful talent marketers are creating ultra-personalized experiences that feature influencers in key talent communities. For example, an organization that is hiring creative production talent invites industry luminaries to local LA meetups for work sessions, networking and panel discussions. The recruiting events team organizes the meetups, invites creatives to join a curated community, and therefore becomes an employer of choice for a once hard-to-reach talent network. Act locally and win.

Treat data as currency

I recently posted the following to LinkedIn; “Recruiting is no longer about who you know. It's about how efficiently you can use your data.” The post stirred up some reactions. I was reminded that recruiting is about relationships. I agree.

I also believe that modern recruiting is parallel to sales and marketing and that means that the best relationships start with good data. Even in the old school recruiting model, I call this the R3 era reactive req-based recruiting, the best recruiters had highly tuned heuristical engines their own personal AI that would gather data and later use it to influence.

Fast forward to today’s data-driven environment. TA teams with a deeper understanding of where and how people interact with their employment brands are in a better position to influence at scale. The best talent marketing teams are as focused on data hygiene as they are on budgets. With good data, brands deliver the right experiences to the right people at the right time everytime. That’s winning.


When you sum it up, the business case to rethink your talent marketing strategies should be clear. Today, people want to learn new skills. They want to join a community where they work. And, they expect people trying to influence them to deliver contextually accurate, personalized experiences. Give them cake.


Selecting the Right Recruitment Marketing Technology for your Business

According to Aptitude Research, over 70% of enterprise organizations are investing in recruitment marketing capabilities this year.In order to help with this process, Kelly Cartwright, head of Talent Acquisition Technology Strategy at Amazon Web Services, and Madeline Laurano, founder of Aptitude Research, will be discussing some of the latest trends in recruitment marketing and key recommendations for evaluating providers in our next webinar.

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