Forrester Research suggests it takes up to 8 brand touchpoints to influence a consumer decision.
People rarely arrive at a company’s website ready to buy- or ready to apply.
Recruiters know they need a recruitment marketing strategy: they have to market their company to candidates long before they’re ready to fill up an application. But even with all the good intentions in the world, it’s not easy to know where to start planning your first campaign.
How do you first reach out to the candidates? What is an appropriate first test for your marketing muscles? How much -or how little- should you write, or send, or post? The answers are completely different from one company to another, but we put together a few and templates and examples that should apply to most cases.
A plug-and-play campaign to start
You just imported a large database of potential candidates, cleaned it, updated and tagged it… all you need is to start engaging with it.
1- The opening email
One great way to open the lines of communication is to share an update about the company that’s relevant to all types of talent.
It can be about a new round of funding, a diversity initiative, or simply a fun video of your team welcoming the recipients to the company’s email list.
In your future campaigns, you can tailor down your content to specific audiences, or react to their actions on your website. If you have tagged candidates by personas, for example, you can use that, like in the example below.
We have a ton of content on the perfect recruiting email, and you can try these recruiting email strategies if you need more advanced ideas later, but for now, let’s keep it simple. Let’s say that, after establishing that first touchpoint with candidates, you’re ready to invite them to an event.
2- The Event page
First, create a custom page for your event. Include a few pictures of your team, of past editions of the event, of the company team members who will be present… if there are videos, even better.
Be explicit but to-the-point in your description: no need to explain who your company is, for example, but do briefly explain what your event is about, and how it relates to your industry, your mission, or your employees.
Make sure to include information on the program and logistics of the event.
As your team gets more comfortable developing and implementing campaigns, you will be able to build a proper recruiting events strategy.
The success of recruitment events as a talent acquisition channel comes in large part from their integration with the larger talent strategy. Recruiting events can be a full-time workstream on their own, but it takes time to build up to it. And before you dive too deep into it, it’s worth doing a quick run-through of the team’s options:
- Campus events, job fairs, or company briefings where you invite an audience, either students or another community, to a talk about your company
- Networking events, either on site at the company or in venues of your choice. These could be co-hosted with other companies, or done via meetups
- Sponsored events where you may not be the main organizer, but where you associate your employer brand with a cause, a community, or a set of values
- Educational events such as workshops, classes, or competitions
- Other events such as drinks or VIP dinners after industry conferences
Note that sponsored events might be more appropriate if the event organizer has an agenda that has a low risks of badly reflecting on the employers’ brand, such as diversity events, or campus events. When choosing who to sponsor, it’s a good idea to invest some time in meeting with the organizers and reviewing their plan.
When it's time for your team to dive deeper into the design and launch of a recruiting events strategy, they might find our Recruiting Events playbook useful to frame and test their thinking about it.
3- The Talent Network
First, a quick definition:
TALENT NETWORK: An opt-in online community where the candidate can interact with recruiters and peers about career opportunities at a specific company.
Talent networks, or talent communities, are an important channel to keep your company on the mind of potential candidates. They can be a simple online forum with conversation threads, a social media group, or a dedicated website with access restricted to registered candidates only. It is rare for a candidate to decide to apply to a company right after their first couple of interactions. They might come to the careers site, read a few job descriptions, even click on an application link, but they will then leave, making a mental note to come back later.
The role of the talent community is to remind them to do that, in a sense. It gives them regular updates about the company, a space to learn more about it from peers or directly from recruiters, an opportunity to ask questions and stay engaged.
But a talent network needs members to be effective. That is why your next step, after setting it up, is sending an invitation to subscribe to your whole database.
You can send it as a follow-up to your event for the attendees, for example. Make it conversational and fun. Leave room for personalization based on attributes like the recipient’s name, city, professional area or hobbies.
4- The Facebook page
By now, you already have a few touchpoints with your candidate database under your belt. The Facebook page - or the Twitter feed, or the Instagram account - is an opportunity to add more depth to the employer brand, and to grow your audience:
- Add more depth, because these social media channels are less formal. They can give a more human, more authentic dimension to your brand that the careers site and the Linkedin profile simply don’t have.
- Grow your audience, because it’s easier to share things on social media. It’s kind of the whole point behind social media.
After creating the page, your next move is to email your database about it, and share it with your Talent Network.
5- The Sharing Game
Gamifying social sharing is not a new trick in Marketing, but it works, when dones in a relevant, non-pushy way.
Set up a competition on your new Facebook page where each candidate receives a unique URL to subscribe for the Talent network. For example, you can offer a company visit or a meeting with the head of Digital Marketing to the top 5 sharers; A competition like this would be especially relevant to Marketing candidates.
You can make the game relevant to other people as well: a quiz on famous geological formations for geological engineers in Oil and Gas, a photo contest for jobs in the Travel and Hospitality business, or an open vote for names of a new plant or office building. Just be open to the possibility of unusual suggestions- social media never ceases to amaze in that regard.
6- The Job Ad
The previous step sets you up perfectly for this last one: the Sharing Game was a great way to identify engaged and motivated candidates who have interacted multiple times with your brand, and have a positive attitude towards it. If you have an open job ad in the area of their interest, now is the perfect time to mention it.
Send them an email explaining why you like them and why you think they would be a good fit for your company. Invite them to look over a few open roles.
If you don’t have adequate opening at that time, but you know you will have some in the near future, then just let them know you’d love to keep in touch for future opportunities. Everybody likes to be verbally appreciated.
Recruitment marketing strategy: a few content ideas
You can build multiple variations on this first example campaign simply by varying the content contained in each one; Different channels require different types and formats of content, after all.
On the careers page
- Current social responsibility initiatives that the company is involved in, and why they matter to employees
- Diversity statistics about the company
In a newsletter
- The latest blogpost written by a marketer in the company about the work of their team
- An upcoming project with high impact on the public that the company will kickstart soon
- An invitation to participate in a competition
- A poll to decide the location of a new store
Pictures of the team representing the company at a trade show or conference
Newsletter: either write your own content, share thought leadership pieces written by other departments in the company, or curate content from outside sources based on your candidates’ interests. You can then share than content with candidates in your talent network, for example. Blog: create your own or participate in other departments’ blogs. Ask employees to contribute with posts about projects or technologies they are passionate about, or technical tips related to their eld of work, for example.
Short posts: Consider less substantial pieces of content as well, such as small bites of information that are entertaining or informative to candidates. They could be fun of ce life moments, testimonials from employees, or short videos of the company participating at a fair or a conference, for exemple. The format of your content can be anything that will best help convey your message:
- White papers, ebooks, downloadable content
- Interviews, live stream of an event, or other video content
- Infographics, diagrams, flowcharts & graphs
- Scripts and pieces of code
- Mini games and competitions
Explore all possibilities, but stay “on brand”: Keep in mind that these touchpoints must come together to form a unified image of your company. Be consistent, and inject some of your culture and values throughout every piece of content, on every channel, in every format.
You can also vary the recruiting content you share depending on where the candidates are in their journey.
What makes recruiting content successful?
Success drivers are different from channel to channel. What makes an email campaign successful is very different from what makes a Linkedin page attractive. Good content always helps, of course, but there are other drivers to consider: Frequency More is not always better. Interactions with the audience on social media usually stays on the page in the form of likes, comments or shares and retweets, so make sure that your campaigns don’t leave the page looking suspiciously bare, or overwhelmingly cluttered. For example, a Twitter page needs at least one to two tweets a day to feel alive to candidates, while a Facebook page is engaging enough with just one or two posts per week.
As for email, We’ve put together our best tips about when best to send them to candidates, but it’s still worth experimenting with different times and email types as you go. Multichannel Think about every touchpoint the candidate is receiving- are they subscribed to your social media pages? getting a newsletter from you? Going to meetings or visiting the Talent Network page? Make sure that the whole experience is coordinated and feels coherent. Time of day Lunch hour works best for Instagram, for example, while early afternoon is best for Facebook. On Twitter, the best time for engagement is different from the ideal time for clicks. Type of content In general, including videos increase engagement, but different types of videos or dynamic animations are needed for different channels. Short 30 second videos with subtitles are well adapted to Facebook or Twitter feeds, where people are inclined to quickly scroll down with the sound off. Twitter is better adapted to GIFs or static images. Size and dimensions There are recommended dimensions and maximum sizes that can make your content more adapted to a given channel; definitely research them before sending out creative or design briefs. For images specifically, social media company Buffer put together a list of ideal dimensions for a bucnh of social media channels. It’s a good place to get started- Ideally, you’ll want to develop specifications adapted for each type of content, depending on what you usually use: short videos or live streams, infographics or charts, etc.
Great recruiting content examples are usually relevant to the candidate, and bring them exciting information: they can be an inside look into a cutting edge technology in their field, an early bird ticket to a commercial event organized by the company, or just a quick note asking them how they have been and if they have time to catch up over a 15 minute phone call.
We’ve published a bunch of posts about the building blocks of a good recruitment marketing strategy: how to write the best Linkedin message, the perfect cold email, or the ideal subject line, for example. Those resources, coupled with the quick step-by-step template, should get you nicely started with your recruitment marketing strategy.
If you're curious about Beamery, we'd always encourage you to do a demo. It's the best way to discover how a Talent Operating SYstem can fundamentally change the way your organization attracts, engages, and retains talent. You can book in a time here.