Not all recruiting teams are at the same stage in their recruitment marketing journey. Some have sophisticated talent marketing practices in place, like smart nurture campaigns, a sharp employer brand, and really good candidate data management and performance monitoring.
But many other recruiting teams still rely on batch InMail messages and templated job postings on social media. These companies are often still missing a defined employer brand and a comprehensive communication plan.
Where does your team fall on that spectrum? We built this simple framework so you can answer that question and, hopefully, take a step forward in your recruitment marketing journey.
The levels of maturity
Before we get into what determines your level of recruitment marketing maturity, we need to define what the four levels are:
This is the most basic level of recruitment marketing. And if you are here, the only real recruitment marketing you do is through job advertisements.
Emerging recruitment marketing teams advertise their open jobs, but they also usually have a careers site that lists job descriptions and benefits that the company offers.
High-performing recruitment marketing teams do everything that developing and emerging teams do, but they take it much further and they are much more proactive with their efforts.
Advanced recruitment marketing teams take high-performing strategies to the next level. They are able to build relationships and share personalized content with individual candidates at scale – based on each individual’s skills and interests.
Their employer brand is also well-defined and consistent across all channels. They also keep track of granular metrics like brand awareness and funnel conversion rates.
Now let’s dive deeper into the three main things your recruiting team should reflect on to best determine which of those four levels you fall into, and where you want to be: your communication level with candidates, your branding efforts, and the sophistication of your metrics.
Every recruiting team communicates in some form with candidates.
As recruiters shift from a reactive to a proactive mindset, their communication strategy becomes more about building personalized relationships, and less about broadcasting company information and hoping that someone, somewhere, will see it.
What does that look like? Instead of an email blast here, and a job posting on Twitter there, the team has a single communication plan that takes into account everything from email nurture campaigns and social media ads to career sites and events communications. In a high-performing or advanced strategy, each of these pieces has a consistent tone and message.
A sophisticated recruitment marketing strategy is also highly targeted. Recruiters at the high performer stage have usually set up automated workflows to segment candidates, add them to talent pools, and reach out to them with smart nurture campaigns tailored to their backgrounds or skills or areas of interest.
They are also aware of where candidates are in their journey with the company, and nurture them accordingly. Ideally, when a team is at the advanced stage of talent marketing, no two candidate journeys look exactly the same, because they have done an excellent job tailoring every candidate touch point up until the application stage.
At this level of personalization, communication really goes both ways, and the recruiter should have a relationship with the candidate: they are aware of what knowledge the candidate has gathered about the company so far, and what else they still need to learn. They have answered the candidate’s questions and suggested new content for them to look at. They might have even met a candidate at an event and touched base afterward.
This is a great example of all the recruitment marketing that goes on behind the scenes at advanced companies, before an application is even submitted.
Every marketing strategy relies on a few key things: segmentation, or how you will structure and target your audience, and positioning, how you will present yourself to the audience you are trying to reach.
Recruitment marketing is no different: After deciding what candidates (with which skills) they are interested in targeting, recruiters have to decide how they will position the company to that group of candidates. That’s where the employer brand comes in.
Most of the time, recruiters find out that they already have the makings of a brand in things like the tone and focus of their job descriptions, the benefits and perks they provide to employees, or the criteria for career progression and promotions within the company.
Chances are, however, that if you are in the developing or emergent stages of recruitment marketing maturity, it’s not a well-defined brand, and there is no conscious effort to promote it or unify it across all communication channels. Those things happen at the later stages of the maturity cycle: the team formalizes the EVP and defines the tone of voice, values and personality of the company.
A good recruitment marketing strategy must be measurable. You know your team is in a good place when it can pinpoint exactly where the team’s efforts are underperforming, just by looking at a dashboard.
Most teams keep track of basic post-application metrics such as time to hire or offer acceptance rates, but they don’t put nearly as much effort into understanding how they’re performing before the application.
According to CareerArc, 96% of companies believe that high-quality employer branding can have a positive impact on the organization’s Talent Pipeline and bottom line, yet only 44% are actually measuring this.
But to be able to monitor and improve marketing activities, recruitment marketers need to know where in the pipeline they are struggling: are candidates not subscribing to talent communities? Are they subscribing but not engaging with the content? Are candidates coming to the career pages from job boards or from social media platforms? And which of these channels is the better investment at this time?
Analytics also help recruiters build a more sophisticated talent communication plan. With the right data (and tools), recruiters can be extremely personalized in their interactions, and build relationships at scale.
They can share different information depending on whether a candidate has previously attended an event, visited a careers page, or downloaded a specific piece of content. Without good talent analytics in place, it would be impossible to achieve that level of personalization at scale.
No matter where you currently stand on the recruitment marketing maturity cycle, you have room for improvement. Even advanced recruitment marketing teams can find new ways to be more efficient and personalized, and reduce key metrics like time to hire and cost to fill.
With the wider adoption of recruitment marketing technology and the development of marketing skills within recruitment teams, in the coming years, we will likely see ‘advanced’ practices become table stakes, and personalized campaigns and targeted candidate relationships become ‘the norm’.
If you want to take your recruitment marketing to the next level, consider investing in an AI-driven Talent CRM (Candidate Relationship Management system) and recruitment marketing tool to help you develop more personalized communications and measure the success of your efforts.