The war for talent in recent years has led to an increased focus on Employer Branding and the Employee Value Proposition as companies bid to compete with the very best to attract high performing candidates. But how often and effectively are these initiatives communicated outside of the organization?
Many businesses put most, if not all, of their recruitment marketing budget towards current hiring needs. This is done primarily via job ads, or other ‘lower funnel’ marketing efforts such as programmatic and paid search advertising. This approach presents a few significant challenges:
- Businesses are primarily speaking to candidates ‘leaning forward’ and showing intent to apply, either through Search or when scrolling for open positions via job boards and platforms.
- This limits the audience pool and quality of candidate and does not speak to talent that is either not in-market, or in ‘leaning back’ and ‘on-the-go’ states.
- Relying solely on lower funnel tactics does not lend itself to promoting the employer brand through EVP tailored and engaging creative messaging.
What can recruitment marketing learn from consumer marketing?
To effectively capture talent in both active and passive states, companies must consider adopting a comprehensive approach akin to consumer brand advertising, where building and maintaining top of mind awareness of your proposition across the total addressable market is ultimately a key driver of quality conversions. This is most effectively done using attention-grabbing creative, telling a compelling story that truly connects with target personas, and meeting your target market where they are.
The most rigorous and well-regarded consumer advertising studies recommend a balanced approach, often with a 60-40 or at least 50-50 split between upper funnel ‘branding’ and lower funnel ‘performance’ tactical communications. Maintaining a high reach and effective frequency of communication is also crucial for producing effective results, yet this same approach is often neglected when it comes to targeting the talent that are core to delivering what matters most: the overall purpose of the organization. Here, reach can be low, frequency high, and application conversions or site visits reign supreme without a qualitative analysis of results.
Companies also have much to gain from aligning their consumer brand and employer brand, the correlation of which holds substantial importance as they exert considerable influence on one another. 64% of consumers have stopped purchasing a product after hearing that the company treats team members poorly, whereas 96% of leaders agree that employer brand and reputation can positively or negatively impact revenue (Career Arc). Customers may never love a company until the team members love it first.
Getting your employer brand message out there
To overcome these challenges and enhance employer brand awareness, CHRO’s and CMO’s are first encouraged to align on budgets, messaging and the impact recruitment marketing can have on broader consumer or commercial elements, particularly through alignments on corporate vision, purpose, and values. The employer brand is the responsibility of all executives, not just those from HR.
Ideally, upper funnel branding should then account for a sizable portion of recruitment marketing spend, focusing on total impressions, traffic, and other quality metrics rather than immediate conversions.
Creative messaging should align with the brand purpose and EVP, emphasizing the employee experience, and promoted through ‘storytelling’ media campaigns designed to reach talent segments through platforms and tactics such as:
- Video (E.G. YouTube, Programmatic video, Streaming): Creating engaging videos that highlight your company culture, employee success stories, and the day-to-day work environment. Video content is highly shareable and can go viral, increasing brand visibility.
- Social Media (E.G. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram): These platforms are ideal for sharing visual content, employee testimonials, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of company life. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for professional networking and sharing thought leadership.
- Out-of-Home: Billboard and transit ads, as well as digital OOH screens, provide companies with a unique strategic opportunity to stand out and engage with wider audiences in key locations.
- Radio and Podcasts: Sponsored segments on relevant radio shows or podcasts can help communicate the company’s values and culture to a diverse and ‘on-the-go’ audience.
- Print Media: Magazines, newspapers, and industry publications can be effective tools in recruitment marketing. Feature articles, interviews with company leaders, and stories about the workplace culture can be highlighted.
Before embarking on your next recruitment marketing campaign, it is important to ask:
- Are our CHROs, CMOs and other key executives aligned on budgets, messaging, and the broader business impact of recruitment marketing?
- Is upper funnel branding accounting for a sizable portion of our recruitment marketing spend? Are we effectively utilizing platforms and tactics that capture ‘lean back’ and ‘on-the-go’ audiences?
- Is our creative messaging and content aligned with the companies’ purpose, EVP, and employee experience?
- How are we measuring the success of our upper funnel branding and overall recruitment marketing efforts? Are we considering metrics such as sentiment, employee net promoter scores and other quality measures?
In summary, the challenge is to expand the recruitment strategy beyond immediate hiring needs. By embracing a balanced approach, aligning with corporate vision, and leveraging compelling creative across diverse platforms and tactics, organizations can stand out in the competitive talent landscape of 2024.
Senior Director, Media
Blu Ivy Group is a global leader in employer branding, organizational culture, and recruitment marketing. We help organizations across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors build extraordinary employee experiences, magnetic employer brands and high-performance cultures.
Connect with us today and let us help you transform your organization into a workplace that inspires your employees, leaders, customers, and shareholders.