Building Your Business Case for Recruitment Marketing
Once you’ve recognized that you’re not going to get the recruiting results that you want by doing the same thing you’ve always done, you need to communicate how a new approach - recruitment marketing - is going to serve your company and meet your business goals. You’ve never done recruitment marketing before, so you’ve never had a budget for it. Even though everyone knows something has to change, you’ve got to help people get over their feelings that change is the bigger risk than staying stuck.
Depending on your situation, you may not have to write a formal business case, but you need to be able to explain what you’re proposing with enough detail that business leaders can envision the outcome. Additionally, going through the process of documenting your plan will help you to process your thinking, and that in itself will help you to be more confident when you’re discussing your new course of action.
The Business Problem
Begin by talking about the problem that the business is facing. You have open positions that are difficult to fill and the candidate pool that you’re attracting isn’t giving you enough people with the skills and abilities that you’re looking for. This situation isn’t going to change any time soon, probably not even when all the dust from the COVID 19 pandemic has settled because worker shortages were building before the pandemic even started.
Business Impact of the Problem
Understaffing caused by poor results in recruiting is causing stress on the business. Current employees are pulling up the slack, but they’re frustrated by the demands of more work than they can handle. Employee satisfaction goes hand in hand with customer satisfaction, so customer retention is at risk as well. What’s more, any business goals for growth are roadblocked unless growth can be supported with people.
Current Approach to the Problem
Traditional recruiting, by posting and advertising jobs when a need emerges, is reactive. It also can get expensive and take a long time to find the best hires, especially for the positions that are most competitive. Traditional messaging is transactional and based on what the employer is looking for, not what the candidate is seeking. Additionally, this reactive approach attracts active job seekers and ignores passive candidates who may, in fact, turn out to be the best hires.
The Proposed Solution
The solution that you are proposing is a different approach to recruiting with recruitment marketing. Recruitment marketing is the use of marketing tactics to promote your reputation as a good employer – your employer brand. It’s proactive and relational. That is, it increases visibility and builds relationships with potential job candidates so that interest can be turned into applications.
The way it works is that you create digital touchpoints where people can learn about your jobs and your company. As they engage with your content, they get their questions answered and gain trust that your company will be a good employer.
Expected Outcomes from Recruitment Marketing
Companies that manage their employer brand with recruitment marketing can build a better candidate pool. You become more visible in your community as you publish and promote your content. What you publish is shareable so it gives your referral network something to pass along to their own networks. They want to share because your message no longer relies on “We’re hiring.”
Because your message is different than everyone else’s, you’re remembered. As people get to know you through engaging with your content, you gain credibility in candidates’ eyes and people who would have previously passed you by, apply. The ultimate result of building a better candidate pool is better fit hires.
Testing the New Approach
Recruitment marketing is a long-term strategy, but you can have immediate impact when you support what you’re doing today with employee experience stories and testimonials. Here’s the process:
Gather and publish written employee stories that answer candidate questions about what it’s like to work at your company.
Use testimonials mined from the stories to promote your employer reputation in recruiting messages on social media, on your careers page and alongside job descriptions.
Draft a plan to utilize the messages with marketing best practices that include:
- Create value-oriented messages on social posts
- Provide visual appeal with good graphic design
- Follow social media best practice
- Promote stories internally
- Promote stories to your community and network
Conducting a recruitment marketing test isn’t going to build a recruiting pipeline. To do that, you need to publish and promote with consistency over the long-term. You can, however, pay attention to metrics that are used to measure marketing impact for the tactics that you’re utilizing such as:
- Social media engagement
- Website traffic to your careers page and/or job descriptions
- Email metrics
Another way to gauge the effectiveness of your efforts is to simply talk to people. Interview new hires to find out what content they found and what they learned from it. Find opportunities to ask people in your community if they’ve seen any of your recruiting content.
How Much Does Recruitment Marketing Cost?
The cost of recruitment marketing depends on if you’re going to build the expertise you need internally or if you’re going to outsource it. What direction you go will also determine how fast you can ramp up.
If you build the expertise, part of the cost will be the time it takes for your Marketing or HR staff to learn how to gather employee experience stories. Do you have someone who can interview and write? Do they know how to do qualitative analysis to draw insights out of the interviews? Can they use insights to guide recruiting messages?
That’s a lot to learn and practice so at least to start, you should expect to get outsourced recruitment marketing expertise to create content – to write employee stories, team and culture stories, update your careers page, and draft social posts for everything.
Good content creation takes time and skill. You should expect one employee stories with social posts and employer value proposition insights to cost between $500 and $750.
Don’t forget that the experience that your employees have with the interviewer/storyteller matters. Additionally, employees may be more comfortable talking about their experiences with someone not internal to their company. An outside consultant is also going to be better positioned to recognize important aspects of your culture that you take for granted and maximize them.
Although we can get some ideas on how to practice recruitment marketing from enterprise organizations, we don’t need to totally emulate them so you shouldn’t have to buy a load of new technology tools. The recruiting goals of enterprise businesses are much bigger than those of a small business. (Obviously.) You don’t need their tech stack or budget for advertising.
What you do need is a website that has a blog and a careers page. You need social media channels. Depending on how many people you have to hire each year, that may be all you need for technology. You should probably also give social advertising a shot because of the limited reach of your organic posts.
Building a Recruitment Marketing Strategy
Employee storytelling is the foundation for any small business recruitment marketing plan because stories build interest and trust, and answer candidate questions. Stories help you get to the right messages but it also lays the foundation for a adopting a proactive approach to recruiting.
That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be reactive. You’ll still use reactive tactics to meet urgent needs but it will be easier because you already have the right messages and the audience.
The Risk of Not Changing
The recruiting landscape has changed forever because technology has changed human behavior. People use the same actions to explore and research jobs that they use as consumers. They’re looking for ways to interact with your employer brand right now. The companies that adopt a proactive recruiting strategy with marketing will increase their competitive advantage.
Do you really expect to get different results from the same tactics that you’ve always used? It’s time to try a different approach.
Take the First Step Towards Better Recruiting Results
Most companies need a guide when they’re just starting out with recruitment marketing. Let’s do a set of Employee Experience Stories so that you can test how communicating about the value you bring to your employees can be a stepping stone to better recruiting results. You can get in touch to explore how I can help you with that or...
You can learn how to get started yourself when you take my online course - Better Message. Better Talent Pool. Get the details here.