If the only way that people can respond to your recruiting messages is by applying for a job, you’re missing a big opportunity to build a recruiting pipeline. Not everyone who’s interested in a position at your company is ready to apply when they become aware of you. And you might not have an open job that’s a fit for a potential candidate at the exact time that they made their way to your website.
So what you need is a way to keep in touch until the time is right for the candidate to make the investment that is required by your application process, and an email newsletter is a recruitment marketing tactic that you can use to do that.
Email is a great way to put your company in front of candidates so they won’t forget about you. Likewise, it’s a good way for you to not forget about them – when you pay attention to your list.
The idea is that when you have a job that could be a potential fit, you pull that person out of the pipeline and invite them to apply or have an initial phone screen. In fact, when you highlight jobs in your eNews, candidates can identify the jobs that they want to apply for themselves.
Email works because it’s permission based. When people opt in, they’re allowing you into their personal space – their inbox. You know that your email is going to get to them when you follow email marketing best practices, and that gives your message a lot better chance of being seen compared to social media, which can be hit or miss at best.
How to Build Your Candidate Email List
You might already have a list of people somewhere -- names provided from employee referrals or people who you interviewed but didn’t hire – who might welcome an invitation to receive your recruiting eNews. The key word here is invitation. Having a name and an email address doesn’t mean that you can start blasting them with email without allowing them to opt in.
Use an initial email to do this, introducing your Careers eNews with a description of what they can expect, both in frequency and content, and inviting them to subscribe. Not everyone is going to subscribe. List building takes time and timing, and you may have missed the right timing when these candidates would have been warm to the idea.
There are several places where you can place calls-to-action (CTA) inviting people to subscribe to your Careers eNews (or Talent Network or whatever you want to call it) and catch people when they’re warm.
Here’s where you can put CTAs to build your list:
On your careers page –
Interested in a career at [company] but don’t see a job that fits your skills? Stay in touch with our Careers eNews to be informed about new positions as they’re available and find out what it’s like to work here.
With your job ads --
Interested in this position but not ready to apply? Stay in touch with our Careers eNews.
On social media posts –
Learn about what it’s like to work at [company] and get updates about current openings by subscribing to our Careers eNews.
In-person Events and Career Fairs
Collect email addresses with a tablet. This will allow you to follow up with the people you talked to and open up an avenue of communication for those who may have been hesitant to speak with someone in person.
Content to Feed Your Careers eNews
When people give you their email and permission to keep in touch, you have to deliver on your promise to send them information that’s interesting and valuable enough to keep their attention. In your eNews, you definitely want to highlight a job or job family, and have links that go to your job listings, but if what you’re providing isn’t anything better than a job board, you’ll be missing the point of an eNews.
The purpose of recruitment marketing is to nurture candidates to the point when they feel that you would be a good employer, and your eNews creates touchpoints where this can happen. This is relational, not transactional and the content that builds relationships answers candidate questions and helps them envision a better future.
Start publishing employee experience stories on your company blog and you’ll be able to meet multiple objectives for communicating your employer reputation. A blog post that describes one employee’s experience at your company can provide months of raw content for social media posts, along with compelling employee testimonials.
Employee experience stories answer questions for candidates like –
Once you get started with employee experience storytelling, other types of story opportunities will emerge as will ideas for different formats that you can use to share them. Whatever format you use, including real photos of employees will personalize your messages and add to your credibility.
Related: Guidelines for Using Employee Photos for Marketing
Careers eNews First Steps
It’s content that feeds your Careers eNews, so the first step to getting started is to gather and publish employee experience stories. The more stories you get under your belt, the more you’ll be able to pull out themes that you can develop into eNews vignettes that address different aspects of work life such as professional development, work environment, and company culture.
Sharing company news will help to paint a picture of what it’s like to work at your company. Share employee celebrations or promotion announcements. If you’re active in the community, include a photo with a caption when your employees are involved in an event.
You don’t need to create every piece of content that you include in your eNews. Think about what gets your candidates excited and curate content that speaks to their interests. It could be new technology, or industry news, or a new training course. This is one area where candidate personas come in really handy, because if you’ve done the research, you won’t be guessing about candidate interests, you’ll know.
Keep Your Promise to Your Candidate List
When you offer to keep in touch with candidates through email, you’re making a promise you must keep. It takes consistency and a commitment to creating content that candidates are truly interested in. Equally important is learning how to manage your list – from keeping it fresh with new contacts, to identifying when it’s time to turn a recruitment marketing communication into a recruiting conversation.
Email nurturing is a long-term strategy for turning interest into applications.
Contact me to start building your email marketing strategy for recruiting with employee experience stories.