Employer Branding Recruitment Marketing

5 Recruitment Marketing Projects to Tackle This Summer

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Profile photo of Kaitlyn Holbein
Written by Kaitlyn Holbein

This summer is a great opportunity to tackle strategic projects, build your skills and your resume, and move your Recruitment Marketing strategy forward. Here are 5 projects that you can lead that will make an impact.

5 Recruitment Marketing Projects to Tackle This Summer
4.6 (92%) 10 votes

Many talent acquisition teams may be recruiting less than usual this summer as a result of COVID-19. While the pandemic’s impact on the labor market is disheartening (to say the least), we can try to make the best of a bad situation by tackling some high-value Recruitment Marketing projects this summer that we otherwise we may not have the capacity for.

After all, normally when we’re busy recruiting at full blast, we’re often focused on immediate and urgent hiring needs. So this summer could be an ideal time to redirect that energy on Recruitment Marketing projects that benefit your longer term talent acquisition strategy. This will ensure you’re in a good place to support your organization even more effectively when hiring picks up again.

With that in mind, Rally recommends 5 Recruitment Marketing project ideas that you might focus on this summer:

  1. Uncover or refine your employee value proposition (EVP)
  2. Audit your careers site and apply process
  3. Develop a candidate lead nurture strategy
  4. Build or refresh your careers social strategy
  5. Improve your organization’s employee experience

In this blog post, we’ll explain each summer project and why they’ll benefit your team’s talent objectives while giving you the chance to add a new strategic project to your resume. We’ve packed this blog post with examples, trends, resources and pro tip videos from from our mentors! So let’s dive in:

1. Uncover or refine your employee value proposition (EVP)

If you haven’t had the chance to define your EVP yet, you’re not alone. 40% of attendees at our recent RallyFwd Virtual Conference said their company has an EVP. That number is great considering that employer branding hasn’t been around all that long!

For the other 60% of us, this might be an opportune moment to conduct research and finally put together our EVP messaging and employer brand platform. If you’re looking for information on how to do this, you can take a look at this 7-step guide I created for uncovering your EVP. Or check out this methodology for defining (or refining) your EVP from one of our Rally mentors, Debbie Celado at Philips.

However, before you begin tackling an EVP project, it’s worth considering if the timing is right for your organization. If your organization has been particularly affected by the pandemic, it may be worth holding off on uncovering your EVP until your company culture and employee experience have had time to stabilize again.

If you already have an EVP, this might be a good time to revisit it to ensure your value proposition is still authentic. As Debbie Celado shared with us at RallyFwd, a lot has changed since the outbreak of COVID-19. Some elements, such as the way teams work or your company benefits, may no longer apply (either temporarily or long term).

Here’s advice from Debbie Celado about how to determine if it’s the right time to refresh your EVP, and what steps you can follow to make it happen:

Watch Debbie’s full on-demand talk from RallyFwd, When Life Reveals Your Real EVP, here.

Why this project will benefit your talent strategy long term

Your EVP should guide your strategy for candidate and employee communications. If you’re not sure why people would want to join your organization and how you stand out from hiring competitors, then it’s tough to create effective messaging and Recruitment Marketing campaigns.

Taking the time to do this exercise will strengthen every one of your communication touchpoints throughout the candidate experience — from job descriptions, to social media content, to your careers blog. Plus, it’s a great way to bring your leadership and entire team together on what’s special about working at your company.

Lead with employer brand webinar from RallyFwd

2. Audit your careers site and apply process

Your careers site is a really important stop on the candidate journey. Even if candidates are learning about your company culture and career opportunities on job boards and other sites (like The Muse, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc.), they’re likely using your careers site as an important touchpoint in deciding whether to apply or accept your job offer.

You can conduct a careers site audit to see if your site currently answers the below list of typical candidate questions:

  • What does your hiring process look like, and how has it changed with social distancing or office closures?
  • What does your employee experience/culture look like, especially since COVID-19?
  • What does the employee experience look like for different groups at your organization (diverse employees, veterans, women in tech, sales professionals, HR professionals, etc.)?
  • What does the company stand for? What are the company’s mission, vision and values?
  • What type of work will I be doing and what impact will I make here?
  • What benefits and perks do you offer? How do you ensure safety and well being for your employees?
  • What opportunities are there for career growth?
  • What types of Corporate Social Responsibility and volunteer initiatives does the company support and participate in?

Rally Careers Site Content Planning Guide and TemplateWe’ve got a great template to help you plan a careers site upgrade. Download our Careers Site Content Planning Guide & Template to get started! You’ll get everything you need to plan, develop and implement compelling careers site content that puts candidates’ needs first and drives them to action. This resource is packed with strategies and customizable content planning templates and examples to help you answer the right questions during the content planning process. Download this guide to breathe new life into your Recruitment Marketing content and make your careers site refresh a huge success.

Questions about how your company is handling COVID-19 is being addressed by many employers on their careers sites. In a survey conducted by the Talent Board in April 2020, 31% of employers had added a COVID-19 statement to their careers site.

In addition, you may also want to consider if your careers site is reflecting your brand well visually. Take a look at your site and ask yourself:

  • Do the visual elements on your site feel modern and up to date?
  • Are the visual elements in line with your current corporate/product brand?
  • Does your site convey information using video content?
  • Does your site avoid the use of stock photography?

If the answer to any of these is “no,” this is a great time to partner with your marketing team to ensure your careers site is on brand.

Lastly, consider auditing your application experience to see if it takes longer than 5 minutes to complete. According to research in the 2020 Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report by Appcast, applicant drop off rates increase by 50-75% after that point. Yikes!

You’ll also want to look and see if your apply process communicates your employer brand the entire way through your candidate experience. If it feels like you’ve entered an entirely different universe with different brand colors and messaging as soon as you hit the “apply” button on your careers site, then I recommend reaching out to your ATS vendor to see if there are ways to upgrade this experience to match your other careers touch points.

Companies with great careers sites and application experiences for inspiration:

T Mobile Careers

The T-Mobile careers site enhances the candidate experience by providing a consistency in look and feel from first visit to thank you for applying.

 

Cox Careers Page

The careers site at Cox helps recruitment marketers attract internal candidates, as well as new employees looking to build a better future.

 

Thrivenet career site

The Thrivenet careers site helps candidates find purpose and meaning in their career with the organization, reinforcing the company’s values.

Why this project will benefit your talent strategy long term

81% of candidates want to hear about your company culture before they will decide whether to work with you, according to our takeaways from Jobvite’s 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report. Interestingly, 81% of our RallyFwd attendees told us in a poll that their company’s culture will change at least somewhat or completely due to COVID-19. So culture is super important to candidates, and your company’s culture has likely already changed. Another important reason to review your careers site content and ensure your culture story is still true.

Plus, now is a really important time to update your careers site because candidates don’t have in-person interviews and office tours where they would typically absorb some of this information. So we need to ensure digital properties, like our careers sites, are providing the type of information that candidates would typically receive during that stage of their journey.

3. Develop a candidate lead nurture strategy

You likely have a lot of candidate contacts and past applicants in your applicant tracking system (ATS), candidate relationship management (CRM) system or recruitment marketing platform (RMP). These names are a huge asset that you’ve built over time through thousands (millions?) of dollars in Recruitment Marketing and recruitment advertising. But are you staying in touch with these people? This could be a great time to activate your databases through candidate nurture activities so that your company stays top of mind with prospective talent when hiring ramps up again.

Here are some specific ideas that you might use to nurture contacts (and you can probably brainstorm loads more with your team):

  • A text recruiting campaign where you connect with past silver medalist candidates and invite them to speak with your recruiting team about their current career goals and any new experiences they may have acquired since interviewing with you.
  • A text recruiting campaign where you send resources and updates to furloughed employees to keep them engaged and feeling good about returning to work when things open up again (shoutout to Chloé Rada and the Sodexo team for this smart nurture idea!).
  • An email marketing strategy in the form of a regular, personalized newsletter sent out to some of your priority hiring segments. Your ATS, CRM or RMP should provide the ability to email your database directly. If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s a solid example of how to grow your candidate nurture email strategy, courtesy of Rally mentor Jared Nypen from Great Clips.
  • Set up automated drip campaigns to reduce the workload for your recruiters in the future. These are a series of nurture communications with employer brand content that are automatically sent out to candidates as they move through different stages of your hiring process. You can learn more about drip email marketing campaigns and how Recruitment Marketers can use them.

If you’re looking for even more concrete information on how to approach this, I’d recommend downloading the Rally Ideabook 9 Lead Nurture Strategies to Spark Engagement for more ideas on how to get candidate lead nurture right.

Or if you’re ready to take your nurture strategy to the next level, hear how Jill Shabelman implemented micro talent networks:

You can watch Jill’s full on-demand presentation from RallyFwd on how to create a micro strategy talent network here.

Why this project will benefit your talent strategy long term

Building and maintaining relationships with candidates (and past employees) can take a lot of time and effort. If we pause on pipeline building and stop all communications with candidates while hiring is slow, it will take quite a bit of time to get revved up again when things pick up.

Focusing on candidate nurture activities now can ensure you keep building employer brand awareness with all of your candidate personas. This can help improve ROI when hiring increases as well — after all, consider how much it costs to advertise a job versus sending out a targeted job alert message to an engaged talent community.

4. Build or refresh your careers social strategy

More than half of us are responsible for content creation, but only about one third are responsible for social media management, according to a recent employer branding poll of the Rally community.

That means for most of us, we don’t have dedicated careers social media channels, perhaps with the exception of LinkedIn and Glassdoor, and that’s ok. Having dedicated social channels for careers is a strategy that’s used by organizations that want to separate their consumer brand from their employer brand. What’s more common is that we’re creating careers content and partnering with our marketing teams to share that content on the corporate social channels. Whatever approach you take to social media, reaching candidates through social media is more important than ever, and this is a great time to refresh your plan.

To do so, you’ll first want to figure out your content strategy by creating a document that answers the following types of questions:

  • What are we looking to achieve with our careers social content?
  • How will we measure success?
  • Where are the candidates and employees we’re looking to speak to spending time online?
  • What types of messages are we looking to share?
  • What ongoing content series can we create that will communicate these messages? (I like to create a number of content series that are aligned to a company’s EVP pillars)
  • How often can we commit to posting content?
  • What will the content creation and approval processes look like?
  • Who will be responsible for posting this content?

If you’re looking for more resources on how to build a content strategy for social, Hootsuite has put together a useful guide and social media marketing plan template that may be a helpful starting point.

And if you already have a careers social presence, now might be a good time to take a look at your performance dashboard to see what’s working and what can be improved. If you don’t have a performance dashboard already, you can take a look at how to build an employer brand KPI dashboard developed by Chris Fitzner on the Appian employer brand team.

Based on the data you’re seeing, What type of content should you be creating more of and less of moving forward? Are there new and emerging content forms you can experiment with? If your EVP messaging has changed recently, you might also consider if any of your content series need to be adjusted accordingly.

Companies with a great social careers presence for inspiration:

 

Washington Post Social Careers Instagram

The Washington Post social careers Instagram channel shares insights from the employee experience, as well as posts job openings.

 

Instacart LinkedIn Embed

This LinkedIn posts demonstrates a shift in Instacart’s social strategy.

Why this project will benefit your talent strategy long term

The move towards increased remote work (both temporarily in response to COVID-19 and now long term for some employers) increases the importance of our communication with candidates and employees on digital spaces like social media. Because we’ve all been communicating virtually, talent has learned to engage with their existing employers and prospective employers virtually too, and we need to show up and support their expectations around where they can find and interact with us online.

This means now is a really important time to develop your careers social strategy to align with modern candidate expectations. And if you’re already active on social from a careers perspective, this is also a good time to take a step back and assess your current social media performance. As you already know, social media is constantly changing and revisiting our strategies and innovating our content approach is necessary in order to stay relevant and keep people’s attention.

5. Work with your internal communications and HR team to improve your organization’s employee experience

A common theme that many of us are starting to experience and observe is that employer branding and Recruitment Marketing seem to be expanding in scope. For many of us, our pre-COVID-19 mandate was to use our communications, marketing and talent acquisition knowledge to attract talent. Full stop.

Any internal goals were typically a side note or secondary focus, because we just haven’t had the capacity to support much else.

However, this is now shifting. More of us are starting to have additional internal accountabilities since recruiting needs have changed. There is a stronger focus on using our skill set to engage current employees, improve the employee experience and help with employee engagement and retention efforts.

Another way of putting it is that more of our focus is now on activating our EVP internally to ensure that our employer brands are working effectively from the inside out.

Marilyn Yee, Global Employer Brand and People Communications at Klook, encourages us to expand our role and align our goals beyond employer brand as a function of recruiting but to now include employee engagement and retention:

Check out Marilyn Yee’s full presentation from RallyFwd on How Culture Could Save Your Organization.

Any projects here will likely involve partnering with internal communications and your HR departments and coming up with action plans with shared accountabilities. Some of the activities that you might include on this project action plan could include:

  • Reviewing your talent engagement strategy holistically, from talent attraction to talent retention.
  • Revisiting HR policies and programs to ensure they are appropriate given the times and that they reflect your EVP and values in action.
  • Mapping out the employee experience in its current state and looking for areas where communication touchpoints can be improved and/or infused with your EVP. Natasha Makovora from Indellient contributed this insightful blog post on why employee experience matters to Recruitment Marketing.
  • Creating an internal employee resource hub with mental health resources to help employees during this stressful period.
  • Boosting morale through the creation/promotion of different clubs and virtual groups.
    Ensuring your onboarding and new hire experience is still as positive as possible, despite being conducted remotely.
  • Considering ways that you can support furloughed or laid-off employees with resources to help them apply for unemployment and land a new position.

Why this project will benefit your talent strategy long term

Firstly, if we have a better culture we’ll have more to share externally from an employer brand content and employee stories perspective. Further, if your workplace really rocks, employee engagement will probably be high and they’ll be more likely to go to be advocates for your employer brand to help you attract even more great talent.

This will help your organization’s talent attraction and employee retention efforts alike. Because in my view, 2020 employer branding is all about doing right by your employees and building appealing, authentic and good employer brands from the inside out.

I hope some of these Recruitment Marketing project ideas inspire you to try something new, learn new skills and take your talent acquisition strategy to the next level in the coming months. I’d also love to hear what projects you have planned for this summer. Message me on LinkedIn or tweet to me at @KaitlynHolbein and let me know!

Lead with employer brand webinar from RallyFwd

5 Recruitment Marketing Projects to Tackle This Summer
4.6 (92%) 10 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Kaitlyn Holbein

Kaitlyn Holbein

Rally Content Contributor, and employer brand & recruitment marketing consultant with The Employer Brand Shop.

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