More and more organizations are hiring Recruitment Marketing professionals and launching employer brand programs. While this industry growth is amazing to see, it also means that it’s becoming tougher to differentiate from our hiring competitors.
With so many employers now leveraging their employee value propositions, developing social content and using #LifeAt culture hashtags, we need to come up with increasingly creative ways to set our companies apart.
One way to think outside the box and develop fresh recruiting content is by drawing inspiration from industries outside of the Recruitment Marketing space. To help you get your creative juices flowing, check out these examples of how other industries are attracting and recruiting students, athletes and soldiers.
1. Higher Education
Colleges and universities have built out extensive student recruitment programs to attract prospective students, nurture them and get them in the front door. Because higher ed recruitment is such a competitive space, marketing professionals who work here have had to develop high-touch creative programming to attract the best and brightest (sound familiar?!). Here are a few of those programs that spark ideas for Recruitment Marketing:
Almost every college uses an ambassador program to attract students. Ambassadors are typically current students who are highly engaged in campus life or alumni who are equipped to answer any questions that prospective students may have. Ambassadors lead on and off-campus events and are showcased in other touchpoints, including via social media, video content and on the college website.
Check out this example from USC Marshall. Applicants are encouraged to reach out directly to current students to learn more about the school’s MBA program:
You too can use an ambassador program to activate your employees to help with recruiting efforts. An employer brand ambassador program (also called employer brand advocate program) is a great way to put your most engaged employees front and center in your Recruitment Marketing efforts to attract more great talent.
This is an effective approach because candidates trust a company’s employees 3x more than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there (LinkedIn). There are many different approaches you can take when it comes to employee ambassadorship. Here are a few initiatives to consider:
- Create an intern ambassador program where current interns promote your organization on campus
- Put together a team of your most engaged developers to volunteer to answer questions at your virtual career fair
- Drive employee advocacy by creating a social ambassador team that encourages other employees to get active on social media by exemplifying content creation best practices and using your #LifeAt hashtag
Universities often offer campus tours throughout the year, even before a student officially accepts an offer with the institution. This is because choosing a college is a huge decision and prospective students want to know what the next 4 years of their life are going to look like — and your candidates are no different! They want to know they are making the right decision — after all a whopping 1/3 of your life is spent at work!
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have stopped offering in-person campus tours, but that doesn’t mean prospective students can’t get a glimpse of what campus life is like — and the same should go for your candidates.
Check out this virtual tour by the University of Chicago for some inspiration:
While your office space may not be open at present due to COVID-19, you can still take this opportunity to generate excitement by illustrating what your “new normal” looks like. This video from ServiceNow does a fantastic job showcasing what their remote employee experience is like. From co-working with kids to afterwork activities, you get a true sense of the company culture within 1 minute!
Offer Packages That Excite
Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than receiving an offer letter that is basically a legal document that you have to sign. Yet, most organizations are still doing this.
Take a page from the university acceptance letter playbook, and make your offer package eye-catching and fun instead!
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay sent prospective students a Snapchat to let them know they’ve been accepted, followed by the traditional mail package. Many of the students then took a screenshot of their Snapchat acceptance and shared it with the rest of their network, amplifying the school’s brand reach.
Meanwhile, Cedarville University sends out a compelling offer package that helps students to get excited and imagine themselves on campus.
Think about creative ways that you can make your offer package feel like more of an experience too. For example, you could deliver the message by video. Tools like Bonjoro make it super simple to record and send a personalized video message. This may even help to create some employee advocacy buzz on social, as many employees are keen to share their welcome packages or first day swag kits on social.
When you think of recruiting athletes, you might think of lavish gifts, free trips and VIP treatment. Even though we don’t have nearly the budget that major sports leagues do, we can still take inspiration from their recruiting playbook.
A Personal Approach
Coaches make it their mission to get to know their top talent prospects through multiple touchpoints, including hometown visits, meetings with family members and learning about their prospective recruit’s interests.
Take this hilarious example from Rice University. The sports recruiting team at Rice was going after a 3-star quarterback, JT Granato, who also happened to be a cat lover. The offensive coordinator from the team wrote a letter addressed to “Kitty Granato” encouraging the quarterback to stay near his hometown. In this circumstance, the team relied on an intimate knowledge of the player’s interests in order to try to persuade him to choose their team.
Taking the time to show your candidates that you really know them will go a long way in establishing a positive candidate experience. You can do this at scale through tools that personalize the experience for different talent segments.
For example, Hilton Grand Vacations tracks and analyzes the content their careers site visitors browse. If a candidate has previously joined their talent network, the next time they visit, they’re shown a dynamic and personalized career site including a customized homepage with recommended content based on their career area.
To learn more about creating highly personalized candidate experiences, check out our blog post: Personalized Candidate Experience: Turn Job Seekers into Applicants.
When Carmelo “Melo” Anthony became a free agent in 2014, many NBA teams had their sights set on the all-star player. To help Melo picture himself joining a new organization, the Chicago Bulls made mock-up jerseys so he could picture himself on their team.
While your organization may not have matching jerseys, your candidates still want to be able to picture themselves at your organization before joining. You could send them a mockup of their LinkedIn photo wearing company swag like a t-shirt or hoodie, or set up a workstation with their name, or even send them a gift package of company swag after their virtual interview as a thanks.
This video by Zendesk showcases their office, the community where they are headquartered and team members (including Fire Witch the office fish), giving prospective candidates a really clear picture of what to expect if they join.
The military branches are excellent at Recruitment Marketing tactics because of the sheer volume of new recruits they bring in — the U.S. Military recruits tens of thousands of people each year!
One of the things that we can take as inspiration from the military is how they aim to attract prospects who will thrive in their environment while repelling others who likely won’t.
As Charlotte Marshall shared at our most recent RallyFwd Virtual Conference, a solid employee value proposition should do the same by outlining the pros AND cons of working at an organization.
During her RallyFwd talk, Charlotte uses the military as a strong example of her “give and get” approach to employer branding because, as you can imagine, a career in the armed forces is not for the faint of heart! While the military does need to recruit a lot of talent, they don’t want to recruit everyone. They need to recruit people who understand the demands of the role and are willing to put in the hard work required to succeed in this taxing environment.
That’s why creating content that showcases the realities of their extreme work environment while simultaneously generating excitement and highlighting the personal growth potential is a great approach when recruiting for their tough to fill positions.
This video by the Canadian Armed Forces not only showcases the various types of roles but also the type of person that would make a good fit for the role:
A strong Recruitment Marketing strategy should help you weed out talent who likely won’t be a great fit for your team. The goal of your content should not be to attract every candidate but to attract the right candidates that will thrive in your environment.
Rally note: If you want to learn more about the Give & Get Employer Branding framework, Charlotte will be co-teaching two live employer branding virtual workshops alongside Bryan Adams. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the pros! Register today >
While the armed forces offer a lot of perks to joining, such as signing bonuses, subsidized education and housing benefits, most individuals are not actively looking to pursue a career in the military. So how does the military continue to recruit tens of thousands of candidates each year? Well, one reason could be their inspiring ad content that appeals to people’s inner desires and aspirations.
The military is known for creating compelling video content that pulls on heartstrings and taps into the emotions and motivations of their target audience.
Great Recruitment Marketing content can also be emotion-driven. Job seekers in any field want to feel a sense of purpose and connection at work. Creating content that taps into an individual’s wants and needs will help you to attract candidates and drive them to action. Shavonne Thomas shared her approach to creating emotive Recruitment Marketing content here.
Ochsner Health uses employee stories to tap into emotions and showcase their culture of commitment to patient care. In this video, the employees share a story of how a team of support staff rallied together to help a patient and their family through a difficult time.
The U.S. Army had to get creative to attract more Gen Z talent. In order to get in front of their target audience, they had one of their recruiters go on air as an e-sports announcer!
This is an interesting approach because it takes into consideration your target audience’s interests and meets them where they are. Being present across multiple unique platforms is a creative way to build brand awareness.
While you probably have a solid channel strategy that includes job boards, social media platforms and recruitment events, branching out into a wider range of places where candidates don’t expect to see employment content will allow you to connect with talent in potentially low-crowded spaces (at least from a Recruitment Marketing perspective).
For example, to attract more Millennial talent, Goldman Sachs began advertising on the popular music streaming app, Spotify. Users who clicked on the ad were then directed to a careers quiz which helped them identify what divisions would best suit them.
America’s Army is a first-person action PC game that was developed by the U.S. Military. This game series provides an inside perspective into the “employee experience” as a military recruit and showcases what military combat looks like. The game allows prospective candidates to virtually explore the Army and help them determine if becoming a soldier is the right fit for them.
Gamification can also work for less extreme career choices too. Games can be used as another assessment tool in the recruitment process. As an added bonus it gives the candidate a welcome break from the monotony of the job hunting process and can send important signals about your employer brand (read: we’re a creative and innovation organization, not afraid of trying new approaches to getting things done!).
Looking for an example of this in action? Heineken’s career page offers a “choose your own adventure” style series of interactive game-like videos entitled “Go Places”. Users can explore “the interview” or “employee stories” to learn more about the company and how they might fit in. The choices they make along the way lead to a recommended area where they might fit within the organization.
We hope these recruitment examples from other industries provide some inspiration for new content and program ideas for your Recruitment Marketing and candidate experience efforts!