Hi, Rally community! My name is Georgia Smith, and I’m a Recruitment Marketing Specialist at Delta Air Lines. I’ve been working in this industry for almost five years, and today I’m going to share a little bit about my Recruitment Marketing career journey with you.
I’m excited to share some perspective on what I’ve learned along the way and provide insight for those who are just starting out in their Recruitment Marketing career and for those who are continuing to grow in the space. I hope that after you read this, you’ve learned more about me and ideally found some bits that inspire you to continue to push forward and grow in this exciting field!
First, let’s go back in time to how I first got acquainted with Recruitment Marketing, as I had a pretty unconventional way of falling into the field.
How I started my Recruitment Marketing career
The final step to completing my bachelor’s degree in art marketing was to present a senior exhibit, which aimed to showcase the talents of graduating art students.. My exhibit featured a series of employees in our small college town of Dahlonega, Georgia who I felt embodied the spirit of our community. This series featured photographs of a teacher, a barista, a gas-station attendant and an embroiderer. Though sometimes unnoticed, each of those people made a difference in the lives of those they interacted with on a daily basis.
Long story short, I absolutely fell in love with the people and the conversations I was having. Maybe it’s because of the large family I grew up in or the small town that I call home, but I’ve always enjoyed hearing other’s journeys of where they’ve been and where they’re going. I enjoyed it even more knowing that through this exhibit, I was able to amplify the voices of those I had met.
When it came time to apply for jobs after graduation, I noticed that some of the work I did for my senior exhibit project was similar to the work required for one of the jobs I stumbled on. At the time, I had no idea that storytelling could exist under the title of ‘Recruitment Marketing’ but I quickly realized it could. Through a referral, I found a job and a team that allowed me to explore this new passion.
My first full-time Recruitment Marketing role
My first job after graduation was at a large, family-owned convenience store company called RaceTrac Petroleum. I joined as an Events & Branding Coordinator and assisted with planning and facilitating employee events, drafting and distributing communications and marketing materials, and enhancing our company’s employer brand through digital marketing efforts.
A few months later when the team was expanding, I had the opportunity to choose between focusing on events or branding. I chose branding because (as I already mentioned) that’s where my passion was.
My new team consisted of myself and a manager who tackled employer branding for over 500 convenience stores across 5 states. This role was an amazing experience because I had the opportunity to collaborate with different teams such as marketing and talent acquisition.
One of my favorite projects during my time at RaceTrac was the partnership to revamp their website, including the careers experience. I’ll never forget one day when I was working from home, cleared off my coffee table and used sticky notes to create what is now the navigation experience users have when they visit RaceTrac’s careers site. I took those sticky notes, mocked up some navigation frames, and handed them off to the marketing team, and they brought them to life.
“This just goes to show that if you notice an area of opportunity, just go for it and make it your own. You’d be surprised by the outcome and how it can shape your career trajectory!”
How I took the next step in my Recruitment Marketing career
During my first Recruitment Marketing role, I started attending different industry events and making lots of connections. One of these connections ended up being my current manager at Delta Air Lines (and Rally mentor!), Holland McCue.
I met Holland through one of the industry events and knew she was a leader in the space. When I saw Delta was hiring and the position would be on her team, I knew I could learn so much from this company and from her so I went for it! Going from working at a U.S.-based company with 9,000 employees to a global company with 70,000 employees has been a major learning experience and one I am so grateful for.
Now as a Recruitment Marketing Specialist at Delta, I help activate our global employment brand by creating human-centered experiences throughout the candidate journey. My responsibilities include:
- Managing the editorial calendar for social and digital channels
- Sourcing and creating employer brand content for internal and external activation
- Driving brand continuity by operating within Delta’s brand standards, tone of voice and employer messaging pillars
My favorite aspect of my role is hands down the people that I get to talk to and meet every single day! There’s this spirit here — we call it “The Delta Difference” — that encompasses this true pride our people possess. Whenever we ask employees if they’re interested in telling their Delta story, the answer is always yes and we tend to find out so much more about them as a person beyond the job they’re doing. There is this instant comfort we have with one another because even though we’re colleagues, we’re also a united organization. I’ve had some of the best, eye-opening conversations just by asking people to share their stories and posing simple questions that lead to great conversations.
Tips to succeed and move forward in your Recruitment Marketing career
If you’re also looking to advance your Recruitment Marketing career and skills, here are a few tips I can share based on my experiences to date:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help in the beginning. The major difference I’ve noticed in my career over the years is the level of autonomy I’ve earned. I used to be so nervous about posting anything to LinkedIn that was coming from a massive corporate account. I relied heavily on my peers and managers to provide guidance and approval. Now, I’ve gained much more confidence in knowing the type of messaging I want to put out and knowing what resonates with our followers. I’ve gained the trust of the leadership team when it comes to creating and sharing content. They believe in me and know they can rely on me to build an incredible brand. However, it took time for me to develop that confidence and it will take time for you too — in the interim, don’t be afraid to rely on your leadership and other team members until you get there!
- Embrace your creative side and keep innovating in your approach. I think that up and coming recruitment marketers should have a strong sense of creativity. One thing that I’ve seen in the industry is that when something works, other companies pick up on it quickly and can put their message out in a similar way. If you’re creative, you can help your company go further and stand out from the competition. You can get inspired by art, film, literature, industries outside of talent acquisition, etc. — the opportunities for creative inspiration are endless!
- Build relationships across the organization. As recruitment marketers, we need to have the ability to work cross-functionality. Our success relies on teaming up with so many different departments. For example, you will need to collaborate with marketing to produce high-quality content. You’ll also need to work with talent acquisition so you can understand hiring needs and communicate your employer brand across the candidate experience.
- Adaptability is really important. I studied art in college, so I have a creative background that allows me to lean on technologies and skills like photography and using the Adobe suite. If you learn new skills easily, you will go so much further in this space — especially if you’re at a company that is just starting in employer branding since they may not have the budget to outsource certain specialties. This approach will allow you to save your company time and money while also furthering your own skill sets. There are many free and affordable courses available out there to learn from — take advantage of them!
Thanks for reading through my Recruitment Marketing career journey and tips to date. I hope my story sparked (or reignited) your passion for Recruitment Marketing and employer branding. It’s been an incredible journey thus far and I’m super grateful to Rally Recruitment Marketing for allowing me to share my experience! If you want to chat more, don’t hesitate to connect with me on LinkedIn.