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How to Create a Recruitment Marketing Plan Leadership Will Love

How to Create a Recruitment Marketing Plan Leadership Will Love
Profile photo of Lori Sylvia
Written by Lori Sylvia

Today, Recruitment Marketing practitioners aren’t being measured by and valued for the full scope of their work. Based on our recent webinar, discover how to create and present a Recruitment Marketing plan that leaders will understand and support.

How to Create a Recruitment Marketing Plan Leadership Will Love
5 (100%) 2 votes

What are “good” Recruitment Marketing programs and strategies? You likely know the answer as a practitioner, but many leaders are still acquainting themselves with the field. In fact, in our Recruitment Marketing Job and Salary Survey Report (coming soon!), when asked about leadership familiarity with Recruitment Marketing, 33.5% of respondents replied with “My manager has no understanding of RM.” 

A pie chart breaking down leaders' familiarity with Recruitment Marketing.

There is currently a huge opportunity for practitioners to define their work and value to leaders.

This practitioner-leadership gap represents one of the biggest problems in Recruitment Marketing, so we dedicated an entire webinar to solving it. We broke down how to frame your work in a way that leaders will understand and value, put together a plan that they will get behind and, consequently, get the budget, resources and tech you need to do your best work going forward. 

Keep reading for the top takeaways from the webinar that you can start implementing at your organization today!

Build Your 2022 Recruitment Marketing PlanRally note: Hear everything I had to say in our full on-demand webinar, Build Your 2022 Recruitment Marketing Plan webinar. You’ll find even more helpful tips not covered below, including what Recruitment Marketing priorities I recommend for teams at different stages of their growth. 

1. Know your baseline

A plan with no starting point doesn’t lend well to progress. Before anything else, take stock of your most recent KPIs (i.e. end of the previous year or month) so that you can understand how you’re moving the needle going forward.

If you’re new to data measurement and don’t have any KPIs to start with, here are some important ones you should acquaint yourself with, as they relate to the 2 main responsibilities of recruitment marketers:

  • Advertising jobs:
    • Number of qualified job applicants (important to emphasize qualified candidates and not hired candidates, as there are factors outside of Recruitment Marketing’s control that might stop a qualified candidate from accepting a role, such as timing)
    • Cost per application or cost per click
  • Marketing employer brand:
    • Number of people in your talent audience reached by your employer brand and jobs, and number of leads in your talent database
    • Engagement rate of your content designed to attract and influence candidates
    • Employer review ratings and candidate experience scores

It’s important to be able to differentiate progress across these 2 main responsibilities, as many recruitment marketers today are only recognized for and measured by the work they do advertising jobs. 

But we now know that employer brand plays just as much, if not more of a role in attracting today’s talent than regular job ads, and is a necessary responsibility of today’s recruitment marketing teams. The problem is that many leaders are still coming to appreciate this, but you can change this and get the recognition you deserve with the help of a Recruitment Marketing Measurement Plan

Rally note: If you can’t access this data for whatever reason (maybe it belongs to another department in your organization), or the idea of pulling data from multiple sources and managing it in spreadsheets is intimidating, we have an easier solution: Rally Inside.

As our new Recruitment Marketing analytics & benchmarking tool, Rally Inside is the best way to easily track and measure all your strategies in a single Recruitment Marketing Dashboard, regardless of your skill level. 

Sign up for Rally Inside for free here.

2. Align Recruitment Marketing goals with your organization’s larger talent acquisition goals

Looking at your Recruitment Marketing plan, you now have your starting point; the next step is to plot where you want to go. But this path needs to be aligned with the overall talent acquisition goals of your organization. Otherwise, you might not be focusing on what’s important to your organization and making the impact you want to make, not to mention get the support you need from higher-ups to achieve your goals. 

Knowing your organization’s target number of hires is a great place to start, as you can then frame your Recruitment Marketing goals around reaching this target. But regardless of which larger TA goal you’re supporting, when coming up with your Recruitment Marketing plan, ask yourself: 

  1. What specifically will I do to help our team achieve goal X or to make X hires?
  2. What will I do now to strengthen our talent attraction and engagement capabilities in the coming years?

This alignment also helps solve another common issue I hear from practitioners, which is that they’re viewed as tactical, not strategic. They’re not in the room or on the zoom calls when strategic decisions are being made. 

When leaders know that your team’s work is not separate from the organization’s overall talent acquisition goals, but rather directly tied, you’re more likely to be kept in the loop when strategic decisions are made so that you can pivot accordingly and continue to support the new strategy.  

3. Present your plan in a S.M.A.R.T. way

You have your starting point, you know what TA-aligned goals you want to pursue and now it’s time to present your plan to leadership in a way that shows alignment with the organization’s larger talent acquisition goals. 

One way to do this is through the S.M.A.R.T. goals method. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound: all adjectives that should describe your plan. 

How to use the SMART goals method to show TA-RM alignment.

In this example, we’re using the S.M.A.R.T. goals method to show how our Recruitment Marketing goal to drive 4,000 applicants is supporting the larger TA goal of filling 500 customer representative roles.

With alignment established, you then need a sophisticated measurement and reporting plan, something that allows you to point to your goals and say “here’s how I plan to achieve them, here’s how I’m going to track and measure, and here’s how I’m going to report back to you so that we can both understand if what we’re doing is working.”

If such a plan sounds intimidating, don’t worry — we got you covered with our free Recruitment Marketing Measurement Worksheet, which includes:

  • A guide for the important data you should be tracking to measure the effectiveness of your Recruitment Marketing strategy
  • Our recruitment funnel calculator to know how many candidates it takes to achieve your hiring goals
  • Instructions for how to source the information from your various platforms and channels
A worksheet for practitoners to show the progress they're making in their Recruitment Marketing goals to leadership.

Using the worksheet, you can create a full Recruitment Marketing Measurement Plan, as shown here, to assess the full scope of your progress across both job advertising and employer branding.

A word about budgeting

In our Recruitment Marketing Job and Salary Survey Report of 500 practitioners in the Rally community, 2/3rds heard “resources are tight or not available” back from their managers when proposing Recruitment Marketing initiatives.

If this sounds familiar, communication may be the lynchpin. In the same survey, 25% of practitioners said they’re not formally measured. If leaders don’t know how to measure you, can you blame them for not wanting to give you money?

The solution is 2-fold: the first step is scheduling a conversation with your manager to explain in detail the full scope of your work, and how they should be measuring you (i.e. using both the advertising jobs and employer branding KPIs listed in the first section). The second is presenting them with a comprehensive Recruitment Marketing plan made using the strategy above. 

Your plan should also clearly show how you plan to allocate your budget. This will obviously depend on your situation, but I’ve found a good rule of thumb to be 65% towards programs/campaigns (i.e. ongoing initiatives like campus and early careers recruiting) and 35% towards projects (i.e. one-time initiatives like a new CRM or careers site update). Regardless of your allocation, to increase your chances of getting the budget you need, be as specific as you can about the exact programs, projects and any other initiatives (i.e. necessary tools to support your programs and projects) the money will be funding.

A format for showing Recruitment Marketing goals to leadership using the SMART goals method.

In this example, “RM Goal #1” and the supporting campaigns therein are getting 40% prioritization out of all Recruitment Marketing goals.

And when it’s released, the Rally Recruitment Marketing Job and Salary Survey can also be a vital resource here. Based on budget data from real practitioners, you can use it for a realistic idea of what to ask for, but also to be able to say “Look! This is what other organizations are spending, we need to spend the same or more to stay competitive.” 

Data showing what budgets Recruitment Marketing teams reported in 2020.

Data from the 2020 Rally Recruitment Marketing Job and Salary Survey. It’s important to note that 2021 budget expectations are 25-35% more than 2020.


For more expert help building your Recruitment Marketing plan for the coming year, watch our full webinar on-demand here!

Sign up for a free Rally Inside accountAnd as an easy first step walking away from this article, to make the process of going through the steps above as smooth as possible, set your team up with our free Recruitment Marketing Measurement Worksheet, as well our Recruitment Marketing analytics & benchmarking tool, Rally Inside.

How to Create a Recruitment Marketing Plan Leadership Will Love
5 (100%) 2 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Lori Sylvia

Lori Sylvia

Recruitment Marketing evangelist and community builder. Founder of Rally.

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