Rally Awards Recruitment Marketing

Q&A with Megan Claar, 2024 Recruitment Marketer of the Year

Megan Claar, Sheetz, 2024 Recruitment Marketer of the Year
Profile photo of Lori Sylvia
Written by Lori Sylvia

Meet Megan Claar from Sheetz, the 2024 Recruitment Marketer of the Year, and hear her story about the power of innovation, collaboration and perseverance.

Q&A with Megan Claar, 2024 Recruitment Marketer of the Year
5 (100%) 4 votes

Now in its fifth year, the Rally Awards honors dozens of practitioners and teams for outstanding achievement in Recruitment Marketing and employer branding. One award is given to an individual who serves as a role model for raising up the entire profession, distinguishing themselves through extraordinary leadership, business impact and pioneering work in our field. This year, the prestigious 2024 Recruitment Marketer of the Year award was bestowed upon Megan Claar, Recruitment Marketing & Employer Brand Manager at Sheetz!

Megan’s background in traditional marketing and graphic design, combined with her strategic vision, has enabled her to build a robust Recruitment Marketing department from the ground up at Sheetz. She’s an example of a self-taught recruitment marketer, who was the first to have her position at Sheetz, and despite having no team and no agency, she was so successful at demonstrating the value of Recruitment Marketing that she now leads a team of 6!

Fun fact: Megan began her career at Sheetz as a store team member in 2001.

Megan’s impact in Recruitment Marketing at Sheetz can’t be understated. Through the Pandemic and the roller coaster labor market that’s followed, Sheetz has stayed open 24/7, and Megan’s strategy, leadership and execution skills have played a vital role in attracting tens of thousands of employees to the company.

In addition to all of her strategic accomplishments, our panel of peer judges, also accomplished professionals in our field, were blown away by Megan’s ability to grow and mentor a team.

One judge said: “So incredibly impressive. What you’ve built is fresh and creative. Congratulations on a job well done and on having a team that supports you with such a heartfelt entry.”

Another judge commented: “Talk about a success story. To hear where the team is coming from and where it is now and the impact you’ve had on the organization and those you lead. Just wow.”

A third judge said: “I was blown away at the immense effort of one person to build a team during some of the most challenging times. You covered every aspect of recruitment and talent marketing with fabulous success!”

Megan’s journey in Recruitment Marketing is a testament to the power of innovation, collaboration and perseverance. In this exclusive Q&A, Megan shares her journey, insights and advice for aspiring recruitment marketers, offering a glimpse into the strategies that have made her a leader in our field.

Let’s meet Megan!

Meet Megan Claar, 2024 Recruitment Marketer of the Year

Megan Claar, 2024 Recruitment Marketer of the YearMegan Claar is a creative thinker who raises brand awareness through targeted recruiting campaigns that attract potential candidates using digital channels, SMS campaigns, social media and more. As the Recruitment Marketing & Employment Brand Manager, she oversees a team that gets to design, implement and manage the strategies that attract thousands of employees to join Sheetz each year.

Since being named Recruitment Marketer of the Year, we caught up with Megan to discuss her career, share her advice for other recruitment marketers, and gather her insights on the future of the field.

Rally: How did you get started in Recruitment Marketing? 

Megan: Before transitioning to Recruitment Marketing, I gained experience in traditional marketing and graphic design. When the chance came up to establish the Recruitment Marketing department at Sheetz, I couldn’t resist. The prospect of diving into a new marketing focus was incredibly enticing. Starting as a one-person team with no agency of record, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to build a talent brand as robust and distinctive as the Sheetz corporate brand.

Rally: What do you enjoy most about working in this space? 

Megan: I appreciate that in this field, no one has everything ‘figured out’. There is no exact science to our work, and it is always evolving. I enjoy experimenting with new tools and technologies, discovering new channels and tactics for targeting talent, and continuously refining our messaging and strategies to reach the right candidates at the right place and time. Each day at work is unique, and that constant variety keeps me motivated.

Rally: What do you think has helped you to be a successful recruitment marketer? 

Megan: My network! Our community of recruitment marketers and my incredible work family.

Everyone in this field can agree: our job cannot be done alone. I am fortunate to work for a company where our Creative & Brand team, Internal Communications team, and Employment Brand/Recruitment Marketing team are so closely aligned and collaborate so effectively. This synergy has propelled our Recruitment Marketing efforts forward in ways I could never have imagined just eight years ago.

Rally: What skills do you think are important for other recruitment marketers who are looking to forge their path in this space? 

Megan: Drive, perseverance, and relationship building are easier said than done. However, when you set your goals and know where you want to go, it all comes down to the drive that propels you forward. Not every day, month, or year will be easy, but it’s what you do on the hard days that brings you to the finish line.

Rally: What advice would you give recruitment marketers earlier in their career who don’t have a lot of resources and support? 

Megan: BUILD RELATIONSHIPS!

When I embarked on my journey in Recruitment Marketing, I had virtually no budget. Well, perhaps a small one—we had access to LinkedIn and Monster! My first step was to build strong relationships with our brand and creative teams.

Then came the exciting part: collaborating with our internal partners to develop a roadmap for our Recruitment Marketing efforts. The initial year focused on utilizing ‘free’ channels and establishing a framework for our messaging and target audience. Once you identify WHO you want to engage with and WHAT you want to convey, you can then explore WHERE to deliver that message. From there, I leveraged the existing tools and channels our company used to promote our brand, integrating them to enhance our Employment Brand.

Rally: In your opinion, what is the area that deserves the most focus from Recruitment Marketers right now? 

Megan: At Sheetz, innovation & technology is the cornerstone of everything we do. Having a sophisticated tech stack is crucial, but selecting the right one takes time and precision. Our focus is on enhancing the candidate experience from the very start. We aim to create a stellar employment brand experience, beginning with the advertisement that attracts applicants and continuing through to hiring and referrals.

Rally: What project or campaign are you most proud of to date? 

Megan: The project I am most proud of is establishing the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) for Sheetz. This significant endeavor at a company with nearly 25,000 employees was a collaborative effort across our brand, Recruitment Marketing, and internal communications teams. Together, we delivered an EVP that resonates with both our internal and external talent.

Rally: How do you measure the success of your Recruitment Marketing efforts and what metrics do you focus on the most?

Megan: The KPIs we prioritize are determined by the specific stage in the talent funnel: Awareness, Consideration, Interest, Application, and Hire. Each stage has distinct objectives, leading to varied KPIs. Key metrics we monitor across the funnel include audience growth, candidate sentiment, lead and applicant conversion rates, cost per lead/applicant/hire, and referral rates.

Rally: Can you describe an experience with failure in Recruitment Marketing, how you handled it and what you learned from it?

Megan: It’s safe to say that everyone, regardless of their profession, encounters a series of ‘failures’ throughout their career. If you haven’t experienced any, it likely means you’re not pushing boundaries or trying new things! In my experience, these failures have been invaluable, teaching me the best strategies for initiating a ‘pilot’ or ‘test’ in our field. From technology to tactics, I’ve learned the critical importance of having a robust project plan and well-defined, measurable goals before venturing into something new.

Rally: What’s next for you in your career? 

Megan: That’s a good question, I will let you know when I figure that out! 🙂 

Rally: What’s changed the most about Recruitment Marketing since you started your career? 

Megan:  What hasn’t changed! When I first ventured into Recruitment Marketing, the focus was on flashy campaigns: offering high wages and eye-catching promotions. It has since evolved into a true art form. Today, success requires a deep understanding of your audience and delivering the right message at the right place and time. The transformation has been dramatic.

Rally: Looking ahead, what trends or innovations do you predict will shape the future of Recruitment Marketing and employer branding?

Megan: I envision the future of Recruitment Marketing becoming increasingly centered on personalization and candidate engagement. Much like consumer marketing, Recruitment Marketing will need to embrace interactive and engaging connections with candidates. Leveraging AI, augmented reality, and interactive chats (possibly with a real person) will be crucial. As we enhance our data capabilities, executing these strategies in the Recruitment Marketing space will become more seamless and effective.

Building Relationships and Driving Success in Recruitment Marketing

Megan’s story is both inspiring and instructive. Her focus on building relationships, experimenting with new tools and analytics offers valuable lessons for professionals at any stage of their career.

Congratulations once again to Megan! We thank you for sharing your expertise with the Rally community and look forward to seeing how your career and the field of Recruitment Marketing will continue to grow.

For more inspiration, check out all of the 2024 winners on the Rally Awards website!

Q&A with Megan Claar, 2024 Recruitment Marketer of the Year
5 (100%) 4 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Lori Sylvia

Lori Sylvia

Recruitment Marketing evangelist and community builder. Founder of Rally.

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