The definition of Recruitment Marketing is the practice of using marketing strategies to promote the value of working for an employer in order to attract, engage, recruit and retain talent. Recruitment Marketing is both a strategy used by talent acquisition, human resources and marketing professionals, and an exciting career for a growing number of specialists. It’s supported by a set of skills, practices and technologies that have become essential for employers to compete for the best talent.
In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to what is Recruitment Marketing and why it’s important, the differences between recruiting and Recruitment Marketing, what is the role of a recruitment marketer and how that role is evolving, how you can become a recruitment marketer and the key skills you’ll need to succeed, and finally, how you can join this exciting community of practitioners. (You’re already here, and you’re in!)
First, let’s explain what is Recruitment Marketing.
Why is Recruitment Marketing Important for Employers?
Put plainly, employers need Recruitment Marketing because the old way of transactional recruiting simply doesn’t work anymore. Today’s candidates discover and consider employers the same way consumers find products, hotels and restaurants. Through searching online, following social media and reading reviews, candidates can become aware of an employer and its career opportunities. What they learn about a company’s mission and culture can influence a candidate’s decision to apply for a job and accept an offer for employment, or form a negative perception and become a brand detractor.
Given the parallels between candidate and consumer behavior, the disciplines of Recruitment Marketing and marketing have many similarities: skills like branding, messaging, engagement and measurement; channels like email, web, social, mobile, text, chat, video and events; tactics like SEO, PPC, personalization, retargeting, nurture and content; and tools like marketing automation, CRM, social media management, AI and predictive analytics.
Whether practiced full time as a career or part time as a strategy, recruitment marketers know how to authentically tell the company’s story as a great place to work to attract qualified talent and keep existing employees engaged in the company culture. They also measure the effectiveness of their Recruitment Marketing strategies and channels to demonstrate their value and their impact.
The Differences Between Recruiting and Recruitment Marketing
Recruitment Marketing is a relatively new role that is different from traditional recruiting and sourcing in that recruitment marketers are not directly responsible for filling jobs. Instead, they complement recruiters by telling the employer brand story and, as a result, generate more quality applicants for open reqs to help recruiters fill jobs faster and easier. They complement sourcers by building and nurturing a pipeline of interested candidates for sourcers to contact for jobs today and in the future. Though recruitment marketers are not specifically responsible for filling jobs, they are aligned to talent acquisition goals and therefore create and implement marketing campaigns and events to support hiring plans.
One way to look at the difference between recruiting and Recruitment Marketing is that recruiting attracts talent to jobs whereas Recruitment Marketing attracts talent to employers. In recruiting, one job description is advertised across various job boards in order to generate job applicants, whereas Recruitment Marketing develops an array of employer brand content and markets that content through a multitude of recruiting channels in order to create awareness, build followers, capture leads, encourage employee referrals as well as to generate job applicants.
The role of Recruitment Marketing originally focused on the talent attraction stage at the front-end of the recruiting process during which candidates become aware of an employer and consider applying for a job. During this stage, Recruitment Marketing communicates the employer value proposition (EVP) and promotes the company as an employer of choice through various marketing and advertising channels. The hand-off between Recruitment Marketing and recruiting occurs when a candidate lead becomes a job applicant, in other words, when a job application is submitted. From that point forward, the recruiter screens applicants and manages the hiring process, working with the hiring manager through selection, interview, offer and acceptance.
More recently, the role of Recruitment Marketing is evolving. Recruitment marketing practitioners bring valuable skills in communications and engagement that are now being used throughout the candidate experience and the employee experience to influence talent to choose to work for an employer.
Recruitment marketing practitioners bring valuable skills in communications and engagement that are now being used throughout the candidate experience and the employee experience to influence talent to choose to work for an employer.
Another difference is that Recruitment Marketers use different tools than recruiters. Recruitment Marketers increasingly use a Recruitment Marketing Platform to market the company to potential candidates, whereas recruiters typically use an applicant tracking system to manage the process once a candidate has applied for a job.
Is Recruitment Marketing a Practice, or Is It a Profession? It’s Both.
As a practice, Recruitment Marketing is a core competency that’s become required of every recruiter. For example, recruiters use Recruitment Marketing skills to write keyword-rich job descriptions that generate better-fit applicants, create email subject lines that increase open rates, nurture relationships with silver medalists until the timing is right and connect with candidates over social media.
As a profession, Recruitment Marketers are dedicated to brand awareness, reputation management, social engagement, email, text and chat communication, event management and lead generation. They have titles like: Recruitment Marketing, Employer Branding, Talent Marketing, Talent Attraction, Candidate Experience and Recruiting Operations. The job description of a Recruitment Marketer can vary based on the company, but responsibilities may include:
- Creating the employer brand
- Building brand awareness
- Engaging brand followers
- Managing the careers website
- Overseeing the candidate experience
- Managing the employer reputation
- Defining target candidate personas
- Developing a campus / veteran / diversity recruiting strategy
- Creating and curating content and employee stories
- Determining channels to recruit
- Optimizing channel and advertising spend
- Driving qualified applicants to open jobs
- Building a talent network / talent community
- Generating a pipeline of qualified leads
- Converting leads into applicants
- Managing recruiting events
- Amplifying employee ambassadors
- Generating employee referrals
- Tracking, measuring and reporting on campaign results
- Managing recruitment marketing operations and technology
- Managing contracts with vendors and agencies
How Do You Become a Recruitment Marketer?
If you’re interested in a career as a recruitment marketer, your skills will be highly valued! In the 2019 Rally Recruitment Marketing Job & Salary Survey, we found that practitioners who have full time careers in Recruitment Marketing earn 15% more at the mid level, 40% more as a manager and 24% more at the director and vice president level than their peers in talent acquisition and human resources.
Where do recruitment marketers gain the skills and experience to specialize in Recruitment Marketing? In our 2019 survey, we asked full time recruitment marketers to tell us what was their prior job. The answers: 24% came from recruiting, 25% came from marketing and 27% had been working in Recruitment Marketing for several years, before that coming mainly from recruiting roles. There is a trend for more marketers to become recruitment marketers, as Recruitment Marketing strategy becomes more central to recruiting and there is currently a skills gap among recruiters with marketing skills.
For companies that hire a dedicated recruitment marketer, most start out with one person in the role. Even the largest companies with dedicated recruitment marketers currently have small teams. This is another reason why today’s recruiters must have marketing skills to find and engage candidates.
At some companies, the marketing department provides talent acquisition with Recruitment Marketing support such as branding and design, careers page management, social media management and content creation. Other companies invest in Recruitment Marketing services from a specialized Recruitment Marketing agency.
All of these are valid ways to implement offline & online Recruitment Marketing in order to find, attract and retain talent in today’s competitive job market. As candidates become more digital, mobile and social in how they search for jobs and potential employers, the discipline of Recruitment Marketing will evolve to be as sophisticated as B2B and B2C Marketing.
P.S. – Are you looking for Recruitment Marketing training? Do you want to stay up to speed on the latest Recruitment Marketing tactics? Or perhaps you just want to see some Recruitment Marketing examples from leading practitioners? If so, join the thousands of ambitious professionals in our free community.