5 Marketing Lessons Applied to Online Recruiting

Whether you’re in the recruiting professional or simply in the market for a few good employees for your vacant positions, you know the impact that low unemployment numbers are having on the overall talent pool.  Qualified applicants are fewer and further between and when you do manage to find that Goldilocks “oh, just right” kind of prospect, it ends up feeling like you’re the one trying to make a good impression to woo them in the door.

If you’ve been getting the distinct feeling that your search for new candidates has more in common with a sales pitch than an interview process, you’re not that far from the truth.  In today’s day and age it’s more important than ever that employers make and keep a great impression and who better to take a few lessons from than the world that focuses on the sell?  Here are 5 marketing lessons that can and should be applied to online recruiting.

  1.  Define Who You Are Targeting

If you’re a denture adhesive company its pretty clear that your target audience isn’t going to be 16-year-old girls.  Your mission is to attract a clientele that is a bit…older…and uses far less “like yeah’s” in their Instagram selfie posts.  The same can be said for an effective recruiting campaign.


Start with a job description of required experiences, anticipated tasks, and any needed certifications and qualifications.  Use this information to make a profile of a quality candidate. Once you’ve identified the type of person you’re looking for it’ll make it that much easier to peruse various industry-specific job boards or networking sites targeted by your demographic.

  1.  Know Your Target Audience

Now that you’ve got a roadmap to a successful new hire, it’s time to identify when and where than individual utilizes the internet.  If you’re looking for recent grads for an entry level opening, websites that cater to c-suite executives probably aren’t going to be your thing.  Along similar lines, those in need of artistic or creative positions probably aren’t going to have as much luck on white-collar focused platforms such as LinkedIn or Bloomberg.

In addition to going out and finding the individual candidates, savvy employers need to ensure that their job listings are doing the best job of bringing talent to them.  Want to read more?

Understand their motivations, the language they use, and speak to them in that same language.  Simply Hired, recently delved into the keyword debate in our “Lessons from the Word Cloud” study.  Use those takeaways and help ensure you have a job listing that accurately reflects the open position and the type of candidate you’re in the market for.

  1.  Craft a Clear, Compelling, and Consistent Message

When you’re developing a brand, it’s vital to success that your consumers know they can come back time and again for the same consistent, quality product or service.  The same logic can be applied to candidates during the interview process. As a recruiter or hiring manager, be sure that your pitch for the company or specific job listing remains consistent throughout the process.  Stress the key values and perks of accepting a specific position in order to maintain a candidate’s interest. Finally, be sure to follow up the talk with specific actions during all stages of the interview process. Keeping a unified “brand message” in place will ensure quality candidates find value in your company.

  1.  Put Your Message in Front of Your Target Audience Multiple Times

You’ve probably heard some version of the age-old marketing axiom that it takes the average person 7-13 times to hear a slogan, commercial, or catchphrase and associate it with a given brand.  The same type of repetition of a message can be applied to the recruitment process as well.

Consistent follow up with candidates and outreach with specific prospects is one of the best ways to not only ensure a smooth hiring process but also ensure that a candidate feels appreciated for their skills and experiences they bring to the table.  Whatever form your recruitment plan takes, identify an ideal frequency or number of interactions per candidacy and build your points of contact (interviews, follow up, hiring applications) around that magic number.

  1. Track, Measure, and Optimize

The last, but not least, lesson to be learned by recruiters from the world of marketing involves tracking your progress both on a micro and macro level.  If you’ve recently changed, developed, or implemented a plan of attack for attracting quality candidates it’s important to keep stats to confirm your approach isn’t working.  This is an equally important task when it comes to evaluating a current approach to the hiring process.

Key data points to analyze recruitment effectiveness may include stats such as average length of time from application to hire, the number of candidates who withdraw from the hiring process and, once hired, the average length of time your candidates remain on the job.  If you see a less than desirable outcome on these figures, it’s probably an indicator that something isn’t working and changes are in order. Start over with #1 on our marketing vs recruiting list and wash, rinse and repeat your way to desired results.

The Marketing Bottom Line

It’s clear to see that the marketing and recruiting worlds have much in common.  Each field is dedicated to “selling” their value proposition to a target audience.  Sure, you may want your new hire to be excited about designing shoes, rather than buying them, but the concepts are still universal.  Take a page out of marketing’s well researched and developed textbook and follow our guidelines above in order to get a heads up on the competition for quality to add to your brand story.

Article Updated from the Original on August 23, 2018