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How to Use Recruitment Marketing to Attract Great Employees

Chef plating a dish
Attracting quality candidates is a big problem for business owners. In fact, survey data from Glassdoor reveals that 76 percent of hiring decision-makers say it's their No. 1 challenge.

Low unemployment and budgetary constraints are just some of the hurdles to attracting top talent. However, managers can overcome these challenges by adopting a recruitment marketing mindset. Since the employment experience starts long before applicants come in for an interview, it's important to find ways to stand out from the crowd and sell your company to candidates.

Here's how it's done.

Know Your Target Audience

Like any good marketer, you need to identify and understand the persona of your target market. What skills, experience and goals are necessary? What motivates them? What are they looking for in a job? For example, millennials want to make a difference in the world. And, while they often start out with little experience, they are eager to learn. Training and learning opportunities are important to them, as are flexible hours. Finally, you should discover the outlets your ideal candidates consume information from. Where's the best place for you to put your brand in front of them?

Define Your Value

Now that you know who your ideal candidate is, what do you have to offer them? In recruitment marketing terms, what's your product? Since you know your business intimately and talk to customers all the time, the answer should be clear. But, what's your value proposition to employees, and how does it differ from the competition? Refine your pitch for each opening that comes up.

Tailor Job Listings to Attract Your Ideal Candidate

Recruitment efforts used to begin and end with a standard job description that listed a basic overview of duties and responsibilities alongside required skills and experience. Today, your job listing gives you an important opportunity to connect with (and appeal to) your target candidate. A winning job description looks something like this:

  • It uses keywords. Small businesses rely heavily on job boards to fill vacancies. Help talent find you by including the right keywords.
  • It separates the general from the specific. Help candidates gauge if they are the right fit by making it clear which skills are a priority for you. Don't muddle or commingle skills.
  • It's a team effort. Brainstorm with other employees or managers. Make sure the listing meets your needs and vision for the role.
  • It excites. Would you be excited by what you've written? Ask team members from different backgrounds for their input.

Choose the Right Recruitment Marketing Channels

Every great marketing plan needs a clear strategy for reaching its target audience. This typically happens via several channels, including web, email, social media and direct mail. Recruitment marketing applies the same principle. Research where your candidates hang out and post your listing there — both online and off.

Build Your Workplace Brand

In addition to optimizing your recruitment efforts, work on nurturing your workplace brand year-round. This encompasses every aspect of working life at your company, from mentoring employees and compensating them fairly to ensuring a positive customer service experience. Happy employees and customers make great brand advocates — and word spreads quickly. Online reviews and customer testimonials (as well as a strong and engaged social media presence) can all contribute to getting the word out, conveying the success of your enterprise and building your business appeal.

Spruce Up Your Web Presence

Once you've caught the eye of a candidate, be prepared for them to look you up online. To ensure your business appears credible and enticing, think about the following:

  • Make sure your career page has compelling content about what it's like to work for you, what you have to offer and what type of candidates are a good fit.
  • Use employee testimonials or video interviews to showcase your workplace.
  • Keep your news and blog pages current.
  • Monitor and respond to online reviews.

Test, Test and Test Again

Make testing a core of your recruitment marketing efforts. Keep an eye on click metrics for online postings. Does one version of a job posting perform better than another? What elements prompted that behavior? Are certain recruiting channels more fruitful? It's a good idea to routinely refine your approach in order to make sure it's effective.