Authors Adrienne Wilkerson and Jennifer Christensen, adapted to blog by Sara Jokela
Recruitment + Culture + Marketing
What do recruitment marketing and culture have in common and how can they play a vital role in building a thriving business? Recruitment marketing for company culture is about meeting people where they are, informing them, and educating them.
Historically, company departments like HR, Marketing, and company culture were siloed and disconnected with the marketing strategies being employed to bring in only new business, but not any longer.
With the shift from interruption marketing to the transparency of social media and digital marketing, your company is on display more than ever before. This doesn’t just mean your services, it means your Leadership, your Owners, and your Employees in addition to the services you offer.
The Digital Age Information Gathering
Technology moves so fast and brings new challenges to developing a successful recruitment marketing strategy as well as to the hiring process. The first contact your company receives is likely online. This is because more and more consumers and job applicants are looking into companies online before purchasing or applying.
Statistics show that 57% of job seekers use social media in their job search and 54% of companies have eliminated an applicant based on their social media feed.
As you can see, social media plays a powerful role in both employee referrals and employer branding when it comes to recruitment marketing goals. In fact, 92% of employees (or passive job candidates) would consider changing jobs for an employer with an excellent brand and reputation.
Potential Candidates Want The Feeling Of Control
Culture, like technology, has shifted quite a bit since the early 2000s. Emphasis used to be on the phone call, but now with more and more potential candidates and customers researching you before a first contact, the focus must be on your online presence.
Whether your online presence is for sales or hiring, candidates want to feel in control. They want to know who they are applying to work for and they want the maximum return from their search efforts.
Employers are responding well to this shift and meeting potential talent where they are. With the rise of social media, both employers and employees have the option to research each other before they decide to make or continue contact — which saves time and money in the hiring process.
Attract Top Talent, Save Money, and Resources
Attraction-based recruitment marketing generates value for prospective employees ahead of their initial contact with you for job openings.
Utilizing attraction-based marketing strategies in your recruitment marketing channels, studies have shown that there is a 28% decrease in turnover. As a business owner or manager, that’s exciting news because that means that you’re attracting top talent that wants to work for you and knows your culture, making them less likely to leave.
When your talent is not looking to leave, you save on recruitment fees, ads, and salaries which shifts the profitability of your business.
Another major benefit is a quicker hiring turnaround time, which saves resources as well. Attracting the right qualified people for your culture makes sense and allows the process to move at a much faster pace.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel When Using Recruitment Marketing
If you’re already leveraging digital marketing, and watching your sales funnel, that strategy can seamlessly translate to recruitment marketing efforts and culture. The inbound marketing funnel has been established since around 2010 and works really well to attract new clients. This same method works for attracting new job seekers. Basically, think of it as a recruitment marketing funnel.
As a culture, information has never been more accessible than it is right now and that will only continue to grow. Research, social media, and website vetting are standard practices for any purchase or job shift consumers are looking to make.
Working toward brand transparency, removing barriers to doing business with you, and over-sharing information online establishes your company as not only a thought leader in your industry but also as a business that will attract your ideal candidate.
Same Funnel, Different Personas
Understanding your customer personas is integral to reaching your target audience and the same can be said about recruitment marketing. It’s the same funnel but from a different angle.
Looking at the recruitment side from the view of prospective candidates will allow you to tailor your strategy to not only those career opportunities but also to the ideal candidate to fill your vacant positions.
Recruitment marketing strategies should be included in your lead generation marketing strategy and should flow seamlessly. This means you have to not only be thoughtful about where a potential customer will find you but also about prospective employees. Where is the talent pool researching your employer brand?
Using Social Media Marketing Strategies for Recruitment
Getting right to it, Instagram is huge when it comes to looking internally at company culture. Highlighting photos and videos, sharing your staff’s events, and quoting them are all part of the experience of working for your company. This is because outreach through insightful posts provides value — and it offers a glimpse into the internal culture of your community for the potential talent you’re trying to reach.
Both Instagram and Facebook can be used to highlight internal culture as well as ads for your sales funnel. Additionally, LinkedIn is a social media platform that is more defined as a place to establish leadership. Thus, LinkedIn is where the talent community will be meeting the leadership of your company and making judgment calls on whether or not they want to work with you.
Some of Beacon Media + Marketing’s best staff have told us that they listened to The Beacon Way and that our podcast was a determining factor as to whether or not they wanted to work for our company. We’ve even had staff reach out specifically because they liked what they heard on our podcast.
Keep social media top of mind in regard to the channels that you are already operating in and understand that you will be attracting talent, not just new leads.
Recruitment Marketing That Enhances Culture
One of Beacon’s clients, Ellie Mental Health, has really understood that marketing strategies are used to showcase their culture, help with recruitment, and attract top talent that is right for them.
Right on their homepage they have a featured staff member in their hero image, which is pretty bold and it works for them because that’s who Ellie is. Ellie believes in transparency and sharing their team culture. Ellie also includes various quotes from their team throughout their site.
Both of these things help remove the barrier between the target audience and who they will eventually be talking to. Both of these things clearly communicate the personality of Ellie Mental Health across the board.
Determining What is Right for You
Bold statements, like staff pictures and quotes, are not right for every business. Staff turnover can cause edits to a website and headaches that you don’t need. Before deciding to add your staff to your website, refer back to your “True North” goals and plan we discussed in Effectiveness in Marketing Strategies.
If your goals and strategies don’t point you to a bold culture statement, then don’t pursue that angle. If you’d like to visually represent your culture in a more secure and stable way, consider featuring the ownership team in a casual setting to create that connection point that job seekers are looking for.
Keep in mind that your website is a living, breathing thing that will need to be tended to. You cannot simply set it and forget it. In tending to your website, edits and updates will have to be made. So, factoring in the staff shift is wise, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming. A simple edit like that is nominal compared to not being transparent or connecting with top talent.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Grow
The landscape of technology is one that should be a little stretching. Growth is not possible without pushing the boundaries of your norm. Basically, it can’t just be about playing it safe.
Wherever your comfort zone is, pick one level up and go with it. Embrace the change and push past your boundaries to see where it will take you.
Moving Past Recruitment to Retention
The marketing efforts you made to find your ideal candidate have paid off as you recruited top talent — but don’t stop there. Social media channels can be leveraged to enhance retention and turn the new hires into your biggest fans.
Engage your clients and staff by embracing transparency in your marketing strategies. Celebrate your staff and recognize not only their accomplishments but also their hobbies, families, and personal lives.
Let the lines between personal and professional become blurred. Show your audience that your staff means more to you than just a person doing a job every day — and communicate your staff’s value by being invested in what they are invested in.
Gen Z and Millennials, in particular, will connect with this type of recognition that communicates value. Everyone loves it when you celebrate what’s important to them.
Practical Applications of the Cultural Value of Celebration
Within Beacon Media + Marketing, one fun way we communicate and celebrate is a weekly call-out on Monday morning for pictures and information on what the staff did over the weekend. It’s a goofy and wonderful time for our staff to connect and share their personal lives with each other.
Celebrating the fun things they’ve done may seem inconsequential, but it is integral to our internal culture and it serves as a way to get good content for social media channels.
Internally, the staff connects with each other and they all love to see what others have been up to while they are off. It is a fabulous team-building activity and it drives home that we value each and every one of them as well as the things that matter to them.
We also like to focus on things like “Thankful Thursday” where the staff gets the opportunity to share what they are thankful for. This is not just us talking about how great we are as a company, but again, giving our staff a platform to talk about what is valuable to them.
Removing Barriers and De-siloing Your Staff
Company departments can become siloed. By building a culture that brings them together, we are growing a culture of value and connection internally as well. Celebration and communicating value to and for your team will increase retention.
Using Data and Experience for Recruitment Marketing
If your company is growing, you’ll always be in the recruitment phase and utilizing recruitment marketing. Tracking cookies on your website is a great strategy to gain insight and understanding of where most of your potential staff are learning about you.
At Beacon, we have discovered that most of the time prospective employees spend on our website is on our About Us page. They’re looking through the information on the leadership team and the individuals who already work on our team.
Prospective employees want to know what you are saying about your employees and what they are saying about themselves. Many are listening to our podcasts and hitting our social media platforms to get a feel for who we are as a company.
Taking the data from your website and translating it to content specifically for recruitment marketing is a strategy that will pay off for tapping into the talent community.
Leveraging Reviews for Job Openings
In Episode 12 of The Beacon Way, we discussed the importance of reviews and responding to reviews, positive or negative. The same applies to employment reviews.
Glassdoor and Indeed reviews are another opportunity for prospective employees to learn about your company. Employment reviews need your attention, they are a huge part of whether your business is going to be successful long-term or not.
Managing and responding to reviews should be part of your marketing strategies. Negative reviews can be disheartening, but your response to them can change the course of a prospective employee who may have been turned off otherwise.
A perfect score is not the goal, perfection does not typically communicate that your business is trustworthy. It has quite the opposite effect, it becomes suspicious.
Handling conflict and difficult situations with grace and professionalism shows the character of your company and speaks volumes to prospective employees and clients.
Tips for Managing A Remote and Hybrid Environment
- Integrate a digital communication tool.In more recent years, remote and hybrid work environments have grown exponentially. According to this article from Forbes, 98% of workers want to work remotely at least some of the time, As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work a hybrid model, and by 2025, 32.6 million Americans will work remotely.Employing an internal digital communication tool is pivotal to keeping your remote workers connected and working as a team.
- Be inspiring!Leverage the internal communication tool to be an inspiration to your team. Connect the leadership with staff by communicating in an encouraging way like posting quotes or sharing inspiring content on a consistent basis.
- Celebrate your staff on social media sites and internally.According to the same article by Forbes, 53% of remote workers state that it’s hard for them to feel connected to their coworkers. Establishing a workplace culture of connection will help drive retention.Connect and communicate value with your staff by celebrating their success, their family’s achievements, or other interesting and fun differences that make them stronger as a team. Celebrating each other brings your staff closer, provides opportunities to celebrate each other’s wins, and drives culture.
Whether your marketing strategies are driving recruiting campaigns or new lead generations, integration of culture into them will bring synergy to what you are doing and ultimately serve to engage candidates in your job openings.