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The best recruiters think like consumer marketing brands

To attract the attention of the passive talent in the social, mobile, always-on workforce, the new generation of recruitment companies have realised that the only approach that will work is to adopt the brand marketing tactics of consumer marketing. This means nothing more or less than building a brand and projecting this brand outwards, building mobile friendly websites and social structures that invite people to approach you. The name of the game now is not about building a ‘database’, but articulating your achievements, promoting your people and cultivating a talent network. Centred on your brand value.
Any online or mobile presence needs to communicate your values, your culture, your vision, and your connections to enhance your reputation. And it must positively encourage personal contact.

Power now rests with Talent

The reason is simple – power no longer rests with the recruitment company, it rests with the talent. New generation recruitment marketing companies realise the online world has armed talent with information. Job seekers now conduct research on recruitment companies before they make contact. They check out competitive recruitment companies, and they almost certainly evaluate the clients these agencies represent. Research by Career Arc found that 75 per cent of job seekers evaluate an employer’s brand before deciding to apply for a job. 61 per cent visit social media channels to make assessments. Amongst other findings Career Arc has reported that 91 per cent of job seekers find a poor managed/designed website a real turn-off, and that ‘poor mobile response’ on a website leads to applicant drop off rates.
More worryingly for old school recruiters is that, after conducting their online research, job seekers delve into the social world to write posts, share articles, solicit opinions and connect with friends and acquaintances. Their goal is to talk to current or past employees or clients and make a judgement. If they’re interested in a role, they will expect to be able to communicate directly and instantly. But don’t expect them to send an updated CV or spend half the day writing a personal letter. Their professional social media profile is constantly updated. Get it yourself!

What a modern day recruiter looks like

Well, as I’ve already mentioned, they look like consumer marketing brands, except they market a professional service. Modern day recruiters have realised that building a talent network of active and passive job seekers requires a brand building campaign across every available online platform. A mobile first campaign that promotes the vision and culture of the organisation is central to their recruitment marketing core. And it is a campaign that stresses time and time again what the recruitment agency can do for the jobseeker.
Successful recruiters market their people. The specific sectors they work in. Their expertise. These specialists can be contacted immediately, across all communications platforms – which means mobile numbers, emails addresses, messenger contacts, skype contacts and professional social media access. The boring biographies that populate old-school recruitment websites and the static corporate messages have been replaced with a passionate narrative. The most successful agencies talk long and in-depth about the current roles they are striving to fill. But they are spending as much time updating their network about the future plans of their clients and the positive implications this will have in their specific sectors. The story – and it is a story – is focused on conveying to the passive and active job market that they know their market/sector/specialist field, and that their knowledge and network is of significant benefit to the job seeker – now and in the future.

The branding and marketing takes place in all the places the candidates exist – on blogs, on networks, in serious professional communities, sector specific groups, across the dominant and the niche social spaces. It’s a diverse, multi-channel, omnimedia campaign to cultivate, engage and ultimately recruit the talent that their clients are looking for. It recruits current and former employees, past and present clients, and friends and associates – all of whom are sharing their experiences and recommendations (and very often honest criticisms).

Its general and its niche and it’s all about knowing the talent their client needs before they know they need them.