In 2017, U.S. companies are expected to spend more than $200 billion on advertising and $72 billion on talent recruitment. And while the former is seen as critical to revenue growth, most businesses view the latter as an administrative task. Yet how can you effectively execute a marketing campaign (let alone have a worthwhile product to market) without a team of smart, dedicated employees?
Plain and simple — you can’t.
Luckily, marketing can help not just to sell a product, but to find people as well. Here are eight ways to market a job opening so that you can get top candidates in the door and the right person in your open seat.
1. Get Employee Support
If you’ve already put in the work to build a strong company culture, the best brand ambassadors for your business are right under your nose — your employees! Ask them to talk about work on their social channels and with their networks — 85 percent of jobs today are filled via networking.
If you have employees sharing with their friends, colleagues, family about their (hopefully) great experience at your company, most of the recruiting is getting done for you. If you can encourage a healthy company culture, employees will be your advocates and naturally promote your company.
Employees are such a powerful job promotion tool that you may even want to consider an incentivized referral program. Sometimes with an incentive in place, an employee who might not be so open at first might start considering people in their network who would be a good fit! However this is also a double-edged sword, watch out. They'll also be sure to share anything negative!
2. Try Organic Social Media
Having a strong presence on social media overall is key to building candidate familiarity and general interest. Don’t let your marketing team co-op these channels completely. Ensure you’re also making space (particularly on visual channels like Instagram) to showcase your company culture so candidates can get a peek inside before applying.
Social Media is a way to provide great customer service and increase your company’s brand awareness. It's also a way to share your knowledge of your industry. Followers on your social channels could end up becoming future candidates for job openings. Being a company with a great brand and confirmed as an influencer will entice and attract good talent to apply.
And again, call on your employees. If you are looking to fill a job opening, post to a channel such as Facebook, then ask everyone on your team to share.
3. Try Paid Social Media Too!
Social media advertising budgets doubled from 2014 to 2016, with spending now at $35 billion per year. Most of us don't think of using social ads to promote our products, but since they’re such an effective form of advertising, they can be a great tool for recruitment as well. LinkedIn, in particular, is a good place to start since you can target by current job title and years of experience.
Try growing your organic social following before you start using paid social media. Paid social media can be really great for targeting specific audiences, but it can end up costing a lot and being ineffective if you do not have a clear social marketing plan in place.
4. Post to Job Sites
Job posting sites like Indeed.com and Glassdoor are free to use and a great starting place to market a job opening. Each offers paid programs to increase engagement and you may also want to consider industry- or role-specific job sites to post a particular opening. Glassdoor also allows you to build out a company profile and gathers reviews from current and former workers.
Today's candidates always do their research. With so many sites like Glassdoor, Google Reviews, even Yelp; employees want to be heard and candidates are listening! Since 70 percent of job seekers now look for online reviews before taking a role, you don’t want to ignore these review sites as potential recruiting sources.
The latest generation of workers places priority in things like company culture and flexibility during the job hunt. More often than not a candidate will take a lower-paying job for a company or product they are passionate about, versus other competitive offers.
5. Participate in Hiring Fairs and Local Events
Hiring fairs have long been a staple of recruiting. While more and more candidates are now looking for jobs online, in-person events aren’t to be ignored. Whether it’s a true hiring fair or a community event like a street fair or tech week, events are a great tool to showcase your company culture and team members’ personalities.
If you plan to show up with a white tablecloth and a few “one-pagers,” don’t show up at all. Think of more engaging ways you can participate and bring hiring managers for on-the-spot interviews. For community-wide events, you can even steal a page from the real estate handbook and host an open house to entice interest.
6. Revisit Rejections
If you’re putting your HR software to good use, you should have an accessible database of candidates who didn’t make the cut for previous job postings. Give them a second look for any new posting. They’ve already shown interested in your company and if you’ve properly handled their rejection, there should be no hard feelings. Even if they’re no longer available for a new role, they may know someone who is!
Being in the practice of bookmarking or archiving candidates that applied before allows you to have another pool to source from when you have new openings to fill. Some of these candidates may have already gone through parts of the hiring or qualification processes allowing you to fast-track them. Whatever the case, it never hurts to keep in contact with promising talent.
7. Direct your site traffic
Give your website a quick audit to see how easy or difficult it is to find your careers page. If you can’t click to it within the first five seconds of looking, a little rearranging might be in order. Hiring great people is just as critical than selling your product (if not more critical) You can’t do the latter without the former — so your careers page should get a prominent link.
While you’re at it, ensure your careers page isn’t just a list of openings, but a true look inside your organization's culture and values. Include pictures or information about your company's culture and events as well as other enticing reasons for people to want to work at your company.
8. Have an Influence
Just like your people can be your greatest brand ambassadors, your leaders can also be your greatest brand assets. Candidates want to know who’s steering the ship before they climb on board. Work with your marketing team to build a thought leadership plan for one or more of your executives via social media, blogging, and writing for various publications.
People will be able to see your leaders or managers in public settings allowing them to put a face to the name and making your company more personable. While it’s not a direct way to market a job opening, it will get you more general interest when those jobs become available.
No matter what your organization sells, your people are still your most important product. Put concentrated effort into marketing your open roles and you’ll see more and better candidates taking interest in working for you!
Taylor Burke is a contributor for TechnologyAdvice.com, covering company culture and communications. When she's not in front of her screen, you can find Taylor reading, cooking, running, or hanging with her dog—but rarely all four at once.