Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Ivan Serrano – a journalist and infographic expert from San Jose, California. His opinions are his own.
Does it sometimes seem like finding great employees to fill open jobs is like finding footprints in the middle of the Sahara Desert? Are the applicants for the positions your organization posts harder to distinguish from one another than plastic milk jugs on the beach after a storm?
Maybe it’s time to consider taking recruitment away from HR and handing the task over to the marketing department. Or perhaps outsourcing it to a company that really understands recruitment from a content marketing perspective.
When often HR departments don’t actually distinguish between a job posting and a job description, does it really make sense to trust HR to find the right person to fill your vacancy?
Think about what the marketing department does for your organization every day:
- They get the attention of potential buyers and attract them to your brand;
- They engage those buyers with meaningful content that is often highly personalized;
- They qualify buyers and move them through a funnel that eliminates buyers who aren’t really interested or qualified; and
- They convert probable purchasers to customers at a time that makes the most sense for both your organization and the customer.
Isn’t this the kind of thing you wish your HR department were doing in the recruitment process?
Why not just turn the whole process over to the marketing department?
Here are some thoughts on what you might expect if you tasked your marketing department to tackle recruitment as if it were a product requiring great online content.
1. Creating brand awareness … not just posting a job
The first thing you might expect is for the marketing department to start creating some brand awareness designed to attract the attention of the kind of applicants your brand prefers.
A recruitment branding campaign could take the form of a series of blogs and articles accompanied by videos and photos detailing your brand’s core values and snapshots of your brand’s culture. Some of this content would be featured on your company’s website, but it would also show up on social media networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook where it would begin to be associated with some of #YourBrand’sHashtags.
Part of the content for this branding campaign might include detailed descriptions of expectations for accountability, customer service, or other aspects of your brand’s core values in action and feature some of the current employees who exemplify these values in extraordinary ways.
One of the expected outcomes of such content would be self-selecting by candidates who either want to opt-in or opt-out of a culture with the core-values and expectations your brand espouses. Another expected outcome would be candidates who are better prepared to speak with hiring managers during phone and face-to-face interviews about what they can really do for your brand.
2. Linking back to core culture content
When updated job postings are eventually posted on your own website and on job boards, the postings will contain references and links back to this content so that candidates could really explore the opportunity in depth before submitting an application and résumé.
These links would immediately direct the candidates who are really interested in understanding the job and your brand to the pages that are going to be most valuable to them at their stage in the recruitment process.
Not only will this help in the pre-screening and self-selection process on the candidate side of the transaction, but it will also serve to enhance your brand’s SEO results.
3. Developing ‘day in the life’ stories
Along with core culture content and expectations concerning values, the marketing department could develop day in the life stories and case studies to clearly illuminate for candidates what is really expected in the day-to-day operations of the job. This content could be developed by current incumbents of the jobs and then tweaked by marketing, much as user generated content for products and services might be edited.
4. Running competitions and events
Consider a job where you might have over a thousand applicants. Rather than relying on software to eliminate candidates whose résumés don’t contain the right key words, why not hold an event at a local venue and see how many of those applicants actually show up at the event where they can meet face-to-face with managers from your company.
Chances are, it will only be a fraction of the total number of applicants. Part of the event might be a speed-dating-style set of interviews to gather real-world first impressions of the candidates who were really interested enough to show up for the event.
This event could even be at a mystery location, with clues about the place, time, dress code and other variables hidden on your web site and in your brand’s social media accounts to further ensure that the candidates who show up are of the highest caliber.
5. Generating great candidates and great publicity
Not only could your brand expect higher caliber applicants from content and processes supporting scenarios like the ones described above, but chances are it could get a lot of great publicity from these approaches and build great buzz among applicants.
A little content marketing could help your brand’s recruiting efforts enormously. Even if it doesn’t make sense to hand over the entire recruiting function to the marketing department, your HR folks should at least be talking to your marketing stars.
Everyone could benefit enormously, not the least of whom are the managers with jobs to fill.
Ivan Serrano is a social media, business and finance journalist, and infographic expert living in the Bay Area of California. Outside of writing, Ivan particularly enjoys his photography and following his favorite sports teams.