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B2C Recruitment: Think Like A Marketer To Get More Candidates

social media, social recruiting, candidate profiling, candidate attraction, recruitment pipelineMiss Recruitment sits over in one corner of the office, sifting through CVs and writing job ads.

Mr Marketer is over in the opposite corner throwing screwed up balls of paper at the newest member of the sales team. Or whatever they do …

Recruiting and marketing have always been considered very separate functions. But could your recruitment procedures learn a few tricks from marketing approaches? Not the the paper games obviously… but other useful stuff. Stuff that will help you get higher qualified candidates in a shorter amount of time.

Marketers know how to use social media to get people interested in their product.

As a recruiter or hiring manager, you need to use social media to get people interested in your vacancy. Even though the full process isn’t the same, many of the tactics used to accomplish the jobs are similar. Which means you can steal the marketers’ processes to improve your own and ultimately increase the amount of qualified candidates you find.

Keen to give it a try?

Here’s how to think like a marketer to find more candidates.

Define Your Target Audience

The first thing a marketer does before beginning a project is to define their target audience.

Before you create your message, define exactly who your ideal candidate is.

Marketer’s use a technique called ‘profiling’ to outline the features of their target, usually defined as their ‘Perfect Customer’ or ‘Customer Type’.

Define the below information for your ‘Ideal Candidate’. You will be surprised at what information you uncover that will later assist you in finding the right person.

  • Demographics: Age range, geographical location, level of education, current occupation, income level.
  • Psychographics: Family structure, hobbies, cultural likes/dislikes, socio-economic scale, lifestyle driver behaviours.
  • History: Where have they worked in the past? What positions have they held?
  • Morals, Values and Culture: What is important to this person? Are they looking for stability or change? Do they like a fast paced environment? Big or small teams? Do they care more about money or about time off with their family?
  • Pain points: What will be causing them to leave their current job? What don’t they like? What are they looking for? What itch does this job opportunity you have scratch? Why would they leave their current job to apply for yours?

Also consider which words you are not going to include. What words could rule a candidate out? It may be a specific company you are not able to approach or previous experience with a competing product. This will eliminate time spent looking at people you cannot use.

The process above will throw up a bunch of keywords that you probably hadn’t considered.

To stretch yourself, do it again and this time, profile a completely different type of person. You may be surprised at the outcome. It’s all about beginning from a place of knowing what you’re looking for, rather than wasting time filtering through profiles and contacting people who just aren’t a good fit.

Find Where They Hang Out

Now it’s time to find them. Remember that it will be necessary to run multiple searches on LinkedIn. Good candidates may not have completed their profiles yet, and may use different terminology to describe positions and skills so allow for this by including a variety of possibilities.

Use the profile you generated earlier and the keywords that came out of it. Being too generic will just return too many results to wade through. Being specific and running multiple searches will get you qualified results faster.

The favourite platform is LinkedIn but if you’re looking for someone special you may need to look in other more ‘out of the way’ places. This is particularly helpful if you’re looking for candidates ‘off grid’, for example those that may not have a résumé on LinkedIn yet.

Here’s some other places to find potential candidates:

  • Industry networking events;
  • Meet ups;
  • Conferences;
  • University events and graduations;
  • A very specific Google search; or
  • Blog authors / contributors.

Engage Them Creatively

Everyone uses LinkedIn messages these days.  Time to think like a marketer again! Go outside the box. How else could you get your ideal candidate’s attention? What methods are open to you?

Here’s some:

  • Phone calls (use wisely and use discretion);
  • Ask for an introduction through someone you know;
  • A personal email;
  • Event openings;
  • Recently I’ve even seen the snail mail approach work (no-one receives personalised mail anymore! How exciting!)

You need to stand out in the crowd!  Check out our advice on how to be a Purple Cow Recruiter.

Maintain the Relationship

One-transaction marketing is so yesterday. Every good marketer knows that the challenge now is to build a loyal following, continually connected with the brand even when they’re not buying anything.

You need to do the same with your potential candidates. It’s called a Recruitment Pipeline.

If you’re using ‘off-the-grid’ methods to get into contact with potential recruits, you need a way to maintain that initial contact. This can get time consuming so be sure to check out our tips on how to utilise LinkedIn’s Pipeline here.

You need a system. Classify candidates into high, medium and low attention and set up contact schedules accordingly. For your high attention candidates you might personally email them an article you think they’d find interesting, once every 2-3 months. For those who are low attention, you might ensure you are ‘Following’ them on LinkedIn and leave it at that.

Marketers spend a great deal of time upfront, clearly clarifying their target audience (exactly who it is and where they are) in order to shape the message. The most important thing is to get the start of the process right, in the define and search stage.

Take the time to understand your audience and craft your method and message to them before you reach out and begin engaging them.

Cofounder at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for 20 years. Follow me @paul_slezak.