Home > Industry Insights > Aligning Talent Acquisition With Sales Funnel Best Practices: 9 Strategies

Aligning Talent Acquisition With Sales Funnel Best Practices: 9 Strategies

BY Brad DiPaolo / September 26th, 2022 / 5 MIN READ

Despite recent shake-ups in the recruiting world, many companies continue to rely on traditional strategies to attract new talent. But, recruiters can find greater success by adopting more innovative and proactive best practices that have been employed by sales teams to build their funnels. While sales professionals are focused on building a pipeline of potential customers, recruitment marketers should similarly focus on building a pipeline of potential candidates. 

The Challenge for Recruitment Marketers

In a recent report published by ManpowerGroup, 75% of companies have reported talent shortages and difficulty hiring – a 16-year high.

To combat this labor shortage, recruiters need to adopt strategies that will bring qualified candidates to their inboxes every day. For many organizations, using traditional and reactive strategies alone aren’t enough in today’s candidate-driven market. But, more innovative recruitment marketing strategies that mirror proven sales best practices can help address these challenges. 

Case in point? Sales teams typically rely on sales funnels and other data-driven practices to get the best results. In other words, companies rely on a directed sales process to generate interest and convert.

So, why can’t recruiters do the same thing?

By adapting these same sales practices into a talent acquisition funnel, you can leverage a more data-driven strategy based on leading indicators of success to attract more qualified applicants for a reliable talent pool.

Let’s explore how. 

9 Strategies for TA Teams 

1. Marketing Automation

Sales teams already rely on marketing automation to nurture sales leads. Why can’t recruiters adopt the same strategy?

For example, automated tools can track who engages with your content. This gives you a clear idea of what’s working — and what’s not.

The data you gain from these automated tools can help you tailor your follow-up communications to specific candidates based on where they are in your funnel. Don’t spam everyone when you can create specific messaging campaigns that uniquely fit certain segments of your recruiting pool. 

Marketing automation tools can also be adapted to nurture candidates through every phase of the recruitment process. And, because it’s automated, your organization can reach large groups of candidates without investing time and resources on manual tasks. 

2. Pivoting from a Reactive to a Proactive State

Unfortunately, many organizations tend to react to immediate crises without thinking about their long-term goals. When hiring slows down, recruiters are let go. In this sort of environment, a proactive approach can seem counterintuitive, but it’s necessary to navigate the road ahead.

Instead of jettisoning your recruiters during a slump, consider using the opportunity to develop a recruitment pipeline. That way, when business picks back up, you’ll be uniquely positioned for success, and you’ll even have an edge over your competition.

3. Use Leading Indicators of Success and Engagement

Many recruiters make the mistake of focusing on application volume alone. Dig deeper. Recruitment marketing is all about tracking content engagement, which is a far better indicator of interest.

For instance, you can track data earlier in your acquisition pipeline to discover the type of content that spurs candidate engagement. What percent of your candidates scroll to the bottom of a blog to read the content? Which topics spark the most interest?

You can use this information to optimize your content calendar. Emphasize content that provokes greater levels of engagement at the right times in your recruitment cycle.

For these reasons, it’s imperative that recruiters have access to this kind of data. Marketing teams rely on data every day, and it’s time that recruiters get used to analyzing this information to optimize their talent acquisition strategy.

4. Start Small, Analyze the Data, and Continually Adapt

Don’t feel overwhelmed with the need to create an elaborate content marketing strategy. Start small. Begin developing content that supports your recruitment marketing efforts. 

Content creation and curation is a cumulative process. Even if you only manage to produce one blog post per week, within a year, you’ll have a resource library of roughly 50 different articles.

Pay attention to what’s sparking engagement already and build on that success. Think like a marketer. Select the most relevant keywords to generate more clicks, and provide a meaningful next step to encourage readers to keep moving through the process.

Here’s a tip: Videos can be a great way to showcase your company culture, and they usually generate more engagement than a static blog post. No matter what method you use, continue to analyze your data to refine your recruitment marketing strategy.

5. Focus on Metrics That Matter Using Real-Time Data

Always remember that engagement matters more than mere applications. Sure, it’s great to have a high volume of applicants in your inbox, but you’ll be more effective when you rely on the right data.

Content engagement metrics can help you determine the type of content that is generating the most engagement. These metrics can also tell you who reads your blog posts to the very end. 

But, most importantly, this data can help you understand where candidates are dropping off in the recruitment process and help you devise strategies to reach them.

6. Look at Recruitment as a Longer-Term Investment in the Business

Recruitment marketing isn’t always about immediate results. Instead, your goal is to build a pipeline that creates long-term stability and strength.

Many companies aren’t used to this approach. During lean seasons, recruitment can get pushed to the back-burner. But, how do you expect to rebound if you don’t set your company up for success?

The money you invest in your recruitment process can pay off in the end. A well-developed talent pipeline can give your business a much-needed competitive edge.

7. Architect Your Teams to Specialize in Building a Funnel

Implementing these strategies demands a multidisciplinary approach to recruitment marketing. For instance, most HR personnel won’t have backgrounds in data science. Given that, you might consider hiring recruiting staff with the skill set to support these efforts.

You’ll also need a team composed of the right strategists and personnel. Recruitment marketers drive marketing qualified leads (MQLs), while others operate as sales development representatives (SDRs) to pursue sales qualified leads (SQLs).

In other words, you need a team approach that helps you stay on top of the varied tasks associated with recruitment marketing, which may mean increasing your recruiting staff.

8. Find the Right Tools to Give You Insights Into the Data

You need the right digital tools to help you analyze your data. Most content management platforms already have something like this built into their dashboard. WordPress sites, for instance, can help you track the performance of individual posts and provide insights on unique visitors, such as where they are located.

Google Analytics can also help you monitor web traffic and assess which social media channels are directly contributing to your site’s traffic. Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact can also give insights into who’s opening your messages and clicking the links inside.

9. Talk to Your Team

Talk to successful employees outside of your recruitment team. What characteristics are you consistently finding in your company’s top talent? It could be that you need to adjust your recruitment marketing strategy to market for those character traits.

In fact, if your process isn’t yielding quality hires, your recruitment marketers might be going after the wrong client profile. Spend time communicating and refining your goals to ensure that you’re targeting the traits and skills that truly matter to your company.

Recruitment Marketing: How Data Drives Results

Counting resumes is a thing of the past. Now is the time to think about engagement metrics and how to leverage those leading indicators to fine-tune your recruitment marketing plans. Leveraging recruitment marketing strategies that align with sales funnel best practices can help you build a solid and consistent pipeline of qualified candidates and that’s good news for applicants and recruiters alike.

Brad DiPaolo is currently the founder and CEO of CandidateHub, a data-driven marketing platform for recruiters. CandidateHub is designed to help staffing agencies and HR teams identify and engage with their audiences through precise data tracking, analytics and messaging which helps organizations place the right candidate, at the right time and for the right client.

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