Recruitment Advertising Industry Update – Tips, Trends & Strategy

Adam FudalaBy Adam Fudala
March 1st, 2022 • 5 Minutes

There have been many shifts in the recruitment marketing landscape within the last year. New trends have become imperative to recruitment marketing strategies, and it’s important to keep up with the ever-changing market. Here are some of the new trends on the horizon and what companies should be looking out for.

Making the Right Investments

One trend I’m seeing is that talent acquisition departments are becoming much more data-focused, and they’re feeling pressure from the organization to prove the value of their investments.

Talent Acquisition professionals must evolve their understanding of how to effectively evaluate investments in recruitment marketing. This will aid in their ability to tell the story internally about what these dollars are effectively doing. Particularly coming out of a pandemic, where everyone’s belts are tightening on budgets, companies are really going to want to know if the money is working for its intended purpose. If the goal of an investment is awareness and you’re showing a report with a cost per application of $5,000, your organization is probably going to question whether or not that’s the right investment.

Not all investments are designed to drive applications, and it’s going to be important that talent acquisition professionals gain this fluency in speaking to these types of investments. It’s important to understand investments that are not designed to deliver applications and how professionals go to their organizations and tell that story.

There’s a reason that, for example, Google runs Superbowl ads. It’s not because Google needs to tell people who they are, it’s because they want to make emotional connections with people and ensure Google stays top of mind.

It’s important recruitment marketers start to understand that the bigger picture is going to help them sell.This is done through investments across different strategies, and applications may not be the right way to measure that investment.

Creating New Ways to Measure Success

To be successful, it’s important to clearly understand the problem, and thus can establish the appropriate goal to help solve that problem. So in the case of employers saying, “I need help generating more awareness for my company because no one knows about us, what we do, and the great opportunities that we have,” I recommend utilizing a rich storytelling medium, like video. It’s important to understand that you shouldn’t expect to see a lot of traffic to your jobs directly attributable to a video. 

What you should expect to see is data on the number of people that you’ve reached and the number of times you’ve reached those people. Reach and frequency are two key metrics that are important to understand. What we’ve done with certain companies is help them start to understand the broader impact of an investment and how it relates to their desire to drive applications downstream.

Shifts in the Labor Market

During a recession, a labor market will tend to have higher unemployment, and therefore more active job seekers. The pandemic-driven recession may have stunted the evolution of some talent marketers because the labor market is again rich with candidates who are actively looking for jobs. Budgets may get pulled back to accommodate for the fact that there’s more people in the labor market actively looking than there have been in years. And when budgets contract, that translates most commonly to – stick with what you know.

There will be microeconomic trends for particular cohorts in the workforce that may find a positive effect in 2021. For example, eCommerce and fulfillment are competitive markets so the war for that talent will drive the adoption of more sophisticated thinking and approaches.

New Emphasis on Social Media

A lot of the questions we get on the media side are related to the types of advertising that our clients are getting as consumers. For example, Facebook has a huge penetration and we’re finding more organizations are open to testing into it for their talent acquisition needs.

It’s a conversation around education because more often than not, we’re not doing job advertising on these platforms. We are talking a little bit higher funnel about who the organization is or what type of role they’re hiring for, and we’re likely not driving traffic directly to a job. There are opportunities to communicate a message and to deliver people an experience that further articulates that message. Whether that’s a diversity play or to share a specific role within the organization, the opportunity exists in both cases to drive candidates to a similar destination that helps further whatever the campaign is looking to articulate.

There are new platforms out there and we have a new generation of talent who are users of them. These platforms are beneficial for companies who are interested in hiring and attracting younger audiences. We’re in newer media. 

The Benefits of Display for Recruitment Marketing

There are a couple of factors in which display ads make sense for companies. When exploring new strategies, it’s important to understand the goals companies are trying to reach and to help figure out if the solution is successful. 

There are three reasons I think display ads could be beneficial:

  1. Desire to communicate something more robust about a company’s brand through visuals and words
  2. A need for media to support the upper funnel objectives
  3. Tolerance for time: You need to get to a certain point of reach and frequency to yield results

For companies who are looking for an immediate return or are anxious to see results in a much shorter time frame, it’s not a great option. You not only need time to learn about the audience that you’re trying to reach and the data that you’re accumulating, but also you need to serve a certain amount of impressions and serve them at a level of frequency that will make a difference. You need to get to a certain level of reach/frequency to start to see an impact in performance.

Recommendations for Recruitment Marketing Professionals

There isn’t a lot of thought put into each step of the candidates journey. How should we be speaking to this talent, and when? There’s so much emphasis on applications. In consumer marketing terms, this is acquisition marketing. But there’s this whole other world called retention. It’s a lot cheaper to try to move someone along in their journey who you’ve already spent the money acquiring than it is to acquire somebody new. I don’t think that’s a well-appreciated nuance because it’s all about applications, aka acquisition. Companies have these incredible databases of candidates, and not be doing a whole lot with them. Engaging with these candidates who have raised their hand as interested can be hugely beneficial.

There’s a huge opportunity to leverage the databases of candidates that have been built over the years. But for many companies, the hyper-focus is on applications and it’s hindering a long term understanding of what to do with the database they already have.

The other thing to highlight is employers, particularly on the corporate side, are starting to become more aware of what it means to have a stronger brand. We’re seeing a lot of our companies asking for services that will help them strengthen their brand. 

In terms of trends, that’s another key one to keep an eye on as the talent acquisition department shifts from more of an HR and recruitment mindset to a marketing mindset. Marketers are aware of the brand, the experience, and how it makes the user feel. We’ll continue to see the importance of helping organizations develop a strong employer brand that, generally speaking, will be a derivation of their consumer brand to aid in their recruitment marketing efforts.

It’s important for companies to grow and evolve to keep up with the market, now more than ever. The pandemic has created major changes in the recruitment marketing landscape, and it’s important to stay up-to-date on the trends.

Has your company made an effort to stay ahead of the curve this year? Let us know what helped your company stay successful!

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