What Is Recruitment Marketing?

RecruitmentMarketing.com ReporterBy RecruitmentMarketing.com Reporter
November 30th, 2023 • 7 Minutes

To sell more products and services, you need to get more customers aware of and interested in your offerings. That’s where marketing comes in. But what if you want to sell your brand as a great place to work and find qualified candidates for your job openings? Enter recruitment marketing.

Recruitment marketing is essentially marketing your company as an employer, rather than marketing what the company sells. This helps recruiters, HR staff, talent acquisition specialists, and others find better job applicants. And in many cases, good recruitment marketing means you can get more prospective employees coming to you organically, rather than you having to do all the outreach and possibly paying to find high-quality candidates.

In this guide to recruitment marketing, you’ll learn:

  • What is recruitment marketing?
  • What’s the difference between an employer brand and recruitment marketing?
  • What’s the difference between recruiting and recruitment marketing?
  • How does recruitment marketing work?
  • Why is recruitment marketing important?
  • Top benefits of recruitment marketing
  • What’s an example of a recruitment marketing strategy?
  • How do you use a recruitment marketing strategy?

What is Recruitment Marketing?

To understand the meaning of recruitment marketing, first consider the meaning of marketing itself.

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large,” according to the American Marketing Association.

In other words, marketing is all about connecting your intended audience with the value you’re trying to provide.

To that point, recruitment marketing is about connecting prospective employees with the value of working for your company. Accomplishing this connection is typically similar to other forms of marketing, like using blog posts and social media to draw in new prospects. The difference is that you’re sourcing applicants instead of customers.

“In short, recruitment marketing helps companies use marketing strategies like job advertisements, social media, career sites, proactive outreach and targeted communication to attract top talent. It takes your existing talent attraction activities and makes them more effective, connecting the dots between them to create a personalized and engaging candidate experience,” says an article from recruitment marketing platform Clinch.

What Is the Difference Between an Employer Brand and Recruitment Marketing?

The terms employer brand and recruitment marketing might seem interchangeable. Although they’re connected, they’re not one and the same.

An employer brand is the presentation and reputation of an organization as an employer, such as how some companies are known for paying well and having opportunities for advancement, while others might be associated with having grueling workloads. 

Recruitment marketing builds off of your employer brand, where you showcase your reputation and employer brand positioning to attract high-quality candidates.

“Recruitment Marketing is the activation of your Employer Brand. It sits right at the beginning of the recruiting funnel.” notes a LinkedIn article from Ryan Hemmant, who’s worked in recruitment marketing and is currently a talent acquisition operations manager at AVIV Group. “Recruitment Marketing is all about converting onlookers into applicants, interviews and quality hires.”

What Is the Difference Between Recruiting and Recruitment Marketing?

Recruitment marketing is all about how you present your employer brand and attract high-quality talent, which then sets the stage for the act of recruiting, which is generally more of the direct initiative of sourcing job candidates. 

For example, recruitment marketing activities could include creating a blog post about career growth opportunities at your company, while recruiting might involve reaching out to a job candidate to share that blog post and invite them to apply to a job opening.

“It’s important for your recruiters and HR team to have the skills required to excel at both. You need to have constant recruitment marketing efforts running alongside the one-on-one conversations you’re having with potential candidates,” notes a blog post from HR and recruitment software company Hireology.

How Does Recruitment Marketing Work?

Recruitment marketing works by presenting your employer brand and career opportunities to prospective job candidates so that they get interested in working for your company. Doing so often resembles other types of marketing, such as social media marketing, email marketing and more. 

For example, you might create social media content about what it’s like to work at your company to attract others to apply for open roles. Or, a recruitment marketer might form partnerships with other organizations, like universities that run career fairs, to grow awareness and interest in a company as an employer.

If recruitment marketing is new to your organization, consider looking at job openings for recruitment marketers at other businesses, which can provide insights into what recruitment marketing looks like. 

For instance, an opening at Nestlé for a recruitment marketing specialist includes responsibilities such as using candidate relationship management (CRM) software (in this case Avature) to lead the email marketing strategy and program “to develop and execute cadenced, targeted email campaigns that educate, engage, and activate talent audiences.”

Other examples of responsibilities in this Nestlé role include “maintaining our Now@Nestlé Jobs channel, creating social media content, and analyzing performance data to drive and optimize usage.”

As you can see, this resembles the job of a traditional marketer in many ways but it’s geared toward attracting and engaging talent, rather than growing a customer base.

Why Is Recruitment Marketing Important?

Recruitment marketing is important because it helps companies bring in the high-quality talent needed to compete in this day and age. 

Both employers and employees are still trying to figure out what work should look like in the post-pandemic era, which means that many job candidates are paying closer attention to what it’s like to work for particular companies, rather than just searching for a job that fits their skills. So, recruitment marketing can be used to showcase your brand values and draw in top talent that align with what you’re looking for in new hires.

If you want employees to return to the office five days a week, for example, there’s no sense wasting time and money putting out job ads that attract candidates looking for remote/flexible work. Instead, you’d want to market to job candidates who might be looking for in-office roles, such as some new graduates looking for that in-person, early career mentorship.

Conversely, if your company culture is all about flexibility and taking initiative independently, you’d likely want to market that to find these types of candidates, such as by creating social media content weighing in on the remote work debate.

If you only rely on employer branding, hoping that your reputation will naturally draw in candidates, you might be limiting yourself. Similarly, only engaging in one-on-one recruiting to find a potential candidate can lead to a smaller talent pool that takes longer to fill. By also incorporating recruitment marketing, such as by being strategic about what’s on a careers site and creating email content that improves candidate engagement, you can build a stronger talent pipeline. 

Recruitment marketing is also needed if you want to attract passive candidates, not just those actively looking for new jobs, notes a LinkedIn post from Callen Thenn, who’s currently the director of recruitment at InsuranceStaffing.com.

“By showcasing your company’s strengths and unique selling points, you can attract top talent that might not have considered your organization otherwise,” he adds.

Top Benefits of Recruitment Marketing

Some of the top benefits of recruitment marketing that you can potentially achieve include:

  • Sourcing more job candidates by spreading the word about your strong employer brand.
  • Attracting a more qualified candidate by speaking to their wants and needs.
  • Attracting passive candidates by getting on their radar, e.g., via social media content.
  • Improving the hiring process by finding more relevant matches and keeping your ideal candidate engaged.
  • Saving money by analyzing recruitment marketing efforts to identify the ROI of activities like posting a job ad.

What Is an Example of a Recruitment Marketing Strategy?

Curious what recruitment marketing looks like? Consider HubSpot’s approach.

This marketing software company is famous for developing the strategy of inbound marketing, which pulls customers in by providing value, like blog content, rather than outwardly pushing offers to customers, like through ads. Similarly, HubSpot has also successfully been using a recruitment marketing strategy known as inbound recruiting.

“Inbound recruiting creates a remarkable candidate experience through employer brand content and marketing strategies that help companies build relationships with top talent. By taking an inbound marketing approach to recruiting, companies can connect with passive and active job seekers, engage with their network, and delight candidates throughout the application process,” explains HubSpot.

HubSpot can be seen putting inbound recruiting into action, such as on its social media channels.

“HubSpot flaunted their workplace vibes on social media. It’s like a sneak peek into a cool party. Potential hires could window-shop their dream job culture,” says a LinkedIn post from Richa Gandhi, an HR professional and CEO of Impulse Consultancy.

How Do You Use a Recruitment Marketing Strategy?

Employers can use a recruitment marketing strategy in many ways, such as:

  • Attracting passive candidates to apply for roles hosted on your careers site.
  • Re-engaging former employees to come back to your company.
  • Encouraging existing employees to make employee referrals.

Given the many benefits of recruitment marketing, employers should start implementing a recruitment marketing strategy as soon as possible. But you don’t have to do everything at once. 

Start with a few high-priority areas that make sense for your organization, such as:

  • Analyzing the efficacy of your job descriptions in terms of helping you find the ideal candidate.
  • Building out a blog with SEO content that can help you improve inbound recruiting, e.g., an article on the best ways to use data science skills or how to grow into a leadership role.
  • Creating an email sequence that keeps job applicants engaged throughout the hiring process; rather than just sending confirmation emails, for example, you might include videos from other employees highlighting what it’s like to work at your company.

Recruitment marketing software and related types of HR technology like applicant tracking systems can help when it comes to implementing a recruitment marketing strategy. These tools can keep your talent pool organized, expand your reach to more job boards, help you improve your careers site, and more. 

Importantly, recruitment marketing and other talent management software can help you measure your results. Being able to track the effectiveness of your recruitment marketing efforts can help you then adjust your strategy to find better candidates, while also potentially saving money, such as if you can reduce the need to pay for job ads and recruiter fees.

“Use data-driven insights to adjust your messaging, channels, and overall strategies. Determine your most effective sources of applicants and adjust your budget accordingly. Keep a keen eye on conversion rates and continually optimise for better results.” notes a LinkedIn article from Iulia Kolesnicov, who currently works as an employer branding manager at Radiometer.

Overall, recruitment marketing is a powerful way to improve your talent acquisition. Take a look at our recruitment marketing marketplace to see which tools can help you get started implementing a recruitment marketing strategy today.

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