Last year, virtually all of our recruitment marketing priorities went out the window when the year had barely begun. Non-essential hiring froze across many companies, so promoting employer brand was out of the question… at least, for a while.

As we trekked our way through the rest of 2020, many companies gradually re-introduced new hiring needs for a new, virtual working world. Recruitment marketers waded through company adjustments to the pandemic, coupled with an increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Looking forward to this new year, it’s time to strategize. We looked at all of the changes that took place last year and end-of-year market trends to compile the top five recruitment marketing priorities every company will need to consider in 2021. 

1. Overhaul your employer brand 

According to a recent report from LinkedIn, 63% of talent professionals expect their employer branding budget to increase or stay the same this year. If you have the means in 2021, it’s time to give your employer brand a new focus.

No longer do candidates need to hear about your products or fun office culture. After a year of turmoil, job seekers want to know how you will continue to support employees and community members. From wellness and mental health, to social issues and crisis relief, your employer brand needs to reflect how you show up for people first and foremost.

Remote Work Benefits

With much of the workforce planning to remain virtual, your employer brand must match your new employee experience. 

According to research from LinkedIn, posts about working from home saw a dramatic increase in engagement last year. In your recruitment marketing, talk about what remote work looks like at your company.

In your content, shift your focus from collaborating in person and fun office life to the benefits people care about in this new landscape. This could be encouraging flexible hours and self-care, home office set-up stipends, online learning and development, and more.

Health and Wellness

More specifically, a critical area to focus on this year will be employee wellbeing. This includes mental health, work-life balance, and even financial stability. Job seekers gravitate toward companies that put their employees first.

Apply this to your employer brand strategy by highlighting the ways your company specifically supports your team from this lens. For example, suppose you introduced new benefits that include mental health resources for employees. In that case, you might feature testimonials from employees who feel comfortable expressing why that has mattered to them this past year.

Social Issues

Last year made it more critical than ever for companies to have a stance on racial and social justice issues. Candidates and consumers are holding companies accountable to make real, actionable commitments in these areas.

Your employer brand should highlight your company’s commitments around social issues, as they can truly influence a job seeker’s decision to apply.

Additionally, your company leaders are a key part of your employer brand too. What they have to say around social issues can significantly impact your brand. Make it part of your strategy to include executives as ambassadors of your employer brand to ensure what they say publicly aligns with your goals.

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2. Enable successful virtual recruiting

According to the LinkedIn report, 81% of talent professionals agree virtual recruiting will continue post-COVID. Additionally, 70% say virtual recruiting will become the new standard. In addition to impacting your employer brand, the continued virtual workplace will also affect how your team gets the job done.

In 2021, you need to establish more permanent virtual workflows to ensure recruitment marketing success. Even if you plan to have some of your employees return to the office eventually, setting up these processes now can make your team more efficient in the long-run.

Enabling Your Team

Evaluate your current ATS, CRM, and other tools that aim to help your team collaborate. Now, factor in the technology you use for your career site, advertising, and social media management. How many different technologies are you using to support all of your recruitment marketing workstreams? 

Now that you’ve considered your technology footprint, it’s time to research platforms to help consolidate and make collaboration easier for your team. For example, LANDED, allows you to create job ads, publish them to your career site, job boards, and social media, and screen candidates.
Use long-term virtual recruiting as an opportunity to get more efficient within your team.

Enhancing the Candidate Experience

It is essential to ensure your candidates continue to have a great experience throughout the virtual recruiting process. Just because you are using more technology, it does not mean your hiring process should lose any personalization.

In fact, with artificial intelligence, you can actually increase those personal touches throughout the candidate experience. For example, you can implement chatbots to your career site to help customize the candidate experience.

Additionally, you can streamline efforts for the hiring team on the backend with one-way video interview screenings instead of phone calls while still incorporating your employer brand into the process.

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3. Build Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

More than 75% of talent professionals agree diversity will be significant to the future of recruiting, according to the LinkedIn report

Job seekers want to see real change, action, and accountability from employers — not just empty words. Talent acquisition plays a crucial role in turning diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments into reality.

Recruitment marketers can expand targeting to reach new talent pools with diverse job seekers. This includes partnering with professional organizations and universities to hire talent from underrepresented groups.

You can also create toolkits for recruiters and hiring managers to enable their direct communication within these talent networks. As the talent acquisition expert in social media and networking, teach your partners how to use tools effectively to build pipelines. Arm your teams with recommended messaging and content resources, so they never question what information to share with their networks.

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4. Develop strategies for internal mobility

The LinkedIn report also found that since the beginning of the pandemic, internal mobility increased by nearly 20% year over year. In a year with historically high unemployment, companies made more efforts to keep their own people employed and growing rather than recruit externally.

As a result, your recruitment marketing priorities for 2021 should include an increased focus on internal mobility. What does that look like?
You can partner with executives to ensure everyone is supportive of talent sharing. Provide a hub with resources that tie back to your EVP to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Additionally, you can develop a messaging strategy with internal communities such as employee resource groups to make sure your people are the first to hear and be considered for new roles.

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5. Tap into smart advertising

Lastly, your recruitment marketing priorities need to include smarter advertising. Kick-off 2021 with a holistic strategy that supports all of your KPIs: employer brand awareness, candidate engagement, applications, quality candidates, and of course, hires.

You have limitless marketing options at your disposal. Make sure you’re using the right tactics to meet each of your goals. Tailor your marketing strategies to ensure each outlet accomplishes what it does best.

For example, it’s critical to remember that while job postings and paid search may contribute directly to applications, social media probably will not. Instead, social media will be more beneficial when it comes to brand awareness and candidate engagement. This applies to display ads as well.

Be deliberate with your budget. Programmatic media can help your job postings reach more specific audiences. It’s a great way to maximize your dollars and optimize your ROI. On the other hand, brand awareness campaigns require more time to truly make an impact, plan accordingly. 

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What are your recruitment marketing priorities for this year? Let us know on Twitter!