To run a great business, you need great employees. Simple as this sounds, recruiting poses a constant challenge for many employers. If recruiting feels like an endless chase, you’ll benefit from strategies that bring candidates to you. This is known as talent marketing.
It should come as no surprise that talent marketing is all about attracting candidates. As a recruiter, one of your goals is to attract top talent and showcase your organization, its people, and its culture.
In this way, talent marketing is not much different from advertising a product to customers, but with a slight twist: the product you’re selling is a job.
Talent marketing involves attracting candidates by sharing the benefits of working at an organization and building its positive reputation.
A strong brand will make employees proud to be affiliated with your organization and can make recruiting much more manageable, as candidates will begin to seek you out rather than vice versa.
Like any other ad campaign, your goal in talent marketing is to get top talent to bite. So how can you attract candidates and promote your employer brand without a large advertising budget?
This guide will walk you through several methods of personalizing your talent marketing strategy to build relationships with candidates and, hopefully, convince them to onboard.
Why Is a Talent Marketing Strategy Important?
Even without an extensive advertising campaign, hiring is an expensive process. In fact, hiring a new employee can sometimes cost up to $4,000!
Even though it seems like you’d want to avoid further expenses, investing in a talent marketing strategy can speed up the hiring process.
On the other hand, cutting corners on hiring can have negative consequences that ripple out to the rest of your organization. A successful business depends on its staff, so recruiting high-quality employees who share your organization’s vision is worth the investment.
Talent marketing is important because the people you hire will often dictate your business’s direction, culture, and productivity. Therefore, you’ll want to do everything possible to attract high-quality candidates.
Though some talent marketing strategies require a large budget, there are still steps you can take to bring great people to your doorstep without breaking the bank.
Customizing Your Strategy in Talent Marketing
Personalizing your talent marketing strategy can be one of the most crucial factors in attracting candidates. Candidates want to feel seen and valued beyond their technical abilities, so prioritize establishing a real human connection during your talent acquisition process.
1. Understand Your Target Audience
The first step in personalizing your talent marketing strategy is identifying your talent pool. This may be a certain age group, candidates with a particular set of skills, or candidates in the same stage of life, such as college graduates.
Defining your ideal candidate persona will allow you to cater your marketing strategy to their interests and desires and zero in on the qualities that would make someone successful in a particular role.
Conduct research on your target audience’s preferences and behaviors to and focus on the motivations and unique needs. Are they active on certain social media platforms? Do they prioritize compensation over flexibility, or vice versa?
2. Use Candidate Segmentation to Craft Individual Messages
Candidate segmentation is the process of dividing your applicant pool into different groups or segments.
Most commonly, these groups are defined by a department within your organization. This ensures that you don’t use the same data for HR applicants as you do for sales reps, accounting for the different skills needed to succeed in various roles across the company.
Candidate segmentation can help with several elements of talent marketing.
First, ensure that any recruitment emails or social media messages are sent to people who might actually be a good fit.
Suppose you try to recruit an elementary school teacher for a technology job with a long list of technical requirements. A quick glance at the job description will reveal that this is not a relevant opportunity, demonstrating an impersonal recruiting process.
If it’s obvious that you didn’t take the time to review recipients’ resumes, they may be frustrated that you wasted their time and develop a negative impression of your company.
Rather, utilize data to customize messaging for different candidate segments. Then, you can break down your recruitment messages into more specific categories.
For example, if you’re searching for a management role in a tech company, you might divide candidates into groups based on their previous experience. With that information, you can tailor messages to specifically reference a candidate’s background.
You might write:
I am a recruiter for ______, and we are searching for top candidates for our open management role. I was impressed by your experience in restaurant management, and believe you possess valuable skills that make you a strong candidate.
Then, you could create another group of candidates with experience in tech sales and use a similar template.
I am a recruiter for ______, and we are searching for top candidates for our open management role. I was impressed by your experience in tech sales, and I believe your familiarity with the industry makes you a strong candidate for this opportunity.
Though you’re still saving time by using a template, the extra effort it takes to ensure your emails reference a relevant experience will often tip the scales in favor of the candidate responding.
You can also use segmentation to tailor job descriptions to fit the needs and wants of different candidate personas and be sure to target candidates with the right level of qualifications.
3. Leveraging Personalized Content
Many candidates begin their job search by scouring the internet for what current employees have to say about their employers. Websites like Glassdoor provide anonymous reviews of company culture and can provide an inside look at what life is like in the organization.
Positive reviews on these platforms are definitely beneficial, but you should also establish your own online presence. Take a proactive approach and craft a media presence that showcases a day in the life of your company’s employees.
Strive to create engaging content highlighting company values. If you share glimpses into a positive work environment, you’ll begin to attract candidates who want to participate in your positive work environment.
Skilled social media use may take some practice, but it will pay off. Decide what social platforms will work for your organization, create engaging content to build out your employment brand, and utilize videos and photos to keep your feed engaging.
You never know where your next ideal applicant will come from, so maintaining multiple kinds of social media accounts is vital.
4. Providing a Personalized Candidate Experience
Once you’ve attracted some candidates and received their applications, make the remainder of the hiring process as smooth as possible. Candidates will appreciate your effort in responding to their questions quickly and with gratitude.
It can be discouraging for candidates to work hard on applications and interviews and then not receive a response for months. Even if the interview process will take some time, stay in touch with candidates to keep them engaged.
The more you can personalize communication with candidates throughout the hiring process, the more they will feel their time is valued. Small personal touches will improve the candidate experience and positively impact your employer brand.
For example, consider sharing interview tips on your company website, or offer feedback afterward.
5. Using Technology to Enhance Personalization
Though it may be tempting to use AI tools to personalize communications with candidates, too much of it can defeat the purpose. AI and machine learning can help analyze candidate data and optimize your talent marketing strategy, but it’s still no substitute for the human touch.
Most candidates will be able to tell the difference between a personal note from the hiring manager and something generated by AI and mass distributed to all applicants. Though AI technology can provide a leg up in talent marketing organization and efficiency, be careful not to neglect the personal touch.
After all, any organization can use AI to send out a rejection email. Remember what makes your organization unique and highlight that personability and compassion in all communication with candidates.
As we have seen, talent marketing is an essential aspect of modern recruiting. Success in a competitive hiring market requires a proactive talent marketing approach to build your employer brand that will help you attract top talent for years to come.
Again, talent marketing does not have to break the bank. Implementing personalized touches will reassure candidates that their time is valued and can highlight your company’s best asset — its people.
Talent Marketing Strategy FAQs
Why is personalization important in talent marketing?
Personalization helps to make your messaging and content more relevant and engaging to your target audience. If candidates feel that your organization has taken the time to research them before reaching out, they will be more inclined to review the job description and respond. Personalization can improve the effectiveness of your talent marketing efforts by increasing the likelihood that candidates will be interested in and respond positively to your messaging.
How can businesses determine the qualities they’d like to see in future hires?
The first step of attracting top talent is identifying what that talent looks like. To define your ideal candidate persona, you can start by analyzing your existing employee base and identifying common traits, such as education, experience, and skills. Once you figure out the traits that help your current staff thrive in their roles, you can look for similar traits in future candidates. It may also be helpful to conduct research on your target audience to gain insights into their preferences and behaviors.
What is the difference between talent marketing and recruitment marketing?
Talent marketing and recruitment marketing are closely related concepts, but they have slightly different focuses and objectives.
Talent marketing refers to the strategic efforts aimed at attracting, engaging, and building relationships with potential candidates. It focuses on promoting an organization as an attractive employer and creating a positive brand image to appeal to a wide range of potential candidates. Talent marketing involves long-term initiatives that target both active and passive job seekers, with the goal of building a talent pipeline and nurturing relationships with potential candidates even before specific job openings arise.
Recruitment marketing, on the other hand, is a subset of talent marketing and specifically focuses on the process of attracting and engaging candidates for specific job openings or immediate hiring needs. It involves creating targeted campaigns and strategies to generate interest and applications for specific roles. Recruitment marketing is more short-term and tactical in nature, often involving activities such as job advertising, employer branding for specific roles, and crafting job descriptions.
What types of data can I use to personalize my messaging?
You can use a variety of data sources to personalize your messaging, such as demographic data, behavioral data like website activity, and psychographic data like personality traits. This data can help you understand what types of content will resonate with different candidate segments and personalize your messaging accordingly.
How can I create personalized content to showcase my company culture?
Create personalized content by highlighting specific aspects of your company culture and values that are likely to appeal to different candidate segments. For example, you might create content that showcases your commitment to diversity and inclusion or highlights how your company fosters employee development and growth.
How can I provide a personalized candidate experience?
To provide a personalized candidate experience, you can streamline the application process and provide feedback to candidates throughout the hiring process. You can also personalize communication with candidates by tailoring messages to their specific interests and needs.
What types of technology can I use to enhance personalization?
You can use a variety of technology tools to enhance personalization, such as AI and machine learning to analyze candidate data and optimize your talent marketing strategy. You can also use chatbots and other tools to provide personalized experiences for candidates, such as answering FAQs and providing real-time feedback.