You’re probably shocked at how dramatically the world – and the workforce – have changed in just a few years’ time. In order to keep up with all that change, recruitment strategies and tactics have evolved rapidly in their own right.
Businesses are facing new challenges due to massive market shifts. Entire sectors of the workforce are struggling to navigate the “Great Resignation,” and employers in many sectors report record-high job openings. Strained industries are competing for talent, thus driving up compensation. Working from home isn’t just the norm anymore; it’s an expectation.
Over the past few years, it’s become clear that “digital transformation” means far more than adopting the latest and greatest technologies. Above all else, it’s about ensuring your employees continue to evolve and remain engaged in the face of near-constant change. It’s about making sure that your people and processes remain at the heart of your business. It’s about reflecting your organization’s core values in every hiring decision you make.
It’s about continuing to grow your business, against all odds.
As a result, more and more companies are enlisting the help of creative, storytelling agencies to implement quality recruitment campaigns. Gone are the days of HR simply placing a listing on LinkedIn or Indeed and hoping for the best. Here are the vital factors to consider when planning your next recruitment campaign – and the reasons why an agency can help maximize your strategy, your resources, and your success.
Consulting the essential departments.
Some businesses simply don’t have the proper teams and departments in place to drive effective recruitment campaigns in the modern world. Even when they do, it’s rare to see those teams and departments collaborating on projects on a daily basis.
That’s a big reason why creative agencies are increasingly being tapped to help lead recruitment efforts.
In order to drive success for their clients and their own growth, every communications agency has dedicated departments that can help drive recruitment efforts: Human resources, digital lead-generation specialists, and content development teams. Not only do these departments play vital roles in the agency’s day-to-day business, they also work together regularly to share insights and elevate the impact of their efforts through integrated strategies.
Ultimately, attracting new recruits may boil down to creating a brand people will want to be close to. That’s what makes culture so important: Culture is a direct reflection of who gets hired, and every candidate can have an impact on your company’s culture.
Company culture often begins as a top-down vision. However, those in human resources will ultimately set the pace of what a company’s culture looks like in practice.
When it comes to recruitment, Sharon Neumann, COO of Airfoil Group, understands, “What worked 5 years ago isn’t going to work today.” There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach to hiring anymore. Different people prioritize different benefits and company values. Beyond compensation, what matters to an entry-level employee may not be as important to a mid-level candidate.
Differences like these are emerging as keys to attracting, hiring, and retaining talent. But above all, open communication and upfront, honest dialogue appeals to today’s candidates.
Recruitment campaigns are essentially inbound marketing campaigns for attracting qualified talent. All successful inbound marketing campaigns begin with an in-depth understanding of target audiences – and where to find them.
That work begins with developing a solid persona. What’s an inbound marketing campaign, and what do I mean by persona? Well, you’re in the right spot.
A recruitment persona should be informed by the department needing a spot to be filled. Building a persona starts with understanding the attributes, skill sets, and overall traits desired for any given role. Taking a company’s core values into consideration will further define your ideal pool of candidates.
Once the lead-generation team develops a strategic persona, they then build audience segments based on specific criteria within the persona. These vital attributes will help you target the right candidates on the right platforms in the best possible way. Audience segmentation is just as important as ad copy and ad creative: They all must hit the mark for campaign success.
Also, the candidate experience during the lead flow is crucial. A company may promise they’re focused on cutting-edge technology, but if a candidate must upload a resume and then input the same data on the next page, that inefficient process may lead to a bad first impression. If the experience is off, your campaign results may suffer.
No matter which platform you’re using – social media, LinkedIn, your own website, or print publications – the difference between content and great content is relevancy. When it’s done well, targeted content will give each candidate precisely what they need at each step.
Whether you’re recruiting engineers, entry-level employees, or executives, understanding the motivations of your target audience is just a starting point. You must also understand where each candidate stands in their unique job-search journey and craft every piece of content accordingly.
Great content must speak directly to your ideal candidates in ways that are timely, compelling, and relatable. That’s especially the case with targeted content created for a niche audience, where the ultimate goal is to drive a specific action.
Strategies to consider.
Again, a recruitment campaign is essentially an inbound marketing campaign, and most modern agencies are set up to deliver inbound marketing success for a broad array of clients. Consider if your company can make these strategies happen. If not, it’s best to seek expert help for your next big recruitment campaign.
Position the company as the ideal destination for excellent talent. When was the last time your organization explored its core brand messaging and key value propositions for prospective employees? These elements can help build the right kind of brand awareness within your industry, your market, and your region. Doing it right will require extensive interviews with your leaders, your HR department, and the most valuable employees on your team. The goal is to share what makes your culture unique, inspiring, and rewarding with the outside world. Culture creates an environment, and this environment will impact everything within it.
Expand your avenues of recruitment. LinkedIn and Indeed aren’t going away, and you still want to be relevant on both platforms. However, if you’re looking to diversify your pipeline of incoming talent, your mix of platforms is a great place to start. Your next great hire may be reading about the latest industry news every day on Reddit. That perfect fit for the role may be watching videos about related topics on YouTube. Diversifying your recruitment platforms will help introduce your brand to audiences that may be using non-traditional employment outlets.
Make current employees an active part of the process. When your people feel connected to the future of your company, it can make all the difference in the world. Your current employees shape your brand culture on a daily basis. They also influence the outward reputation of your brand. Word travels fast, and negative sentiments posted on sites such as Glassdoor are shown to strongly outweigh positive sentiments. An employee referral program can be a huge motivator – and when your employees contribute to core brand messaging and content, your public-facing materials will be a true reflection of your brand culture.
Measure your success. First, of course, you must define what success means. Are you simply trying to fill a role, or are you looking to achieve greater organizational objectives in terms of diversity, equity, inclusion, new capabilities, and new revenue streams? Your definition of success will help you measure your progress against thoughtful KPIs, the metrics that determine a qualified lead, and other unique factors that will quantify the success of your campaign. Once you set these processes and guidelines, measure everything as if it’s an inbound marketing campaign.
Don’t be afraid to adapt. If your campaign isn’t an overnight success, don’t get frustrated. Use the insights you’ve gleaned to try new approaches, new platforms, and new creative elements. Be sure to interview new hires once they’ve joined the team to get real-world feedback on the recruitment, interviewing, and onboarding processes. Consider every step of the end-to-end journey to be an opportunity for improvement, and measure the impact of every adjustment you make along the way.
In today’s world, there’s no such thing as a “boilerplate” recruitment campaign. Each employer's journey, department head, and candidate will be different. An effective campaign will address all those unique needs and requirements.
True success will require time, energy, resources, and expertise. Your business is worth it, and the results can take your brand, your culture, and your growth opportunities to new heights.
Ready to make your next recruitment campaign a resounding success? As you begin assessing your hiring needs, Airfoil wants to help you establish the right strategy for your brand. Connect with us today, and let’s get to work.