Recruiting the right talent is a critical task. For large brands, posting a career opportunity can return a virtual tsunami of candidates. Whether or not a particular candidate’s qualifications meet the specifications of the position often goes undetermined, as the sheer volume of applicants can be impossible to handle.

In a recent podcast recording, Abby Euler, Global Evangelist for Talent Acquisition at IBM, explained how some brands have stopped recruiting in reaction to a job opening and have, instead, started to take a data-driven approach. Essentially, the art and science of recruiting is becoming an ongoing marketing campaign in which prospective candidates are treated like consumers in a marketing campaign.

Art of Recruitment

Like the creative side of any marketing campaign, recruitment marketing requires the right message at the right time. Instead of simply posting job openings and descriptions on job boards, recruitment marketers utilize social media, in addition to the brand’s website, to meet likely candidates where they hang out and drive them to the brand’s career site.

Creatively, this calls for:

  • Engaging social content for targeted buyer personas, where the desired candidate is the buyer
  • Ideating ways to encourage those buyer personas to identify themselves as candidates
  • Creating opportunities for current employees to become ambassadors who will attract candidates
  • Creating authentic, transparent, and beautiful career sites that accurately reflect the brand’s culture
  • A/B testing of messages to find the right creative

Science of Recruitment

In the Art & Science of recruitment, the scale tips heavily to science. Every interaction and opportunity is measured. Data determines which message is the right message. A tremendous amount of technology is behind the entire effort. That is especially true of pre-employment screenings that determine whether or not the candidate:

  • Has the right skills and temperament for the job
  • Will be a good fit for the brand’s culture

Recruitment campaigns use CRM in the same way that customer campaigns do, except the ‘C’ stands for Candidate instead of Customer. Marketing automation feeds the candidate personalized content based on their previous choices, so that each candidate is treated as an audience of one.

For each candidate, the goal is to have real-time conversations through social, email, and texting that are relevant based on the candidate’s behavior.

Recruitment Marketing in Action

When brands begin to have real conversations with their candidates, they can determine their best course of action.

For hiring veterans, Lockheed Martin has found that using live chat on the recruitment site is the best way to convert those candidates.

In 2014, Zappos was faced with 31,000 job applications from job boards for fewer than 500 jobs. There was no way they could give each of those applications personal attention, and it was clear that most of the candidates were not strong candidates.

In a daring move, Zappos eliminated spending on job boards. Instead, they spent the money that would have gone to the job boards on redoing their career site and running campaigns that drive prospective candidates to the site.

Overarching Goal

This is a big change in the way brands recruit talent, and, as we all know, behind every change there is a problem that needs to be fixed.

In the recruitment world, the problem is that recruiters say they would not re-hire or retain 39% of the people they hired in the first place if given the option. That’s a huge percentage, representing billions of dollars in recruiting and training investment, all to receive unsatisfactory results.

As Abby points out in the podcast, talent acquisition teams should not be afraid to try and fail in their efforts. The beauty of online recruitment marketing is that it can be changed on the fly. It’s all digital. It can all be tracked. If something doesn’t work in a day or two, change it.

Because marketing is a discipline that lives and dies on ROI, the thinking is that data-driven recruitment marketing campaigns can be fine-tuned to increase ROI, just like consumer marketing campaigns. How far below 39% the level of dissatisfaction can be reduced could very well be determined by how well the art and science of recruitment marketing are leveraged to reach their ideal customers, who, in this case, are their best candidates.