Recruiters understand that the talent acquisition universe has changed. Candidates have more choices than ever before.  The labor market has improved, unemployment is at a seven-year low and it’s taking 8% longer and costing 7% more to hire, according to Bersin.

The result is a shift in control to candidates: they are the new consumers, researching employers the same way they research products and expecting their engagement with employers to be hyper relevant and transparent. It’s being called the Consumerization of the Candidate Experience, and recruiters have learned they need new strategies and tactics to attract modern candidates and convert them into qualified applicants.

So what can recruiters do to gain an edge in the competition for talent? SmashFly decided a great place to look was the 2015 Fortune 500―and what we found was so insightful we put our research and findings in a new report called the Recruitment Marketing Report Card for the 2015 Fortune 500.

The report found that many of the largest U.S. companies use best-practice marketing principles to attract and hire talent. We studied 13 modern Recruitment Marketing practices that give employers an edge in finding and attracting their target candidate personas, engaging passive talent on social and mobile, and nurturing leads and converting them into qualified applicants.

Here’s what we found—how does your organization compare?

Key Findings

The report found that 27% (134 companies on the 2015 Fortune 500 list) earned an “A” or “B” for their use of Recruitment Marketing, giving them an edge in the competition for talent due to their use of:

  • Employee stories and videos on their career website that bring their employer value proposition and brand to life
  • Career site landing pages per job family that create a targeted and personalized candidate experience
  • Talent network forms that let pre-applicant leads opt in to receive relevant communications and job alerts without being required to apply for a job first
  • Career-specific social channels and blogs that promote content and culture, not just jobs
  • Career site messaging for student and campus hiring as well as for diversity and military recruiting initiatives
  • End-to-end mobile-friendly candidate experience starting from career site homepage to job search engine all the way through the apply process

Overall, this year’s Fortune 500 class earned a “C” average, with a score of 9.86. As a group, their use of Recruiting Marketing practices is “good;” however, those that scored As and Bs do so by featuring targeted messaging by candidate persona on their career sites, providing a mobile-friendly candidate experience, leveraging career-specific social channels and using talent network forms to capture leads before they’re ready to apply.

Dean’s List

Top marks go to 13 companies (3%) that scored an “A,” earning a spot on the report’s “Dean’s List.” Four companies earned nearly perfect scores with 23 out of 25 points:

Company Name Grade Score Fortune Rank
Express Scripts A 23 22
Johnson & Johnson A 23 37
General Mills A 23 171
Kelly Services A 23 471
AT&T A 22 12
Comcast A 22 43
UPS A 22 47
Allstate A 22 89
CDW A 22 253
Hilton Worldwide Holdings A 22 280
Stryker A 22 300
Xcel Energy A 21 255
Expedia A 21 458

Recruitment Marketing Practices

There’s a lot that talent acquisition teams can learn from how the 2015 Fortune 500 are using best-practice marketing principles in recruiting. Some Recruitment Marketing practices are adopted by half or more companies and therefore considered best practices; other tactics are used by a third of companies and therefore deemed emerging practices; and some practices are largely untapped. Which practices are you using?

  • 70 companies (14%) have an end-to-end mobile friendly candidate experience, from career site homepage to job search to apply process. This is exceptional given that most companies’ career sites, job search engines and apply processes are managed by three different systems.
  • 333 companies (67%) have campus-specific messaging and content to attract student interns and first-time job seekers.
  • Technology, Financials and Health Care are the sectors with the highest percentage of companies earning an “A” or “B” for Recruitment Marketing, with Energy and Retail earning high marks for their use of mobile recruiting.