Replace Your Recruiters With Marketers


Let me start by saying I have a lot of respect for recruiters. I have been a recruiter. I have led teams of recruiters. I have many friends who are recruiters. Recruiting is a critical part of building an organization’s talent pipeline… and this is why I believe we should replace a recruiting mindset with a marketing mindset. A recruiting mindset focuses on process and procedures. A marketing mindset focuses on the customer and creating connection. Marketing at it’s core is the process of identifying, anticipating, and satisfying the customer’s wants and needs better than the competition. In today’s social media world, a bad hiring process could be your Pepsi commercial. Your candidate is often also your customer -or was. According to a recent survey of over 1,000 recent job candidates, 64% of job seekers say that a poor candidate experience would make them less likely to purchase goods and services from that employer. One-third of the job seekers post about their poor experience on social media. So how can you create a marketing mindset for your recruiting team? Integrate marketing fundamentals in your recruiting — identify your target audience, anticipate their wants, and satisfy their needs.

Identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? What do they do? What is important to them? If you are looking to find top performing salespeople to join your organization, your interview scheduling needs to be flexible (because what they do is work and travel) and brief (because what is important to them is selling not interviewing). Looking for innovation leaders to transform your R/D department? What do they experience during your interview process? Is it innovative or are you having them sit in a conference room for four hours to conduct panel interviews? Redesigning your interviewing approach through the eyes of your target audience can be a powerful differentiator.

Anticipate wants.  Your candidate is a candidate for a reason- there is something they are seeking. Find out what it is. If he has had a progressive career in human resources including merger and acquisition work, mention your open change management leadership role. If she has a strong finance background and also lists several non-profit boards on her resume, what about that opening in your philanthropy organization? Most professional job skills are transferable- figuring out how to connect experience and passion is transformative.

Satisfy needs. Satisfaction is the fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs. One of the most fundamental expectations of candidates is that they will hear from you in a timely manner about the next stages of the process. When you check on the status of your Amazon order would you be satisfied with the reply, “I meant to follow up with the manager on that but we’ve been so busy. I have a bunch of orders I am working on.”  Timely is hours or days, not days or weeks in the candidate’s eyes. Most candidates are hoping for an advancement when taking a new job – either in salary, title, or scope. So even if you can squeeze the person into a lower salary band or if their title could map to a lower title in your organization, will that satisfy the candidate? Will they be a brand ambassador or antagonist based on their experience? 55% of job seekers who have read a negative review have decided against applying for a position at that company.  So saving pennies can cost you your brand.

According to a recent survey, 97% of employers plan to invest in employment branding in 2017 and a majority (51%) plan to increase their spending from last year. Yet very few are taking an integrated marketing approach to recruiting. The candidate experience and recruiting process are going to be connected to your organizational brand — the question is are you going to manage those impressions or learn about them on Glassdoor?  So free your recruiting team from their requisition chains and empower their marketing superpowers so they can identify, anticipate, and satisfy your candidate and customer better than your competition.


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