4 Marketing Tactics to Steal for Your Recruiting Team

“You need to sell the company brand to potential job candidates.” “You’ve got to keep in touch with candidates so they keep your company top of mind.” “You have to make the candidate experience positive and memorable.” These are just a few of the statements you’re likely to hear from HR leaders these days.  

And it makes sense: The job market is currently candidate-driven with 53% of organizations citing shortages of required skills in the labor pool and 47% citing trouble in sourcing qualified candidates. Recruiting teams have to go above and beyond what their role traditionally called for to engage their dream candidates and sell them on the benefits of working for their company. That’s why industry-leading recruiting teams have begun to think like marketers in order to win the best candidates for their teams.

Why should recruiters take cues from marketing?

It turns out that recruiting is very similar to business to business (B2B) Marketing. While B2B marketing is selling your organization’s product or solution to prospective customers, recruiting is selling your organization's career opportunities to prospective employees. It’s a kind of career courtship, if you will.

As a company, you market your brand and advertise your work environment as THE place to be in terms of innovation, collaboration, and most importantly, career growth. Meanwhile, the candidate is trying to sell you on their skills and experience and how they would be a perfect fit to your existing company culture. If the stars align, the prospective employee and your company enter a mutually beneficial work relationship for an extended period of time.

Look at these marketing tactics you can use for your recruitment efforts:

1) Define your company’s employer brand

While it’s the marketing team’s responsibility to create the hype around the company’s product or service, it’s HR’s job to generate the hype around the company culture and work environment and uncover what is truly unique about their company’s DNA.

Employing what marketers called the “3 Cs” can help your company define what makes it truly unique as a work place.

Candidate: who your company’s ideal candidate is and what qualities and skills they possess  

Company: what your company does best

Competition: how your company compares to the competition in the same field and where your strengths and weaknesses lie

Spending some time to define the “3 Cs” helps you determine which candidates are a good fit, what your company has to offer in terms of opportunities, and how you stand out from other companies in the same industry. Once you have a clear understanding of what your company can offer, you can align that message to all of your outward-facing communication—job postings, employer website, candidate communication, etc. to create a powerful and unified company brand message.

2) Manage your company’s reputation

A big part of being able to attract top talent to your company is establishing a positive company brand image and reputation in the minds of the public. Naturally, candidates are drawn to successful companies that are winning in the industry they compete in. Often times a company’s reputation will precede them—making their recruiting team’s job either easier or more difficult, depending on the recent press. Negative press can sink a company’s reputation and drive away some of the best talent.

Airbnb, for example, has been rated as one of the best places to work with references to its grand office layout and fresh, healthy food options at the cafeteria. It would be in your company’s best interest to keep a close eye on the outbound publicity about your company, making sure to be in touch with the right members of the press so that the best part of your company’s work life can be highlighted.

3) Maximize social proof

Grassroots marketing campaigns spread the “word on the street” through campaigns, events, and customer satisfaction quotes, and recruiters can do something similar. Employ your own “word on the street” by using current employees as spokespeople, or as “word-of-mouth” marketers for your company’s brand.

Try using your current employees as advocates for your company. They are the best and most credible source of social proof you have available to you. Nobody knows what it’s like to work at your company better than your current employees do—and candidates know this. Whether it’s publishing quotes from satisfied employees and case studies of career development on your website or arranging a chat between a prospective candidate and a current employee, no one can paint a more believable picture than your own people.

4) Get the best referrals from your network

Much how a consumer is more likely to buy a product if a friend or family member has recommended it to them, so too are job candidates more likely to apply to a company if they have a mutual contact who refers them to a position. In the case of employee referrals, a current employee who genuinely likes working at the company spreads the word to their network and then refers a friend to an open position in the company using recruiting software like Simppler

Employers can get the benefit of a warm introduction to pre-vetted qualified candidates, and job seekers get the benefit of having an “in” at a company and knowing that their friend or contact there will help them get adjusted and up to date with the new work environment.

There is a kind of social proofing or vetting that happens when you meet through a mutual network. And from a hiring perspective, it increases the number of quality candidates while decreasing the time to hire. This is ultimately why referrals provide the best source of quality hires.


Recruiting and marketing share many similarities and many of the same best practices. Both are seeking to establish a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with a company. If your organization wants to hire the most qualified candidates for your team, you have to treat them like the career consumers they are. They have plenty of opportunities when it comes to where they work, and it’s your job as HR to convince them that your company is THE place to be for their next career move.

Want even more marketing tips and tricks to apply to your recruiting efforts? Download a copy of the “Think Like a Marketer” eBook.

Cristina Mccomic Small

Cristina McComic is the Head of Content at Simppler, a recruiting technology company and Greenhouse partner that turbocharges employee referral hiring, leading to faster & more cost effective hiring, better business performance, and lower attrition. Bi-coastal and international, Cristina holds a Bachelors Degree from Vassar College in New York and a Masters Degree in Chinese Business Law from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Having lived abroad for 5 years and traveled around the globe, Cristina is excited to bring a fresh, international perspective to the hiring industry. She currently writes about hiring issues like eliminating unconscious hiring biaskeeping employees engaged in making referrals,and why referral bonuses don't work. You can read more on Simppler's blog here.

Filed Under:

Hiring Brand