How to Elevate Your Talent Brand with Recruitment Marketing

In this hyper-competitive job market, we can no longer rely on the same old tactics to attract top talent. It takes creativity to capture candidates’ attention and stand out from every other employer. The best talent teams know that it’s not enough to rely on reactive recruiting. It’s crucial to be proactive, build relationships and nurture candidates long before job vacancies arise.

What’s the secret to achieving all this? Elevating your talent brand through recruitment marketing.

At Greenhouse OPEN, we gathered movers and shakers in the recruitment marketing world for the “Elevate Your Talent Brand” discussion. This superstar panel featured Stripe’s Head of Recruiting Tiffany Fenster, Uncubed’s Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Tarek Pertew, Hired’s Senior Director of People Operations Karsten Vagner, Thomson Reuters’ VP of Recruiting & Staffing John Qudeen and HRU’s President & Chief Storyteller Tim Sackett.

We’ll share a few takeaways below. Feeling overwhelmed by FOMO and wish you’d been there in person? You can watch the discussion on demand by clicking here.

1. Make Transparency a Priority

When you prioritize transparency in your recruitment marketing, you’ll help prospective employees decide if your company is right for them – or not. And this is a good thing.

Karsten Vagner makes the comparison to dating. If candidates aren’t aligned with a company’s values or culture, it’s best to know early on to avoid wasting everyone’s time, energy and resources.

Tim Sackett noted the differences between two powerhouses with employer brands on opposite sides of the spectrum: Amazon and Zappos. Amazon’s employer brand is built on exceptional focus and hard work. People know and expect this when applying for roles at Amazon. For Zappos, though, work-life balance – and weirdness – is an integral part of their employer brand. As a result, they attract a different type of candidate than Amazon. By prioritizing transparency about their values and work culture, each company can attract the right candidates for their organization.

2. Show Versus Tell

Tarek Pertew has a pet peeve: videos on careers pages where employees discuss why they enjoy working for their company. He believes the most powerful way to exhibit employer branding is by showing rather than telling. With a wealth of technology at our fingertips, there are ample ways to do this affordably.

Visual content is powerful, so you can create a video that honestly reflects the essence of your company. Instead of asking employees why they like to work there, enlist your C-suite to tell the company story and put their videos front and center on your careers page. Discuss a recent challenge your company faced and how they solved it. Show the work rather than saying that your team works hard and plays hard. Create visual content that accurately reflects your company’s employer brand and cover topics that will resonate with prospective employees.

Video job postings are another affordable, innovative way to attract candidates. Visual job descriptions provide the opportunity to contextualize the role by cutting through words and phrases. Tim Sackett notes that the average time spent on a job description is 12 seconds, versus 47 seconds in a video job description. Think of everything you can include in that additional 35 seconds!

3. Go Above and Beyond

The panelists recommended thinking beyond job descriptions and looking for ways to involve all employees in your employer branding efforts.

Ask an employee to apply to a role as if they were a candidate. Does the job description pique their interest? Is the language unbiased and engaging?

You can also engage parts of the company beyond the marketing and recruiting teams, like encouraging your engineers or product team to contribute to a tech blog. Diversifying content attracts a broader demographic, and sharing real problems your teams are working on will spark candidates’ curiosity to learn more.

Tiffany Fenster recommends events as a way to create a positive association with your company brand. Stripe saw great success with an online networking event. While hoping to fill an engineering role, they organized a “virtual coffee” event for engineers to network and connect. This event ultimately generated 1,700 registrants, 900 attendees and 700 applicants from around the world, exciting people about the Stripe brand, attracting engineers and building an online community.

4. The Proof Is in the Pudding

Like any marketing effort, recruitment marketing should have tangible results. You’ll want to focus on the numbers to understand where your investments are paying off and where to delegate resources. Ask yourself, is a nominal change worth the investment?

Measure what’s happening before, during and after a campaign, then iterate. Utilize surveys and measure the data you already have. Knowing your baseline is critical to understanding where you want to be and whether your messaging is working or where it needs to be changed.

Tim Sackett recommends using surveys and data to answer these two questions:

  1. Do people understand our employer brand?
  2. Are we driving candidates to apply for our roles?

Tiffany emphasizes the importance of doubling down on what your company is good at. Find a way to create value that has nothing to do with a candidate coming to work for you. Your goal is to build something authentic. Candidates are savvy enough to detect when you’re not being genuine – especially the millennial workforce, who are über-sensitive to inauthenticity.

Keep in mind that recruitment marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Even small steps – like rewriting your job descriptions to make them sound more human or adding photos of real employees to your careers page – can make an immediate impact.

Hoping to spark your imagination with even more recruitment marketing ideas? Watch the panel discussion on demand here.

Kasey Altman 1

Kasey is a Sales Development Representative at Greenhouse. A recent college grad and native San Diegan, Kasey found herself in NYC for the love of bagels and people. Outside of the office, she’s an avid adventurer, traveler & writer. Connect with Kasey on LinkedIn, Medium & Instagram.

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Talent Brand