As a marketer, you’re regularly attracting, persuading and converting prospective customers through the use of relevant content delivered at the right time. It’s a lot to manage on a daily basis. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone with whom you could collaborate outside of your department but inside your organization—someone with whom you could share ideas and be a sounding board?
If you haven’t already found the yin to your marketing yang, then go ask a corporate recruiter to lunch right now! That’s right—your recruiting counterpart in human resources overcomes similar obstacles as he strives to attract, convince and hire the best talent for your organization. In fact, many of his methods are the same as yours. Each of you has your strengths; however, you could very well round out each other’s challenges if you team up for some special projects.
Here are four project ideas that will make marketing and recruiting the new dynamic duo in your company:
1. Employment Brand Alignment
You spend a ton of time making sure that your corporate brand is a shining beacon of truth for your organization’s endeavors. From perfecting standardized email signatures to enforcing the consistent usage of only the logos and colors referenced in your media kit—you’ve got branding down pat. However, how much do you know about what recruiting and HR folks are doing to align your organization’s employment brand with the perception your customers have about your corporate brand? After all, some of your customers may turn into employees and vice versa.
A partnership between marketing and recruiting presents an organization with the opportunity to more expertly craft the hiring experience. In the same way that marketing conducts surveys and sales makes calls after a major purchase to reduce cognitive dissonance, recruiting and/or HR staff members should plan activities to engage individuals who have accepted offers but not yet started their first day. A content series can be developed to nurture those new hires with information about the history and culture of the organization, as well as set expectations for job success.
Marketing should ask recruiting to think about whether the hiring process is easy (enough) and pleasant. Can prospective new employees receive alerts about new job postings via social media and/or text? How can the selection process experience be improved for individuals who do not get hired (so that the employment brand is still preserved)?
Idea: Create a tangible brand for your employment process.
- Does it have a special name? My previous employer called our department the “Talent Agency.”
- Does your employment brand warrant its own logo?
- Can you easily identify the “top talent” applicant personas that you intend to target?
2. Uncover Applicant Influencers
Your organization may not always be looking for new talent. It just depends on how frequently you hire employees and your stance on maintaining a passive applicant pool. I will say that the latter is a good idea since you never know when a hiring manager will surprise you with a new job opening that needs filled “yesterday!” But even if you don’t have any openings presently, you should always be serving up employment- and culture-related content.
If you’re doing a great job with employment branding, then odds are you have some followers who will readily engage in social conversation and amplify your reach by sharing content with their own audiences. These people are your applicant influencers. They may not always be past applicants. In fact, they could include existing employees, devoted customers, enterprising vendors, workforce development advocates and other friends of your company.
Marketing can lend its expertise to recruiters by helping them seek and identify other influencers for various job categories. Furthermore, both parties should brainstorm new job-related hashtags and try some sponsored social advertisements that target these influencers.
Idea: Produce an advanced piece of content featuring your top employment influencers.
- Identify your brand ambassadors from a diverse cross-section of occupations and relationships to your organization.
- Invite them to participate in a survey that collects their impressions of what makes your employment experience unique.
- Make it easy for your influencers to share the finished piece with their networks by using tracked URLs within social media sharing links. And why wouldn’t they want to share your piece? You’ve built a content distribution machine by including them in the resource!
3. An Internal Campaign to Attract and Convert Top Talent
While your new dynamic duo is surely a force with which to be reckoned, think about what could be accomplished if you rallied your entire workforce around the goal of finding and securing the best and the brightest for your team. Launch an internal campaign across departments to educate others about the benefits of having the best talent and what they can do to help. This is a large undertaking, so much support is required, but here’s a list of milestones to include:
- Ask recruiting and HR to work with hiring managers to conduct thorough job evaluations to make sure that job descriptions (and subsequent advertisements for said listings) are truly accurate about the requirements of the position. You can dress up a job description when you advertise it, but newly hired employees will figure out your bluff and exit quickly, sending all your employment branding efforts down the drain.
- Analyze data from your company’s recruiting software to look for trends in successful applicant referral sites and popular landing pages. Then, provide in-depth keyword research to recruiting and share ideas with them on how to appropriately use keywords in job descriptions and career-related content.
- Find out about the purple squirrel positions for your organization (there’s always one!) and help recruiting consider whether some paid search and retargeting ads are a feasible option for sourcing applicant interest.
- On the training front, have HR teach hiring managers and other interviewing stakeholders about the appropriate way to conduct candidate interviews. Then, as a marketer, conduct small group sessions with employees and brainstorm ways in which they can support the employment brand through their individual actions (promoting content on social media, welcoming new employees on their first day, acting as a new hire mentor, etc.).
Idea: Develop a series of videos for potential applicants to explain how the hiring process works.
- Invite individuals from across the organization to participate in the videos. This will create buy-in and “win over” additional people to be your employment brand star promoters.
- Be as transparent as possible with applicants and set expectations for how long the process will take and how many steps will be involved. Being honest and accountable to this plan will help you be more efficient in hiring. For example, individuals who cannot accept your timeframe for hiring are more likely to self-select out of the process and appreciate your candor (more points for your employment brand).
- Evaluate the quality of your interviewees once the video series has been available for awhile. It will be easier to spot the candidates who didn’t care enough to prepare and learn about your organization.
4. Crowd Source Content Development
Your recruiting friends are probably well-liked (they tend to have the social gene) and their interpersonal skills can be the key to helping you persuade other budding writers in your organization to share their ideas for your blog, case studies, white papers, videos, etc. Recruiters’ social networks also tend to be incredibly vast, which is an amazing benefit when it comes to creating awareness for your content across multiple channels.
You can return the favor by helping them create career-focused content for their applicant-sourcing efforts. While you may run across a recruiter that dabbles in blogging every now and then, the majority of them spend all day everyday screening candidates on the phone and posting job opportunities in short bursts to social media. They need you just as much as you need them.
Idea: Have a widespread competition to invite others to create content in exchange for a group prize.
- Determine whether it should be company-wide or branch-wide depending on the size of your office.
- Invite teammates to contribute and vote on prize ideas so everyone looks forward to victory.
- Not everyone has the time, focus and/or talent to write. However, they surely can make up for it in other areas such as social media posting, video participation, Q&A interviews, etc. Recognize that a variety of strengths make the outcome even better, so you’ll need to provide many different kinds of content opportunities to earn points.
- Celebrate victory with unique experiences, and by all means—document and promote your success, too.
One of the best parts about befriending your talent acquisition teammate is that it offers you a chance to think outside the box and focus your efforts on a different kind of audience—your potential new employees. Those are the people that will help your organization succeed tomorrow, too, so go schedule that lunch!