The First Step in Recruitment Marketing

Tim Sackett candidate experience, employee experience, Employment Branding and Culture, Recruiting, Recruitment Marketing, Referrals, Retention, SHRM, Smashfly, Social Recruiting, Talent Acquisition, Tim Sackett, Trench HR

One of the hottest topics in Talent Acquisition is around the concept of Recruitment Marketing. It seems like daily there are new technology solutions being released that can help you with one or more aspects of RM. Seemingly all of these will take you from zero to 100 overnight, or so they say.

The biggest problem most TA shops and leaders have with recruitment marketing is flat out, how do we get started?

Most of this confusion comes from the theory that as recruiters we now need to start thinking like marketers. It used to be we needed to think like sales people, but no one likes salespeople, so now it marketers! Do you know what marketers do? They figure out ways to sell shit, but anywho…

Okay, so now you need to be a marketer. I bet you’re still wondering where you’ll see that in your traditional HR education!?

The first step to recruitment marketing is determining who you are. Not who you want to be, but who the hell you actually are as an organization!

Simple enough, right!?

Your reality is that if you want to ‘sell’ a candidate on why they should come to work for you, you first need to know who you are. You would be shocked at how many organizations have no idea who the heck they are! Most of us have multi-personality disorder! Our leadership sees us one way. Our employees see another way. Our customers another. Talent Acquisition another. Candidates another.

The goal of recruitment marketing is for all of these parties to be on the same page. One agreeable story that says who we are, where we are and where we all want to go.

Most organizations fail at creating this because the first thing they do is go to their own internal marketing folks for help, or to an outside marketing firm. It’s a logical first step but flawed. You see, your marketing team doesn’t care about the truth, they care about selling crap. Your recruitment marketing story needs to be about the truth, otherwise, you just hire people into a lie and that ends really badly for everyone!

I love for TA shops and leaders to create strong relationships with your marketing peers. You will need their help and guidance, but for this one aspect, you need to be cautious. What I see from most marketing departments is they’ll give you a great story to share, but it’s not really your story.

Your goal in TA is to increase the talent of your organization. Quite simply.

That means you need to attract great talent and retain that great talent. That only happens when you find people who buy into your story, and then upon joining the organization they get to live that same story they were sold. If the stories don’t match up, you’re back to step one.

Once you get this first step done the rest is actually fairly straightforward and there are a number of ways to do it. I love the blog series that Smashfly put out back in 2013 – it’s still one of the best step-by-step tools I’ve seen on recruitment marketing. Check it out!

FOT Note:  We here at FOT like to think we get talent and HR at a different level. At the very least, we are probably going to have a different take than the norm. So it made perfect sense to ask SmashFly to be an annual sponsor at FOT, where they’ll sponsor posts like this one, allowing FOT contributors to write, without restriction, on all things related to recruitment marketing and how it helps organizations find, attract, engage, nurture and convert talent. To learn more about SmashFly’s Recruitment Marketing Automation Software for modern recruiting organizations, please visit the SmashFly website.  

Tim Sackett

If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.