The 4 C’s of Recruitment Marketing, Part 1: An Introduction

Editor’s note: If you’re looking for some content on how you can improve your talent acquisition efforts by applying marketing best practices to your current strategy, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together the following three-part series–with commentary from IBM Kenexa and HR.com–to help you do just that. Below you’ll find part one, with parts two and three coming in the following weeks.

Why should recruitment professionals think more like marketers?

Recruitment MarketingMany businesses have made marketing a priority because good, targeted and cost-efficient marketing can help an organization flourish. Marketing is able to accomplish this primarily by reaching their target audience with tailored messaging, through accessible channels and within particular budgets. Marketing is a critical business driver.

Today, HR and talent acquisition professionals find themselves with the same opportunity to become business drivers. If we look at candidates as a target audience and apply proven marketing methods, recruitment can begin to yield similar results for organizations. After all, improving your recruitment efforts to make better hires leads to employees that are more productive and engaged, enabling your business to thrive, too.

Both marketing and recruitment can be key business drivers for their organizations when the right approach is considered. Given marketing’s long history of accomplishing this through tried-and-true methods, this blog series looks to provide insights to recruitment professionals on how you can leverage these methods to improve your current talent acquisition efforts.

The first thing to understand about marketers is that all actions are typically driven by the 4 C’s: consumer wants and needs, cost, communication and convenience. Questions that the best marketers typically ask themselves include:

  • Who are our ideal consumers, and what do they want and need as it relates to our products or services?
  • How and where should we be communicating information about our products or services to our ideal consumers?
  • How can we conveniently advertise our products or services to our ideal consumers?
  • What will it cost us to conveniently communicate information about our products or services to our ideal consumers?

Marketing is, and always has been, a highly consumer-focused business function, while recruitment typically has not been equally candidate-focused. For recruitment, however, that’s all changing.

“You can’t wait for the candidate to come to you. As Waldo put it, ‘We’re no longer seeing those applications just flood in. It’s no longer the world of just sitting there and waiting for your req to fill up with candidates. The role of recruiter has, I think, transitioned to more of a hunter role where you’re really having to go out there and seek out that great talent.'” –Dan Davis, IBM

With that said, let’s quickly take a look at how a recruitment marketer might flip these questions above and put them to use for talent acquisition:

  • Who are our ideal candidates, and what do they want and need as it relates to working for our organization?
  • How and where should we be communicating information about our company culture and employment opportunities to our ideal candidates?
  • How should we conveniently advertise our employer brand and our job opportunities to our ideal candidates?
  • What will it cost us to conveniently communicate information about our employer brand and our job opportunities to our ideal candidates?

As you can see, simply putting on the marketing hat can help you begin to orient yourself in a way that better serves your candidates and gives you a competitive advantage in the “war for talent.”

In Part Two of our series we review how and why HR and talent acquisition professionals should start to think more like marketers by taking a candidate-driven approach to recruitment.

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