Changing jobs is perhaps one of the most important decisions you will be making throughout your career, and for that reason, it is not something you would do light-hearted. If you are qualified or if your skills are in demand, you would never switch to whichever opportunity you stumble upon first.

If you’ve been going through an interview lately, you may have found it pretty evident that recruiting processes are becoming much more dynamic. Marketing and human resources are more than ever going hand in hand, and that’s the reason I partnered with Diogo Sassetti, Media Solutions Manager at LinkedIn, to consolidate these thoughts. It’s an excellent time to join forces!

Marketing & Talent: a partner–and–conquer game

Going back to changing jobs, we often like to compare this decision to buying a car. You will want to make an informed decision: see which models are available, understand what’s within your possibilities, or make a decision on which extras you desire. There are dozens of car brands out there fighting for your attention every day–even if you are not looking for a car right now. As most of these brands have something that goes in line with what you are looking for, how are they going to influence you this time? Even if not apparent, there is always a strong marketing strategy behind it.

In the fight for talent, the situation is very similar. Some roles are quite hard to fill, and companies will be battling each other for your attention to persuade you to consider an opportunity in their ranks. That’s why employer branding is essential for any successful talent acquisition strategy. In fact, if there is one noteworthy pattern we have seen on how different companies address talent acquisition is that effective human resources leadership sees talent acquisition as a discipline of marketing: the candidates are the consumers, and the roles you need to fill are the products you need to sell.

Going down the hiring funnel

The same way products compete for your attention, talent brands may be doing the same. However, being able to identify who your competition is might be challenging for some. So why do we see that often companies fail to understand who they are truly up against? Put yourself in the shoes of a talent acquisition leader for a global bank whose primary goal is to find cybersecurity engineers. Your competitors will naturally be other banks who are also fighting for the same talent, and for that reason, you could be led to think that you should position your company as the most attractive bank to join. What can go wrong?

However, it is unlikely you would be the natural first choice for a cybersecurity engineer. You are likely competing against large tech companies–which are also very desired within the engineering world. You should position the role in such a way that it is attractive for these engineers, for example, marketing your organization as a technology company which also happens to be a bank. 

Now that we have defined our competition, let us now focus on go-to-market strategy; and the best way to make applicants fall in love with your open roles is by telling a love story.

There are no shortcuts in romance. If you are free to choose the person you love, you wouldn’t marry the first person you would run into. It all starts with a meeting for the first time. Then you start to get to know each other a little bit better, you go on dates, and you eventually will start to wonder what it would be like to be the other person long term. With time, the relationship will strengthen, and you may be ready for the next step–let’s suppose, getting married.

Finding a job is a very similar process. Think about it. A talent manager will need to introduce the company and its values to potential candidates, and one of the best tools to accomplish this purpose is using marketing. By impacting the talent pool with targeted content, we can stand out and stay top-of-mind amongst other competitors.

“Integrating content marketing in your organization’s recruitment strategy will help shape your employer brand and how both potential candidates and the media see your company as a place to work. Publishing HR-related content is a brilliant way to differentiate your organization amongst others.”
Anna Bertoldini, Global Employer Branding at Glovo

Photo by Hal Gatewood for Unsplash

Continuing with the same example, a hiring manager would gradually want to go down through the hiring funnel into a state where he can find the desired talent, considering a potential future employer. Here’s the time when the recruiter should be promoting content that celebrates the culture, and leadership of the company, or even the expertise in a particular field. 

Here is where this analogy will make –even more– sense. As you probably assumed already, the marriage proposal is the job application. Only when the candidate is warmed up and well informed, it is the right time to ask for a commitment. And now we bump into the final stage of the hiring funnel: the conversion. At this stage, a candidate would be much more likely to apply for the job with confidence, thus taking the interview process seriously.

One plus one equals three

Employer Branding is vital to building a strong pipeline of motivated candidates that know what they are applying to. Job applicants are on average +56% more likely to reply to a message from a recruiter if they have been exposed to media, according to the LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report. These are considerable savings of your resources: motivated and engaged candidates will save you time and money and will boost productivity significantly.

“Attracting top talent requires a creative employer branding strategy by thinking outside the box to engage candidates into the job being disruptive and giving them a unique candidate experience. Our goal is to be the employer of choice. For this, we create an environment that’s welcoming and that people want to be a part of.”
Marta Juan, International HR Manager, INDITEX.

As companies are gradually shifting towards a model where a marketing strategy drives talent acquisition results, we have seen a tremendous boost in recruiting efficiency. The most successful hiring teams are those able to analyse and predict how talent flows; impacting potential candidates with the right message at the right time, ideally before these potential candidates see themselves as candidates. And that will be the winning employer branding strategy.


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Article originally published at Huffington Post – Spain Edition.

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