Employee recruitment starts with better employer branding

Why today’s recruitment needs demand behavior change campaigns, not ad placements.

Is marketing a good strategy for recruiting good candidates? Absolutely.

However, like everything else today, getting the word out about job openings and engaging potential employees is harder than ever. Posting job openings is like any other awareness effort—it’s all getting lost in the overwhelming noise of attention-dividing content.

Clients often come to us needing to fill open, high-stakes positions. They ask for a digital advertising campaign to recruit new candidates. Every time, we challenge them on the effectiveness of this approach—and the ROI.

Why? Because a job posting is not a simple offer anymore.

Having a job opening and posting about it on social media or as a paid digital ad as a first step mostly falls far short of the expected flood of resumes clients want. Essentially, you’re Sisyphus pushing the rock up hill and getting pelted with other rocks from all directions. What do we mean by this?

A few of the challenges we’re seeing for today’s employee recruitment:

  • Constant media headlines and online influencers criticizing health employers and jobs (this is particularly a problem in healthcare and education)
  • Burnout for current workers (again, a major issue in healthcare and education)
  • Rising costs of living, inflation, and business costs
  • Declining optimism for the future, particularly for younger workers
  • Changing generational expectations for job satisfaction
  • A persistent shortage of qualified candidates (everywhere but particularly in rural areas)

Recruiting for a job is a behavior change campaign. You’re asking candidates to make a change—to their security, routines, commutes, and, possibly, to their lives if they need to move to take your offer. This takes a bigger strategy and storytelling effort with multiple narratives, touch-points, and engagement levels.

So, no, an advertising campaign isn’t going to work on its own. It’s a tool in the toolbox, not the solution itself. What can you do?

While you can’t remove every roadblock to recruiting new candidates, you do have the power to move the needle on some. It starts with defining your employer brand— your vision, story, values, benefit proposition, influencer platform, messaging pillars, voice, etc. We approach this process in three steps:

  1. Clarifying and reinvigorating your employer communications both internally and externally
  2. Recruiting internal influencers to the cause and providing them the resources they need to help sell you to candidates
  3. Designing an excellent, painless, and compelling candidate experience

Once you have a clear employer brand, it becomes the foundation for simplifying and streamlining all future recruitment efforts, including launching creative and engaging digital advertising campaigns that deliver the candidates you want.

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