By Royce Harada, Director of Marketing at ATR Advantage
Imagine you’re searching for a new job. What is the first step you take?
Chances are you aren’t running to the newstand to flip through Now Hiring ads in the Sunday paper, or bringing a freshly printed copy of your resume to a prospective employer. No, you’ll most likely open your computer browser and jump down a rabbit hole of career sites, industry blogs and even social media channels. Before you know it you may have applied for a dozen jobs.
Now imagine you’re the hirer on the receiving end of this process. You’re sorting through hundreds of candidates, trying to separate the half-empty applications from the quality resumes and cover letters. You’re probably overwhelmed. The bottom line is this: online applications have made the hiring process more accessible — and a lot more competitive. That’s why it’s important — especially in our current remote-centric work shift — to think more like a marketer when you’re recruiting talent. When we’re more strategic about using the Internet as a marketing tool, we can build less transactional relationships during the hiring process.
Integrating digital marketing and human resources may not sound like they have a lot in common, but they share a lot of common features. Much like marketing, employers are selling themselves to a small, targeted audience (i.e., potential employees). Not only are they selling their open position; they’re also selling their reputation, integrity, work culture and image — after all, they want a lucrative employee to join their team. This is where digital marketing becomes really beneficial.
First, let’s take a look at social media job marketing. The term “social media” has become somewhat synonymous with influencers and flashy content; however, it’s one of the most effective means of networking and engaging with industry professionals. Linkedin, the most famous of these platforms with 760 million users, offers targeted job posting capabilities and networking opportunities like never before. Depending on their niche, many businesses also turn to less professional platforms like Instagram and Twitter for job postings. That means you shouldn’t skimp on your job post content. Pay extra attention to the language, application accessibility and imagery. And definitely use your social media business page to reflect what your company does and what it stands for — first impressions are everything.
Next, don’t forget about your personal website. Although you may be using external platforms to manage recruitment, your website will always be where engaged applicants go to learn more about your company. Making sure your website is up-to-date, bug-free, easy to use, informative and truthful is crucial from a user experience (UX) standpoint.
And finally, don’t forget to perform your audience research before beginning the recruitment process. You probably know who your ideal candidate is, so use the Internet to your advantage to find out more about this demographic. Find out the job sites they frequent, the online nomenclature of your industry (if there is one) and even their geographic locations (after all, remote work is booming.) Tools such as Google Analytics can be a valuable asset in your research.
These three examples scratch the surface on how important it is to look at hiring through a digital marketing lens, but understanding who you’re “speaking” to in your process is essential to finding ideal candidates. Use your digital experience to create relationships with job seekers in your field, and maintain an inviting and dynamic online presence to give them a glimpse into your company’s culture. Although your candidates are ultimately selling themselves to you, imagine how much simpler it would be if your inbox was filled with more quality applications, rather than hundreds of generic ones.
Royce Harada is the Director of Marketing at ATR Advantage. He’s also a digital strategist and photographer based in Portland, Oregon and often rover farther afield.
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