Why Good Recruitment Marketing Starts with Listening

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

Where do you start with recruitment marketing? According to Three Ears Media’s Katrina Kibben, effective recruitment marketing always begins with listening.

In this episode, Katrina shares her take on employer brand vs. recruitment marketing, best practice in recruitment communications, tips & tricks around job descriptions, application processes, understanding what candidates want and much more. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand endemic issues and conceptualize solutions for engaging and (hopefully) hiring better people. Today, she takes all of that listening and creates recruitment marketing strategies that work.

Have a listen to the interview below, keep reading for a summary and be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

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Why is recruitment marketing important?

Recruitment marketing is more important than ever. The US unemployment rate is at historic lows, and what that means is that there is more competition than ever. Candidates are more decisive than they have ever been because they can. They can now say no to jobs that don’t suit them.

What is the number one content challenge in the talent space?

Translating your authentic story into the practical application. There was a phase where everyone was talking about their value proposition; everyone was talking about pillars. It’s not to say everyone has figured it out, but the next phase where everyone is struggling is how you take something that captures the essence of your company, and translates that into the practical recruitment marketing application. Learning how to keep the message consistent, no matter the content.

What’s the difference between employer branding and recruitment marketing?

There a lot of different definitions, but for me:

  • Employer brand is the tone, the story and what it feels like.
  • Recruitment marketing is how you translate that story. It is the tangible element of employer branding.

Is there a step-by-step guide to recruitment marketing?

So many people are looking for a formula, but unfortunately, I don’t have a full step by step. But your first step should be listening. Start by talking to people in your company, understanding what they love and what motivates them to work. If you start by listening, everything else becomes more natural.

What’s the biggest pitfall you see in recruitment marketing?

Plagiarism. What happens a lot is that people see something cool and replicate every single element and expect it to work out the same. That’s not how recruitment marketing works.

What’s the best way to go about creating job descriptions?

  • I look at the content the company has already created and try to understand what their tone is. How they communicate internally molds their job descriptions.
  • I then look at marketing elements. I look at subject lines to gauge the reactionary point. And the formula is something that is built over time.
  • It’s all about figuring out the positioning and looking at the objections. Understanding what is going to make people say no. I like the element of giving people a ‘No’ at the beginning. Start by telling people why they should opt out.

Do landing pages increase the quality of applicants?

Yes absolutely. We mentioned briefly psychological elements, and the look of your landing page is a psychological element. But at the end of the day, you have to focus on the question ‘Does it work? Is it converting? A landing page is all about conversion. That’s what it’s meant to do. Using a tool like LeadPages as a model because they will show you the highest converting pages across their system and use that as a baseline.

Is it worth investing in a video for each job role?

It depends on who the applicant is. It appeals to:

  • High volume, low retention roles
  • People who move from job to job
  • Millennials because they are a video generation

But when you said the word ‘investment,’ I want people to be wary of how much they invest. I’ve seen companies spend thousands on video, but I would recommend looking for solutions that are quicker. My personal favorite is SkillScout, and the reason I like them because they offer a full DIY guide. All you need is a phone, you do the recording, send the film to them, and within 48 hours you’ll have your video.

Connect with Katrina on LinkedIn.


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