Recruitment Marketing 101: What is it & How to Build a Winning Strategy?

Recruitment Marketing 101: What is it & How to Build a Winning Strategy?


Raina Kushary

July 15, 2024

“A business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” ~Peter Drucker 

While Peter Drucker, also known as the father of Business Consulting, said this with respect to business growth, it also holds true for the recruitment space today. This is the inherent nature of competition after all – it brings out the need for organizations to communicate what sets them apart. As there is no growth without people, recruiters and businesses strive hard to attract rich talent, which we also refer to as recruitment marketing. 

76% of recruiters say attracting quality candidates is their biggest challenge. Building a talent pool with excellent skill sets, diverse backgrounds and passions – has never been this trickier. 

Add up to that the fierce growth rate that modern businesses are almost forced to chase. Acquiring top talent is every organization’s goal now, but the efforts required are not only around sourcing and hiring. Amidst the rapidly evolving mindset of job seekers, recruiters are struggling with fulfilling the demand for talent.

Standing out among the competition is the need of the hour. The only way through? Start positioning yourself as an employer of choice and putting in efforts to reach a large number of people with the same positive reputation. Recruitment marketing has become a vital aspect of modern-day businesses, with the primary intent of attracting and converting candidates through a funnel.

So what does recruitment marketing cover? How do you get started? What are the top strategies that will ensure long-term outcomes? We discuss the answers to all of these questions and more, in this blog. Stick around for a detailed guide on recruitment marketing and what it has to offer for your business, let’s get started.

What is Recruitment Marketing?

The practice of attracting, engaging and nurturing talented candidates for your company with marketing methodologies is referred to as recruitment marketing. The idea is to organically drive target candidates to apply for your organization’s available roles. 

The transactional mode of hiring doesn’t quite work well now. Similar to consumer behaviour, candidate behaviour has changed now too. Job discovery and consideration are now digitally- driven. Potential candidates find you through Google search, social media or LinkedIn profile. Once aware, they read your reviews, scroll through your people pages and further decide if they want to apply for an opportunity or not. 

The major difference in recruiting today is its candidate-centric nature. Your prospective candidates are not only interested in the company’s mission and vision statement, but are more aligned towards the value they can extract from you as an employer. What’s going to be their role? What makes you stand out in the competition? How’s your brand reputation? All of these factors influence their decision. 

Much like marketing and growth, this practice also involves branding, messaging, content creation, distribution, social media strategy, SEO, PPC, lead nurturing, automated campaigns, email marketing, CRM and AI-based analytics.

If planned strategically and executed efficiently, recruitment marketing can help you enhance your employer brand, boost your reach, generate leads, ace your candidate engagement and deliver a great candidate experience.

Recruitment marketing forms the topmost part of the talent acquisition funnel. Now, it can be further divided into four parts: awareness, consideration, interest and action. Let’s take a look at what each of these covers.

Breaking Down Recruitment Marketing

Stage 1: Boost Awareness

The recruitment system was traditionally designed to cater to active candidates, which means candidates who are actively looking for opportunities and applying to various roles. However, today  – passive candidates form 73% of the total workforce. So only one-fourth of the total workforce will apply to jobs and that’s obviously not going to be enough for all businesses. Focusing on the passive candidates, brands now need to closely monitor their online presence and engage to increase brand awareness. 

The best way to do this is by creating valuable and engaging content that candidates would like to consume. To position your organization as a great place to work, the content that you create and share plays a vital role in growing your network and boosting awareness.

Stage 2: Stimulate Interest 

You have established a great awareness, and now it’s time to draw their interest toward your organization. Consistent and persuasive content that adheres to your employer brand voice can help you in drawing the valuable interest of your target candidates. Your candidates forgetting about the opportunities or your brand would halt your recruitment, but more than that – it would be disheartening for you and the team. A well-planned and dynamic content calendar for continuous value-addition and engagement with your candidates would optimally present your brand story. Generate interest by portraying your brand in a way you want your target audience to view it.

Stage 3: Engage and Nurture them 

Now that you have laid down a firm foundation of awareness, and got hold of their interest – it’s time to give them strong reasons to work with you. Highlight your USP as an employer, share what makes you stand out among the huge pool of organizations and dive deep into the job details. 

The most optimal approach for engaging at this stage is to share information surrounding the currently available opportunities, perks that you offer, benefits of working with you, work culture highlights, diversity in your workforce and all the other factors that matter for your candidates before they decide to apply for your open roles.

Stage 4: Trigger Action

After all the hard work in the previous three stages, you need to now drive those efforts to meaningful action - make them apply to your open positions. Identify the factors that make candidates apply for a job at the first glance. It can be a remote work policy, unlimited leaves or any other major advantages that they would get when working with you. Analyze what’s stopping them from applying and rectify your recruitment process based on the outcomes. More often than not, candidates skip application processes in between due to lengthy and complicated steps. Asking your candidates to re-enter all the details already mentioned in their CVs makes no sense. 

You need to eliminate all the irrelevant application steps and simplify the process to make it as short as possible. Additionally, if in case a candidate gets qualified based on the CV but doesn’t show up in the interview, keep them in your talent pool to source from later on.

Why is Recruitment Marketing Important?

While numerous benefits of recruitment marketing exist, let’s first discuss the most impactful ones. Could you recall what are the most critical factors contributing to the application decision for any candidate? The offer, value proposition of the brand and recruitment experience – well, recruitment marketing closely works around communicating and executing these as directly and clearly as possible.

Here are the top benefits of recruitment marketing:

1. Activation of Passive Candidates

87% of the candidates in the overall workforce are open to learning about new opportunities. That’s a huge chunk, right? It clarifies - passive candidates aren’t uninterested. An effective recruitment marketing approach enables you to exponentially scale up your awareness and reach a large number of passive candidates. So that you can ensure adding qualified talent to your pipeline. Both passive candidates and on-the-fence candidates need to be engaged with constant social content.

2. Get Ahead of Competition with Your USP

The primary approach of recruitment marketing is presenting your employer brand by highlighting its unique selling proposition so that you position yourself as the employer of choice in the market. This becomes even more vital in today’s candidate-driven scenario, where there’s a huge gap between demand and supply of talent. One of the biggest challenges organizations are facing today is acquiring and retaining talent. 

Additionally, the workforce today seeks diversity and inclusion in the workspace, showcasing your organization’s internal diversity as a part of recruitment marketing would definitely give you an upper hand.

No matter if you are hiring currently or not, having a pipeline filled with qualified talent would always be helpful in the long term while scaling up.

3. Deliver Prolific Candidate Experience

Over 80% of candidates say the kind of recruitment experience they have will define their decision of whether they will choose to work with the company or not. Recruitment marketing is centred around keeping the candidates informed and engaged with the organization. Additionally, by making the recruitment process simpler and smoother – at the top of the funnel, you communicate each and every small aspect of the role and the organization. That leaves no stones unturned, the candidates have a great recruitment experience and your chances of successfully making them apply to the role are further amplified.

8 Steps to Create a Succesful Recruitment Marketing Strategy

Predefining a recruitment marketing strategy enables talent acquisition teams to understand, analyze and work on their goals. Just like your brand marketing, recruitment marketing also needs a blueprint before execution. Remember, the top-level goals of every recruitment marketing strategy revolve around:

  • Attract qualified talent
  • Build a credible employer brand
  • Serve a positive candidate experience

Let’s get started with the step-by-step approach to building a winning recruitment marketing strategy. 

1. Define Recruitment Marketing Goals

It is always recommended to have your recruitment marketing goals documented before beginning the execution. You can then analyze the target channels, the relevant content strategy and the forms of content to be prepared. 

Some popular and common recruitment marketing goals for numerous organizations include:

  • Maximizing inbound applications
  • Growing the number of complete applications
  • Boost employer brand awareness
  • Enhance the quality of hire
  • Improve diversity in the workforce

For each of your goals, set up a detailed description along with the timelines.

Suppose your goal is to attract as many eyes as possible to your recruitment, try doing something unique that’s incredibly creative or has the potential to blow up on social media(a.k.a. go viral).

One of the best examples of this approach includes a campaign by Huddle. They launched their recruitment marketing campaign with trucks driving around multiple moving billboards just outside the Microsoft office. The idea was to catch Microsoft employees’ attention on their way in and out of work. 

2. Establish Your Employer Brand and Maintain it Consistently

If you haven’t already, you need to build your employer brand before starting with your recruitment marketing campaigns. Establishing an employer brand is not a destination, it’s a continuous journey for your organization, just like your customer-facing brand. 75% of candidates research an organization’s employer brand and reputation before considering any opportunity. 

Your employer brand is dependent on various factors – corporate identity, your company culture, company mission, values and the inclusive benefits and perks you offer to your employees.

3. Create a Candidate Persona

Without identifying and understanding your target audience, you won’t be able to create an effective recruitment marketing strategy. Create separate candidate personas for each open role. Define the hard skills, soft skills, personality type and other characteristics of your ideal candidate. Back your experience and analysis with data. Creating a clear and accurate candidate persona would help you optimize recruitment marketing campaigns.

4. Create Engaging Content and Distribute it

The core driver of your recruitment marketing is the content that you create to engage the target audience. Based on the role you are considering and the candidate persona, create platform-specific content that persuades the readers. Additionally, focus on publishing content consistently on all the different channels - LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and others. Be it blogs, carousel posts, original posts (with employee photos), byte-sized videos, long videos or informational posts, ensure you engage with the users through your content and not just post for the sake of it. 

For example – If you’re hiring a graphic designer – Instagram is the best platform. 

5. Revamp Your Website Career Page and Job Board Pages

Your website career page should not highlight the same years-old information if you want to hire quality talent. It should be updated from time to time and ideally represent the company mission, values, testimonials, employee profiles, work culture description, latest achievements and more. Additionally, your job board profiles should be revamped every few months too. Suppose your company raised funding, every candidate touchpoint should cover that update.

Some organizations also present employee stories on their website career pages, and that’s a great practice to follow.

6. Capitalize on Social Media and Communities

Engage with communities on social media and prepare dedicated social campaigns for recruitment. Keep posting what is happening in the company, especially in the workplace. Create unique hashtags and promote them to hype up your campaigns and distribute them across different channels. You can also try influencer marketing on platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram to boost your reach.

A perfect example of social recruiting is MasterCard Canada’s #internswanted campaign. Using the hashtag, Mastercard Canada presented an opportunity to college students of competing for an internship on social media. Interested applicants needed to share a task, an idea for a product, app, or methodology to help the company progress towards creating a cashless future. Applicants were judged on the number of likes and retweets their ideas got. The campaign generated 532 qualified candidates and MasterCard extended their program to hire an additional intern due to the talent quality.

7. Capture Candidate Leads

For generating leads, you can leverage gated content, free tools, newsletters, Forums, communities and more channels. Make sure you add them to your pipeline and stay in touch even if they don’t attend the interview. Capturing leads and adding them to your database is a long-term practice that ends up in compounding results. 

8. Nurture Generated Leads

One of the most effective ways of converting your leads is to add them to your engagement and nurture email sequences. This is the most critical part of recruitment. Encourage them to have discussions with you, reply to your emails and engage with your profile on social channels.

Boost Your Talent Sourcing with NurtureBox’s Automation

While you concentrate on recruitment marketing, candidate leads get generated at a faster pace and you need to manage your entire talent pipeline effectively for seamless recruitment. Doing it all manually while also evaluating the candidates is just not possible. You need to automate the mundane tasks of the recruiting journey. 

NurtureBox helps you automate your candidate pipeline management, multi-channel talent engagement and track your entire recruitment in one place. We take care of the repeatable tasks that take a majority of your time and effort. Our Chrome extension enables recruitment teams to source candidates and manage their talent pipeline in a hassle-free way.

Sourcing passive candidates to keep your talent pipeline filled and to recruit the best possible individuals is not a cakewalk. Nurturebox fits in your existing technology stack by integrating all the necessary tools to manage and engage your sourced candidates. Here’s how our platform makes hiring the ‘creamy layer’ simpler and more organized for you:

  • Once you find relevant candidates, use our integrations like Signalhire to extract contact details from LinkedIn.
  • With just a single click, you can add them to ATS integration using – Recruitee.
  • Automate your engagement through WhatsApp or Emails using curated templates.
  • Monitor your recruitment with a single-window track engagement analytics to know what’s working better.

Recruitment insights you won’t delete. Delivered to your inbox weekly.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.