With the prevalence of passive candidates, your organisation needs to find ever more inventive and creative ways to attract talent. Increasingly, recruitment and HR departments are placing greater value on marketing and candidate engagement initiatives to stand out in the crowded landscape.

So here are 3 reasons you need to switch your budget from advertising to marketing.

  1. Develop a strong employer brand

Today’s competitive jobs market means that you need to appeal to candidates in a way that goes deeper than a traditional job ad and role description. Applicants are striving for a connection to your mission and brand ethos, and their decision to work for you or someone else may come down to these aspects. This means you need to develop a strong, authentic employer brand, to attract and engage with sought-after talent.

Think about your EVP (Employer Value Proposition). What are you offering to employees and potential hires? Invest in ways to make sure your brand story and vision are reflected across all platforms – whether it’s by allocating resources to redesigning your careers page, engaging with candidates at events or running a digital campaign.

Try to also communicate the great aspects of working for you – from health perks like subsidised gym memberships, to feel-good incentives like free lunch on Fridays.

  1. Invest in an employee referral scheme

An employee referral scheme is another way of attracting high-quality talent to your job vacancies. What better way to attract those who may be an ideal cultural fit for your organisation, than by tapping into your existing employees’ network? And with the rise of social media, employee referrals can now reach far more potential candidates than ever before.

Internal promotion of the scheme, and rewards such as financial incentives or equivalent perks, will require some budget – but the return can be well worth it. Statistics show that employee referral candidates are roughly 3 times more likely to be hired than those sourced elsewhere.*

  1. Keep talent toasty-warm

There are so many passive candidates in the market today – as many as 85% of the fully employed workforce, according to one study.** Market yourself to those who might not be actively looking for a job yet – for example by attending events, or maintaining a presence on social media. Even take advantage of future recruitment opportunities by attending a careers fair or running a campaign aimed at soon-to-be graduates, on social media or within campuses.

On the other side of the coin are candidates already within the application process. These are applicants who are already engaged with your brand, but that require consistent contact, and well-managed expectations. It’s vital to keep them engaged with the application process. This could be achieved with a simple holding email, or even some useful details sent over before the interview (such as directions).


The relationship between recruitment and marketing

Close collaboration with a marketing function, whether it’s an in-house team or is out-sourced to a recruitment marketing agency, can give organisations the edge when it comes to connecting and engaging with candidates. Approaching a job description from the combined perspective of recruitment and marketing will ensure that the advert is shaped to essential role criteria whilst also making an impact on candidates, and reflecting your employer brand.

And of course we all know the importance of measurement & success metrics in recruitment; your colleagues in marketing will be best placed to help you truly understand the results of your social recruitment and candidate campaigns, such as the interaction and visitor journeys on your website.

Coupled with traditional recruitment activity, this additional insight from the marketing function can only help to strengthen your 360-degree view of successful recruitment campaigns and initiatives.

With the ever-changing jobs market, organisations need to continually review what they’re doing in terms of advertising, candidate engagement and marketing, and how they’re doing it. They now need to invest more into developing and communicating their employer brand, how they seek out new talent, and how they communicate with candidates themselves, rather than in more traditional recruitment advertising. Is it time that you swapped your recruitment advertising budget for marketing?


*http://www.achievers.com/resource/ultimate-guide-employee-referrals   **https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/2014/03/active-vs-passive-candidates-the-latest-global-breakdown-revealed

Find out more

Discover ways to reduce your recruitment advertising spend

Take a look at our nifty infographic on how to keep passive candidates engaged

How can you measure your recruitment ROI? It’s a walk in the park

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.