Ask any HR professional and they’ll tell you it’s a candidate’s market right now. As the economy has picked up, job opportunities have increased and so has competition for the top talent. Where once any opportunity was a great opportunity, many jobseekers can now afford to be choosy, taking their time to assess a role and decide if it’s the right move for them.
Just last month, a report by High Fliers Research showed that 1,000 graduates jobs have been left unfilled by choosy university-leavers, with a “noticeable rise in the number of graduates turning down or reneging on job offers” in the face of something better. This is a wake up call for many companies who are used to calling the shots and relying on tired, impersonal and ineffective recruitment techniques to bring candidates through the door.
There are still plenty of companies who remain entrenched in the old way of doing things
Recruitment marketing to the rescue
While these market conditions have left some companies floundering, others have stepped up to the challenge and started experimenting with new ways to identify and engage potential candidates. HR managers are turning to content and social media marketing to help showcase their employer brand and communicate with jobseekers in different ways and on different channels.
We wanted to understand the extent to which this new approach is changing the face of recruitment, so we partnered with HR transformation consultancy Veran Performance to conduct exclusive research into recruitment marketing trends in the UK.
Our Recruitment Marketing Insights report, which is free to download here, provides the most comprehensive view of how UK companies are utilising the latest tools, channels and technology in the ‘war for talent’.
Producing content and getting social
Our research shows that UK businesses are producing a variety of targeted content to attract and inform potential candidates, ranging from career sites and ‘join us’ pages to job profiles, Q&As, career blogs, employer brand videos, podcasts and SlideShares. Of these, career sites and job profiles are proving particularly effective in helping companies to achieve their recruitment goals.
When it comes to getting this content in front of candidates, 67% of HR managers are turning to social media, with almost three quarters (73%) using Facebook, 67% using LinkedIn and 50% using Twitter. And it’s not just the major social channels that are proving useful. Almost a fifth (18%) of HR managers are distributing recruitment-focused content on Instagram and 5% are utilising Snapchat.
A further 44% are using social channels to communicate directly with candidates, with the majority saying these methods deliver results.
In line with wider marketing trends, HR managers are open to the idea of paying for content to be promoted on these sites. Almost a third (30%) have done so already and 21% say they plan to try paid promotion in the near future.
Overall, HR managers report that recruitment marketing is helping them to increase the number of applications per vacancy, increase the quality and diversity of applications, reduce cost per hire and time to fill positions, and improve brand recognition and staff retention.
44% are using social channels to communicate directly with candidates… these methods deliver results
Playing catch up
These findings show that recruitment marketing is an effective approach in this challenging environment, but there are still plenty of companies who remain entrenched in the old way of doing things. For example, just over half of respondents (54%) told us that they are creating candidate personas, with 96% finding them useful. That still leaves a large proportion of companies who aren’t making the most of this valuable technique for refining and targeting recruitment activity.
Just over half of respondents told us that they are creating candidate personas
Similarly, two thirds of respondents are harnessing the power of employee advocacy by encouraging staff to share recruitment content on their personal social channels. In general, happy and engaged employees should be proud to share good news about their organisation. So why do 25% of HR managers say they have no plans to get staff involved in their recruitment efforts? This suggests a lack of confidence in the message being delivered or a lack of engagement from staff, either of which should act as a red flag.
Another finding that jumped out is the fact that 97% of HR managers say they have clear company values, but only 62% are confident these are understood across the business. Brand values are a prime consideration for many candidates, so it’s essential these are communicated effectively in all recruitment activity. And the importance of having clear values doesn’t diminish once the ink is dry on the contract. Company culture is one of the biggest factors affecting employee retention, so it’s vital to ensure people understand what the business stands for and why they can be proud to work there.
The importance of having clear values doesn’t diminish once the ink is dry on the contract
The evolution of HR
As the face of recruitment changes, so does the role of HR. Budgets are being realigned, new skills are being learnt and HR professionals are playing a key role in how their company is presented to the outside world. As the guardians of culture, it’s essential that HR teams stay involved in this process, working closely with marketing colleagues where appropriate, but retaining their authority over communication to existing and potential staff.
Pat Wardour, chief human resources officer at LinkedIn, is quoted as saying that 80% of a company’s operating expenses are talent related. When considered from that angle, it’s clear that HR should be a strategic function with the autonomy and ability to undertake the most suitable activity to achieve the desired results. That will require a change of mind set for many senior teams, but those organisations that can adapt with the times will be the ones to succeed.
Download your free copy of Recruitment Marketing Insights 2016
You can find out more about how UK companies are utilising recruitment marketing by downloading a free copy of our report.
You’ll find insights on:
- Securing more budget for recruitment marketing
- Discovering what techniques and tools are in use across the industry and how they can work for you
- Setting clear KPIs and measuring them effectively
Download your report today to find out where to start with recruitment marketing or how to take things to next level.