recruitment marketing

Oh Lord, won’t you hire me, Mercedes-Benz?

By December 1, 2015 No Comments

In the spirit of it being the first day on your advent calendar, today I thought I’d look at a case in point of how clever amplification of recruitment marketing is opening doors to fresh new audiences. Tenuous, I know.

The digital economy is steadily taking over from traditional advertising and as we recently witnessed, some advertisers aren’t massively appreciative of the benefits of content marketing. But this isn’t a tug of war and the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. With clever amplification of slick content you can reach audiences on the periphery of where you’re targeted. The savvy marketer does not rule out any potential platform for outreach, they only notice opportunities to be truly, unexpectedly outstanding. Case in point – Mercedes-Benz Retail Careers UK.

Mercedes very recently started on a major recruitment drive looking for future stars to join its retailers in the UK and the company has been very clever about its content amplification strategy; it’s using TV advertising.

The recruitment marketing landscape is hotting up

Firstly, it’s quite a testament to how much big companies are willing to invest in recruitment marketing if they’re recruiting via television. Mercedes-Benz Retail Careers’ high production value advert came on during Fargo and Homeland the other day on Channel 4, in prime-time slots. It will also be shown before Star Wars: The Force Awakens in nationwide cinemas soon, which I can’t imagine is a cheap placement.

A conduit to content

Clearly the advert works in the sense that Mercedes is after a broad target audience of bright young things, but what’s particularly interesting is the advert is just a conduit: a small part of a much wider, multi-media recruitment content marketing campaign. Its call to action prompts the viewer to search for Mercedes-Benz careers online and all roads point you to a careers hub website. Mercedes’ expensive advert is utterly incidental; it’s serving little more purpose than a promoted social media post. What’s clever is that no one else has done it.

That is, at least, not in the private sector. Think about it – when was the last time you saw an advert for recruitment on TV in this country? I can count them on my right hand, and three of those instances are for the armed forces. The only other TV recruitment drive that comes to mind are the recent ads recruiting for new teachers, which is a government response to the ongoing skills crisis.

A testament to how much big companies are willing to invest in recruitment marketing

Mercedes’s television advert is there not as a shot in the dark but because it sticks out; it’s unexpected. It hits you with the prospect of a new, glamorous and exciting career you’re very unlikely to be thinking about, while watching Homeland on your sofa. The advert signs off with a Millennial-hitting message of ‘Be part of something special’ before casually ushering you online to where the real action is. You find careers guides, information on training and development opportunities, while both the ad and the careers site are slickly designed in the sexy and enticing manner you’d expect from luxury car advertising, at the same time very much promoting the Benz brand.

Outstanding recruitment

This is competitive and bold behaviour on the part of Mercedes-Benz which is very much responding to market conditions. It certainly feels like a taste of things to come. The recruitment marketing landscape is hotting up considerably as recruiters invest in finding the places where they can stand out with their recruitment marketing.

About a year ago, LinkedIn’s report Global Recruiting Trends 2015 – which surveyed over 4000 recruiting leaders in 31 countries – revealed that 46% of recruiters were expected to have a higher budget this year. In 2013, it was only 28%.

We seemed to hit a plateau in 2015 as those budgets haven’t actually budged much for LinkedIn’s newly released 2016 report Global Recruiting Trends 2016. Instead, the focus of investment has shifted. The report shows that 59% of companies are expected to invest in creating the employer brand next year. In making their careers hub as slick as their car ads and providing such a comprehensive careers hub, the employer brand is clearly evident in Mercedes’ look and feel.

A partnership of talent acquisition with the marketing department

Married to marketing

In any case, what is abundantly clear from Mercedes’ approach is that as companies invest more and more in the employer brand, the partnerships between talent acquisition and the marketing department have never been more important or provided more opportunities to be outstanding. LinkedIn’s latest report states that the power of the relationship between HR and cross-functional, multi-media marketing teams in 2016 will be key to talent acquisition success and employer brand excellence.

With its innovative recruitment drive Mercedes-Benz very clearly demonstrates a savvy talent acquisition department with a strong sense of the employer brand being able to couple its powers with a marketing department looking for unique outreach opportunities, opening doors to new talent. Of course, it remains to be seen how effective this proves for Mercedes-Benz’s recruitment in the long run, but rest assured this sort of recruitment content marketing approach won’t be unique for too long.

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