How to market your job listings to secure and retain high-level passive job seekers

December 6, 2022 by Clever Samurai

Canada continues to deal with a shortage of available, high-quality talent, which has caused job vacancies to soar in recent years. This has caused complications for all kinds of companies throughout various industries, as they struggle to staff their businesses with capable individuals. It isn’t as simple as posting a listing online, and then sitting back and waiting for applicants to roll in. Today, 73% of job seekers are passive job seekers, meaning they are already employed and not seeking new opportunities, but would be open to new positions if they happened upon one.

This means the responsibility lies with you, the employer, to market your job postings to prospective employees through methods you may not be as used to working with. The “spray and pray” strategy of old has become less and less effective, with only a small amount of candidates replying to a job listing, and 42% of candidates lacking the skills necessary for listed positions.

While we have previously talked about treating recruiting as a marketing process, where you must determine and cater to your target audience with the right brand positioning and messaging, there is more that employers need to consider in order to secure high-quality talent and fill vacant positions. It is important to set goals, price your “product” appropriately, develop a customer base, and then retain that customer base into the future. This “customer base” is made up of the talent you’re looking to hire, so keeping them happy and understanding their needs is essential. Let’s break things down.

Setting goals

When launching or marketing traditional products, it is always important to set goals. The same applies to recruiting suitable candidates, with the main difference being the metrics used to determine success. For product and service offerings, companies have goals in mind for revenue, market share, and so on. For recruiting, it’s important to set qualitative goals for your ideal candidate, while also offering goals for the candidate themselves to help them understand what’s expected of them.

Your own goals will be influenced by the position you are hoping to fill, and the type of candidate you are hoping to attract. You may set goals based on time or cost, if you must fill a position urgently, or without exceeding a certain salary level. Or your goal may be to find a candidate with very particular experiences, niche knowledge, or specific certifications and training.

You can also, of course, have metric-based goals regarding the reach of your job posting. You could aim to have it seen by a certain number of people in a timeframe, or to reach a certain number of applications. These are closest to traditional metrics used in product marketing, and easily translate to recruitment marketing.

Pricing your “product”

Things have changed. Offering a higher salary may not be enough to convince someone to leave their current position for perceived greener pastures. Competitive pricing is, of course, still important, but more important than ever are things like benefits, vacation options, time-off policy, company culture. After all, you are essentially paying the customer, the candidate, to purchase your job posting, your “product”. What price will work for them? That is now just as important as what price works best for you.

The mentality has shifted. Due to labour shortages, workers are no longer “lucky to be here”, companies are now “lucky to have you”. If you need talented workers to fill your position, and that talent pool is shrinking for one reason or another, you cannot afford to not afford to pay people what they’re worth. As we’ve noted, it’s also not all about salary, you must consider other ways to make the effort of candidate’s “worth it” in their eyes.

Developing a customer base

This aspect is most akin to typical product marketing. You’ll want to consider things that increase the amount of people viewing and engaging with your job postings. Due to how competitive the job market is right now, with employers across all sectors in Canada trying to fill almost one million vacant positions, getting your job posting to be visible is essential. It’s important to consider a complete solution, ensuring you have a clear and compelling value proposition for the employee, a clean and functional career site, a system for tracking applicants across different sites, SEO material, and an intuitive candidate-facing application system.

Consider the following when crafting and sharing job listings:

  • Keep job titles simple and SEO-friendly.
  • Include messaging about your company culture, people want purpose and a place where they feel welcomed and belong. Maintain a personal tone and connect with the candidates as they move through their application.
  • Labour markets are increasingly transparent. Your competitive pay rate, benefits, and schedule should all be clear in the job posting.
  • Utilize inbound marketing to cultivate a positive brand reputation. If you publish helpful content, seen and read by people in your industry, then those same people will think well of your company if your name pops up in their job search.
  • Current employees can post positions on their own social media, serving to humanize the search, “hey, if anyone is interested in working at X, send me a message!”.
  • Promote your hiring campaign as you would a marketing campaign, with digital and physical channels that target your ideal candidate's demographic

Retaining talent

Okay, you got the candidate of your dreams and filled that essential position, congratulations! Now, hold on to them for dear life. Seriously. Do everything in your power to keep talented individuals under your banner for as long as possible. Now, obviously, people’s situations and their plans, goals, and dreams change, so if someone is set on moving on, that’s that. But don’t get lenient once they’ve joined your organization. Be watchful of your competition, are they beginning to offer things you don’t? New, exciting opportunities? Incredible benefits packages? Flexibility concerning remote work or availability? Don’t let yourself be blindsided by your competitors evolving their offerings and poaching your talented pool of workers.

Marketing yourself doesn’t stop once the candidate has been hired. Keep abreast of competitors working to offer better conditions or pay and treat your employees as a valuable part of your company which cannot be easily replaced if lost.

Running a recruitment campaign

Hopefully, this blog and our previous content has helped you as you search for the perfect candidate for your company. We also understand that running a recruitment campaign is a lot of work and creating material and running ads in the right places can be difficult to get right. Clever Samurai has a wealth of experience when it comes to running talent attraction campaigns for a variety of industries. Reach out today to see how we can help you build your perfect team.



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