It’s no secret that Canada is currently experiencing a shortage of available, high-quality talent that can fill job vacancies. According to Statistics Canada, employers were actively recruiting for more than one million vacant positions in June 2022. This makes June the third consecutive month with over one million job vacancies. If you are an employer, you are likely already familiar with this massive deficit and the scramble to find qualified individuals who suit your needs.
Traditionally, even when looking as recently as 2015, job vacancy rates have been much lower. This meant that job listings by companies were seen by more people, applied to by more people, and competed over by more people. This kind of job market puts the power in the hands of the companies, who have the budget for recruitment marketing and are able to pick the best candidate from a pool of highly qualified applicants. But now, due to more factors than this blog can reasonably cover, this is no longer the case. There is a labour shortage. Companies are struggling to fill positions and must increasingly compete with other companies when searching for the perfect candidate.
But all hope is not lost. If you’re an employer trying to fill job postings, then you just need to change the way you think about those same job postings and consider the practice of recruitment marketing. This blog will cover how your thinking should change and how to successfully conduct recruitment marketing tactics that sell your job postings as if they were a product coming to market. Let’s dive in.
As part of your recruitment marketing strategy, you must first identify who would be most interested in your listing. What sort of person would excel in the role? What education do they have? What experience? What demographic are they a part of? Where are they located? What are their needs? What pain points do they experience at their current job? Past jobs?
In a way, you are essentially crafting a buyer persona, a representation of your ideal customer based on your research. When you know what you’re looking for, your search will be informed and efficient. Buyer personas are often implemented in traditional marketing strategies, where they are an early step in determining target marketing efforts. In this context, you are doing something slightly differently by crafting a multifaceted buyer persona, where one side understands what the prospect is searching for in a job, and the other side knows what you are looking for in a worker.
To this end, your company must have a clearly defined brand position for your big picture recruitment marketing plan. Ideally, this employer brand position will market your company as a great place to work and show off your company’s consideration of the prospective employee. The job listing should communicate how your company has worked to accommodate the ideal candidate for the role. It should be clear that the employer is considering the needs, wants, and qualifications of potential applicants. It should be sympathetic towards challenges faced by those in the industry at large and offer things which other listings do not. As an employer, ask yourself: what makes your job listing more attractive than your competitor’s, and why should your listing be trusted and have time invested into it over others?
Aim to position your brand as primarily understanding, that is, put forth an image that you understand the concerns and stresses of working in a particular role within your industry. It’s also a good idea to focus on the parts of the job that people find most enjoyable and emphasize your appreciation for those aspects. Emphasize the freedom and creativity that your company allows for a specific role, or the ability to work remotely, or a strong collaborative environment, the list goes on. If you come off as an understanding, empathetic employer then you are more likely to attract talent.
Once you’ve decided on the brand position, you’re going to pursue for your target audience, that position needs to be transformed into your recruitment marketing messaging, that reaches and excites your target audience. Essentially, you want to craft an elevator pitch for prospective candidates. Any one person who comes across your job listing could be the perfect fit for your company, so you want to make sure you can quickly and effectively communicate the details of the position and what makes it stand out. An elevator pitch doesn’t seal the deal, but it keeps the viewer’s attention and gets them to read the rest of your job listing, providing you a better chance in the market than most.
For the pitch, ensure you communicate basic information about the company, but don’t stop there and put the reader to sleep. What makes you special? In essence, this is just like the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) of a product reaching the market. Why should someone choose your product—your company—over another? Is it agency? Flexible working hours? Remote opportunities? Performance-based bonuses? Good people with solid expertise? Identify what you hold over your competition and emphasize it in your job listings.
It isn’t always about paying the most for a certain position. Prospective employees are all unique individuals with diverse preferences and needs. Do your research on what people are looking for and do your best to offer a unique draw that will secure more eyes on your listings.
How to get your listing to the market
In traditional product marketing, there is a concept known as a go-to-market strategy, utilized for bringing new products to an existing market or existing products to a new market. That might be the best way to conceptualize the process of marketing your job listings, as you work to fill vacancies within your company. What corporate story will you tell prospective employees? Which communication paths and platforms will you use to get your job listing to the market, and have it seen by as many qualified applicants as possible? Follow the steps laid out in this blog post and keep an eye out for a future blog post which will show you how to set hiring goals, how to tell a cohesive transmedia story across your chosen channels, “price” your listings, develop a base of applicants, and retain talent once you’ve secured high-quality employees.
It can be difficult to handle all these aspects of recruitment marketing on your own and reaching out to a professional marketing communications consultancy can help simplify your search and ensure you find the most qualified people to fill vacancies within your organisation.