What is recruitment marketing? This is a question that comes up frequently, so I thought I would provide my perspective on what recruitment marketing is.

Like any other kind of marketing, recruitment marketing relies on combining content and experience to effect change in their target audience.

Recruitment marketing is marketing that is designed to

  • Create awareness through establishing and growing an employer’s brand in the minds of candidates
  • Engage and nurture candidates from their initial interest through the application, interview, hire, as well as if they aren’t selected for a role the first time
  • Attract the people you seek to hire who are actively looking for a company like yours
  • Delight, not only candidates but employees and company alumnus through the creation of a great experience


What’s the Difference Between Marketing and Recruitment Marketing?

At its core: nothing.

Marketing is the art and science of communicating to other humans in hopes of creating some kind of change-whether that’s a change in their perception or behavior.

The same is true of recruitment marketing.

Many of the same elements, tactics, strategies, and principles of marketing apply to recruitment marketing.

However, the one fundamental difference lies in the fact that you can only have an outcome of one in recruitment marketing. What I mean by this is in B2B and B2C marketing, your goal is to sell to as many qualified people as possible. One campaign can lead to many customers.

When it comes to recruitment marketing, one campaign often results in only one hire. You then have many other people who were interested but not chosen. The challenge becomes how to communicate with them, so they don’t take the ‘rejection’ personally and remain engaged and open to future opportunities to join your company.

The answer is to create a remarkable experience from beginning to end and at every single touchpoint. This isn’t the place to dive into that, but that should be the ‘north star’ of every recruitment marketer, talent acquisition organization, and company.


Recruitment Marketing Funnel and Recruitment Marketing Flywheel

Traditionally, marketing has been viewed as a linear process or through a funnel representation. To some extent, it still is.


The Marketing Funnel

But singularly viewing marketing (or recruitment marketing) as a funnel no longer tells the complete story, nor does it capture all of the touchpoints involved in attracting, hiring, retaining, and delighting employees and even those who eventually leave your company.

In today’s modern, highly-connected world, there are more ways than ever to influence the perception of your company as either a great place to work or one of the worst.

Employees are talking about their experience on social media to their friends and followers. Current and former employees anonymously provide insight into a company’s culture, salary structure, and benefits on sites like Glassdoor.

If candidates have a poor interview experience, they’re telling everyone they can about it. Similarly, if they have a great experience, even if they didn’t get hired, they’re also going to tell many people about it – probably because that kind of experience is so rare.

For example, I interviewed with Starbucks for a corporate role several years ago at their headquarters in Seattle. I ended up turning down an offer but was blown away by the interview experience. To this day, it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

And I still tell people about it. I’m telling you now, nearly seven years later.


The Recruitment Marketing Flywheel

These touchpoints and what I have just described is an example of a marketing flywheel.


RainierDigital Recruitment Marketing Flywheel


A flywheel never stops. It just builds off of the momentum that is produced at every touchpoint. It contains elements of the marketing funnel through attraction and engagement, but it’s not linear.

With a flywheel model, you attract strangers who eventually become engaged candidates. Some of these candidates become employees, and some don’t. But, because you’ve created an experience that delighted them, they become fans. These fans become evangelists, telling their friends and network, who happen to be strangers to your company’s employer brand, about their experience.

And the flywheel spins again.


What Does a Recruitment Marketing Strategy Consist Of?

A recruitment marketing strategy that you develop is often unique to your company. However, most marketing and recruitment marketing strategies consist of the following:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Permission-Based Email Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Nurture and Engagement Programs
  • Website User Experience (UX)
  • Content Creation and Distribution
  • Advertising
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Word-of-Mouth
  • Referral Programs

Like I’ve mentioned, recruitment marketing is marketing. The list of things I just provided could be applied to a company selling shoes, a consulting firm, or a SaaS company. It doesn’t matter.

The same core elements exist no matter what kind of marketing you’re doing- B2C, B2B, or recruitment marketing.

I provide consulting, advising, and project support to companies interested in re-engaging the candidates lying dormant in their applicant tracking systems.

Doing this taps into a tremendous competitive advantage and extends the return on the past money and time that was spent acquiring them in the first place.

My services include evaluating marketing and recruitment technology that make this type of work easier, segmenting and building lists of candidates from your ATS, and developing the infrastructure and programs for re-engaging and nurturing these candidates back into the interview process.

If this is something you’d like to learn more about, let’s talk. Complete a short form and I'll reach out to find a time that works to talk.