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Attract better candidates using marketing automation

5 min read


This post is sponsored by GSMI.

Creating an engaging candidate experience in recruitment requires a personalized touch.  However, that can be time consuming for resources that are already stretched thin. Automating your marketing efforts makes sense but communications run the risk of sounding impersonal. What’s the best way to strike a balance?

Start with messaging. Too often, recruitment repels the talent they’re trying to attract by trying too hard to be cute or clever and not hard enough to add the substance candidates are actually interested in. Gather insight on the activities of your candidate pool. What technologies and social networks do they use? What communities do they participate in? This will not only inform your messaging, it will enable your line recruiters to start better, richer conversations with prospects.

Next, find out what motivates your candidates. Understanding their passions and interests allows you to create more meaningful content, suggests the Dice Definitive Guide to Attracting Tech Talent, a new guide from Dice and John Vlastelica, of Recruiting Toolbox. The best recruiters, the authors assert, “know what motivates candidates as much as what the company is interested in.”

And finally, be sure to include information about culture compatibility. I touch on this in a recent post on Social Recruiting Strategies Conference‘s blog. Recruitment is more than just securing the right salary and benefits. It includes placing candidates in the right corporate culture. Workers succeed when they not only love what they do but where they do it. Make sure your messaging shows how an employee fits a company’s work environment.

Marketing automation with a personalized touch

Now that you know what to share, let’s talk about how to share it. Candidate communication typically comes from either emails written directly by recruitment staff or through “talent networks.” These networks use a communication strategy called “drip marketing” that sends automated email messages to candidates over time in set intervals (or ‘drips’). While this mass messaging saves the recruiters time, candidates complain this feels impersonal. It often is. 

Personalized messaging can scale for high volume recruitment. “Personalization” doesn’t have to mean hand-written communication on scented colored paper. The “little something extra” that candidates really want can be addressed with communication, much of which can be automated, yet still feel as though it was personalized.

Enter lifecycle email marketing

Lifecycle marketing refers to campaigns that address the needs of your audience –in this case, talent you want to recruit – over time. It allows you to segment individuals based on various factors, such as job family, experience level, status in the recruitment process (prospect, candidate, interviewing, etc.) and level of engagement (time they’ve been “in the funnel,” whether or not they’ve filled out profiles or applied for roles in the past, etc.). You can then send tailored marketing messages and communicate information that’s relevant to each segment, building a stronger sense of affinity within your talent pools.

So how does it work? Check out this example below:

In this example, the candidate learns about a company in which he or she has shown interest, through a series of 12 easily digestible emails. The emails are delivered over the course of 21 days. You could also add in gradual investment requests of prospective candidates even before they apply for a job by including webforms that ask candidate wants (i.e. what’s their desired career path after sharing career path options for their job family). Enter this data into your CRM as part of tailored marketing preferences.

Better candidate engagement starts by stopping the perpetuation of the “one-size-fits-all” recruitment approach. When we, as employers, embrace the differences in the candidates that we recruit across our various job families, we create better candidate experiences that lead to improved employee conversions. When we allow our recruitment programs to invest in tools such as Dice Open Web for researching social data, Elevated Careers to assess culture fit before the point of hire, and marketing automation platform (MAP) such as Smashfly for email campaign creation and management, we help relieve recruiter overload and ensure the messages shared around the value they bring as employers are aligned with candidates’ interests, skills and personality. In respecting candidate individuality, we actually shine a better light on our ‘brand individuality’ as well… and that’s a win for everyone.

SRSC Presenters Allison Kruse and Crystal Miller will hold a hands-on workshop on how to craft compelling social messaging at the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference being held in Boston July 21st-23rd in Boston, MA. Don’t miss this three-day conference packed with incredible learning opportunities . Reserve your spot today!

 Crystal Miller is founder and chief strategist at Branded Strategies in Dallas, TX. Ms. Miller also serves as an advisor for Elevated Careers by eHarmony and other HR technology companies. Additional information about Elevated Careers by eHarmony’s employer beta program, is available by contacting [email protected].