Having worked in the recruitment industry for many years, I must say I got to see how the profession has grown from an old school paper & spreadsheet business to a technology driven, social/digital recruitment and marketing profession.

We are in times where recruiters are brand ambassadors and multi skilled marketers who solve the puzzle of effortlessly finding the right talent for their employers. And that’s what makes a recruiter stand out.

There are now more job openings than workers to fill them. These days job seekers have tremendous opportunities to explore and most often have multiple offers to choose from. This makes it even harder for the employers to come up with a clear plan to find, attract and engage the right talent. Filling a position or reactive recruiting is simply not enough for a recruiter to really become successful in their profession. Rather becoming proactive in building connections and nurturing candidates even before a position becomes open makes them successful in what they do. Recruiters will get to do this in much more effective manner by utilizing the social/digital tools available and wearing their marketing hat.

Here are 5 Recruitment Marketing skills for each recruiter to become successful.

1. Think like a Marketer and Act like a Marketer

Employers who want to become an employer of choice have started to think seriously in terms of investing their efforts on employer branding initiatives. And most of these organizations have already started adopting best practices from marketing profession. For example: content marketing, lead nurturing, running campaigns and branding strategies. Having a recruiter who is equipped to carry out these initiatives will add great value to the those employers who don’t have much resources or budget to cover the associated costs. So get trained cross functionally by working with your marketing team.

Learn how to think like a marketer by keeping and objective/goal in mind even before your are strategizing. Know your products (jobs) and your audiences (job seekers). That way you will get a clear picture on what initiatives or campaigns you need to employ to attract your targeted audience. Create a marketing plan to promote your jobs, come up with a messaging and editorial calendar on what you need to promote to create interest among job seekers.

Bring in more marketing skills to your recruitment profession by exploring the tools and technologies that are readily available to you like Social Media, CRM systems and other avenues for campaigns. Partner with your marketing subject matter experts to guide and coach you on some of the initiatives that way you can learn and effectively execute. Eventually you will learn how to act like a marketer in developing interest among job seekers to join your organization. You can then transition to a specialised role like Employer branding manager, Recruitment Marketer or Branding specialist etc., if that interests you.

2. Be a social networker and brand ambassador

With generation Gen Y and Gen Z’s representing the much larger population of today’s workforce and with them being more active on social channels, the ability of a recruiter in becoming a social recruiter/networker is much more prevalent. Studies show that almost 86% of job seekers are currently using social media to find jobs. And now most of the Applicant tracking systems have a ‘Social Job Distribution’ feature. So being out there on social media, building your social presence, making connections will be worthwhile when utilizing an social distribution tool and it makes easier for you to share and promote your jobs. More and more companies are using their employee’s network to promote their jobs and recruit from. So having a great network of your own, engaging them with content to catch their attention will help you attract and nurture your talent pool.

Simply sharing jobs won’t just cut it. Engage your audience with posts and tweets that talk about why you love working with the employer. Share a day in your life by posting pictures that helps your network see a glimpse of your work life. And be a social brand ambassador of your organization where your network will remember your name first when they hear of your employer’s name.

3. Learn to create a winning job posting

Being a recruiter, you are tasked to sell your jobs everyday. Posting a job and hoping the right candidate might apply simply does not work anymore. You have to think proactively on what you need to make your job more attractive for the right candidate to even consider applying for it. To make your job attractive and visible to the right candidate you will then have to start creating your job description in a more relatable manner where candidates can get a feel of not only the job but even much more. Some thoughts to consider to make your job posting interesting to your audience:

  • Add videos to the job posting where hiring manager talks about the exciting projects that the candidate will get to work on
  • Add a video/picture/testimonial from the team members on why they love working in this team
  • Add a link of the LinkedIn profile of hiring manager/recruiters to the job posting. That way candidates will get to connect, ask questions and learn about the job opportunity.
  • Mostly, present your job descriptions in a more personable manner by pointing out to job seekers that ‘you will get to work with... or your expertise will help us achieve...’ etc than simply sharing some bullet points.
  • Make your job posting SEO friendly, attention grabbing and yet provide accurate job titles. That way it will be easily visible and shows up when job seekers search jobs using the key words.

4. Candidate Experience wins all the time

Providing a great experience from job application, throughout the interview process and even after the interview is done can go a long way. And most often this means giving candidates a prompt response on their job application status and where they stand in the interview process. Hand holding a candidate throughout the interview process, coaching them for success before they come in for the interview and helping them relate to the interview team and what they are looking for are all things a recruiter should do in order to make the hiring process memorable for a candidate.

Everybody needs closure, be it positive or negative. A candidate who has interviewed and ends up not being selected would appreciate it if you send them a note on why they are not being selected. Great recruiters even coach rejected candidates on what they need to do to improve their skills for a better chance next time.

Now with even more advanced technologies and ATS platforms that integrate with AI, chatbots etc you will get to automate most of the standard responses where you didn’t have the opportunity otherwise. Be sure to utilize your ATS to the fullest.

5. Know how to interpret data and analytics

Most often recruiters spend a lot of effort not fully knowing where to invest their time, what’s been their greatest source of applicants, which platform generates more leads and results and what helps nurture their talent pool etc. Well, making a data- driven decision might be tough if you are using old- school spreadsheets. But utilizing your aApplicant tracking system and tweaking your dashboards in such a way that it makes this information readily available anytime when you log in will make it easier for you to monitor and prioritize your recruitment and marketing efforts and make informed decisions every time you plan for a project.

Know what gets measured, track it, evaluate it and then make strategies based on what the data tells you. Hopefully you don’t have to make any blind hires or end up running any unsuccessful campaigns but knowing what works for you will help you focus your time and effort on where it is needed.

What do you think are other recruitment marketing skills a recruiter should have in order for them to be successful? Please share it in the comments.

Nisha Raghavan is the Talent Attraction and Employer Branding Specialist at the American Heart Association. Prior to this, she worked in the telecommunications and media industry to help attract, engage and retain talent. She writes about her Global HR experiences at her blog Your HR Buddy!!  Connect with her on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @TheHrbuddy