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Recruitment Messaging: Targeting the Right Candidate Pool

It’s not enough to ask recruits “Do you want to work here?”

Cadidates need motivation to work with your organization. That motivation comes from the recruitment message. Your recruitment message attracts the right candidate pool the first time.

Social media posts, employer branding and job advertisements all play a vital role in the brand messages candidates receive. Without a strategic plan, your recruitment messaging has no chance of hitting the center of the candidate target every time. Is the voice of your recruitment messaging developed with your ideal candidate in mind? Does it address their internal motivations (as varied as those might be?)

Does Your Brand Stand Out?

Notable consumer brands, like Apple, have the flexibility to use their logos in creative ways. The only words on the job advertisement are, “hungry designers wanted.” Immediately the color palate, recognizable logo and choice words give way to the meaning. Apple is hiring. It is a not-so-veiled demand for the best: the best products, the best work, the best employees and the best teams. That message is consistent through their entire brand, not just their recruitment messaging. Note how the advertisement doesn’t mention specific programs, years of experience or any other super specific parameter. Passion first, brand second. That’s it.

“Apple is always about pushing the envelope about doing the best thing possible and that’s different than any company in history.” – Derrick, Hardware Engineering at Apple

Who is Your Audience?

Your organization won’t always have the same job openings. Your team must adapt and change the recruitment messaging in accordance with the company’s needs and business objectives. With a clear and concise employer brand, it can be easily targeted to the desired talent pool. Johnson & Johnson honed their recruitment strategy, adjusted their career page and adopted a clearer employment brand. The changes resulted in a 54% improvement in the quality of their talent pool. That advanced talent pool led to a 23% decrease in new hire turnover. They were able to take their recruitment message and shift it to a highly specific audience with their ideal candidate in mind. Again, their brand and development of parameters FIRST led to these startling numbers. Remind executives of this when they are hesitant to invest in employer branding.

Dr. John Sullivan, HR thought leader, compared targeting your ideal talent pool to casting the right lure when fishing:

“Any seasoned fisherman or woman would tell you without hesitation that the same bait that effectively attracts small fish simply would have no impact on attracting the harder-to-land big fish. In recruiting, the need to match your ‘bait’ or attraction features to your target is no different.”

Is Your Messaging Consistent?

This job advertisement clearly targets creatives. Even better for your team, the simplicity of the design is easily translated into a social media post. While social recruitment is only a piece of the recruiting strategy, that doesn’t mean it’s any less vital to the message as a whole. Social media allows your recruiting team to access a wider talent pool. T-Mobile, for example, uses a specific hashtag for their recruitment messaging. “What does it mean to #BeMagenta?” The company’s recruitment message specifically targets organizational character matches through their social media channels to join Team Magenta. Amanda Augustine (@Job Search Amanda) said:

“I recommend joining forces with your marketing department to develop specific messaging that can be used on your site, via social media, and as talking points when you communicate with prospective candidates. If you’re working with outside recruiting agencies, it’s imperative to ensure your brand message remains consistent.”

Your recruitment message has to be succinct. It has to be consistent through all forms of candidate communication, so everything from the job announcement to the interview conveys the same recruitment message and can work on multiple channels.

Keep your ideal candidate in mind when you’re creating a recruitment strategy in order to attract the best talent pool. Personalizing your recruitment message to a specific subset of the talent pool (yes, this means all the way down to the one-to-one level) creates a more effective candidate attraction method than spamming and vanilla messaging that makes your company look like every other opportunity on the block.

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