By Mary Cate Spires

How do you fill an open job position at your company? Do you post a job on Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn, and hope for the applications to start pouring in? How is that working for you? Are you getting a good quantity of applicants, but lacking quality? Or maybe you are getting my personal favorite: applicants with no cover letters. Why does this usually happen? Because they have no clue who your company is.

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So, why did I just ask you about eight questions in the first paragraph? HR and recruiting are changing, and it is important to understand where your company stands and where you need to be.

For recruiting, our audience has changed. We are now talking to the “why” generation. They want to know “why” someone should choose to work for your company. Because of this shift in thinking, we have to create a consistent, unique, and personalized story to tell potential candidates. By doing this, you can build a pipeline of interested candidates and make hires that are the right fit.

Let's talk about recruitment marketing and how to create that holistic approach.

What Exactly Is Recruitment Marketing?

I’m glad you asked. Recruitment marketing is every tactic and channel you use to interact with people around your employer brand, purpose, and jobs.

There are three important aspects that make up recruitment marketing:

  • Recruitment advertising
  • Inbound recruiting
  • Employer brand

All of these aspects are important parts of recruitment marketing as a whole. You are probably already doing at least one of these, but let’s dive into how they are different.

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Recruitment Advertising

When you are constantly promoting your jobs and asking people to work for you, you are exhibiting an outbound marketing approach. This approach is called recruitment advertising. This usually consists of job postings and job fairs. This is an important tool, but it is not the only thing you can do to have a successful recruitment marketing strategy.

Inbound Recruiting

This is where answering the “why work for us” question comes into play. Inbound recruiting is about leading with the benefits that the brand provides and then having a distinct call to action. For example: “We have the best SaaS software. Work for us.” This tactic is more about educating your audience on why you are the best company in the industry to work for and having them come to you, while also having something for them to convert on.

Employer Brand

Having a strong employer brand enhances your recruitment advertising and inbound recruiting. When a candidate comes to you, tells you why you are amazing, and say they want to work for you, that means you have a strong employer brand. When you are at a point where you have done such a great job creating a company culture that employees are proud to be a part of, the candidate will already know who you are and be bought in.

All of these tactics and aspects are related, but they are not interchangeable. My favorite quote from TransfoRM Academy is, “People will come to you for your brand. They will convert for the job, but they will stay for your culture.” That rings so true for so many people.

This can’t happen without a holistic strategy of fully formed employer brand, incredible inbound recruiting, and well-placed recruitment advertising.

Why Does This Matter to Me?

Another great question. Like I said earlier, candidates are changing, and that means how they are searching for jobs is changing.

Candidates now have endless choices and touchpoints. This means it is more important than ever for companies to be relevant. Today’s candidates research a lot about their target companies. Potential candidates are using the same mediums they would to make a purchase. It is increasingly important to build your brand on these mediums and through content and experiences for your potential applicants as well as your potential customers.

Every applicant has their unique reasons for working, and they choose an employer based on your answer to why they should choose to work for you. People want to align their “why” with your “why.”

I challenge you to take a hard look at your recruitment marketing efforts? Are you doing one of the three vital components? Are you doing them all? If so, great, but if not, it is time to invest in a holistic recruitment marketing strategy before your company is left behind in the world of hiring.

We would love to hear your thoughts on recruitment marketing and inbound recruiting! Let us know by tweeting us at @smartbugmedia.


Use the inbound methodology to attract, convert, close and delight your job candidates as you grow your company with:

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Mary Cate Spires

About the author

Mary Cate Spires was previously a Strategist at SmartBug Media. With over five years of experience running inbound programs in the technology, healthcare, fitness, senior living, and nonprofit industries, Mary Cate loves to help customers grow and achieve their business goals. She is on the Board of Directors for the Columbia Chapter of the American Marketing Association. “MC” graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Her best friend is her 5lb Morkie, Harley, with whom she loves to binge-watch any tv show. Read more articles by Mary Cate Spires.

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