Talent Marketing

By | February 7, 2018

I was just talking with a friend who is in marketing. They are trying to hire someone and we were brainstorming different marketing techniques to land the candidate. We noticed a pattern.

Recruiting is exactly like Marketing. The parallels between them is striking and it made me wonder why we recruit people the way we do. (HR departments make a website, schedule interviews and that’s it) Imagine a different way of thinking about recruiting. Imagine a team inside the marketing department which had the following responsibilities:

Demand Generation
This is a universally accepted tactic for generating sales leads. You have webinars, you make websites, you buy lists, you advertise. Everything Demand Gen does for new leads can be applied to new recruits. You would have recruiting scoring like lead scoring and marketing automation where you email people and try to get them to read your content. The normal Marketo usage would apply perfectly here.  In fact, many years ago at Marketo, I set up the HR department with a lead partition for employee communication. The same can be done for candidate communication.

Why put demand gen tasks on hiring managers? Engineers don’t know how to market to engineers. They know how to program! Finance people don’t know how to market to finance people. They know how to manage the accounting. Let marketers who know how to market apply their craft to talent pools.

Recruit Based Marketing
Exactly like Account Based Marketing (ABM) but applied to an individual. Send people a t-shirt that says [Company] ♥ [Candidate Name]. Send them a bobble-head or flowers or candy. Find out who their parents are and send them an email saying,

“We love your daughter and really want them to work with us. However, we are traditionalists and wanted to your blessing to hire [candidate name]. You obviously did a great job raising her.”

Send them a mug. Take them to dinner with the team.

Talent Positioning and Branding
Why are websites so focused on sales and hardly focused on working that the company. Everyone in Silicon Valley knows that having great people will spur the success of the company more than any other single factor. Apply the same effort that we put towards product positioning towards the talent market. Why should people work for you? What is the culture/benefits/etc? Why not the other company? What is the mission and vision? Make it a place people WANT to work before they even show up.

Creative Services
Just like in all other marketing, there is often a need for graphic design in recruiting. Dedicate people to that task and the results will be there. Quality comes from all angles and this is no substitute.

Talent Operations
Just like Sales Operations (SOPS) and Marketing Operations (MOPS), dedicate people to running the machinery of this practice. Things don’t run themselves.

The reason to do all of this is simple. Hiring the best people is hard, but makes a huge impact on the success of the company. I was once trying to hire a product manager and made 4 offers before closing a candidate. The one I truly wanted took a different position. If only I had done a better job marketing to him.

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