The Rise of Recruitment Marketing

by Louis Naviasky

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic upended the culture in the United States, flipping the labor market on its head. The Great Resignation, as many call it, has shifted attitudes of workers — and the impact is not only immediate but, seemingly, long-lasting. Isolation, burnout and lack of employer empathy have resulted in a mass exodus of qualified and skilled workers. Women still in the labor force are experiencing higher rates of burnout, with 42% saying they’ve felt consistently burned out by 2022. Competition amongst employers is at an all-time high, as candidates are no longer being driven by the same values. Comparable wages and career stability no longer hold the same weight in attracting candidates. Instead, workers are seeking strong employer brands, inclusive company cultures, work environment flexibility, balance in professional and home life, and additional wellness perks beyond the standard health insurance offerings. In today’s market, it’s more critical than ever that organizations invest in a strong recruitment marketing strategy — one that is all-encompassing, innovative and gets results.

Prioritizing Recruitment Marketing

The pandemic has redefined how we work, across every industry and demographic group in the country. Nearly 4 million people are quitting their jobs every month. Companies have been experiencing major talent shortages, especially in industries like hospitality, retail and healthcare. A few major causes include the retirement of approximately 1.5 million more baby boomers than expected during COVID-19, about 870,000 fewer women being in the workforce compared to pre-pandemic levels, and labor force participation rates well below pre-COVID levels. Because of these drastic changes, employers are forced to find new and creative ways to reach and engage prospective employees. At Bayard, existing clients have been spending approximately 59% more on recruitment ads and solutions than they spent in 2019. Companies that understand candidate values and know how to reach them where they are will have the most success in reaching organizational hiring goals, increasing retention rates and creating a more positive workplace culture overall.

Creative Tactics Attract Candidates 

With employer competition at an all-time high — job postings are up 60% on Indeed compared to pre-pandemic levels — many companies have leaned into everything from innovative, digital-focused advertising to more traditional guerrilla marketing strategies. There has been an uptick in the use of technology to increase efficiency in the recruitment process; recruitment automation tools, which streamline and simplify the application process for candidates, provide talent acquisition leaders with increased candidate flow and a larger pool of qualified candidates for current and future openings. With more candidates than ever spending time on social media, platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok have proven effective methods for converting potential candidates into applicants. In fact, 68% of millennials indicated that they visit an employer’s social media profiles to evaluate the employer’s brand. And LinkedIn data indicates that strong employer branding led to a 28% reduction in turnover. At Bayard, social media spend by clients across industries was up 165% last year compared to year over year. Some employers have even tried more traditional mass marketing approaches like TV ads, direct mailers, vehicle wraps and out-of-home signage in an effort to stand out from the competition and grab workers’ attention at critical, everyday touchpoints.

Combatting the Great Resignation 

It’s more critical than ever that organizations develop, illustrate and execute an authentic employer brand with an employee value proposition that speaks to both its target and ideal workers. Through peer-to-peer communication and real-life employee testimonials, organizations can exemplify their company culture in a way that truly resonates and tells a story. The employer brand should be apparent and applied consistently across marketing mediums, including career pages, digital ads and social media campaigns. It’s also critical that organizations have the right data to determine their recruitment marketing strategies. Bayard, for instance, has a team of data analysts that collect and gather data across three critical segments of information: vendor and market insights, macro labor market trends, and proprietary figures from 100 million touchpoints measured annually within its established media buying portfolio. This data is then used to inform the creation and optimization of campaigns, from genesis through subsequent iterations to achieve the highest ROI possible.

More than ever, recruitment advertising has proven an incredibly powerful tool for companies of all sizes and industries. All in all, talent acquisition leaders have been required to expand their toolbox of tactics in these unprecedented times.   

Serving as CEO since 2005, Louis Naviasky has grown Bayard Advertising, Inc. from a team of 60 to an organization of more than 350 professionals. As a seasoned executive in recruitment marketing, Naviasky focuses on new, innovative solutions for the agency’s roster of clients. Naviasky is a graduate of The University of Maryland, College Park and continued his graduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University.

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