Marketing to the Masters: Recruiting Industry Insiders

When was the last time you reviewed the standard wording on your recruitment notices describing company culture and characteristics, or the summary of job-related perks and benefits? If you can’t even remember, you’re not alone.

Many times, HR professionals overlook that language, focusing instead on wording that minimizes liability, emphasizes equal opportunity and provides instructions for reasonable accommodations. But when your selection pool consists of marketing and PR pros—seasoned professionals who have made a career out of brand messaging—be aware that the very thing you’ve overlooked might cost you the candidate.

In the same way a proofreader can’t pass by a typo, tired topics, trite terminology and clichéd candidate information packets will be scrutinized by marketing professionals, to whom your mistakes are glaringly obvious. When you’re being evaluated by the pros, it’s important to ensure your materials measure up.

  • Candidates are Consumers, Too! Public relations specialists and marketing professionals have spent their career mastering the art of consumer marketing. While HR typically doesn’t specialize in these areas, it’s important to remember that the same principles apply when you’re trying to attract an applicant. Take a tip from your peers in the industry and tailor the recruitment message toward a specific target, trait, or skill you’re seeking.
  • Maximize the Message Every successful company has a theme, a central component of their marketing message. Apple is known for innovation. Walmart focuses on price and Lexus on luxury. Have you identified the theme for your organization, or is the message muddled? Trying to focus on too many selling points dilutes your brand. Likewise, if the message isn’t compelling, who cares? Is any applicant really going to be impressed that you’re the 4th largest PR firm in the state, or are they focused on what the company can do for them? (Hint: it’s always going to be the latter when you’re trying to attract someone to the organization.)
  • Selling the Standard Schedule Over the past two decades, changing technology, practices and workplace attitudes has meant that the marketing and PR sector has shifted toward non-traditional operations. Instead of the typical large corporate PR agencies, solo practitioners and freelance consultants are now commonplace. As a result, many freelancers—used to flexibility and self-directed work—need to be actively convinced that a traditional brick-and-mortar schedule is the right choice. You’ll need to emphasize the work life balance your organization offers, options for flexible schedules and telecommuting, as well as the stability that comes with a traditional benefits and retirement program if you want to compete.

But as any marketing pro knows, if you don’t keep your promises, you can’t build trust in your brand and company credibility will suffer.  Ultimately, actions speak louder than words. If your on-boarding and workplace practices don’t correlate with the brand message, your upfront efforts won’t pay off in the long run.

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Categories: Articles for Employers, Articles for Recruiters

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