How to Create an Employment Campaign to Attract Top Talent

Marketing

Read Time: 8 Min

If hiring new staff members is on your list of goals this year (which it most likely is if you’re reading this), creating a strong employment brand and campaign is a must. Take it from us, attracting and retaining top talent — and creating as positive an experience as possible for all applicants — is important for your entire business including marketing, public relations, and, equally as importantly, internal company culture. Right now, the unemployment rate is at the lowest it’s been in over fifty years, so we know that hiring managers and recruiters have their work cut out for them.

It can be hard to cut through the noise and create an authentic employment message. But with a few key branding components, you will be well on your way to a successful campaign that can turn into a long-term perception of what it’s like to work for your organization — and that sheds light on your employee value.

 

Components of a Successful Employment Brand

 

Be Unique

This is your opportunity to showcase your culture. At this stage, you need to explore everything that makes you different in order to stand out from your competition. Those who are on the hunt for a new job within their industry, or even an industry switch, have read through so many career pages. They’ve seen it all. You need to grab their attention somehow and make them understand how they would fit with you better than anyone else.

  • What do you value as a company?
  • What unique benefits do you provide that others do not?
  • Why do your people choose to stick around?
  • What makes you the best place for employees in your industry to work?

A great resource is current employees. Seek out individuals who have been at your organization for awhile, and interview them. Ask why they have chosen to stay, and you will probably start to see some common themes emerge.

 

Target Audience Research

As you’re digging into who you are as a company and what makes you stand out in the industry, think about who you want working for you or who might be the best fit. Maybe you’ve discovered some of the answers to these questions as you were interviewing current employees, but dig even deeper. Look at your company’s history, consider your culture and what you value — what type of people are going to fit in? Hiring for culture fit is just as important as hiring for talent. Retention rates will be higher if your new employees feel like they belong just as much as they feel like they are contributing to the company as a whole.

Once you’ve nailed your target audience, everything else starts to fall into place. Consider them when embarking on the next stage of the recruitment process: crafting your message.

 

Craft Your Message

Now that you have a running list of what makes you unique, and you’ve considered who you need to be speaking to, you need to develop messaging you can use for marketing. A fun and creative tagline for your employment brand can catch attention and speak to your company culture. Have fun with it. But make sure the messaging is clear and is in line with what makes you, YOU.

Click here to view an example of how NHS England developed a unique message to empower future medical workers. As the pandemic rages on, many are shifting away from COVID-specific messaging. NHS doesn’t deny its existence (they still show workers in masks) but decides to shift it’s messaging toward one that is inspiring, focused on the human aspect of the medical field, and honors the workers who are out there helping us reach every milestone along the way. They are saying, be a part of a uniquely rewarding career.

A successful messaging strategy will cut through the noise, stand out, and attract prospects who fit your company culture and bring the talent you are hoping for. Although you build your messaging strategy, it’s hard to control everything that is said about you. Your messaging can be outstanding, but it really comes down to what your candidates think about your company, which leads us to the next point…

 

Create a Positive Application Experience

Your application experience says a lot about you as a company. Applicants on average spend 3 to 4 hours submitting a single resume. That is a lot of time and thought invested into becoming a part of your company, hiring companies need to respect that. Imagine spending that long on 5-6 applications A DAY!

Make your application process as streamlined as possible and set clear expectations. But also, make it fun! You can expect that most applicants will be coming into your interview with some nerves. They may be in dire need of a job, just starting out, or looking to get out of a toxic work environment — make them feel welcome. Treat them the way you treat your current employees (which we hope is respectfully and with care). Here are some questions you may want to answer for them so they know what to expect:

  • How long before an applicant will hear back?
  • How soon are you looking to hire?
  • What does the position entail?
  • What are the next steps (phone interview, in-person interview, etc.)?

Do not weed out unqualified applicants with a confusing and extensive application process. Instead, focus on clear job descriptions that accurately communicate what the job involves and the qualifications needed. By providing as much detail in the job description as possible, applicants will know if they aren’t qualified enough to apply.

Be open to providing feedback to applicants you don’t hire. It is important to respect your applicants as much as possible during the process — not only because it is the right thing to do but because those applicants can either spread around a positive or negative perception of your company.

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Launch a Dedicated Careers Page on Your Website

This is not just a list of current job openings, it’s a strategic, on-brand, kickass careers page! This is your time to shine. Like we said before, some of your applicants may have looked at hundreds of other career pages. Something about your page should stand out enough to call attention to those who you want to work for you. This page can push your brand limits, show some personality, and indicate why your company is the best place for top talent to work.

It’s important to also focus on credibility. You can say you are the best but how can you prove it? Employee stories, testimonials, videos, photos, and other creative resources can give your applicants insight into what a day in the life is really like.

At this point you’ve highlighted what makes you unique, you’ve identified your target audience, you’ve crafted a message (maybe you have a campaign look & feel and some video spots ready), you’ve developed a positive application experience, and you’ve launched your careers page (maybe matching the look & feel of your campaign) — now it’s time to put it all together and get it all out there.

 

Use Digital Marketing & Social Media to Target Top Talent

Digital marketing is a key tactic for building your brand, employing your recruitment campaign strategy, and finding top talent. Both social media and paid media strategy can boost your results and expose your brand to new audiences. Traditional recruiting strategies aren’t working as well as they used to because people’s behavior has changed. Most are using digital channels for everything — news, food services, finding love, and, relevant to you, job searching.

When choosing where to place your ads, always consider your target audience. Who uses what channel varies greatly depending on the age group, industry, and other relevant demographics. Make sure to customize your message per channel so your ads are not intrusive. For example, the way you speak or the ads you deliver on TikTok will likely be very different than how you communicate to Instagram users.

Also keep in mind that your advertising needs to be inclusive and not discriminatory. Extend your equal opportunity employer policy to your ad images, videos, copywriting, and targeting. At AOR, we believe everyone deserves a shot at a job listing. Check out our Thrive initiative to learn more about what we do to ensure our application process and current employees feel seen, heard, and included.

Thoughtfully curate creative elements and targeting so they are inclusive for all ages, genders, ethnicities, religions, and disabilities. Just do it.

 

Be a Good Employer & A Good Company to Work For

Last — and certainly not least — create a jerk-free environment and be a good employer. There’s no point in creating a list of values if you do not stand by them. Your employees dedicate 40+ hours to you every week. That’s a majority of their time. Try to recognize they have a life outside of your offices. Create an environment for them that ensures they go home stress-free with a smile on their face, feeling like they are a part of something they love and care about because they feel loved and cared about. Bring that through in your recruitment campaign as well.

Even if you already have an employment brand, it may be time to reevaluate. Make sure it is still in alignment with your culture and values to attract the right employees.

Simply put, make sure you are answering the question “Why do I want to join your organization?” And make it worth their while to accept your offer.

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