For many businesses, marketing’s sole responsibility is to attract new customers. And yes, this is usually a really important part of any marketing activity.
However, customers are not the only people who make your businesses run. With both the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit having an impact on the availability of staff, recruitment has become a difficult challenge for many.
To get you started we’ve put together some ideas on how you can better position yourself for recruitment using the power of your existing brand and marketing.
To get started we’ll cover the basics of the marketing funnel and the journey a potential recruit may go through with your company.
Whether your customers or potential staff, everyone who has heard of your business will sit somewhere on this funnel. The more interested and invested people become, the further down the funnel they’ll be – which can result in a conversion, and eventually, loyalty.
The diagram is a helpful way to visualise where your marketing activities are influencing your target audience, and how you can continue to move them towards your desired end goal.
Looking at the funnel from a recruitment perspective, you can see that the same process takes place for your employees. However, instead of communicating the benefits of your product or service, you should be advertising the benefits of a job at your company.
Now familiar with the process people take, we can look a little deeper into some strategies you can employ to help potential candidates along this route.
Feels obvious, sounds simple. In much the same way that your brand connects with and communicates the benefits of your products with customers, your employer brand should do the same with the benefits of your employment to your potential recruits. Your brand values should match both your target audience and the types of people you would like working for you. If you have loyal customers, you’re much more likely to have loyal staff, and vice versa.
It’s also important to match your brand image with the experience your employees have whilst working for you. The wider the gap between your brand perception and reality, the less productive and loyal your staff will be.
Being at the brand level means the rest of the tips in this post will touch on your improving your employer brand. Think of this as the overarching means to attract and retain staff.
This flowchart does a good job of demonstrating the journey employees take in relation to your employer brand. If you wanted to explore this topic further, this study is a good place to start. Or you could get in touch with us.
Fig 2. Employer branding flowchart
Finding the right staff for your business is not a quick and easy process, and unless you’ve cracked it already, will be an ongoing endeavour. Although you may need to fill positions today, efforts should also be catered to the long-term. Creating a brand image that entices the labour market takes time and effort. Thought should go into this at the strategy level. Start early and you’ll find yourself in a much stronger position when you do need to fill job vacancies.
Much like your more general marketing, you want to first identify your target audience and cater your strategy to attract them. This initial step should lead to candidates that are more relevant and more likely to be a better fit.
Watergate Bay is a great example of targeting those in relevant situations. With the usual seasonal ski jobs out the window thanks to travel restrictions, the hotel targeted the seasonaire crowd who would usually be out of the country. A clear target was identified and makes reaching them a much clearer, efficient process.
The best hotels and restaurants put a lot of effort into creating memorable guest experiences through carefully crafted customer journeys, which ensure a level of consistency and quality that sets them apart from the competition.
Now, why not bring some of the lessons you’ve learned from creating your own customer journey into your recruitment? Think of your potential candidates like customers. Wow them. Make them want to work for you even more.
This is also a good opportunity to share a bit of your company culture which can result in a better match between candidate and employer.
Chances are that your business has some form of social media or website. Whilst these are usually geared towards attracting customers don’t be afraid to share a little bit about why you are a great place to work. These channels are yours – so use them to meet your current needs.
There’s no reason why you can use a small part of your advertising budget to create a campaign to find the perfect candidate too. In fact, the targeting tools on platforms like Facebook are an effective way of reaching the right kinds of people, including those working in certain industries
Rolling off of the last several tips, use your existing channels to share details on why people should want to work for you. Do you have great training available? Is there an opportunity for advancement? Do you offer a wicked employee discount?
A good method is to put a spotlight on employees who have excelled whilst working for you. Paint a picture about what someone might be able to enjoy or achieve at your company.
Thinking back to the marketing funnel, no company, even one with the coolest brand image, will be getting job applicants if people don’t first know who they are. A website is often the online home of your business and should be optimised to be seen. Digital marketing techniques like SEO, content marketing or social media advertising can help this. This is something we can help you with – see our services page for more info.
Picture a hotel sat above the cliffs. Aside from its great rooms and fancy swimming pool, you can bet a lot of people stay there simply for its great position. Try to help staff take advantage of the same benefits your customers enjoy. For the above example, shine a light on how great the ‘office’ view is, or how you can spend lunch breaks surfing or relaxing on the beach.
One example of this was the ‘surf to work’ recruitment campaign run by The Headland Hotel a few years ago. Although perhaps an unrealistic proposition, it inspires what a lifestyle working at the hotel may look like. This is all about the messaging – something we can help you out with.
Word of mouth is perhaps the most effective marketing tool. Cost-free and impactful, having employees that are ambassadors for the company is a sure-fire way to attract more candidates. Creating these spokespeople starts with being a great place to work: a competitive wage, exciting work, good working conditions and being treated with respect are the best places to start. Employee networks can reach quite far, and improving the chances of these being tapped into is a great place way to get more candidates.
Think about why you can’t find staff. What are the factors stopping people from wanting, or being able to work at your company? Many of these will be out of your control, such as low levels of specific training and a high cost of living locally. Are there ways you can overcome these barriers? Support with training through an apprenticeship can be a medium/long term solution to skills shortages and staff accommodation can help alleviate the pressure of expensive living costs.
For more support on making your marketing work towards your wider company goals, whether recruitment, growth or lead generation, get in touch. We’re happy to chat.