Recruitment is an expensive process today, especially for small businesses. It’s imperative to bring in the best talent possible, but budgets are often limited. In this environment, it’s important to ensure that your efforts to bring in great employees are as targeted and effective as possible.
One of the more common mistakes companies make is recruiting in the same way that they market to customers. Although your brand, mission and values are the same, the audience and goals for these two endeavors are quite different, and you’ll need to adjust your respective strategies accordingly.
How can your recruiting efforts and your marketing goals work together to reduce costs and reinforce your brand while still being unique enough to be effective? Here are a few tips to help guide your process.
Focus on Brand Image
Brand image is at the heart of any marketing campaign. Whether you’re targeting customers or employees, your messaging should communicate the identity of your business at the same time as it conveys the information you’re trying to get across.
What words and phrases describe your business from a customer point of view? What messaging would interest a potential employee? Say one of your core values is reliability. For customers, your business may be an innovative company with a proven track record of providing effective, affordable solutions. From an employee point of view, you may want to highlight that you’re a stable company with a clear growth trajectory offering great benefits, a relaxed environment and progressive leadership training. Define the terminology for each audience — even if you’re using the same words for each — and how you’ll present your brand image in both types of campaign.
Choose Your Platforms Wisely
Some small businesses view their social media accounts only as a location for promoting their products or services, but your followers are just as likely to be ideal employees as they are to be customers. They likely know your industry, and from interacting with your social media content, they’re already getting to know your company. Use your social media channels to share recruitment-related posts right alongside your customer-focused marketing.
At the same time, you’ll want to tailor where you advertise job openings based on the readership. For example, LinkedIn is a great place to recruit because it links professionals to each other and showcases skills, but it may not be the best channel for traditional marketing. That’s not to say that platforms such as Twitter and Facebook aren’t great places to recruit as well, but it’s important to know where you have a captive audience and take advantage of that.
Solve Problems for Customers, Showcase Benefits for Employees
One of the areas where recruitment differs most from marketing is in the type of information you’re providing. Both potential employees and prospective customers want to know what you’re offering, but the details they’re interested in are quite different.
According to a study by Glassdoor, the top five factors job applicants want to know about are compensation, benefits, basic information about the organization, the company culture and the business’s core values. Your recruitment messaging should have some focus on these areas to attract the right candidate.
When marketing to employees, discuss the types of tasks they might hand handle, the benefits you offer and the opportunities for advancement. For customers, focus on the problems your products or services solve, such as reducing their costs, improving their quality of life or adding value to their business.
Lastly, keep in mind that both your marketing and your recruitment efforts should help reinforce your brand. Companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook are recognized not only for offering innovative products and services but also for providing quality work environments for employees. Your small business can learn a lesson from these organizations by tailoring your recruitment and marketing messaging to the goals of each endeavor while ensuring that both campaigns reflect the identity you want to put forth.
Sandy Baker is a full-time freelance writer specializing in health, personal finance and Internet marketing. Her long-term history online has included publications with companies including Marriott Hotels, The New York Times and dozens of other small and medium-sized businesses. She is also published in print with award-winning books such as The Complete Guide to Estate Planning, Complete Guide to Early Retirement, The Complete Bankruptcy Guide for Consumers and Small Businesses and The Complete Guide to Organic Lawn Care.