Four Reasons Why It's Important to Recruit Like a Marketer

June 4, 2018

By Elliot Lum

Sudtawee Thepsuponkul/

Recently, I attended a recruiting conference hosted by WayUp, a job marketplace where students find internships and entry-level positions. The speakers were from Fortune 500 brands like Citibank, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson. During their presentations, each speaker acknowledged they've applied a marketing mindset to the talent recruiting process. Similar to how marketers try to drive preference for their brands, recruiters are trying to find the right candidate for the right role. Here were my four key takeaways that demonstrate why it's important to bring the marketing mindset to recruiting:

  1. Candidates are also your customers
    Some organizations might receive thousands of candidate applications for the portfolio of roles that they are trying to fill. Not every candidate can get a job, but that doesn't mean that the experience of applying has to be poor, whether that be lack of communication or, in the worst cases, no communication at all. Remember that these candidates are also your customers, so a poor candidate experience can translate into a potential lost customer.
  2. Recruiting experience is part of the overall brand experience
    As marketers, we want to influence all of the customer touchpoints with brand messaging. However, a blind spot for marketers is the recruiting process because that is squarely owned by the human resources function. The brand experience is everything that can possibly touch a potential customer, but many marketers don't influence this area. It's imperative for marketers to work with their counterparts in human resources so that they can bring the discipline and the technology to ensure a consistent brand experience.
  3. Greater opportunity for personalization through automation
    Technology provides an opportunity for one-to-one marketing at scale. In recruiting, there is a similar opportunity to automate the candidate experience while still retaining personalized messaging. For example, Unilever eliminated all on-campus recruiting for undergraduates through technology and reallocated their resources to fly in all candidates for in-person interviews and to experience what it truly is like to work at the organization.
  4. Better content leads to more informed candidates
    Marketers will use content to help inform potential customers about the value of their products. It's not telling them how great their products are. It's educating them about their product offerings and letting consumers make the appropriate decision. Similarly, in recruiting, video content that showcases company culture, for example, is a great way for candidates to assess if they are a fit for that organization or not. Keeping candidates informed with quality content helps engagement rates and improves the overall conversation level these candidates have when they go through the interviewing process.

My recommendation is to reach out to your human resources counterparts and partner with them on making the candidate experience the best that it can be. Not only will you ensure a consistent brand experience, you will also elevate the quality of new hires coming into your organization.


Elliot Lum is the head of talent acquisition at the ANA Educational Foundation.

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