Resource-oriented personnel marketing
When clients approach me with an enquiry about personnel marketing and recruiting, there is usually already a lot going on: important positions have not been filled for months, so the manager is under pressure. It is expected that the budget needed for this will be approved by the management, after all, the business is at risk. Information has been gathered and attention has been drawn to emotional image films as well as well-run social media channels of the competition. So it seems clear what needs to be done.
However, before you decide on a personnel marketing measure, you should gain clarity about your target group. By clarity about the target group, I mean that you get a comprehensive picture that goes beyond just the job title. I also recommend that you consider what goal you are pursuing with the measure: should it be an image measure or should it lead to a recruitment? Only when you think this through carefully will you really realise the extent of the effort. This is especially important if you work in an organisation where financial and human resources are limited.
Clarity about your target group
Principles of marketing are to know your target audience. We all know the polling institute surveys or the consent to cookies when we surf the internet. These mechanisms used for product advertising can and should also be used in recruiting. Especially if your target group consists of people who are not actively searching, who are not asking Google for a job, you need to know what kind of people they are, what makes them tick and when and where you can be reached. To do this, you need to engage with them.
- ask your own employees.
- ask your applicants how they became aware of you.
- consult studies that evaluate the sources used.
In order not to define the target group too small, it is helpful to imagine several people in a very vivid way. This is called a candidate persona.
Creating a persona actually comes from design thinking, but it is also excellent for recruiting. Make sure to create different variants of personas in terms of gender, age, professional experience, cultural background, etc. This way you can target individual people. This way you can address individuals in a more targeted way and don’t lump everyone together.
Max, 28 years old, single in a partnership, probably wants to be addressed differently than Annette, 49 years old, married, children almost out of the house. The most obvious difference, besides their different gender and age, is that they are in different stages of life. Hypothesis: Max likes to surf Instagram, Annette is more likely to be found on Facebook. However, you should always check such hypotheses. Because what applies to you or your immediate environment is not necessarily generalisable.
Clarity about your recruiting goals
At the beginning I wrote about how the pressure to act often leads organisations to take on the big projects right away, which are usually time-consuming and expensive. In such situations, I have observed several times that it might still be possible to get the budget for an image film out of the management.
- But how do you make sure that the target group actually notices it?
- How many people need to know about the film so that a significant group actually watches it?
- How many people have to find the film appealing so that they then look at your job advertisements?
- How many people have to come across an exciting job advertisement at that very moment and then actually apply?
- And how many applications do you actually need to make a hire?
This is called the recruiting funnel and is derived from the marketing funnel. In marketing it is old hat. In recruiting it is often not thought about. It is not easy to look up these numbers on the internet. However, according to my experience, about 1-2% of people apply after looking at a job ad. In shortage occupations like IT and nursing, even less than 1%.
When you consider this, it quickly becomes clear how much time and money you have to invest, which goes beyond the mere production of an image film. Unless you already operate functioning social media accounts with a corresponding response from your target group. If not, you will have to buy sponsorship. This means giving money to the respective platforms so that they play out the film to the right people. Can be done, but must also be budgeted for.
However, an important message of this article should also be: Before you think big, do your homework first. That means, quite unspectacularly, hard work. This hard work is the foundation on which all the other fancy measures are based.
Clean up your job ads
Are your job advertisements interesting for the people you want to address?
Job advertisements must be short and concise so that interested people can quickly grasp the content. First write what is important for the reader so that they don’t click on immediately: general conditions such as working hours, salary, place of work. Then, of course, your benefits. Then, hopefully, the readers will really get interested and ask what kind of exciting tasks you have to offer. At the end, you can write what qualifications and expertise you would ideally like to have. But be careful here: Because what you write here will determine whether you receive many or few applications and also whether they are the right applications. So be specific, but don’t make the circle of addressees too small.
Use the potential of Google
80% of people actively looking for jobs use Google. Therefore, choose the job boards that will ensure that your job ad lands on the first page of search results. But it’s not just the job board that’s relevant, it’s what you’re looking for. With the help of Google Trends, for example, you can check what is searched for most on Google. Is it the computer scientist or the IT specialist? Is it the nursing specialist or the nurse? Use these terms in your job advertisement so that it is shown to searchers as often as possible.
Free areas for personnel marketing
What free space do you have available that you can use to advertise yourself as an employer, e.g. your own website, email signature, entrance areas, the canteen, company cars, etc.? The space you have available anyway and can use for free is often forgotten. Therefore, my strong recommendation: go through all possible spaces again and use them actively for your personnel marketing.
Employees recruit employees
If you have satisfied employees, you can engage them. “Employee referral programmes are proven to be one of the most successful recruitment marketing efforts. Applicants have understood that many organisations promise a lot to the outside world, but this is not reflected once they start the job. So if your own employees recommend your organisation, they are much more likely to trust it. The effort involved is comparatively small: of course you have to document who recruited whom and you have to make sure that a bonus is paid. Conceptually, I recommend that you not only focus on financial rewards, but that the bonus also expresses recognition and appreciation, something your colleagues are really happy about.
On my blog I wrote an article (in German) about the order in which I build personnel marketing in a resource-oriented and strategic way. You can also read why I am a big fan of performance-oriented and flexible personnel marketing. Feel free to take a look. And for every measure, remember to define your target group and think about what you want to achieve with a measure. This is the basis for resource-oriented personnel marketing.
Katharina Nolden has published another article in the t2informatik blog:
Katharina Nolden has a degree in education, is a business coach (IHK) and Scrum Master (scrum.org). She brings several years of experience from management consultancy and the education, energy, service and health sectors. Her goal is to change the world of work as an expert for modern forms of work. She advises organisations on the topics of new forms of work, digital collaboration, recruiting and personnel marketing.