Most corporate executives consider marketing to be a customer-focused function. But, guess what? The same marketing strategies that work for promoting products and services to consumers also work as powerful recruiting tools. And today, you need to be able to use those marketing strategies to showcase your corporate culture during recruitment—or risk being overlooked.

Millennials and Gen Z job candidates identify organizational culture as a top factor when considering prospective employers. They are attracted to companies that do meaningful work, have a well-defined brand, exude an altruistic spirit, and know how to have fun.

In a candidate-driven market, where prospects have choices, workers seek a company whose culture matches their beliefs and values. How can you convey your culture to candidates to find that fit?

Defining Corporate Culture

Communicating corporate culture begins with defining it within the organization. Corporate culture is closely tied to another important component of recruiting in a candidate-driven market: brand identity. Get clear on both of these by outlining your mission statement and company values, and then working with your senior executives to define your organization’s short- and long-term goals.

Tips for Using Your Corporate Culture in Marketing and Recruiting

Today candidates research potential employers even before they sit down for an interview, so you must make sure your company culture and branding is in place and is consistent—across all communications channels. Then develop and implement a marketing strategy that showcases your brand and company culture.

  1. Envision your ideal candidate. To recruit for cultural fit, you must first recognize it. Look at your employees. Find the people who exude your brand identity, and figure out what makes them such a good fit for your organization. Then look for those traits in the prospects you find online and in real life.
  2. Use social media effectivelyMore than 90 percent of recruiters use social media as a recruitment tool. But are you using it with a strategy in mind and an eye on your recruiting goals? Identify where your company stands in the 5 Levels of Social Media Recruitment Maturity so you can determine your next steps. As an example, UPS showcases its company values of volunteerism and diversity on its Facebook page. The company has also set clear goals and uses analytics to measure its success. Truly “expert level” in social media recruiting, the company has been doing so since 2008.
  3. Be more personable. Social media requires greater transparency, more responsiveness, and a personal approach. For instance, Marriott employees offer personalized responses to candidates’ questions through social media. As Pablo Medina, a participant in a recent #WorkTrends chat on digital trends, stated, “Access to your current employees is bold and valuable to candidates.”
  1. Show off the office. Bronwen Hann of Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting, in a blog post for SparkHire, advises companies to communicate their corporate culture by “showing” rather than “telling,” which starts on social media. Add 360-degree video to your home page and social pages to bring your work environment to life.During the job interview, provide a tour of your offices and introduce the candidate to employees. Make it easy for recruits to picture themselves in the workplace.5. Elevate your job descriptions to convey your culture and attract the right candidates. For decades HR directors have relied on compelling job descriptions to recruit candidates. But do your job descriptions do more than list the requirements of the open position? Do they showcase your company culture, too?Start with a unique job title—one that reflects your corporate culture. Does Apple employ service technicians at its retail locations? No, they hire Geniuses. Disney gives prestige to its theme park employees by calling them “cast members.” Subway employees are known as “sandwich artists.”Add cultural dazzle to your descriptions. Talk about how the company treats its employees, and point out perks: paid family leave, corporate wellness programs, an emphasis on work/life integration, etc.

Jobs Change Fast, Culture Doesn’t

It’s not enough to simply identify a candidate who has the qualifications to fill a particular job. You need to focus on finding the best candidate for your organization. And then, since roles change quickly, and job descriptions often fall out of date shortly after the new hire begins, you may need to explore new tactics for staffing positions with fast-changing requirements, asserts James Brook, joint founder and managing director of Strengths Partnership, writing for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Some employers, including Facebook, are piloting “job-crafting” approaches. “This involves focusing on hiring employees with the right strengths, skills, and values that align with the organization’s purpose, and then deploying them across multiple projects and assignments where their talents can be used best,” says Brook.

Bottom line: Recruit like a marketer, and you’ll be a step ahead. If you do a good job showcasing your corporate culture, you’ll hire employees who fulfill your needs while also being great ambassadors of your brand. With this approach, your company culture will always be top-of-mind, and star candidates will clamor to join organizations they view as a perfect fit— like yours.

Photo Credit: davidwaynehagler Flickr via Compfight cc

This article was first published on V3Broadsuite. 

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