Why Talent Acquisition Should Own Recruitment Marketing

Recruiters and marketers used to sit in different areas of the office, playing distinctly different roles. But as we all know, that’s shifted quite a bit with the focus on recruitment marketing. A marketing hat is now an essential part of a talent acquisition leader’s wardrobe. The most successful recruiters and talent acquisition leaders have embraced the entire world of marketing, from tactics to metrics.

According to The MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study, a biannual survey conducted among nearly 2,000 U.S.-based executive search recruiters of MRINetwork, 90 percent of recruiters say the market was candidate-driven in 2015, up from 54 percent in the second half of 2011. When the landscape looks like that, candidates need to be wowed and wooed. And let’s be honest, the best employer brand often wins the race.

Within this same study, 31 percent of respondents say that hiring managers are not finding enough suitable candidates. And when that happens, they have to fight that much harder to find, grab and retain high quality candidates – or someone else will.

So creating a brand that compels people to want to work there is absolutely critical. Whether it’s a perk like free lunches, a dog-friendly workplace or a generous vacation policy, those messages need to be blasted loud and clear. What are even more important to share are those deeper cultural messages such as commitment to transparency or the opportunity to do meaningful work. And who should be behind this communication? Talent Acquisition! (With the support of executives and current employees, as well.)

LinkedIn recently released Global Recruiting Trends 2016, offering both predictable and interesting findings. It states 59 percent of respondents are “investing more in their employer brand compared to last year.” So with this investment, it’s once again obvious who should whole-heartedly, passionately and strategically own the employer brand and the correlating recruitment marketing: the Talent Acquisition Team. Here are a few reasons why.

Consistency of Message. This is Marketing 101. When you want to send a message, make it clear and repeat it. When you are marketing to potential candidates, it’s the same concept. If there are inconsistent messages coming from social media profiles, job boards, talent networks, online employee reviews and other platforms, candidates are just confused.

When Talent Acquisition owns the employer brand and recruitment marketing efforts, it is a great opportunity to fully grasp the company culture, put it into compelling words and sell it. This requires savvy research, solid writing and constant management. Simply put, employer branding needs to be placed as a high priority and coddled a bit. With all the visibility that comes with our online culture, monitoring and engaging potential candidates is part of the big picture.

Universum’s research showed that “74 percent of respondents claimed to have at least a moderate employer brand presence on social media, only a third said they had dedicated employees posting content and responding to users on a regular basis. Even more surprising was that only about half of respondents said they measure their social media activities.”

Candidates Care More. I talk a lot about the candidate experience because expectations have changed. With a talent shortage and shifting generational demands, people want to be courted a bit. The process of the candidate experience is a slight jump from what we’re talking about, but it starts with effectively reaching talent. With companies like Google, Salesforce and Wegmans out there topping Best Companies to Work For lists, candidates want a little cultural dazzle with each job posting. Research continues to show that Millennials and Gen Z are more extremely interested in company culture.

Virgin Pulse’s report, “Misunderstood Millennials: How the Newest Workforce is Evolving Business” states that “73 percent of Millennials seek meaningful work at an organization with a mission they support, and a remarkable 90 percent say they want to use their skills for good, suggesting that Millennials seek workplaces with a culture of altruism that enable them to give back. Millennials also care about workplace culture, with 77 percent noting it is just as or more important than salary and benefits.”

And I’ll throw it out there again … who needs to own these messages, illustrating a commitment to altruism or a hip company culture? Talent Acquisition.


Here’s a little warning for you, though. If a talent brand is misrepresented – by flat-out false promises or simply poor word choices – or even through silence – quality of hire will be affected. You want employees to be there for the right reasons: They knew what they were getting into and they want to stay. They are more productive, visionary and committed. When Talent Acquisition effectively manages its marketing efforts, the overall workplace will reap the benefits.

So how do you put in into action? To understand how to become a modern recruiting organization, SmashFly offers a great resource that outlines some of the key skills and roles within the recruitment marketing discipline in 5 Essential Roles of the Modern Recruitment Marketing Team.

This post is sponsored by SmashFly. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more content like this, follow SmashFly on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and SlideShare.

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