10 Inspirations to Build Your Employer Brand for a Successful Recruitment Campaign

Anyone who works in HR knows that hiring the right people at the right time is not as simple as just putting up a few job postings.

Hiring team members who embody your brand over the long-term is an investment that requires building the kind of employer brand that attracts people who are aligned with your values and culture. This, of course, can take some time. But creating the right recruitment campaign doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.

Recently we’ve worked on several short-term campaigns to help clients attract potential recruits with compelling content that hits just the right brand notes. 

Our research has helped us to identify some of the best employer brand and recruitment campaigns out there. And in the process, we’ve developed insights we want to share to help you in your pursuit of the right hires for your company. 

1. First, You’ll Need to Get Crystal Clear on Your Target Audience

Developing a crystal clear, utterly human and relatable persona—otherwise known as a target audience, or a customer profile—is our special sauce at Forge and Spark. It’s a process we’ve built over many years, and one that fits nicely into defining a target audience of dream applicants for an employer. 

If you’re hiring, you probably already have an idea of your ideal employee. This might be someone you’ve hired in the past that you’d love to clone if you could, or it might be someone you wish you could hire—if you could only say the right things and make just the right offer. 

Going deep on who those people are—identifying their age range, their skills, their location, their online hangouts, their pressing problems and needs (when it comes to finding the right job for them), what they’d type into Google when looking for a job… and sometimes even having a good idea of what they eat for breakfast—is essential in understanding how best to speak to them, where to approach them, and how to compel them to apply during a recruitment campaign. Get to know these personas deeply in order to tailor the messaging and visuals in your campaign to suit that audience. 

2. Next, Prioritize Your Recruitment Campaign Goals

You’ve got big goals. But years of marketing experience has shown us that goals don’t tend to get met unless you decide which ones to prioritize, and then get really specific about how to achieve them. As in content marketing, as in life. 🙂 

Consider using the tried and true SMART goal framework—uniquely applied to recruiting—to guide your way, and to measure your success. 

SMART goals are: 

Specific: Rather than simply driving traffic to a job posting or landing page, you want to drive 2,000 click-throughs from your target audience during your one-month campaign. That’s the level of specificity you want to articulate here.

Measurable: Ensure you’re able to actually measure the specific goals you’ve set. If you’re aiming for click-throughs, then you’ll need to be able to measure them using analytics and tracking code. 

Achievable: Is it actually possible to generate 2,000 click-throughs in a month? To achieve a click-through rate of, say, 5%, you’ll need to drive 40,000 visitors to the campaign page. You should have a sense of whether that’s possible by looking at historical metrics for your site or previous campaigns. And if historical metrics arenb’t available, then perhaps you can use industry benchmarks instead.

Relevant: Are you tracking and measuring the right goals? If the number of applicants is critical, then prioritize not only click-throughs but completed applications. Make sure your goals align with your overall objectives.  

Time-based: Finally, give your goal a reasonable timeline. Don’t try to achieve the impossible or you’ll be in for a let-down. Be realistic with the timeline you set. 

3. Understand the Growing Importance of Mobile Recruitment

It’s easy to search for jobs online, but not always easy to apply for them. Many people use their phones or tablets to apply for jobs and get stymied in the process. 

A Glassdoor study revealed that workers with lower levels of education use mobile job search more than more than those with higher levels of education (56% of the study’s job seekers with a high-school education used mobile devices to search for jobs, while only 42% of job seekers with a doctoral degree did so). 

More importantly, mobile job seekers successfully complete 53% fewer applications and take 80% longer to complete each application than those applying through other channels, the study found. As a result, employers with difficult mobile job-application processes deter many potential applicants.

So make sure you know how your audience is applying for jobs so you can streamline the process and make it easy for them.

4. Consider a Digital Process

There are so many online recruitment tools out there, like HIREVUE, VIDCRUITER, MY INTERVIEW, and SPARK HIRE. These tools enable employers to set clear online pathways for the right candidates to apply with a tried and tested process. Canadian restaurant chain Cactus Club, for example, used a tool called Hirevue to make it easier for their target audience to find jobs and apply online via their phones. The tool also enables them to do quick video interviews with potential candidates.

5. Create a Landing Page

A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for the purposes of a marketing or advertising campaign. Landing pages are designed with a singular objective in mind, known as a Call to Action or CTA that speaks directly to your target audience. 

Uber and Lyft have been in a recruiting campaign-off for years now — both with beautiful campaigns focused on personalized (those targeted at key profiles) recruitment pages featuring photos of key candidate-types, as well as copy that speaks to their primary needs and motivations. 

6. Drive Traffic to Your Landing Page 

To ensure that the right people discover their job offerings, many companies use highly targeted paid ad campaigns—via Google, as well as social platforms like Facebook and Instagram—that drive traffic to specific, localized landing pages. 

Figuring out what your candidates would search for is critical in this case. You want to match their search terms to your ad copy – both in the paid ad, as well as on your landing page, to ensure optimal ad placement and click-throughs.

For example, a search for “Amazon jobs” brings up an ad that directs job seekers to a specific Amazon jobs landing page. A search for “Medford jobs” leads to a landing page for Market of Choice jobs that segments job seekers by their location. 

7. Tell Employee Stories 

Audiences love storytelling. And it works especially well in recruitment campaigns when brands tell stories that relate specifically to the kinds of employees they are looking for. 

For example, Walmart has crafted a beautiful Instagram campaign focused on telling the stories of their associates. It then directs to a landing page with more information about the available opportunities.

The call to action on these pages is to apply to be a driver, and you can do this directly on these pages. The fewer clicks, the better. 

This UN Women campaign published via Twitter and LinkedIn used direct quotes on issues and values that would resonate with their target audience of girls and women around the world.

The Work with Us Foundation developed a recruitment campaign directed at finding people who shared their values. They created blog posts around people embodying the key values they wanted to attract. Then, social posts drove back to those blog posts with clear calls to action to apply on the posts. The idea: use content to help potential candidates identify with the brand, then nudge them to apply.

8. Address Questions Head-on

When you’re building out a recruitment strategy, it’s important to know what questions your potential candidates are asking. Here, Ernst & Young tapped into the inspirational, speaking to candidates dreaming of a different kind of world. 

You can tell mini-stories right in a post, and maybe in associated content like video, too.

9. Millennial-focused Messaging

Having a well-defined target demographic is more important than ever because it allows you to speak in ways that demographic can relate to.  

One US Army campaign cleverly played with typical perceptions—and turned them on their head. It’s a way of working with creativity and messaging to address objections or misperceptions—particularly of millennials—head-on with a bit of humour. 

Conagra Brands caters to millennial consumers and regularly posts to social media about causes and values they relate to.

It’s a simple approach: they create content that speaks to their audience, feature that content on social, and encourage open discussions on their Careers page. 

We also like their friendly bot, encouraging candidates to interact. 

10. Be Memorable and Eye-catching

With any kind of social or online content, you want to strive for beautiful, visually rich messaging—this is what captures peoples’ attention in crowded online channels. We’re always keen to get a little creative while staying true to the mission of hiring the right people. 

Starting your own recruitment campaign and need some help? We welcome you to contact us to chat about how to use authentic content and smart tactics to build a strong and successful employer brand.

Lara Kroeker
Lara Kroeker
An Emily Carr University Communication Design graduate, Lara combines her talent for aesthetics with a deeply practical tech savvy-ness.