What’s the Difference Between Recruiting and Recruitment Marketing?

As a recruiter, executive leader, or business owner you’ve probably heard the term recruitment marketing once or twice. It’s the idea that you should market your company as an employer much like you would a product or service. But many of you might have also wondered what exactly the difference is between recruitment marketing and recruiting.

It’s easy to confuse the two or incorrectly use them interchangeably. Both are geared toward connecting with top talent and motivating them to come work for your organization. There is a slight but distinct difference between the two that’s important to understand in order to connect with more top job seekers and fill your open roles faster.

Here are the basic definitions of recruiting and recruitment marketing:

  • Recruiting: Recruiting is focused on the individual relationship with a job seeker. It’s everything you do to connect with and motivate a specific person to apply for and accept a job at your company.
  • Recruitment marketing: Recruitment marketing is a higher level concept. It’s the practice of creating and enhancing your company’s brand as an employer over time. Much like regular marketing, it involves communicating what makes you unique to your target audience, spreading those messages across channels that your audience uses, and influencing job seekers to apply to your open roles.

Recruiting and recruitment marketing in practice

So what does that look like in practice? Let’s say you met someone at a career fair that you believe would make a great fit for an open role at your company. You email this person after the fair and ask to set up an informal meeting with other members of your team. Later, you schedule official interviews, send a skills test, and then officially offer them the position. This is recruiting, You’re actively convincing a specific person to fill a specific role at your company.

Recruitment marketing is much different in practice. You might build out a page on your website that highlights everything you offer your employees — benefits, competitive pay, or remote work options. You might also share day-in-the-life videos on social media to showcase the culture at your company or secure news coverage of your company volunteering for local non-profits. All of this is in an effort to reach the maximum number of job seekers and hope that they see your messages, view your company as a great place to work, and apply to your open roles.

It’s important for your recruiters and HR team to have the skills required to excel at both. You need to have constant recruitment marketing efforts running alongside the one-on-one conversations you’re having with potential candidates. Both play a big role in not only connecting with top talent but also convincing them to take a position at your company once they’ve shown interest.

Key components of great recruitment marketing

Now that you know the difference between recruiting and recruitment marketing (and the importance of each), what exactly should you do to build out your recruitment marketing efforts? As a rule of thumb, anything you might do in your general marketing efforts can be used for recruitment marketing too. But here are some of the essentials:

  • Career site: Your career site is the hub of all of your recruitment marketing efforts. In addition to listing your open roles, it’s where you can showcase everything that makes your company a great place to work — whether that’s your culture or competitive pay and benefits offerings. 
  • SEO: Any written content relating to your recruitment marketing efforts — such as your career site or job descriptions — should be optimized for search. Research keywords to include in your copy and be sure to understand additional on-page best practices like optimal word count and use of subheadings.
  • Job distribution: Much like with traditional product marketing, you want to get your open roles in front of as many people as possible. So that means thinking beyond your basic paid job boards and ensuring you have a presence on a wider variety of channels like organic job boards (e.g., Google for Jobs) and social media.
  • Social media: Social media is a great place to market your company’s unique value proposition to job seekers. Post images or videos that showcase your culture, highlight employees of the week, or include testimonials from your existing teammates.
  • Earned media: Work with local news reporters or trade publications to get your company featured in the media. You might highlight philanthropy efforts or your company’s unique employee benefits.
  • Testimonials: Ask your top employees to share why they love working for you and feature these testimonials on social media, your career site, or within your earned media coverage.

The recruitment marketing tactics that are best for you depend on your company, industry, and culture. What matters is that you put together a thoughtful plan to get the word out about your company and why it’s a great place to work — especially as we continue to navigate an unprecedented hiring crisis. Job seekers today have plenty of options for employment and have evolving expectations about what they want in a career. Recruitment marketing is a great way to show job seekers that you can offer what they’re looking for and gain a leg up over competitors.

However, great recruitment marketing is a lot to take on from scratch. Thankfully, tools like Hireology can help. Our all-in-one recruiting, hiring, and employee management platform includes features like career site support and integrations with top job boards to help you showcase and market your company as an employer. Our customer success team is also available to provide support and advice on how to optimize your job descriptions and career site to maximize your ROI. Ready to get started? Schedule a free demo today.



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