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inbound recruiting, employer branding, candidate experience, employee recruitingOver the last few years, companies have changed how they recruit new talent. Job candidates have gained more power in the hiring process. Employee recruiting is now more costly and time-consuming for companies, as they fight for top talent and treat well-qualified job candidates like clients. To find the best candidates, it’s no longer enough to post an online announcement and About Us website page.

Many companies have turned to recruitment marketing, a new strategy that employs marketing tactics to attract and recruit candidates. For the strategy to succeed, companies must be active online and have an engaging and attractive job posting. This is where PR professionals can help:  building the public image of the company as an employer that candidates want to work for.

Although human resources (HR) personnel traditionally manage employer branding, HR is not well-equipped to handle the task, may lack time to do much of the work, and may not consider it a high priority. Public relations professionals can help improve the company’s recruitment marketing by applying their communications skills and collaborating with HR teams.

These are some top recommendations for how PR professionals can assume a vital role in positioning a brand as a desirable employer.

Inbound Recruiting

Just as the goal of inbound marketing is to attract, engage and convert customers, the goal of inbound recruiting is to attract, engage and convert job candidates. Inbound recruiting is a recruitment strategy that entails continually and proactively attracting candidates to ultimately have them pick your company as their employer.

Inbound recruiting is a long-term solution to improve hiring and recruitment methods and is one of today’s top trends. Marc Lovett, an HR Manager at Next Coursework and Australia2write, says that to adopt inbound recruiting, you need to “have compelling and engaging content on your website, engage with possible candidates on all platforms, including social media, and be open about your brand and company culture.”

For this, the PR professional has to reach out to potential employees and find what they feel is most attractive about the company as an employer, find how they first learned about the company, and explore ideas for content to attract job candidates. The PR staff can discuss the main selling points of the company and differentiating factors of working for the company versus others. Corporate communications and HR can work together to learn what top talent seeks and identify gaps between job candidate perceptions and what the company truthfully offers as an employer.

Employer Brand and the Candidate Experience

When creating your company brand, it’s essential to consider more than customers, employees and investors. To get a full view of the brand, it’s important to also include the candidate experience. Candidates will consider everything about your company when deciding on accepting a job offer. This includes your brand online, on mobile devices, and its social media presence. This is in addition to what a candidate traditionally considers: the first contact with recruiters, the back and forth during the hiring and interview process, and the interview itself. The candidate experience includes the experience of current, past and potential future candidates, and covers all interactions with the company from the original outreach through onboarding.

It’s especially important for businesses to be aware of the candidate experience because top talent who have had positive experiences in the recruitment process are not only more likely to accept an offer or reapply in the future but to refer others to your business.

If a candidate has a good experience but doesn’t accept the position, their experience can still have a positive impact on your brand. The company can still get more referrals, receive positive reviews online, and even increase brand loyalty. On the flip side, a negative experience can cost you significantly in poor reviews. Consider adopting a candidate relationship management strategy to stay in touch with your candidate pool.

Social Recruiting

Social recruiting involves recruiting employees through social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It also includes seeking talent on websites, blogs, forums, job boards and other job-related websites. Social recruiting means more than just posting job ads on social media accounts. The possibilities are endless.

“Companies can use social media channels to search out potential talent proactively, build and nurture relationships with them, and encourage their applications when the company posts vacant job opportunities,” says Kyle Williams, a project manager at Writemyx and Brit student.

Social media offers PR a perfect tool for building a brand as a desirable employer. Because of the numerous possibilities of social recruiting, it’s become one of the top trends of 2019.

Measuring Employer Branding

Employer brands need to be developed and measured just like the corporate consumer-facing brand images, a task that’s well-suited for communications pros. PR pros know how to build an integrated communications strategy using a mix of digital and traditional tools. In addition, they know how to conduct audience research.

A communications dashboard that can integrate internal corporate communications, social media analytics and media measurement can greatly improve a company’s ability to measure and improve employer branding strategies in connection with employee recruitment.

Bottom Line: Recruiting new top talent is becoming more difficult as job applicants with desirable skills become increasingly sought after. To obtain the best-qualified candidates, organizations can change their recruitment strategy to focus on inbound recruiting, building their employer brand, and improving the candidate experience. PR can play an important role in developing the content and managing social media accounts.