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5 brilliant examples of recruitment marketing - and what you can learn from it

Marketing is steadily infiltrating the recruitment industry. Just filling vacancies no longer suffices. And more marketing simply makes the job more fun. To further illustrate that sentiment, here are 5 recent marketing campaigns…

Jasper Spanjaart on January 06, 2020 Average reading time: 3 min
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5 brilliant examples of recruitment marketing - and what you can learn from it

Traditionally, recruiters spend most if not all of their time on recruitment and selection. But in the current digital era, recruiters can not do without a healthy dose of recruitment marketing. To find those first-class candidates, you’ll have to have some knowledge of funnels, ensure a steady wave of applicants and help create a positive employer brand. As all of those elements indicate, the buck doesn’t stop at just posting job ads. But how would you go about doing this?

’In the current digital era, recruiters can not do without a healthy dose of recruitment marketing.’

HRTechnologist recently delved into the world of successful recruitment marketing campaigns – and had an in-depth look at what we can learn from them. They handpicked 5 campaigns that stood out to them. Without further ado:

#1.Ogilvy & Mather: a contest as a social magnet

Contests, competitions and talent-shows are all popular techniques in recruitment marketing, particularly in the technology sector. Whether applicants are asked to solve puzzles, or write code, competitions work as a form of pre-selection and to raise awareness. Moreover, competitions are excellent ways of generating online attention; they are easily shareable and are relatively simple in terms of campaigning around it.

 ‘Competitions work as a form of pre-selection and to raise awareness.’

That’s something advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather had picked up as early as 2010, when they took to Youtube, Facebook and Twitter in search of ‘The World’s Greatest Salesperson’. The company asked applicants to create a video where they sold them a brick. Beyond earning immortality in the world advertising and sales, the best submissions would also feature at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. Oh, and perhaps more importantly to candidates: the winner would earn a three-month fellowship.

#2. British Army: know your audience 

A successful recruitment marketing campaign always begins with a thorough understanding of its target audience. Boring job ads just don’t cut it when attempting to reach someone on an emotional level. The British Army achieved incredible success when they launched their recruitment campaign, specifically designed to reach millennials in January 2019.

‘The number of applicants sky-rocketed. Within the first five days, 2.700 applied.’

The Army implemented and redefined terms like “selfie-addicts”, “binge-gamers” and “phone zombies”, but without the usually negative connotation. Instead, they uniquely opted for a positive approach, combining it with qualities such as “drive” and “compassion”. Though the campaign received its fair share of criticism within the U.K., the number of applicants sky-rocketed. Within the first five days, 2.700 applied and the average total number of applicants jumped by more than 4.000 in one month.  

#3. Cisco: culture first

Culture should always be the foundation for a recruitment marketing strategy. And what is at the heart of your culture? That’s right: your own workforce. Following that chain of thought, it only makes sense to include your own personnel to participate and have them showcase the company culture. By doing so successfully, you can gain the interest of applicants who identify with your existing culture.

’It only makes sense to include your own personnel to participate and have them showcase the company culture.’

Cisco’s recruitment marketing video, built around the idea “Be You, with us.” did just that. Though the video did not provide an in-depth look at the company and the work itself – it did demonstrate the sort of culture it has built. A culture where there’s room for unique personal perspectives and a variety of colours. And doing so in a more authentic manner without the use of actors, but simply with their own personnel.

#4: Lego: the power of gamification

With Ogilvy & Mather’s campaign, we saw a good example of a fun contest that automatically tests the candidate’s capabilities. Gamification, however, shouldn’t and doesn’t need to be limited to technical posts or when searching for developers who can code or solve puzzles. It is a concept applicable to all types of recruitment marketing campaigns, for all types of companies.

‘LEGO uses recruitment marketing and gamification in order to organise a fun day, build up a presence in the region, all the while focusing on finding the right candidate.’

The infamous brick-building company LEGO used gamification in their worldwide search for ‘Master Model Builders’, or ‘LEGO professionals’, of which only 26 exist. In December of 2019, the company hosted a selection event in Scheveningen, the Netherlands, where visitors were able to come in, and either participate or watch the LEGO building competition. 20 candidates battled for the acclaimed ‘Master Model Builder’ title, which coincided with a full-time job at the new Dutch LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre. With these types of events, LEGO uses recruitment marketing and gamification in order to organise a fun day, build up a presence in the region, all the while focusing on finding the right candidate. 

#5.Eurowings Airlines: think of the candidate user-experience

We all know the user experience (or UX) is an essential component to elicit some type of participation in any campaign. The very same idea applies to recruitment marketing campaigns. By designing an engaging and interactive campaign, you’ll simply attract more candidates to apply for the job. You’ll create a sense of belonging.

By designing an engaging and interactive campaign, you’ll simply attract more candidates to apply for the job.’

Airline company Eurowings did just that with it’s 2018-campaign ‘It’s A Match’, based on the popular dating app Tinder. The company transformed every vacancy into a Tinder profile, allowing job seekers to swipe left, or right. Swiping right gave users an opportunity to learn more about the job – and could even lead to a ‘perfect match’. With this campaign, Eurowings ended up winning several recruitment prizes in both Germany and Austria.

Recruitment marketing: what’s the right fit for you?

In conclusion, what these 5 campaigns exemplify, is that the success of a campaign does not rely on the resources you use, or the available budget. It’s all about creating a unique, distinctive voice that fits your organisation. Whether your campaign is successful (or not) depends on whether that voice resonates with your target audience. These five brands have all turned recruitment into a candidate-driven experience, where they attract talent in the same way they attract their customers – and did so in an original, authentic way.

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Jasper Spanjaart

Jasper Spanjaart

Editor-in-Chief and Writer at ToTalent.eu
Editor-in-Chief and writer for European Total Talent Acquisition platform ToTalent.eu.
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