A Recruitment Marketing Approach to Diversity

A Recruitment Marketing Approach to Diversity

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Talent acquisition professionals are no stranger to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) agendas, programmes and initiatives. Chances are, diversity recruitment best practices have been a key priority of your talent acquisition function in recent years, with employers recognising both the value it brings in creating a values-driven organisation and employer brand, as well as it simply being the right thing to do.

However, in light of more challenging economic conditions, TA departments are shrinking and/or getting pulled in multiple directions. Diversity recruitment is often becoming more of a ‘nice to have’ versus ‘need to have’, hailing a ‘reset moment’ in DEIB, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

We’ve seen such examples of late, with ASOS scrapping their diversity targets as incentive for executives to achieve bonuses, as well as companies such as Disney, Netflix and the BBC losing their diversity officers in a bid to refocus on financial and commercial performance.

Yet, establishing diversity recruitment best practices doesn’t have to be an all or nothing exercise. Developing a diversity and inclusion recruiting strategy that articulates company values within your employer brand and targets the right audiences, means that achieving DEIB goals is not as distant as one may think.

Reimagining Diversity Recruitment Best Practices

Conventional recruitment methods often involve posting job listings on job boards and waiting for candidates to apply. Relying solely on these passive approaches while fishing in the same talent pools will bring diminishing returns. At the same time this process is full of challenges; unconscious biases can creep into job descriptions, causing candidates to self-select, and innate biases can exist at the job board level that effects how they are attracting candidates to their site.

Another conventional method, relying on internal/agency recruiters’ networks, also reaffirms unconscious biases within the recruitment process. While recruiters will have built up their networks over many years, there is a natural professional/proximity bias that will still exclude many talented individuals from their connections and talent pools.

A Strategic Shift in the Diversity and Inclusion Recruiting Strategy

Recruitment marketing represents a proactive and strategic departure from traditional methods, offering a nuanced and targeted solution to talent acquisition challenges. By embracing recruitment marketing, you can not only reach a wider pool of candidates but also actively engage with them, building a robust employer brand and attracting top-tier talent.

The Benefits of Delivering DEIB Through Recruitment Marketing

  • Strengthening Employer BrandingRecruitment marketing gives you the tools to craft compelling narratives that go beyond job descriptions. These narratives showcase company culture, values, and commitment to diversity, building a strong employer brand that will resonate with diverse audiences.
  • Precision in Audience TargetingA key advantage of recruitment marketing lies in its ability to segment and precisely target specific audiences. This precision ensures that your outreach efforts are directed towards individuals who meet your organisation’s values and goals, going beyond job boards to identifying and targeting talent where they’re ‘hanging out’, whether through their digital behaviour, groups or identifiable characteristics that aligns with diversity and inclusion priorities.
  • Engaging Underrepresented GroupsThrough precision targeting, you’ll be able to reach underrepresented groups in your industry. Then, instead of pushing a generic message, you can tailor communications to resonate with each target audience, demonstrating your awareness and responsiveness to their unique needs and priorities and demonstrating your organisation’s values in embracing diversity.
  • Amplifying DEIB InitiativesRecruitment marketing is a powerful tool in supporting DEIB initiatives. By using a variety of recruitment marketing channels to actively showcase and promote your organisation’s commitment to diversity you not only attract diverse candidates but also signal to existing employees that diversity is a priority, thereby fostering a more inclusive workplace culture. Content ideas could include showcasing mentorship programs, diversity training, and affinity groups.
  • Showcasing Diversity in Visuals and StoriesIncorporate diverse visuals and stories in your recruitment marketing materials. Representation matters and highlighting the experiences of a wide range of employees from different backgrounds sends a powerful message about your organisation’s commitment to inclusivity. Share employees’ stories, celebrate promotions, and show (and tell!) your organisation’s vision and values through your on and offline recruitment marketing materials.

Recruitment Marketing Tactics that Deliver Your Diversity and Inclusion Recruiting Strategy

Recruitment marketing should be a core tool in the TA arsenal. Whether supporting the attraction, conversion and retention of talent more generally, or within the context of diversity recruitment best practices, it provides an alternative to traditional recruitment while providing innovative ways to attract talent.

Let’s explore some recruitment marketing tactics:

  1. ATS Reactivation: All too often recruiters engage with talent who may not be suitable for a specific role, or at a specific time, but who could be an excellent match in the future. Establishing and engaging with talent pools within your ATS or candidate database via marketing automation is a sound strategy which, with the proper segmentation and communication methods, can reduce the cost per hire significantly over time.
  2. Careers and Website Development and Optimisation: You’ve crafted your EVP, shared it on your website and are dumbfounded why the candidate application floodgates have failed to open. Establishing your career website is only step one – you need to identify channels to drive people to the site, then create candidate journeys that encourage and enable well done candidates to apply. Often a challenging application process results in frustration, prompting candidates to drop off or getting lost in the process. Instead think like an eCommerce business. When shoppers ‘abandon their cart’, they are served up email or digital retargeting to encourage them to complete their ‘buying’ journey.
  3. Search Marketing: Eighty-five per cent of active candidates start their job search on a search engine (Google) and then land on a job board where they convert their application. There exists huge opportunity for organisations to develop search marketing strategies that gets them to the top of the search results, funnelling this talent to their site and away from competing channels.Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should be a part of your website strategy, particularly for high-volume roles and functions where you are regularly hiring. However, it is highly competitive against job boards, aggregators and other employers so should be a long-term goal. Instead Pay-Per-Click (PPC) allows you to pay to be top of the results through a bidding system, which can be a solid strategy for periodic hiring drives or as part of a wider sustained recruitment programme.
  4. Targeted Online Advertising: Ever remark – in wonder – how that it’s as though certain products can access your inner thoughts and then follow you everywhere you go online? Just as companies can use demographics and digital behaviours to target you to buy their goods, so too can employers leverage online advertising to identify and promote jobs and opportunities where specific talent pools are ‘hanging out’ online. As well, talent that has previously landed on your website but not converted can be retargeted, supporting your talent funnel and enabling candidates to convert.
  5. Social Media Marketing: Your choice of social media platform will vary based on your company and the demographic for whom you’re hiring. Where a retail worker engages socially will be very different from a nurse, or even a CFO! It’s no secret that social media marketing has presented a great platform for companies to engage, however, the targeting and engagement tactics still require a marketing strategy!Organic social media posting (aka posting content ‘for free’ on your company or personal profile) is a good strategy to promote employer brand awareness and showcase your company’s reputation. Many candidates will review these sites in addition to your career website, so it’s important that it articulates your values, vision and employer brand.However posting organically has its downsides, including the algorithms limiting reach, and/or further bias in constantly promoting to the same talent pool. Furthermore, it relies on talent already following your organisation or individual consultants, making it hard to reach new and diverse talent pools. Paid social media advertising, however, can be powerful, with advanced targeting options and the ability to reach audiences while they’re engaging with other personal or professional interests.
  6. Content Marketing: Whether it’s a careers video, employee testimonial, day-in-the-life profile, benefits package messaging, blog post, or other, the potential for content marketing in recruitment is limitless. The key is developing a content strategy that aligns with current and future employees’ pain points across the candidate journey, and ensuring there is a robust channel distribution strategy to get the content in front of the right talent.
  7. Programmatic Job Board Advertising: Let’s face it, job boards are likely going to continue to play a part in your talent acquisition toolbox. The secret to its success as a tool is programmatic job board advertising, which optimises platform distribution and spend to match recruitment needs. This channels your spend into the roles that need it most, across the job boards that yield the greatest success. This is impossible without the right technology, pushing and pulling the levers that optimise your open adverts, increasing and decreasing spend based on performance and using machine learning to refine the process. The result? Reduced job board spend and higher volumes of the right talent.
  8. Employee Engagement & Advocacy: We all know that word of mouth is an incredibly powerful marketing channel, so don’t forget to include your employees within your wider recruitment marketing efforts. While some companies offer referral bonuses and other schemes, the most engaged employees don’t need such incentives! Whether you engage in internal recruitment marketing to employees or encourage them to share content on their own social channels, great people tend to know great people, so involve them as part of your recruitment marketing strategy. One caveat, there can be additional bias that arises from this strategy, so keep that in mind!

Diversity recruitment best practices have never been so robust, dynamic nor successful as they are in today’s digital world. The talent acquisition landscape is changing, and recruitment marketing stands at the forefront of this transformation. By adopting proactive strategies, leveraging digital marketing channels, and emphasising diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, you can reshape the narrative of your organisation’s talent acquisition journey.

Recruitment marketing is not just a tool; it’s a mindset, a commitment to building a workforce that reflects the diversity and richness of the world around us. Embrace this shift, and watch as your organisation thrives in attracting, engaging, and retaining top-tier talent.

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