As a talent access professional, you’d likely never describe yourself as a marketer. And it’s true that you probably don’t spend much time on typical marketing tasks, such as social ads, email campaigns, and SEO.
But the truth is that marketing is integral to talent access — and today, the definition of “marketing” is broader than ever before. Marketing refers to everything that builds brand awareness, from connecting with potential customers to establishing your reputation online.
As recruiters, marketing is in our DNA. For proof, look no further than the foundation traditional recruitment was built on: phone conversations. These conversations are direct client interactions that establish your expertise and grow your audience — the original brand-building technique.
In this article, I’ll break down why marketing is so important to talent access, and how your firm is likely engaging in it already. We’ll also go into the most important marketing skills for recruiters to possess, and how you can work on developing them further.
Marketing for Talent Access
When I first entered the workforce nearly a decade ago, I thought my life was going to revolve around social media strategy, banner ads, and website SEO. There was a rigid notion of marketing as a standalone department, separated from the rest of an organization’s activities.
Today, we approach marketing much more holistically. Of course, marketers excel at tasks like copywriting and creative development — but marketing is bigger than that. Marketing is any activity that builds public awareness of a person, organization, or product, and enhances its reputation.
It’s not just about introducing your brand to more people and making a great impression. It’s about using every conversation, connection, and interaction to forge a lasting, positive reputation.
Why You’re Already Marketing
Try looking at all your talent access firm’s activities through this lens. Does your hiring process feel intuitive? What about your onboarding — is it informative but welcoming? Do clients feel respected when they speak with your customer service team? How does your office administrator answer the phone?
All these interactions are contributing to your customers’ impression of your company, and should be approached with a marketing sensibility.
For example, in my days as MRI’s Senior Marketing Manager, I regularly spend time consulting with Network members and hosting training courses on social media strategy, so they can build their own personal and company brands. I’ve led a project focused on onboarding new MRINetwork members, ensuring they feel welcomed, well-informed, and confident in their decision. And I’ve even teamed up with our technology operations department to launch an intranet platform for users to enhance communication, increase efficiencies, and accelerate business.
The goal is to make sure that every interaction we have with our Network reflects the quality and standards of our brand. While these projects might not traditionally be seen as marketing, they absolutely build and establish our reputation.
The Marketing You Need Now
As a talent access professional, you’re likely already skilled at connecting with individuals and sharing your expertise. In 2021, it’s most crucial that you understand how to bring those techniques into the digital age and scale them more widely.
Remember those brand-building phone calls I mentioned earlier? Repurpose those conversations into simple, value-packed LinkedIn posts that boost your credibility as an expert on building companies and careers in your niche. LinkedIn is no longer just a place to post jobs and source candidates — it’s a powerful media platform and should be treated as such.
While this isn’t a complex or particularly difficult task, the time investment required to stay consistent with building a brand online can be challenging for busy talent access professionals. That’s why I recommend leveraging support roles to help you engage more deeply in online brand-building work.
Your firm likely already employs admins or marketing coordinators to maintain its business pages. Why not extend their value? These team members can help your executives and high-level recruiters build and maintain healthy brands. They can also build out more comprehensive team-wide content calendars that bring together everyone’s unique expertise, insights, and perspectives.
Building Your Marketing Skills
Because modern-day marketing is a rapidly evolving field, it’s important to consistently keep building your skills. There’s no need for a formal marketing education — there is a wealth of information about marketing for talent access freely available. I have three major recommendations for talent access professionals looking to develop their marketing prowess:
- Connect with the thousands of talented marketing, media, and advertising professionals on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not just a media platform — it’s a space for community-driven learning. Find digital marketing specialists, copywriters, CMOs, video producers, content editors, publicists, and creative directors who inspire you. Then, keep up with their content, engage with their posts, and ask them questions.
- Begin sharing your own work online. As your skills improve, your reach and engagement will increase, building your relationships and increasing your market influence as others engage with your content.
- Take advantage of MRI’s high-quality training to improve your branding, marketing, and media efforts. Our programs are designed for both individuals and organizations, and help you access the education you need in a way that fits into your busy professional schedule.
If you don’t have time to start from scratch or you’re overwhelmed at the thought of taking on the new ideas in this article, we can help. With professional support and training, you can design the marketing journey that makes sense for you and your organization.