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  • Chris Richardson

Recruit Like a Marketing Agency

Updated: Oct 23, 2018


Just as too many sellers begin a sales conversation by promoting product features, too many hiring managers focus a talent search process on what they need in an employee. This internally-focused approach doesn’t work in sales, as the prospect feels like they are being sold to. The approach is even less effective in talent acquisition.


Imagine if a seller started a conversation by spouting out a laundry list of qualification criteria outlined by his marketing team. That first call would be very short. A talent conversation that starts with a job description and requirements is similar.


At Hire Learning, we feel that the best elements of talent acquisition – e.g. qualifying candidates prior to outreach – should be applied to sales and marketing. Conversely, the best elements of marketing early stage companies – e.g. messaging that uses your “buyer’s” language – should be applied to talent acquisition.


The best elements of marketing early stage companies – e.g. messaging that uses your “buyer’s” language – should be applied to talent acquisition.

We call this approach “recruiting like a marketing agency.” If you applied the techniques of a world-class marketing agency to support an enterprise seller, the process might look something like this:


1) Segmentation and Targeting: Segment the talent market based on shared experiences and motivations. For example, if you’re trying to attract consultants to a boutique consulting firm, the pain points of those currently at Big 4 accounting firms will be different from those at Big 3 strategy firms.


2) Candidate Personas: Based on those common pains and motivations within a segment, develop candidate personas. When developing personas, consider common experiences, common pain points, and common career aspirations within a segment.


3) Employer Narrative that Speaks Your Candidate’s Language: Based on this persona, craft your employer narrative in a way that feels real to a candidate. Past Hire Learning clients had previously referred to product names like AQ-158b in their company description. No one cares about your product name. They care about your culture, the impact of your product, and your vision. Most importantly, they care about how those company-level features map to their individual goals.


4) Creatives: Job descriptions are necessary but may not be sufficient. If you don’t have an employer brand that is well-known AND well-respected, it is critical to build an employer narrative that helps candidates internalize what makes your company unique. At Hire Learning, we will often create videos that outline our client’s company history, differentiators, and growth story (contact us to view examples). After viewing those creatives, candidates arrive to early interviews both energized and informed.


5) Direct Outreach to MQLs: World class marketing teams focus their sales team’s efforts by teeing up Marketing Qualified Leads, or MQLs, that are more likely to profitably move through the sales funnel. Similarly, the best talent acquisition teams should use analytics to rank candidates and prioritize engagement of those who are "marketing qualified" for fit.


Transparently, this process takes longer than the 15 minutes it would take to write a job description and throw it up on LinkedIn. But these are your people, this is your team...and if you work through Hire Learning, we do most of this either for you or with you. The quality of the people you hire will be your single biggest predictor of success. And while the early process is more time-consuming, the result is more rewarding: highly-engaged candidates who are compelled to interview for a role by the power of your employee narrative.


Hire Learning’s “Recruit your Candidate” product applies the best of guerrilla marketing tactics to candidate acquisition. Our “Recruit your Customer” is a demand generation product and service that promotes early stage companies to qualified leads and only to qualified leads.

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