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Rethink. Recruit. Retain. How Thinking Like a Marketer Can Improve Your Recruitment Efforts and Outcomes

Struggling with staffing? It’s tough out there right now. According to a recent article by The Heritage Foundation, “Job openings, at 10.9 million, remain at record highs, and record percentages of employers report unfilled positions and compensation increases.”

You’re already doing everything you can to keep employees happy from benefits to wages. What else can you do to get employees knocking on your door?

It starts with thinking like a marketer.

Think Like a Marketer. Act Like a Boss.
If your company already has a strong brand, you’re already one step ahead. But if people internally don’t understand your mission and people externally don’t get your “why,” you may need to take a step back.

One Step Back. One Big Step Forward. 

If your brand and mission aren’t clear, it’s time to find your foundation. A strong company has a reason people rally around it. People find purpose in working there and talk about it with their friends. It doesn’t matter if you work in environmental services or banking, if people see that their work contributes to a bigger mission, they’re more likely to promote their workplace to others.

Start with Your Why
Simon Sinek famously said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Using surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups, figure out why your company exists. This answer isn’t simple. A shoe company isn’t just about shoes. It’s about where those shoes can take you. A branding strategist can help you get to the bottom of your brand. Once you have cemented your true story, it’s time to figure out who you’re trying to reach.

Who To Hire
You could hire anybody but that doesn’t mean it will be a good fit. To ensure the best fit, you need someone who can do the day-to-day tasks but also is open to a new position. This takes research and study. We love working with Hilgers + Werner out of Minneapolis for in-depth research projects.

Once you’ve laid out your potential employee persona and where the best places are to get their attention, it’s time to get creative.

Strong Base. Strong Ideas.
You’ve figured out your audience. You know where to reach them. Now it’s time to make your job opening the one everyone will apply for. How? Strong storytelling. Let’s take your why and give it legs. Let’s play.

Why + Why Not?
This is where the fun really gets going (at least to us!) You take everything you’ve learned about your target market and show them why they want to become a part of your company.

For our creative team at Creative Arcade, that starts with approaching the problem with the power of play.

What happens when you pretend the job openings are a luxury good instead?

How would a jingle about your job opening go?

Who do you not want to hire? Why not? 

These are just a few examples of playful questions we start asking. They vary from project to project but the answers always lead to creative solutions. By being boundlessly curious, we come up with innovative ways to reach your audience.

In the past, we’ve used this methodology to help Fairview Range in the Iron Range of Minnesota fill four hard-to-fill positions. You can check out the full case study here.

Our strategy? Focus on the region, not just the job. People don’t just choose a position based on salary and benefits. Especially in healthcare. They want to live somewhere it’s easy to live the way they want. For Fairview Range, that meant showcasing the accessibility to the outdoors. Is that a selling point of your location or is it the proximity to shops? Different people want different things. This is where your background research will help lay the groundwork.


Storytelling Tactics
There are so many ways to reach your target audience these days – but there are some clear tactics to getting your story out there.

When it comes to sharing the benefits of working for you, there’s no better place to start than video. It’s a simple way to capture the energy and personality of your brand while getting several key factors across. We recommend starting with a video and building your campaign around it.

Social Media
This is where the video comes in handy again. You can share your video/s across the right channels organically or boost them to a larger targeted audience. A mix of both will probably be the right call. Explore social channels (or have us do it) to find out what groups are already out there pertaining to the expertise you’re looking for. This could be nursing groups on Facebook or cooking experts on Instagram or history nerds on TikTok. People are out there chatting about your very service line. Find them and become part of the conversation.

Traditional Marketing
Depending on your audience, marketing tactics such as billboards, radio ads, or print ads could be a good route. They can be more expensive with less space or time to tell your story though. Despite this, when utilized well with a strong marketing campaign can be super fun and impactful.

Job Fairs
This is an obvious place to be but where marketing can really set you apart. By bringing your unique story here and having your recruiters all on the same page, you can share a cohesive message and get people intrigued.

Landing Page
Give people a place to explore the role you’re trying to fill. Make sure it doesn’t just have a job description. Show people your office space or a typical day on the job. Add testimonials from other workers. Share stories from the people they would be working with and include their potential bosses. The more people connect with your people, the better.

Learn and Adapt
Once your recruitment campaign goes out into the world, now we watch and optimize. Is there a certain Instagram ad people are clicking on more? Put more money behind it. Is there a drop-off spot on your landing page? Pinpoint it and make it simpler. The more you learn, the more you can adapt and serve your audience better.

Need Workers? Get in Touch.
If you’re struggling to find staff, we can help. We’ll work with you to recruit the right people into the right positions. If you want to learn more about our recruitment marketing process, connect with our team.