At its core, attracting top notch talent to a company is a form of marketing. And yet, while many businesses and HR representatives make good use of job sites and fairs to network and create buzz, many miss out on one of the most powerful marketing platforms out there: Email. Sure, you might have your contacts well-organized and you respond in an instant to any inquiries that come your way, but enacting an email marketing recruitment campaign is all about being proactive, not reactive, in creating and maintaining a relationship with candidates.
To get the art of email recruiting just right, we highly recommend taking a browse through this guide to email marketing and employing the following 6 best practices.
1. Provide a Good Mix of Content
Recruiting via email isn’t just a functional matter; providing helpful, engaging and actionable emails on subjects that are related to your business or expertise will keep you fresh in the minds of potential recruits. But just what kinds of emails are helpful will vary depending on a number of factors that you can address with the following strategies:
- Determine Your Audience: Are you targeting entry-level workers or CEOs? Recruits in the construction industry or in high-tech? Are your jobs in California or China? Do you recruit for a big organization like Microsoft or across a number of small companies? Knowing who you’re speaking to will help you write highly targeted emails that are actually relevant to your recruits.
- Set Clear Goals for Your Content:You’ll have more to act on if you break your larger, more philosophical goals into manageable sub-goals, like increasing the number of people who click on your "contact us" link at the bottom of each email by 10%. Another actionable goal could be upping your open rate by at least 100 readers. Make it clear, make it specific, and you’ll be much more likely to follow through.
- Use anEmail Marketing Editorial Calendar: Running a good email recruitment campaign actually has a lot in common to many other kinds of media publishing. An editorial calendar will help you keep track of important industry and company dates so that you can create timely content, and it will also help you vary the approaches you take. You might, for instance, use an email marketing editorial calendar to…
- Mix Up the Format…with a quick, "How to Set Up Your Moster.co.uk Account" video one week, and a quick thought leadership blogpost the next. Ebooks, videos, infographics, success stories and white papers all make for a compelling read.
- Sync it With Your Blog: If you run an HR or recruitment blog, consider re-publishing your newsletters on that platform as well to make it work double time.
- Have Clear Calls to Action: Last but not least, make sure there are clear ways for your readers to get involved throughout your emails, whether that’s a contact button at the bottom, surveys, or recruitment fair signups.
2. Capture and Segment Your Contact Lists
Even though you may just be dipping your toes into email recruitment, you probably already have a large database of candidate email addresses. However, this doesn’t mean every one of these contacts will want to receive your missives. Instead, email these contacts and ask them to opt-in. Use Facebook and LinkedIn to ask new fans and members to join your email list when they like or join your page. And of course, make sign-up as clear and as easy as possible on your website, including prompts on multiple pages. Contacts that opt-in will be far more likely to engage.
In fact, they’ll be even more likely to engage if you segment your contacts into distinct groups and target them accordingly. Think of this like a classic sales funnel; on various occasions, you may want to send different email to recruits who have just signed up with you than those with whom you’ve already worked. The more personally relevant you can make the emails you send, the greater the effect they’ll have.
3. Determine Your Frequency
Sending email sporadically won’t do much good, nor will spamming your readers with daily emails (even those actively hunting for jobs probably aren’t thinking about job hunting <i>that</i> much!). If you’ve got enough to say, try emailing once a week. If not, then once a month should be fine. You can always recalibrate the frequency based on the amount of engagement you’re finding in your analytics (see section 5).
4. Choose a Good Platform
No offense to Outlook and Gmail and Hotmail, but to do email recruitment successfully, you really need a dedicated email marketing platform. Services like the infinitely fun MailChimp, AWeber and Constant Contact enable you to set up automatic replies, easily create on brand templates and measure the effectiveness of your efforts with powerful analytics. Altogether, these platforms will keep you looking professional and relevant to your potential recruits.
5. Evaluate Your Result
Last but not least, it’s important to evaluate the results of your efforts as you go. Your email platform will show you just how many people are opening your emails, as well as what they’re clicking on, while your web analytics will show you the number of people who investigate more. Don’t be afraid to adjust some of the previous factors already listed here, like the frequency or the content of your emails, based on how much or how little people are engaging.
Whether you’re following up with a recruit you met at a recent job fair or you’re doing what you can to keep an old relationship fresh, email marketing is a simple and effective way to establish expertise and provide recruits with the expert help they seek. Get to know the medium, do a little brainstorming, and get a little creative, and you’re sure to run a successful campaign.