5 Recruitment Messaging Tips for Employers

Two colleagues discuss using data to make decisions about employer brand using data

Strong recruitment messaging around a brand helps organizations attract talent, reduce hiring costs, and improve retention. So why do so few companies prioritize it?

Lever recently partnered with Atlassian and Hired to host a webinar about employer brand and recruitment messaging. Rob Stevenson, host of Hired’s podcast Talk Talent to Me, joined Devin Rogozinski, Atlassian’s Head of Talent Marketing, to talked about Atlassian’s employer brand journey over the past six years and how Rogozinski brought his experience as a brand marketer to the world of recruiting. 

As it turns out, viewing recruitment from the lens of a traditional marketing funnel can help define the type of content you need for each touchpoint. 

Over the past few years, Rogozinski has deployed top-of-funnel content like blog posts, videos, and shareable content to spread their recruitment messaging far and wide; he’s also used bottom-of-funnel content within the hiring process, helping to lock in the best candidates closer to the point of hire. As a result of focusing on conversions further down the funnel, Rogozinski saw Atlassian’s Glassdoor employer score rise and a flurry of positive feedback from recent hires.

Whether you are still in the initial planning phase or are currently working on employer branding efforts, here are the webinar’s five actionable marketing strategies and how they can guide your approach to recruitment messaging in 2021.

Watch the full webinar here: Going Digital With Your Employer Brand: How to Revamp Your Recruitment Messaging for 2021

1) Start with a digital-first approach 

Over the course of the past year, companies have had to move away from focusing on the physical workspace in their employer branding efforts. “The photos of the snack wall are down and the kombucha tap is no longer a bullet point on a company’s careers page,” says Stevenson.

With the shift to remote workforces and virtual hiring comes the need for a digital-first approach to recruitment messaging — and an overall fresh take on what makes your company unique and desirable. 

“The first step is the task of taking inventory of existing content to identify whether that messaging is still accurate and still important, as well as to determine where there may be gaps,” explains Rogozinski. “Doing this type of analysis to adjust and adapt the recruitment message ensures you’re giving candidates the most accurate view of what it’s actually like to work at your company.”

Rogozinski also recommended talking with new hires to get feedback on what employer brand information is most important and identify what resonated and motivated them to accept the position. 

For example, Atlassian found out that even when recruiting during the pandemic, when the company was working remotely, candidates were still interested in learning about the office space. In response, they created a video using existing footage and soundbites to demonstrate what the environment is like in the office. As Rogozinski explains, “This is one example of something we would have never thought to do pre-COVID. But with the new insight that people were really interested in seeing that, we came up with a solution to show how that looks.”

With in-person conferences and recruiting events not an option, Atlassian is also working with existing partners to have a presence at virtual conferences, as well as create and publish editorial content with key organizations where they can digitally connect with audiences. Additionally, since new hires were not able to meet colleagues face to face, Atlassian decided to create a volunteer-based welcome video to give current employees the opportunity to welcome the new joiners during the pandemic. 

Keep Reading: 4 Good Reads for Talent Leaders Navigating a Changing World

2) Embrace transparency

Authenticity is more important to candidates than ever before, which means you need to be communicating about your employer brand in a transparent and vulnerable way. You want your talent brand efforts to be consistent with and accurately reflect what it’s like to work at your company, which goes all the way down to specific roles.

“Authenticity rings through. Especially when it comes to talking about what’s hard about a role,” says Stevenson. “When people get hired, they are going to learn this eventually. So wouldn’t you rather they be okay with it at the beginning, and not have it be a surprise?” 

When planning for 2021, Rogozinski advises that hiring teams not be afraid to try new things. Moving away from the tried-and-true more traditional methods can help your teams see what resonates with candidates now.

One of the new things Atlassian did last year was host an internal workshop to turn current staff into employer brand ambassadors. 

“We upskilled 60 people who were doing really good things in the company, giving them the tools and the confidence to be able to go out and talk on podcasts, participate in webinars,” Rogosinkski says. “We had these employees speaking at online events, and even writing about their authentic experience with the company.”

For companies with a relatively unknown employer brand, he encourages working to determine what is unique about your organization. Identify the things that make your organization special, and come up with an authentic, transparent narrative that can help position the company as the right employer for the right candidates.

3) Leverage technology to understand opportunities and challenges

Having access to data and analytics is crucial in order to measure return on investment with new employer brand efforts, which has companies putting a lot more focus than usual on people data, analytics and insights. Of course, that’s one area where technology like LeverTRM can help, providing companies access to custom dashboard views that provide oversight into exactly where your application volume is coming from.

“We realized early on in 2020 that we needed to double down on data and analytics,” says Rogozinski. “Hooking Google Analytics up to our Lever data analytics dashboard helps us see exactly where traffic to our career site is coming from.”

If the team at Atlassian notices a particular channel isn’t driving as much traffic when it comes to application volume, they can have a conversation and determine if adjustments should be made. This level of visibility can also inform their strategy, enabling them to iterate and respond quickly to recent events or changes in candidate perception.

Keep Reading: Why Cultivating and Growing Your Company’s Internal Talent Is Important

4) Measure the impact of your brand campaigns

At Atlassian, engagement is a key metric. It’s valuable for the recruiting team to understand whether or not the audience is really engaging with and responding to the employer brand content they’re creating.

“If we’re beating benchmarks on the platforms where a campaign is running, we feel good that we’re putting the right piece of content in front of the right audience,” says Rogozinski.

Rogozinski’s team also conducts quarterly reviews to measure how campaigns impact the response rate recruiters see on LinkedIn, and how their media spend relates to company hiring goals. These findings help them understand the engagement they’re seeing at different points in the funnel. “If a recruiter is reaching out to a candidate that’s never interacted with one of our employer brand campaigns, they are 50% less likely to respond,” he says.

It is particularly helpful to leadership when recruiting teams can demonstrate how employer brand campaigns translate into meeting hiring goals by showing where the spending occurs and how it’s impacting recruiting efforts. 

5) Adapt your strategy for niche hiring needs

Rogozinski notes that hiring for a more niche, specialized role can require adjusting both your recruiting messaging and the channels used for broader recruiting efforts. It may even mean creating a mini recruiting plan around that particular role to get the right message in front of the right candidates and give them a reason to engage. “We’ve had somebody from the talent brand team sit alongside the recruiter and work together to develop the narrative for those candidates,” Rogozinski says. 

In 2021, employer branding will continue to play an increasingly important role in recruiting. Following the lead of companies like Atlassian by implementing a digital-first marketing strategy will help you revamp recruiting messaging and provide authentic content that truly resonates with candidates. And with support from companies like Lever, having dashboard-level access to data and analytics makes it easy to understand the effect your employer brand and recruiting messaging have on hiring.

Want to learn more? How Three Companies Across Finance, Tech, and Retail Used Lever to Navigate Rapid Growth