Recruitment Marketing & Media Strategy to drive Talent Acquisition

September 30, 2022

Whether we’re in a recession or not, attracting and retaining talent remains one of the top challenges faced by business leaders. (Quiet quitting is a thing, ya’ll.) Just as our world has changed post-pandemic, recruitment marketing is also evolving as the supply of labor ebbs, flows, and moves around.

The hiring environment has changed dramatically

It’s good news that chief people officers and all sorts of business leaders are working alongside HR on their employer value proposition. What employers need to be, and what employees want out of their job or career, is changing by the day.

A strategic approach to human capital — and the actual human beings you want to work with — needs to consider:

  • Hitting a moving target – The pandemic introduced remote work, leaving many traditionally companies competing for talent on both a local and a national stage. The dynamics of the hybrid workplace, which looks different for various industries, have not only changed where and how companies recruit, but how they work.
  • Changes in people’s priorities have shifted employee expectations – Whether it’s late career pivots from Gen X, new career aspirations of Gen Z or mid-career rethinks with Millennials, it’s time to ask new questions of our “prospects” and—as any strategic marketing or communications effort should do—test, test, test our methods.
  • Some industries have been stripped to the studs and now need different people to succeed – Many industries were so changed by the pandemic that their transformation efforts call for entrepreneurial thinkers and change agents, rather than the subject matter experts of yesteryear. Going back to the same wells you have always recruited from, probably won’t get you the talent you now need.

Now wait a minute…wasn’t I about to talk about media? I bet you’re wondering why a media director is weighing in on recruitment?

Because every one of our leading global clients, to continue dominating their markets, is desperate for talent. And they turn to their agencies not only for help with brand positioning and lead generation, but their most strategic pursuits. Right now, that includes employer branding, recruitment marketing and strategic media campaigns to target and convert prospective job candidates into the dream team.

Having a good story and reaching through the channel to deliver it are two different things.

Developing an employer brand that aligns your company vision and values with the interests of employees is important, but there’s a lot that companies still aren’t doing.

Many have employer branding guidelines, but they haven’t yet committed dollars to talent acquisition media. And we’re not talking about job board and hiring website postings, but true omnichannel media campaigns that test hypotheses and optimize performance as hiring dynamics change.

To recruit top talent, candidates must understand your brand

Everything starts with awareness. Potential candidates must know who your company is and what makes you credible. once that happens, receptivity to your message – and importantly your job listings – will improve.

Then, the rubber really meets the road. It’s time to communicate your differentiators and tailor your value proposition specifically for each type or group of prospective employees. Job seekers, particularly Gen Z and younger millennials insist on working with a company that aligns with their values. Further, while diversity, equity and inclusion is broadly relevant, this is even more relevant with Gen Z – our most racially and ethnically diverse generation to date. Making sure they know what you stand for is an important recruitment tool.

With the above in mind, stay open to media types that allow for richer communication ability – video and audio are two to consider. These longer-form channels provide an opportunity to communicate your values to better resonate with the job seeker. While standard banner ads are great for efficiency and broad reach, telling your story in 8 words is all but impossible. So, if banners are part of your mix, take a page from our B2B marketing playbook, and be sure to drive to longer-form content to tell more of your story.

Further, as we evaluate channels to reach more elusive demographics or targets, we cannot overlook that sometimes the medium is the message.

For example: While it feels like Gen Z just entered the workforce, by 2025 they will make up more than a quarter of our workforce. To attract and retain them, we need to show that we “get them.” As our first generation of digital natives, consider reaching them where they are – Instagram, Snapchat and Tik Tok.

Importantly, embracing candidates in their channels is more than just being there. Digital marketing in new and experiential mediums must be done the right way.

We not only need to embrace new platforms, we need to do so in the “voice” of our audience. Click here to see a great example of a classic Tik Tok format, that highlights differentiators with different calls to action.

Done correctly, this can showcase your employer brand authentically – through both paid advertising and organic — which ultimately helps build relationships with younger audiences. A caveat, there are some brands and industries where these channels may not be right to achieve your goals. You know you…so you do YOU!

Local and geographic recruiting strategies can take a page out of traditional OOH best practices

A time or two you may have seen a billboard that calls out a business across or down the street. With a rapid rise in the gig economy, many businesses that rely on logistics, delivery, or pick and pack employees are in a head-to-head battle for talent.

Don’t rule out billboards, advertising on public transportation, or bus shelters when your candidates need to be aware of your proximity and advantages for them. One of our clients created and advertised 4-hour mini-shifts to compete against a warehouse down the street. They not only tapped a new source of talent, but our client also found a group that was more reliable and delivered higher retention rates. Don’t rule out old-school billboards until you test and see if they deliver better results.

Let’s summarize the highlights again:

  • Stop thinking about recruitment advertising as a one-off job posting.
  • Market your brand, and the candidates will come—if you have a clear call to action (CTA).
  • Proudly show your authentic personality. Now more than ever, employees want to work for employers that share their values.  
  • Don’t be afraid to try new channels, new techniques, a little humor, and test, test, test.

Are you ready to think differently about how you connect with qualified job seekers? Reach out to us ( to discuss an audit of your current recruitment media mix and creative. We’d love to help you find your way to the best talent.