Applying Marketing Strategies to Sourcing

Hiring organizations last year spent an average of $3.2 million on their talent acquisition (TA) budget, and 19% of that budget went to sourcing candidates, according to Brandon Hall Group’s research.  That’s a considerable chunk of the TA budget used for sourcing, ranking just behind the actual hiring (21%).

recruitment marketingThe lack of success companies have in finding high-quality candidates raises the question of how effectively they are spending their sourcing budgets to utilize tools that lead to quality hires. While I was at the HR Technology Conference and Expo in October, there was much buzz about the “consumerization” of talent acquisition and the availability of marketing tools to help in that endeavor. However, few organizations are taking advantage of those resources, and perhaps don’t even understand all the implications of their actions.

First, while “consumerization” of talent acquisition may refer to making the candidate application process easy and intuitive with compelling messaging, it also implies that HR professionals need to use their marketing skills to track the effectiveness of their recruitment and branding strategies.

Evidence points to a lack of understanding of what is involved. Based on our 2015 Talent Acquisition Research, 61% of organizations rely on their Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for source of hire. Yet, an ATS usually only provides the last touch point, where the candidate learned about the job, such as a job posting on a job board.

Candidates usually research employers using a variety of techniques. They could use a search engine, review the organization’s career site, visit the organization’s social networking page, speak to a friend, and more. It is important that the organization understands the entire process in order to best allocate their sourcing budget and get the most-effective results.

There are several ways to determine the effectiveness of your organization’s sourcing and brand efforts. Some talent acquisition solution providers track the last brand touch point and/or sources of influence. There is also ad tracking software, or source codes, that provide source of application and source of hire.  There are other predictive solutions that identify the best sites to promote the jobs.  In addition to all those methods, research among your target audience (new hires, candidates, likely candidates) can determine:

  • Employer brand awareness
  • Brand positioning versus the competition
  • Job search behavior, including media usage, association/group memberships, activities
  • Employment motivators, preferences, and behavior
  • Feedback on the hiring process

Strength in talent acquisition strategies comes from understanding your audience and measuring the effectiveness of your organization’s recruitment/sourcing and brand strategies. As an analyst, I believe that Knowledge is Power, and the more knowledge the better.

Daria Friedman, Principal Analyst, Talent Acquisition, Brandon Hall Group

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.

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