Career Product Marketing: What Are You Selling?

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On my social recruiting blog, I recently talked about how organizations are using crowdsourcing to improve marketing messages to make products more appealing. I spoke about how HR functions can also utilize this rich data to improve its employee value proposition and employment brand. As Recruitment functions start to climb out of a 2.0 model attention is being directed to using social media platforms for recruiting. In a quest to increase reach and visibility, many companies continue to push out long, traditional, wordy job postings that serve to instruct the reader rather than entice them. It looks something like this:

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If product marketing took this approach it would be the equivalent of pushing out a product specification to attract buyers. Sounds absurd right? Marketing knows they have to develop compelling messages to entice the reader to at least find out more about the product. Messages are developed into visual ads where social media acts as a forum to engage and interact with consumers. The difference looks like this:

Product Spec:

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Ad:

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What if recruitment took a business approach and treated “careers” as products they’re trying to sell? Each vacancy would represent an individual product marketed through a job ad. The marketing approach would center on crafting key messages to attract relevant prospects for the product. Job postings would be more marketing friendly focused on key attraction messages rather than long drawn out job descriptions. Social media would act as a forum to build talent communities to interact and engage in a meaningful way.

For companies who have embraced this type of thinking the outcomes are creative and concise ads geared at soliciting relevant prospects with links where the reader can learn more.

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Think about what is attracting you to these ads. What makes you linger? Visual and emotional cues make you want to read more.Visual content marketing has a higher impact on social media because it’s easier to consume and share.

Some companies such as salesforce.com have taken this even one step further by extending career marketing to a video format. This approach is far beyond recruitment 2.0, and actually moves into the realm of recruitment 4.0. The Manager takes an active role in the recruitment process. The video is short, engaging and easily downloadable so it can viewed on the go. Prospects are offered the opportunity to engage with the Manager via social media (in this case Twitter) for more information. This creates the opportunity for real interaction instead of a one way push.

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I know many of you reading this may think this is a huge amount of work that requires a lot of money. Not to mention, Managers would never do a video. To that I would say, start small. Do you have a few key roles you can start with that you can pilot? Start to create the foundation by shifting the mindset. Many companies have fantastic in-house creative, brand, communication and digital teams. Partner with them. Learn from them. Small successes pave the way for larger successes.

To help you get started, I’ve mapped out how recruitment can craft career marketing messages using the same thought process as a product marketer. Here’s the mapping:

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I hope this blog post has energized you to think of your job postings in a new way! I would love to hear about your success stories.

Categories: Employer Branding
Author:  Ann Barrett

Director eRecruitment & Social Media Strategy at Sun Life.

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