If we were to strip Talent Acquisition and Marketing to their core, we would see that they use the same principles when considered side-by-side. Yet, when people consider Marketing Automation, we find that HR is never a term that springs to mind; instead, we’ll hear associated terms that revolve around the classic digital marketing use cases: engaging prospective or existing customers in a Business to Consumer (B2C) or Business to Business (B2B) context, via a number of digital communication channels.
Isn’t this what HR and recruitment professionals are doing, but just to a different audience? The market for talent is increasingly competitive, and adding mechanisms, automation and performance analytics will enhance the process significantly. There is a great opportunity for marketing automation in the Business to Employee (B2E) channel.
In this post, I will cover 6 ways marketing automation brings value to the talent acquisition process.
1. Social Media
Social media is a secret weapon, as this has immense value in creating employee branding. How your organisation is presented on social media says a lot about the company culture, values and successes.
By using social media connectors (available within any decent marketing automation platform), you will have ‘Social Posting’ capabilities – to author and schedule posts to certain accounts. With social post analytics that measure impressions (views) and clicks, you will have the opportunity to segment and market further to these engaged people. Think of it as the very top of your nurturing funnel.
2. Website Forms
Use forms for this reason: to make data capture painless. With a dedicated form for the recruitment webpage, you will have the opportunity to decide what fields you believe should be included – and not be restricted by the standard ‘contact us’ form fields. All captured data will feed into the back-end to the person record, where fast qualification, or disqualification for that matter can occur, for instance if someone does not have the right to work in the country.
You can even go one step further with multiple forms. To spread data collection over interview stages, you can leverage ‘Progressive Profiling’. Progressive profiling aims to progressively capture data, meaning that fields will only display on the form if you have no data for that particular field. As well as limiting re-entry, you can ensure all necessary data is collected in order for the candidate to progress to the next stage. All in all a less painful process – on both sides.
3. Website Tracking
Countless businesses use Google Analytics for this purpose, but if you have the chance to use a marketing automation platform, you should. A marketing automation platform is a database of people records, and data you capture is stored on their specific person record in the back-end. Over time as this potential candidate interacts with you and your content, you will be able to build up a deeper profile of this person.
Another mechanism to leverage are ‘page actions’, which are set to trigger a defined action upon someone visiting a page. So, if you had a page action on your Recruitment webpage that was set to add a tag ‘Recruitment’ to their record, this is what will be processed whenever they visit the page. This is a simple example, but you can get increasingly sophisticated with other actions, such as scoring.
4. Scoring & Grading
Scoring is based on behaviour – this is how much someone interacts with your content. Just like a page action that I outlined in the previously, setting automations to adjust score gives you a good indication of who is interested in the company, has done their research, and is more likely to succeed the subsequent interviews.
Grading is based on demographics – this is who that person is. Perhaps you have specific criteria you are searching for, like 3 years sales experience, or you want to disqualify people in the wrong geographic location. A grading model can combine these criteria and increment the final grade up or down depending.
5. Email Automation & Tracking
Email marketing is at the core of marketing automation, and remains the most lucrative channel for marketing engagement. Over time, features have been built that ‘drip’ different emails according to the recipient’s reaction to the previous. The process becomes both efficient and tailored simultaneously.
Being able to get granular with email interaction results, seeing who has opened, skimmed or actually read your email. From these metrics, you can make conclusions, for example, if they haven’t opened your email after two weeks, you should probably take the hint that they’re not interested.
6. ‘Candidate Source’
As marketing automation platforms have an overriding aim to show which channels are ultimately leading to sales, likewise the acquisition process would benefit from seeing which channels are leading to hires. A person record is stamped with their lead source, showing what their first touch-point was, perhaps a trade show event, or the website.
In the same way, lead source can show how a candidate was first ‘touched’ in the process. You might decide to invest more in social media promotion that is bringing in the majority of quality candidates, and ditch the 3rd party job posting sites.
By reframing how talent acquisition has close similarities to marketing automation, I have shown how you can add mechanisms, automation and performance analytics to enhance the process significantly.
There is a great opportunity for marketing automation in the Business to Employee (B2E) channel, even beyond talent acquisition. In an era of digitalisation in HR, there is also potential for marketing automation to enhance other talent management phases, such as retention and development, all increasingly burning priorities for many HR professionals.
Read my follow-up piece on how a marketing automation tool can be used for the remainder of the talent management cycle.
NB: this post is intended to be a high-level overview of Marketing Automation and HR; however, as a Salesforce Consulting Partner, we are experienced with the Salesforce Marketing suite, there may be references to Pardot features that are termed differently in other platforms.
Lucy is a member of the team at enxoo who also runs fearlessmarketing.tech, a blog about Pardot, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and General Marketing Automation. Stop by and visit us to find more similar content!
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