No matter your business, you’re in the business of people. People are key to the growth and success of any company, and building a team of diverse yet complementary personalities, passions and skill sets is one of the most challenging aspects of any business.

The process of finding great candidates and convincing them to apply is complex, especially with the advent of Covid-19 reducing or eliminating opportunities to meet potential candidates at trade shows or events or enticing them to work at your organization without meeting the team in person. 

Talent Acquisition & Recruiting During PANDEMIC | Video: Milan Mraovic

With these additional challenges, it requires a team-wide effort more than ever before. And this effort is actually quite similar to how marketers attract and convert clients. That’s where recruitment marketing comes into play.

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Dawn Kawamoto contributed reporting to this story.


What Is Recruitment Marketing?

Recruitment marketing is the process of promoting your employer brand with the use of marketing methodologies throughout the recruitment life cycle to attract, engage and nurture relationships with qualified talent.

Let’s break that down a bit. There are four stages to the recruitment marketing funnel.

A graphic of the marketing funnel. | Image: trekksoft | Shutterstock

Stage One: Increase Awareness

Top talent can be found all over the world. However, in today’s job market, the majority of candidates are passive, meaning they aren’t looking for jobs.

In order to get great candidates to apply for an open role, companies need to first market their company as a potential employer on platforms where passive candidates spend their time.

Above everything, it’s crucial to create great content that candidates will actually want to read, listen or watch and make your company stand out as a desirable employer.

Content is truly becoming an important vehicle to reach prospective candidates, given the in-person opportunities to network and meet them have been greatly diminished with far fewer in-person trade shows and events since the pandemic hit.


Stage Two: Generate Interest

Now that you’ve got their attention, you’ll want to provide prospective candidates with information that will increase their interest in your company. You’ll need to have a content game plan that is consistent and closely tied to your employer branding campaign.

The last thing you want to do is lose candidates because they’ve forgotten about your company or they aren’t clicking with your content.

Mapping out a robust content calendar with set deadlines will both ensure your story is being told in a thoughtful way, and it’s a surefire way to continuously generate interest among passive and active candidates.


Stage Three: Nurture the Decision

Your net is cast, now it’s time to reel ‘em in. Candidates have consistently shown interest in your company, but what differentiates your opportunity from all the other fish in the sea? At this point in the funnel, you’ll want to provide more specific information on your company as a potential employer.

Now’s the time to promote your open roles, benefits, perks, compensation and anything else a candidate needs to know before making an informed decision to apply.

Offering an opportunity to work remotely on a permanent basis, versus a temporary basis due to Covid-19, is a perk resonating strongly with U.S. workers, according to a Gallup survey report

Nine in 10 remote workers want to continue with remote work to some degree once the pandemic subsides, Gallup reports. Fifty-four percent want a hybrid work condition while 37 percent want to work from home exclusively.


Stage Four: Drive Action

While candidate’s may seriously consider your company in their next career move, there are several obstacles that prevent candidates from applying.

First of all, applying to jobs takes a significant amount of time for a candidate to create role-specific resumes, cover letters and portfolios that may never be reviewed. One solution — simplify the application and decision process. Cut out any unnecessary qualification and application requirements, and give them all the juicy details of your offer — yes that includes salary info.

Even if a candidate makes it this far and applies but ultimately opts out of doing an interview, don’t stop there. Add them to your candidate pool. It may not have been the right time or circumstance for them to pursue your company, but they may be interested in the future.

Your candidate pool is also likely growing exponentially if you are opening your positions up to remote workers across the nation and globe.


How to Develop a Recruitment Marketing Plan

Before you even start thinking about developing a recruitment marketing plan, you need to define your employer brand. Employer branding is crucial for managing and influencing your reputation as an employer of choice and therefore, should encompass every aspect of your recruitment marketing plan.

Once you’ve got your employer branding down with a clear mission statement, core values and employee value proposition, start creating your plan with these six recruitment marketing tips.

6 Steps to Create a Recruitment Marketing Plan

  • Set goals. Do you want to add hires, or increase the candidate pool?
  • Define roles. Set specific qualifications and expectations.
  • Establish target candidates. Outline the ideal persona to fill the role.
  • Identify recruitment channels. Is social media or events the best to use?
  • Allocate resources. Document expense and results of paid or organic services.
  • Create a content calendar. Note team assignments and deadlines.


The Best Recruitment Marketing Campaigns: 15 Examples

When it comes to recruitment marketing, we’ve seen it all. There’s a lot that goes into creating an effective plan, so we’re sharing some of the best recruitment marketing campaigns, tactics and examples that we’ve learned from our experience as well as from other recruitment experts.


Attract Your Competitors Talent On Their Own Turf

Snapchat utilized their own social media app to target engineering talent at Uber and Pinterest using geo targeting and creative filters. People using the Snapchat app while they were at Uber or Pinterest headquarters could use these punny filters.

Snapchat Screenshots of their recruitment efforts. | Image: Forbes

Uber, however, announced in December it changed its return to office plans from Jan. 10 to indefinitely amid the pandemic’s omicron flareup, the Washington Post reports.  As a result, Snapchat may have to retool its geo location for Uber engineers.

A truck carrying a large Huddle ad in its bed. | Image: TechCrunch

Huddle, on the other hand, took a different approach pre pandemic by driving around several moving billboards outside the Microsoft office to catch talent on their way in and out of work. 


Speak Like a Local

Every social media platform has its own unique nuances and culture, and what works on one may fall flat on another. We always consider the platform when crafting social media posts, and while creating two or three separate versions may add a little time, it’s well worth the effort. 

Screenshots of Built In's LinkedIn and Facebook posts with the same content but different language. | Image: Built In Chicago

The Facebook and LinkedIn posts below lead back to the same content, but each one features unique language and imagery tailored to the platform.

More on Recruitment29 Recruitment Strategies With Real Examples for 2022


Use Platforms Candidates Favor

You know the drill. Once you’ve established your target audiences, you can identify the channels to target your recruitment marketing efforts. Here are a few examples of companies that nailed their targeting efforts.

A Goldman Sachs ad appearing on Spotify. | Image: Business Insider

Goldman Sachs clearly knew its target candidate demographic when they placed ads on Spotify with the caption “You majored in something you cared about. Use it to make a major impact. Take the Goldman Sachs Careers Quiz.” If BuzzFeed has taught us anything, it’s that Millennials are entertained by quizzes.

A message thread on Tinder used to recruit candidates. | Image: Social Talent

Meanwhile, marketers, politicians and now recruiters are using the popular hook-up app, Tinder, to target candidates on a local level. Talk about reaching candidates where they spend their personal time.


Paid Social Ads are Your Friend

Sure, organic posts are free and they have the potential to yield great conversions, but a little paid boost never hurts. You’re probably already spending thousands on HR tech tools and job boards, so why not spend a few hundred on social ads to reach a highly targeted audience?

A Built In post (left) next to its engagement analytics (right). | Image: Built In Colorado

This content proved popular when posted organically, so we decided to spend a little money to get it in front of even more people.

For less than what many people spend at Starbucks each week, we connected with another 4,000 highly targeted potential candidates and drove several hundred of them back to our site. That can be the difference between making a great hire in record time and a never-ending process that goes nowhere.


Recruit Talent Where They Least Expect

No one said recruitment has to be boring. And if you want to attract bright and innovative candidates, you better put your money where your mouth is. Here are a few examples of recruitment marketing campaigns that stepped outside of the box.

Recruitment ads on the side of vending machine. | Image:

A German company called designed site-specific stickers with the phrase “Life’s too short for the wrong job” all over the city, depicting images of people working behind everyday machines. The high-quality images have a quick wit that certainly compete with their website’s viewership and average time on page.  


Sometimes It’s Best to Get Back to the Paper Basics

Nowadays physical print has a certain quality that is more present than digital copy. In addition to your digital recruitment marketing efforts, take advantage of print opportunities like this one.

A tear off flyer with an equation that leads to a company's phone number. | Image: Social Talent

If you know where talent spends their free time offline, it might be worthwhile to deploy paper ads on bulletin boards, like this tear off flyer. To take it a step further, they entice computer engineer talent with an equation to challenge their problem solving abilities before they can reach out.

A newspaper ad used to recruit an art director. | Image: Sysgen

And if you think printed newspapers ads are a waste of time, think again. Newspapers are a great way to connect with local talent and diversify your recruitment marketing reach. Believe it or not, 11 percent of Americans don’t use the internet, so print ads are a great way to reach those with internet taboos.


Lure Great Talent With a Skills Challenge

Skills testing is nothing new, these companies turned their tests into recruitment marketing magic.

A bilboard used to recruit new talent. | Image: Business Insider

An oldie but a goodie, this inconspicuous Google ad led those who could solve the riddle to On the website users were also prompted with another equation that when solved correctly, would land them an interview with the company.


Dedicated Social Media Profiles a Recruiting Must

When it comes to recruitment marketing, piggybacking on your company’s corporate social media accounts simply won’t cut it. Your corporate accounts are designed to appeal to customers, not candidates, so you’ll need dedicated social media profiles for recruiting. Developing a community of followers isn’t easy, but it pays off in the long run.

A screen shot of Microsoft's talent acquisition facebook community. | Image: Microsoft

Just ask Microsoft. The company’s talent acquisition team has created a Facebook community. That’s half a million extra candidates in their pipeline, whenever they need them. Not too shabby.

More on RecruitmentMass Hiring: What to Know Before You Start


Jump on Trending Topics — Especially Memes

Memes are hands down the 21st century’s greatest invention. To recruitment marketers benefit, memes are super specific to cultures and like-minded groups of people, making them ideal for targeting candidates.

The tricky part is you have to constantly be aware of what’s trending and why so that your reference is appropriate and hits the right note.

A meme used to attract job seekers to the Lennon Wright website. | Image: Lennon Wright

Lennon Wright nailed this adaptation of the “Distracted Boyfriend” meme for their recruitment marketing plan. It’s creative and certainly hit a funny bone for their target talent on Instagram. This simple post received nearly 600 likes.


Content Trumps Job Descriptions on Engagement Rates

Creative content captures the attention of active candidates and gives passive candidates a reason to further explore your company like nothing else can. Don’t believe us? On average, our users spend 250 percent more time engaging with content than with job descriptions.  

A screenshot of engaging content found on Built In's website. | Image: Built In Austin

Think about it from their perspective. If you were a candidate, would you spend more time with this article full of tips about applying to specific companies or a list of bullet points on a standard job description.


Newsletters More Efficiency Than One-to-one Emails

Sending personalized, one-to-one emails will always be part of a recruiter’s job, but even with the best automation it just isn’t scalable. Creating recruiting newsletters allows you to build a list of subscribers and communicate with all of them with a single click.

Weekly newsletters allow you to share valuable content with tens of thousands of passive candidates at a time. As a result, you’re able to spend more time creating great content and less time managing our inbox.


Give People a Worthwhile Event to Attend

People have plenty of options for how they spend their free time and hosting a traditional job fair or boring networking event won’t open the floodgates of top talent. You also have to contend with the challenges that some prospective candidates may be leery of attending such events during the pandemic. 

Creating a riveting online or in-person event will not only leave a lasting impression on attendees, but it will reverberate throughout their personal and professional networks via the best source — word of mouth. And that, in turn, may lead them to your careers page to apply. 

Salesforce, for example, held its annual user conference Dreamforce this year in San Francisco as an in-person and online event. Apple, meanwhile, held its annual worldwide developers conference (WWDC) as an online only event.


Events Don’t Promote Themselves

Hosting an online or in-person event is only half the battle. Getting people to actually log-on or show up is the real challenge. People aren’t going to attend an event that they don’t know about, so it’s crucial that you promote your event in a thoughtful and strategic way.

Events promoted online through social media channels. | Image: Techweek | Built In

Target your announcements to different social media channels based on the audience you are trying to reach. Also ask event speakers to promote the event on their social media, as well.


Quality Over Quantity

Not all videos are created equal. Just like written content, candidates don’t want to sit through poorly produced videos that don’t answer their questions. It’s much better to create a few well-thought-out videos that will keep viewers attention and satisfy their curiosity.

We invested in a dedicated team to ensure that every video we create reflects each company in an authentic and high-quality manner. Keep in mind that not everyone is comfortable on camera, so it’s important that you feature willing participants in a relaxed atmosphere.

Read More5 Lessons From the Pandemic I Hope to Remember as a CEO


How Tala helps financially underserved people realize their dreams | Video: Built In

Share Your Videos Everywhere for More Bank for Your Buck

Congrats! You created a sweet video that candidates are excited about. That’s great, but you aren’t done yet. Now it’s time to share and promote your video content across all channels, including your careers page, social media platforms and email campaigns. We always cross promote video content to ensure candidates can easily find and engage with it.

A screenshot of a Youtube video promoting the Hyperloop. | Image: Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One was able to significantly increase exposure of this video by featuring it on their website, Facebook page and YouTube channel. The best part? It only took a few minutes. The heavy lifting is over, and they have a great piece of content that will engage viewers and remain relevant for much longer than most written pieces.


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