Why Every Top Recruiter Should Double as a Master Marketer on LinkedIn

July 29, 2013

In order to attract and engage top talent, recruiters nowadays need to move away from the classically reactive and transactional 'get me a hire' routine and start thinking more strategically and proactively about how to build up their company’s brand. Or in short – recruiters need to become part-time marketers.

The questions that every marketer tackles daily and every recruiter must learn to pay attention to are:

- do your target audience know your brand?

- can your target audience find you easily?

- are you appearing in the places where your target audience go to regularly?

- once they find you, are you providing the right/helpful messaging?

- are you following up and staying top of mind?

Think about it the next time you go into a supermarket: how many times have you seen ads for that new favourite chocolate bar of yours? Probably the first time was on TV, then on the train or bus during your commute, then in the paper. Finally, as you entered the supermarket that final point of sale ad tipped the scales and you bought the chocolate bar.


Let's think about it from a recruitment perspective. Most of the people we’d want to hire are not actively looking for a job. In fact, some of them don't even know how they want to develop their career further. So how do you create that “chocolate bar in the supermarket” moment? How do you market to them?

1. Have a consistent brand presence

Pretty much like the chocolate bar, every recruitment team must have a consistent brand message – one of quality and ability to add value. This will help you build up a strong employer brand and attract good hires more easily.

Here are the steps you need to take to formulate your brand presence:

a. Establish what is the message you want to convey to potential candidates? Do you have any standout points that make working for your company unique? For this you can work with your HR team (employee survey results) and your marketing team (brand positioning).

b. Then you can start to think about where to put that message. This begins with telling the story through traditional channels such as your company’s careers website and following up by sharing your brand message on social media. A great place to start is your company’s Career Page on LinkedIn and your employee’s profiles.  Your employees can help by spreading your brand message in their profiles’ summary and work experience sections.

2. Advertise your jobs

It’s crucial to advertise your brand in the right places – where your target audience will be able to find you easily and where they are going regularly.

So where are these places?

About 20% of all candidates are active and you can target this audience through LinkedIn job postings or niche job boards. These candidates tend to be more proactive so are likely to seek as much information as they can get. As such, having a greater inventory of opportunities in these channels is important.

The other 80% of candidates are passive and you have a few tools at your disposal on LinkedIn to reach them:

  • When you post your jobs on LinkedIn they will automatically target those people whose profiles have matched your posting. I’m sure you’ve seen the “jobs you may be interested in” module on the homepage, this is where the most relevant jobs for you – according to keywords on your profile – will appear.
  • You can use “Work with Us” ads which will target passive candidates as they visit your employees’ profiles. These will feature their picture alongside your company logo and, if there are any live at that time, a relevant job opening.
  • Once you have posted your jobs you can share your job postings on your Facebook and Twitter account, LinkedIn groups and you could even ask your hiring managers to re-share. Social media sharing will help your postings reach a much wider audience, of which most would not have been searching for that information.

To attract candidates who will be a great cultural fit, look at job postings as a branding vehicle. As you advertise your job openings, it’s also important that you do it well. Don’t just post dry and predictable lists of job requirements. Try to infuse the personality of your company and the team in the posting.

3. Follow up with that person

You've caught the potential candidate’s attention, you've delivered some initial messaging, why not drive it home with a personal follow up?

A great way to get in touch with them is through InMail. Usually the best InMails are simple and short messages, highlighting that you’ve read their profile and would like to move the discussion forward. The interesting caveat is that if you have already built up a strong employer brand, the candidates are twice as likely to open and read your messages. Such follow-ups will start a direct dialogue and will keep your company top of mind for the candidate.


So let's bring it back to our chocolate bar marketing analogy.

As a recruiter you have caught the candidates’ attention when they weren't looking, you have continued to tell a consistent story at all of the touch points via your employees’ profiles and you LinkedIn Career Page and you have hit the candidates at the purchase point with your final brand message through an InMail, your point of sale branding.

Now tell me, how good is your chocolate bar......?

To learn more about how to use marketing to boost your recruiting strategy, check out the Employer Brand Playbook


Ross Carvalho is a Strategic Recruitment Product Consultant, based out of the LinkedIn London office. He works with some of our largest Talent Solutions customers on driving customer success and solution optimization.

* image by Stéfan