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HR marketing in the era of digital technologies: streaming recruitment

This material will be useful first of all for top managers, heads of HR departments, companies experiencing a shortage of staff for streaming professions.

HR-technologies for personnel attraction

At the end of the article – examples of how HR-digital marketing helps to solve the main problems faced by companies in recruiting in the era of digitalization.

HR-marketing is one of the leading activities of our company. For more than 4 years we have been helping businesses, HR-services to stream recruit personnel using IT-technologies. The staff search and recruitment system developed by our team is unique for both Russian and foreign markets. It is a complex of digital tools and mechanics tested by us, adaptable to different niches, and most importantly – it brings real, measurable results.

How to maximize the impact of HR companies

Streaming recruitment strategy

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    How to maximize the impact of HR companies

    Streaming recruitment strategy

    Our experience: figures and facts

    • We have over 7 years of experience in IT-marketing and digital, and we have been providing lead generation services in HR for over 4 years.
    • We have realized 90+ projects of different scale and complexity in European, American, Russian markets (annual turnover of clients – from 700 thousand to 1 million dollars).
    • Using our own promotion system, we have increased the attendance of corporate website 45 times in 4 years (today the annual number of unique visitors reaches 600+ thousand).
    • Implementation of our marketing technology provides 7-50-fold increase in traffic to the customer’s web portal (15+ thousand potential job seekers per month from the initial 300), HR departments receive up to 400 interview requests per month, which results in more than 200 new hires.

    Figures and facts about HR marketing

    Why old methods of search and recruitment in HR don’t work anymore

    For many years, job portals were almost the only place where an HR brand and a potential candidate could meet. It worked when the demand in the labor market exceeded the supply and neither in-house personnel recruiters nor HR-agencies hired by the company for recruitment had problems with finding applicants willing to compete for a vacant position.

    Just in the last two or three years the market has changed a lot, the balance of power has become different, employers have lost their superiority – now they need labor resources more than job seekers need vacancies. The number of offers outweighs the number of applicants, the demands of candidates have changed, they have become much more discerning – the requirements have increased not only to wages, but also to labor conditions and social guarantees. The image component has started to play a special role – now the reputation of the employer and the prestige of the company are important. Among the obvious advantages that applicants pay attention to are opportunities for development and career growth at a new place of work.

    Consequently, the usual schemes of personnel search have begun to fail, especially where mass filling of vacancies is required. But if traditional recruiting does not work, there are few or no responses, only a few people get to the interview, the deadlines for closing vacancies lengthen, and it becomes increasingly difficult to “get” a quality candidate – what should HR professionals do to show the management the results? There is only one thing left to do – to switch to digital, to digitalize the hiring procedure to the maximum extent possible.

    Companies that have not put HR on a digital track spend huge sums of money on hiring and competing for the best candidates. The results often don’t justify even a hundredth of the cost.

    Recruiting in the digital age

    The old approaches in recruiting don’t work anymore. Personnel search has transformed from a linear process (advertisement – selection – interview – screening – exit) into a complex, multi-component, non-linear system that includes a whole set of additional activities.

    In order to bring an applicant to an interview, you have to do a lot of preliminary work. The first priority is the creation of a positive image of the employer, the attractiveness of the HR brand, and the broadcasting of corporate values that correlate with the values of the target group. Massive coverage of “their” market share, building communication with potential candidates, involvement (the “ideal” employee is largely due to successfully built relationships throughout the recruitment cycle). HR-manager’s shoulders are under an overwhelming load – to realize this set of tasks without advanced IT-technologies is impossible to do without.

    The efficiency of HR-services is falling – there is a lack of knowledge, resources, many have hit the ceiling. And the market offers for good specialists plus or minus the same “pluses”. HR-marketing in the current labor market conditions is, first of all, mass attraction of target traffic through different channels + appeal to job seekers through HR-brand + retention of potential candidates. The technology of streaming recruitment developed by our team will allow to optimize and accelerate recruitment through the use of digital tools.

    Pyotr Dzyuba, IT marketing expert

    The main source of information for today’s user is the Internet, and social media are among the leaders in content production. News feeds, variations on the theme of short videos, various interactives, active “friendship” in messengers – it is becoming simpler, more convenient, easier to consume content and communicate.

    The trend towards digitalization started back in 2020, but even now few people on the market use digital to develop their HR brand. The new trend has been mastered mainly by IT-teams, and only because of necessity – recruiting in this area is too expensive. The cost of HR-agencies’ services is up to 30% of a future employee’s salary, and hiring, for example, a programmer with a salary of 7 thousand dollars can cost a company more than 25 thousand dollars.

    When developing a recruitment marketing strategy, it is worth paying attention to the fact that a whole generation of digital natives was brought up on this trend, which is gradually moving into the category of economically active population and is already determining demand on the labor market. There is still time to become popular with the “digital natives” (to attract them to your side).

    It is unwise to ignore the trend towards universal digitalization – it can and should be used in HR marketing. This will allow you to stay in constant contact with potential candidates without letting them out of your sphere of influence and gradually build brand loyalty.

    What gives a company a strong HR-brand

    • Strengthening of the image, detachment from competitors.
    • Growth of brand recognition.
    • Increased attractiveness as an employer (consequently, the inflow of interested candidates increases, turnover decreases, recruiting and adaptation costs are reduced).
    • The quality of personnel increases – the company has an opportunity to “buy” the best of the best and spend less than competitors.
    • Engagement of employees and potential candidates grows.

    What gives a company a strong HR brand

    Our company was one of the first to optimize the processes of promotion and streaming recruitment, actively implementing digital marketing in HR – first for ourselves, and then, when the mechanics were tested, for clients. And today we offer a real must have for HR.

    Optimization of streaming personnel attraction

    Key features of streaming recruitment technology

    Automation in HR

    Today, the organization of effective recruitment and personnel development is impossible without automation. And it should be not just individual digital tools and services, but an entire system that:

    • takes over a significant share of routine operations, freeing up HR staff to solve more important tasks than, for example, manual sorting of questionnaires, initial assessment or calling candidates;
    • helps to competently build HR-branding;
    • can attract and “process” a large amount of targeted traffic.

    Technology for streaming employee engagement

    Marketing approach in HR

    Marketing and HR spheres are very similar in essence, only the target audience differs: in the first case the focus is on clients, in the second case – on employees/candidates. And it is possible to build relations with candidates not on the same principles on which the company’s relations with clients are built. The marketing approach in HR implies the use of typical marketing tools when searching for and selecting personnel. However, it should be noted that the usual technologies – the so-called Outbound marketing – even if it is possible to spend huge budgets in recruiting do not bring decent results.

    Unlike in-house HR services and recruitment agencies, which work “the old-fashioned way” or only partially introduce marketing tools, we implement a comprehensive system that uses, among other things, Inbound marketing techniques.

    The essence of inbound-strategy is to give the audience something valuable for them instead of pouring huge funds into aggressive advertising, building trusting relationships, involving them in communication through various advertising channels and creating an incoming flow of almost warm traffic.

    The application of inbound marketing in recruitment is a set of activities to attract candidates potentially interested in working for the company, as well as their conversion into leads using digital tools.

    Since the goal is to receive inbound referrals and guide users through the recruiting funnel, and then convert them into new employees, it is very important to form a deep connection with the audience and build trusting relationships. Therefore, such a strategy primarily involves competent work with content and promotion through channels that the target audience perceives as organic.

    We offer just such a system of digital marketing for HR – well thought-out, adapted to the tasks set by the management to the HR department, able not only to cover the maximum share of the target market, but also to “guide” a potential candidate from the first point of contact to employment, as well as to ensure the automation of recruiting.

    Our HR marketing technology solves 2 main problems:

    1. Create an attractive HR-brand of the company – increase memorability (by 10-30% per month, 2-5 times annually), coverage and other metrics, enhance reputation, loyalty to the employer both from the staff and potential candidates. We position the company as the best place to work, which helps retain key employees and attract new recruits.
    2. Building a system of managed recruitment – we optimize and accelerate recruitment of new employees and onboarding through the use of digital tools, automate routine processes.
    Since the launch of HR-marketing our team has gained serious experience in building large corporate portals and working with large volumes of traffic. This experience can be very useful to companies and HR-services when they need to attract personnel on a streaming basis.

    How the HR marketing strategy is implemented (implementation of HR marketing system)

    Implementation of HR-marketing system

    First stage: data collection, conceptualization, planning

    At the start of cooperation we determine the current status and problems. We study the existing engagement strategy, make basic measurements, analyze statistics, decide how to improve performance.

    What is analyzed:

    • target audience;
    • job sites where vacancies are advertised;
    • level of development of HR-blog (corporate website), social networks;
    • methods of working with content (quality of text materials, videos, creatives, relevance, places of placement);
    • conditions for new employees, motivation system;
    • promotion channels used, traffic attraction (social media, partners, forums/conferences)
    • motivational component (feedback from employees who have left the company, success stories, feedback about the employer);
    • SEO, SMM, newsletters;
    • degree of recruitment automation (CRM, HR accounting system, available integrations);
    • level of brand awareness.

    In addition, at this stage we audit competitors – we study how other companies in the same segment or with similar vacancies conduct recruitment.

    Based on the obtained data, we define strategic goals, develop HR-strategy, define promotion mechanics and necessary tools.

    The task at this stage. To stand out from the general background and occupy a free territory in communication, i.e. to find such “tricks” that no one offers in the market.

    The second stage: introduction of basic tools, the beginning of HR-brand building

    It should be understood that the implementation of the strategy is step by step, incrementally. First, we introduce tools for initial selection (collecting questionnaires, preliminary qualification of candidates). You can, for example, involve a call center to call and screen out untargeted candidates, so that only effective questionnaires get to the HR manager.

    However, if there is a need to organize a large flow of applicants at once, you can make deeper integrations at this step. In particular, you can implement the ability to automatically transmit to the interview the data left by candidates through the application form, automate the appointment of interviews. Or make a connection with an outsourced recruiter who will conduct a selection interview (10-15 key questions) on Skype under recording and transmit the video to the company.

    Such integrations work well on a large scale when recruiting office staff, and we provide such an option. What does this give the HR manager of the company? It saves a lot of time. For comparison: it takes a recruiter a whole working day to organize and conduct interviews with 5-6 candidates in the usual mode, while using outsourcing services it is possible to watch several short 10-15 minute videos and select a suitable candidate in one hour.

    Having accelerated recruiting, we start working on the formation of HR-brand (primarily on employee engagement), actively broadcasting common values through digital tools.

    The task at this stage. To remove some of the routine from HR managers. To ensure that in a few months the company already has a systematically working product, customized to attract personnel with the ability to adapt it to new vacancies and locations if necessary. Build a trusting partnership between the teams.

    Results over a short distance of 3-6 months

    • Basic tools are implemented in accordance with the developed recruitment strategy.
    • A constant incoming flow of job seekers’ questionnaires was organized.
    • Routine “primary work” (selection, calling, initial qualification of applicants, reminders about interviews, etc.) was removed from HR-service.
    • The recruiting process is accelerated and made cheaper by reducing the time to offer, the total cost of search and recruitment, the use of effective channels of attraction.
    • The number of relevant candidates increases.
    • The turnover rate drops.
    • Shared values are transmitted through digital tools, which increases employee engagement, motivation and productivity.

    The employer’s competitive HR advantages and potential for influence in the labor market grow – it becomes easier for the company to attract the best candidates than competitors.

    Third stage: HR brand development

    Once the incoming flow of job seekers has been organized, teams have worked together and we have understood the nuances of the company’s business processes, work on brand positioning moves to the active stage, which involves:

    • creating engaging content that maximizes alignment with audience interests, resonates with users, and keeps attention on the brand;
    • analyzing engagement and other performance metrics, optimizing, refining, and bringing content to perfection;
    • organizing the most effective interactions through channels popular with the audience;
    • systematization of work with HR networks and content marketing.

    With such a massive “attack” on the market, the brand mentionability usually increases upward, each month adding 10-30%, the indicators for the year can grow 2-5 times compared to the initial ones. The number of requests will grow accordingly, and the HR department will be able to provide the management with measurable results.

    We report on a monthly basis, with segmentation by type of work and cumulative totals. Having accumulated an array of data, over time it is possible to consider analytics in depth and accurately assess how much it costs to hire and hire a new employee, which marketing bundles work well, and which ones need to be disconnected/optimized.

    When the foundation is laid, you can expand your toolkit. This can be CRM implementation under HR, setting up a call center to handle calls, “dokrutka” some product of the company in terms of integration, etc.

    The task at this stage. To take a non-competitive position through digital tools.

    Results at a distance of 5-9 months

    • A unique HR brand positioning strategy is built, customized for the target audience, in line with values and corporate culture. Correct positioning:
      • differentiates the brand from the competition;
      • resonates with audiences;
      • helps to occupy an unoccupied niche in communication.
    • In accordance with the promotion strategy, the CNB-block (motivation system) was finalized – the expectations of the company’s employees coincide with reality, they are satisfied with their employer and their place in the company.
    • All aspects of work with HR-brand are systematized, different methods and channels are used to broadcast values: content marketing, social networks, white PR, etc.
    • The company occupies a non-competitive position in recruitment through digital tools.
    • Recruitment-related decisions are made on the basis of real data and figures.
    • Thanks to the precisely built HR-digital brand, the company ensures a multiple increase in the number of references per year, a high level of recognizability, and growing trust of candidates.
    • A set of necessary integrations is connected (e.g. CRM, call center, monitoring system, HR qualification, etc.).

    Financial justification for implementing digital in HR

    HR department in many companies is considered as insignificant, secondary. It is believed that investing in HR personnel can be done on a residual principle, since they do not bring direct profit. At the same time, they can save the company a lot of money. And the economic efficiency of HR-service is easy to calculate. It is enough to pay attention to how much it costs to hire an employee (costs of recruiting, accounting, onboarding, mentoring, etc.) and how much the company loses in case of dismissal.

    The introduction of HR-marketing and digital tools into the personnel management system may seem financially inexpedient at first glance. However, such investments are economically justified, because HR-marketing will not only make the recruitment process easier and cheaper, as well as accelerate the adaptation of new employees, but also help to significantly reduce staff turnover, and this is economically beneficial for any company.

    Case Study. Thanks to the use of digital tools, the HR department reduced staff turnover by 32%, which in monetary terms amounted to 1,528,062 rubles per quarter. Quite a measurable result. Moreover, this money can be re-invested in a new tool that will work on candidate streaming or onboarding, further increasing the efficiency of the recruiting service.

    If a company engages an agency for search and recruitment, it can also benefit from switching to its own digital-based HR system.

    Financial justifications (average model)

    • Salary level of “working” professions: from 45 thousand to 80 thousand rubles (average – 62 thousand rubles).
    • Recruitment agency commission: 10-14% (we average up to 12%) of the average annual salary (750 thousand rubles).
    • Hiring an employee through an agency will cost 90 thousand rubles (750 thousand *12%).

    Financial justification

    Example from practice. Using the HR-system developed by us, we managed to reduce the cost of recruitment in our cases by 3-7 times compared to the agencies’ commission, with advertising budgets of about 1.5-5 thousand dollars per one geolocation (a city with a million inhabitants or a country).

    Thus, both in case of in-house recruiters and in case of cooperation with an external recruiting agency, the HR-digital-system created by us allows us to ensure return on marketing investments. This is also due to the approach we use, which is based on the principles of performance marketing. The idea is to combine all advertising channels into one recruitment funnel and direct them towards a common goal.

    The key role in the system of streaming recruitment is played by the marketing funnel, adapted to the company’s goals and its needs in labor resources. And this funnel can be used both separately and in addition to the mechanics that are already used by an engaged HR agency or in-house recruiters.

    Auto-funnel recruitment

    Performance support for the recruitment funnel

    To make every ruble spent useful, when developing an HR marketing strategy it is important to analyze the initial data (metrics, company specifics, target audience, situation with competitors) and choose the most preferable tools to achieve the goals. And after the launch – to constantly test the created channels/links, if necessary, to make adjustments and test new hypotheses.

    Accordingly, the monthly set of activities for performance support of the funnel includes the following work:

    • collection and in-depth analysis of data obtained from analytics systems;
    • updating the list of URLs of newly created pages in retargeting databases;
    • split testing – running A/B-tests of targets to identify the most profitable advertising strategies in already running campaigns (run for traffic, reach, engagement or conversion);
    • supporting campaigns created on a project basis;
    • updating/correcting marketing bundles;
    • control over budget spending;
    • reporting with provision of actual indicators (mentions, views, advertising coverage, number of cited questionnaires) with cumulative totals;
    • feedback from the project manager / head of marketing department (suggesting creative ideas, mechanics, recommendations for changes in internal procedures).
    • coordination and planning of optimization work for the next period.

    How HR-marketing system is useful and what problems of the employer are solved by it

    Implementation of HR-marketing in a company causes difficulties first of all due to the isolation of departments and the lack of universal specialists. Being professionals in their field, marketers do not know about recruiting, and HR specialists have no experience in marketing. In order to establish interaction between teams, to implement processes, test tools, mechanics have to spend a lot of time, make a lot of mistakes, which often cost millions and even in this case may not bring results.

    We have expertise in both marketing and HR niche and a team of strong technical specialists. Therefore, the implementation of marketing HR-strategy with customization of digital tools is faster, requires less financial investment and gives visible results in the first months. HR department takes minimum time to communicate with our team.

    Implementation of HR marketing strategy

    The HR-marketing system allows you to solve a number of common problems for recruiting departments.

    Problem Solution
    Lack of a holistic strategy, business processes are not systematized Development and launch of a system HR-strategy taking into account the specifics and objectives of the company. All actions are interconnected and structured.
    Lack of own resources (time and technical), transfer of separate functions (website promotion, branding, advertising, calling, scripting, onboarding, etc.) to different outsourcers. Turnkey marketing and technical team – 4-6 specialists in different areas. As part of creating an HR-system, we undertake the whole range of work: from implementing automation of routine procedures at all stages of recruitment (development of recruitment funnel, chatbots, integration with call center, messengers, CRM, SEO, copywriting) to advertising and HR-branding.
    Weak or non-existent HR brand, values and philosophy are not communicated HR brand development includes two components:

    1. Formation of an attractive external image of the employer, work with the positioning and reputation of the company on all key sites on the Internet. The growth of brand mentioning (up to 30% per month) will lead to high recognizability and increase the loyalty of potential candidates.
    2. Implementation of brand strategy within the company, focusing on internal corporate values – contribute to the natural popularization of the employer among “their own” and helps to grow brand ambassadors from their own employees.
    No communication between online venues Creating a unified digital space – we combine the corporate portal, social networks, and company pages on job sites into a coherent structure. We don’t let a potential candidate leave our “network”, keeping their attention on the company’s brand at all times.
    No convenient monitoring and reporting Implementation of an automated HRM-system, which includes all the activities of HR managers, contacts and data on job seekers, results of calls, interviews, and other important information, which is the basis for analytics and reporting. What automation provides: transparency of processes, an opportunity for the company’s management to monitor the efficiency of each HR manager and the HR service as a whole at all stages of recruitment, as well as to analyze the metrics of different advertising channels, to plan, and to promptly adjust the marketing strategy.
    Recruiting staff: expensive, time-consuming, ineffective Automation of routine – using our own technology we form an automated system for collecting questionnaires with a large coverage of the target audience. We bring attraction to the non-competitive environment (where others do not work)

    At many companies, the HR department is the youngest and unloved “child”. A business can grow and develop in all areas – logistics, marketing, sales, but HR, as a rule, remains in the background. At the same time, it is the HR-service that determines productivity, staff motivation, and the atmosphere in the team, which in the end directly affects productivity and profit. However, often businesses simply do not have the tools, specialists and resources to carry out digital-transformation on their own and achieve visible results.

    The HR-technology we offer is a ready-made product, the implementation of which will be handled by a team of professionals with experience of involvement. We not only undertake the adaptation of the system to the needs of the business and all related processes, but also guarantee the result.


    Petr Dzyuba

    IT marketing expert

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