connecting two buildings
By borrowing some of the tools and tactics of digital marketing, HR will be primed to face the hiring challenges ahead PHOTO: John Towner

Digital marketing has probably brought advanced contact management, personalization, marketing automation, retargeting and many other technological enablers into your organization, all in an effort to improve ROI and increase sales revenues. The needs and goals of sales and marketing dictate the use of these tools.

Yet the long-term future of your business depends on your ability to get the most talented people on board and keep them engaged. So why not equip human resources (HR) with the same tools and tactics that deliver for your marketing?

Human Resources Faces Steep Challenges

For the first time since 2007, finding the right staff has emerged as the number one challenge to growth. Finding candidates in high-demand talent pools was named by 43 percent of respondents to a LinkedIn Recruiting survey as the biggest obstacle to attracting top talent (pdf).

It's time for businesses to approach this in a new way.

By applying existing digital marketing strategies to recruitment, your business can drive surprisingly positive ROI within a short time frame. 

Approaching HR with a Marketer's Mindset 

Recover Lost Opportunities to Convert

Not every site visitor to your Careers section submits an application form, yet often they will de-anonymize themselves by completing a conversion action elsewhere on the site (such as registering for a free trial of software). Alerting HR of these lost HR opportunities and passing on the information allows HR to reference the contact details against LinkedIn or another source. 

Kentico performed a 12-month study of visitor behavior on its website. It found that those who left the careers section but registered elsewhere on the site can add an additional 60 percent to the number of current submissions — which is a substantial number of candidates to actively pursue. 

While multiple factors can influence a person's decision to fill in a job application, contacting those who abandoned the application process gives the opportunity to both identify potential winning candidates and also get feedback on what influenced their decision not to apply, giving you valuable information with which to make improvements.

Bridging the Gap Between Anonymous Visitors and Known Prospects

Kentico's numbers showed a 2.6 percent conversion rate on job applications, leaving a huge portion — 97.4 percent — of leads for HR to fill. 

If you already have some remarketing budget with Google or Facebook for products or services, why not start doing the same with job seekers? LinkedIn would be an obvious starting point.

Target Your HR Leads by Personalization 

The easiest form of content personalization is based on the visitor's IP address. Here, you might target content based on geographical proximity to your local office. Or, when hunting in university waters, by building and serving content targeted to university IP addresses.

Get ROI through Marketing Automation (MA) 

Any digital marketing activities list wouldn't be complete without MA. The fundamental scenario of HR lead nurturing by sending out set of emails is obvious. However, MA can also replace other time-demanding processes, such as sending emails prior to interview, follow up emails or rejections.

Facilitate Your Interview with a 360 View of the Candidate

Observe a candidate's activity on your website prior to an interview to reveal their motivation, willingness to learn and interest in the position. This helps you assess how systematically they prepared for the interview and how motivated they are to join you.

Set HR (and Your Business) up for Long-Term Success

There’s no time to hesitate. Digital HR is the second top rated (26 percent) human capital trend for 2016 according to Deloitte. And this is set to continue in the upcoming years.

So take the lean approach: clone the digital marketing efforts you're aiming towards sales and leverage them for HR needs. By giving HR the digital tools to get their job done, you're supporting your business in the long term.