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Recruitment Marketing Strategies: Trends in Talent Acquisition

Symphony TalentAugust 17, 2023AwarenessCandidate ExperienceConnectionEmployee CommunicationEmployer BrandingEmployer Value PropositionQualificationRecruitment CampaignsResourceRetentionSocial and Content Marketing

Fortune 500 companies serve as barometers for a variety of economic trends. More often than not, what the biggest companies are doing is often indicative of what other businesses should be doing — especially when it comes to talent acquisition.

Symphony Talent looked at the talent acquisition strategies of some of the largest organizations to better-understand how they’re positioning themselves in an increasingly challenging labor market. We’ve compiled the results in our Recruitment Marketing Strategies Report, which delves deep into not only the tactics of Fortune 500 companies, but also how they compare with their peers in terms of recruitment, retention, and perception.

Here's a look at some of the highlights of the Recruitment Marketing Strategies Report. To delve deeper into these trends, download the full report and commentary.

Assessing the approach of Fortune 500 organizations

In seeking to understand what drives successful talent acquisition at Fortune 500 companies, we created a scoring rubric on the scale of A-F.

  • A - Pioneering: Adopt emerging tech early and have a clear, forward-thinking strategy for engagement, personalization, and nurture. Only 7% of Fortune 500 companies achieved a ‘Pioneering’ grade.
  • B - Predicting: Good balance of job and employer brand content, diving into proactive communication on career sites and within talent networks. ‘Predicting’ companies comprised roughly a quarter (27%) of ratings.
  • C - Standardizing: Standard career sites and job content with burgeoning employer brands; may be starting a talent network. ‘Standardizing’ companies were the most prevalent, representing 30%.
  • D - Initiating: Little employer branding or content, no way for talent to opt in outside of apply, and nonexistent nurture. ‘Initiating’ companies represent more than a fifth (21%) of all grades.
  • F - Lagging Disconnected candidate experience or no career site; zero adoption of recruitment marketing strategies. ‘Lagging’ companies make up about 15% of all Fortune 500 organizations.

Organizations were graded based on recruitment marketing strategies used specifically within the awareness and connection stages of the talent funnel, including Employer Branding, SEO, Candidate Initiatives, Content, Nurturing Talent, and Personalization.

Breaking down trends in the talent acquisition landscape

The Recruitment Marketing Strategies Report distills the efforts of enterprise-level companies down into actionable insights that shed light on what’s effective in the world of talent acquisition.

Here’s a look at some of the key findings from the report, and how effective recruitment marketing strategies take shape for the economy’s top hirers:

  • Employer branding: Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and storytelling are two stand-out variables at the top of the recruitment funnel. Pioneering companies are effective at both positioning employee benefits and total rewards, as well as crafting a narrative that connects those benefits to the work the company does on a daily basis. For example, we found that 71% of Fortune 500 organizations feature employee stories in their recruitment efforts in 2022, compared with 51% in 2020.
  • Search engine optimization: In recruitment marketing, talent teams leverage SEO to optimize jobs and career sites for better candidate search. Successful organizations are using SEO to get exciting job prospects in front of eager job seekers across myriad channels and platforms where they might be searching. In fact, we noted a jump from 71% in 2020 to 96% in 2022 of organizations using SEO-optimized landing pages, showing SEO as a clear priority.
  • Candidate initiatives: Candidate initiatives refer to any outreach to unique candidate audiences, from current employees to veterans. These efforts can help lead recent graduates to an organization’s talent network, advance diversity efforts, and communicate commitment to a well-rounded workplace. Internal mobility initiatives stood out in our research as a significant area of opportunity, whereby organizations can tap into existing employees as a warm pipeline for new or advanced positions.
  • Nurturing: Nurturing talent allows organizations to proactively engage with passive candidates, encouraging them to consider employment. A regular cadence of communication keeps talent abreast of topics of interest at the company, as well as employment opportunities that might interest them. Among the top scorers, 70% send monthly communications to prior applicants, ensuring they remain engaged and connected to the organization.
  • Content: Top-level talent seekers understand the value of content in reinforcing proven strategies. They prioritize the creation of valuable, cross-channel messaging and resources, and seek to engage talented professionals creatively. This includes career-specific social media, blogs, and other candidate resources. In our most recent research, we noted a dip in the amount of published content (excluding jobs on social media) at 31% in 2022, compared with 81% in 2020. Given the resource constraints that many talent teams are facing these days, it’s likely that content development has been sidelined as a result. We predict a shift in this area in the future as the market stabilizes.
  • Personalization: This is the age of personalization, and candidates are more likely to be receptive to an organization that recognizes their individuality right from the get-go. Personalized outreach and recruitment provide a positive touch, working to deepen the connection between prospective employer and candidate. Although we see a healthy number of Fortune 500 organizations leveraging personalization through activities like job-specific skills content (38%) and personalized job recommendations (35%), we noted that only 9% are sending content other than jobs to their talent networks. This poses a significant opportunity to engage candidates on a more meaningful level and stand out from the competition. 

These criteria not only represent the variables used to assess the effectiveness of a Fortune 500 company’s talent acquisition strategies, they also represent the definitive trends shaping recruitment in an evolving job market.

Dive deep on the top talent acquisition strategies

Great companies are built on great talent; however, talent acquisition is a moving target that’s getting more and more difficult to hit with each passing year. Today, recruitment starts not at the point of interaction, but rather at the point of projection. How is your organization marketing itself to prospective candidates? More importantly, how are you positioning yourself to attract best-fit candidates?

It's important to take cues from top-performing organizations and the strategies they’re testing to attract talent. Many of these organizations have a consistent need for new talent and ongoing pressure to recruit right-fit candidates who will thrive and grow with the organization. Following their lead and adopting strategies from successful leaders can pave the way to success at every level.

To explore successful recruitment marketing strategies from Fortune 500 companies, download the complete Recruitment Marketing Strategies Report. Then, connect with Symphony Talent to put these strategies into action for your organization.

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