In a nutshell: Marketing techniques can help your small business find and hire new employees. It all starts by building a database of potential candidates.

According to iCIMS’ “Recruitment Marketing: Fad or Future?” report, 86% of HR professionals agree that recruitment is becoming more like marketing. And that means leveraging all kinds of marketing tactics to identify, attract, engage and nurture candidates — including email marketing.

The guide below can help you make sure your email marketing campaigns for recruitment are successful. (This is only meant to be an informational overview; consider consulting a professional to make sure you’re getting proper guidance as you move forward.)

Database

First things first, you need a database of individuals to email. The most important point here is to ensure you abide by all national and local laws in how you obtain the email addresses. Every country has different guidelines: CASL in Canada, CAN-SPAM in the US and GDPR in Europe. Some require an unsubscribe option and others also require an opt in or double opt in. You’ll want to start by collecting information from people already interested in or engaging with your company. Build a talent community of individuals who have applied or interacted with you on social media. Before you know it, you’ll be building a nice database of contacts.

Once you’ve built your database, the next step is to segment it. Determine how is best to segment your contact based on how you plan to email them. Consider tagging each contact with several pieces of information. You may want to separate contacts by candidate status (active v. passive), level of employment (entry, professional, management or executive) or type of job or department they’re interested in (e.g., HR, marketing or accounting). This is information to keep on your Excel spreadsheet (or other database) on the backend. (HubSpot, a marketing automation platform, also offers a free CRM tool for salespeople that you may be able to leverage for keeping candidate information.)

Method

There are a range of ways to email potential candidates. You can leverage an email marketing platform, such as MailChimp (free up to 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails per month) or Constant Contact (free trial for 60 days). You may also want to check in with your marketing department to see if they’re using an email marketing tool already or if they have access to a marketing automation platform that you could use. According to the iCIMS report referenced above, 79% of HR professionals agree that receiving support from the company’s marketing department helps make their recruitment marketing initiatives more successful. So, it’s worthwhile to ask. A marketing automation platform would be able to help you manage the database, segment it and nurture the contacts all in one place.

Execution

Now that you have a database and your email tool, you’re ready to send an email. You can find tons of tips online for getting recipients to open your emails, but here are a few to get you started:

  • Use an engaging subject line. Try a question or a personalization in the subject line to get more clicks. Prioritize clarity over catchiness though. You want people to open your email because they’re genuinely interested.
  • Personalize it. When you get an email and it addresses you by name or references some other piece of information, like your city or job type, you’re going to be more likely to open it. This is where a marketing automation platform may help.
  • Create a sense of urgency. OK, you don’t want to sound desperate for applicants, but maybe send an invitation to a mix and mingle event with an RSVP by a specific date. Something that encourages the recipient to act now, rather than filing the email away for later, will increase interaction.
  • Keep it brief. The idea of the email is to get the recipients to take some other action (more on that later) so don’t go on and on in your email about all the details of employment. And you should avoid listing all the open jobs or including big, long job descriptions. Save that for a landing page or a link within the text.
  • Include a call to action. Something in the email should be clickable. What it is depends on the goal of the email. Maybe you want people to “apply today.” If so, a button that says just that will do. You could have them update their candidacy and interest with a click or direct them to a landing page with additional information about what it’s like working for your company.

Tracking

According to the iCIMS report, HR professionals said they track the following metrics within their CRM tool:

  • Career site visitors (65%)
  • Email click-through rates (65%)
  • Email open rates (55%)
  • Conversion from passive to active candidates (50%).

Just like anything, before you start this campaign, you’ll want to define your goals. Track anything that lends insight into how you can better achieve what you’ve set forth to achieve.

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