Debbie Wanamaker
Principal Marketing Consultant
(937) 776-0573

Using Marketing for More Effective Recruiting

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Using Marketing for More Effective Recruiting

Business is starting to pick up. Money is becoming more available. Optimism is growing.

Companies are starting to hire.

Or at least trying to hire. . .

In some industries we’ve come full circle to “pre-recession” times when jobs are available but there aren’t enough qualified people to fill them.

The Dayton Regional Manufacturing Association (DRMA) held one of its best-attended Leadership Roundtables ever in March – the topic? “Skilled Worker Shortage”.

In a shortage economy the companies with the best marketing & sales strategies win – whether it is winning those new customers or recruiting those key employees.


You will be much more likely to succeed in not only getting the employees you need but getting people that will fit well in your organization and remain loyal if you follow the basic steps of Strategic Marketing in your recruiting efforts:

First – you need to figure out what potential employees you want to attract. Build your criteria by looking at the employees you already have (this is similar to finding target markets that you would want to sell to).

  • Who are your best employees? (Really think this out because the more effort you put into this step the better the results you will get from the next.)
  • What particular traits, skills, experience &/or attitudes made you classify them as the “best”?

Traits – e.g. friendly, reliable, willing to go the extra step, demographic criteria, etc.

Skills – learned abilities – e.g. education, certifications

Experience – what they’ve actually done in their lives – don’t limit this to just what they’ve done on a job – many times what they do for fun may have given them the skills you need them to have for your job (e.g. fixing their car)

Attitudes – good / bad, team oriented or a “self-pusher”?, preferred work / life balance (younger generations tend to want more flexibility than older generations), etc.

  • Why do your “best employees” stay with you? Get someone to ask them (HR or another non-threatening entity). Their answers will give you your competitive differentiators (similar to what a customer survey does from a marketing perspective).

Next – use the information you’ve developed to your advantage by targeting your hiring campaign.

  • Think about what you want to say or, more appropriately, what your targeted employees want to hear (and that you are willing and able to deliver). If your analysis told you that your “best” employees appreciate additional training and you provide it – put it in your job ad. If your “best” employees appreciate your flexibility then promote that.

Whatever it is that you are providing your employees that is keeping them (& you) happy is a potential competitive differentiator for you in your hunt for the best employees. It’s not all about wages – wages have to be competitive but that’s the baseline, not the final decision maker, for most people.

  • Think about where / how you want to advertise. Anyone can put an ad in the newspaper or on an online job listing but that’s probably the kind of replies you are going to get – “anyone”.

Use what you know to think about where you might want to advertise that’s different – maybe through a particular association or by hanging a sign on the wall of a club whose participants would likely have the skills you are looking for or ask if you can advertise in a particular group’s newsletter. You’ll probably get fewer responses but, if you’ve done the above steps well, they should be a better match for your needs.

The better you match what’s unique about working for your company to the things your prospective employees value, the more likely you will end up with another “best” employee.

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