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Employee Engagement > Employment Branding > Talent Acquisition

The 5 Ps of Recruitment Marketing: Part 1 – Product

Editor’s Note: This five-week series is dedicated to examining the five most common Ps of a typical marketing mix and assessing how they relate to recruitment. Today’s post focuses on product; the others – on price, people, placement and promotion – will run in sequential order every Tuesday over the next five weeks.

choosing the right productRaise your hand if you remember Marketing 101! If you’re like most talent acquisition professionals, the principles of marketing are hazy. A few Ps here, a DMA or two there. Most recruiters know enough to be dangerous, and it doesn’t matter much for day-to-day talent attraction anyway, right?

Think again.

Follow the typical marketing mix and apply it to recruitment – you’ll find there are an astounding number of similarities. The techniques used to effectively sell a product or service work just as well in selling a career opportunity. As such, the most successful social recruiters view talent acquisition through a marketing lens.

For my next handful of posts, I’d like to focus on the five most common Ps of marketing and tie to them into recruitment. And since each concept holds significant value, it’s only fair to give them the appropriate coverage, breaking tips and exercises into a series that will run over the next five weeks.

Today’s focus: Product

In traditional marketing, a product is the physical good or service offered to a consumer. The attributes of the product are the accompanying benefits the product boasts. These attributes – function, design, packaging, ease of use, and warranty – are weighed against costs to determine if it is desirable for the purchaser. The purchase is influenced by the seller’s overall brand identity and word-of-mouth reputation as well as the influence of other consumers on the customer (e.g. a child may influence a parent’s toy purchase).

In recruitment marketing, your product is a job. The attributes of that job – pay, working hours, essential job functions, supervising staff, full time vs. part-time or contract – are all considered by a candidate. The decision to apply for the opportunity is impacted positively or negatively by the company’s employment brand and word-of-mouth opinions of current and former staff. And, like a product, there are influencers in an applicant’s life that factor into the decision to apply for or accept a job offer. For example, the impact on family is considered when a lengthy commute disturbs work-life balance.

Just like any product, your jobs compete for mindshare among qualified talent. Before going to market with a product or service, companies work to thoroughly understand the competitive landscape and develop a defendable position that differentiates them from alternatives. You must do the same for your job and workplace. The things that make you different from other employers will be the cornerstone of your employment value proposition and social media messages.

Try this exercise: Visualize the last advertisement you saw for a food product. What are the three things you remember the most?  It could be the taste, packaging or health benefits. These memorable images or qualities are what make the snack appealing. Apply this to recruitment by defining two or three things you want candidates to remember about your job opportunity or company. It could be philanthropy, continuing education, or commitment to innovation. Once you have two or three solid attributes, emphasize these in your social media messaging so candidates remember what you have to offer.

Bottom line:  Present job opportunities and culture in terms of the benefits. Be honest about the limitations of your company and stay true to its employment brand promise. Your product’s features, core benefits, and differentiators from those you compete with for talent should be the basis for social media messages and inspire former and current employees to validate the claims with their own testimonials. Individual social proof is the closest you can get to a satisfaction guarantee.

How else will you effectively utilize the concept of product for your business?

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  1. [...] Editor’s Note: This five-week series is dedicated to examining the five most common Ps of a typical marketing mix and assessing how they relate to recruitment. Today’s post focuses on price; the remaining concepts – people, placement and promotion – will run in sequential order every Tuesday over the next few weeks. For a look at the assessment of product, check out my post from last week.  [...]

  2. [...] recruitment, talent acquisition strategists employ these same principles to sell their product: jobs. We plan placement strategies to support regional hiring – say when a new location opens or [...]

  3. [...] better is that recruitment marketers can use all these same tactics to market their product: jobs and culture. Promotions are not free however, so marketers factor cost of promotions into the product’s [...]

  4. [...] better is that recruitment marketers can use all these same tactics to market their product: jobs and culture. Promotions are not free however, so marketers factor cost of promotions into the product’s [...]

  5. [...] better is that recruitment marketers can use all these same tactics to market their product: jobs and culture. Promotions are not free however, so marketers factor cost of promotions into the product’s [...]

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