shutterstock_495762919Brandon Hall Group’s 2017 Recruitment Marketing survey research is almost complete, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the data.

One question of particular interest is the first five steps organizations usually take to recruit talent for hard-to-fill positions. The reason I asked that question was to see the extent to which organizations rely on consumer marketing-type practices, such as CRM email campaigns and broad social media campaigns. My hunch was that organizations are still primarily using job boards and the company website to find that talent.

Based on early data (data may change once analysis is complete), organizations are doing pretty much what I expected, posting positions to their organization’s website (82%), job boards (82%), social networking (75%), and looking at their own databases (72%).  To a certain extent I understand these practices. They are for the most part practical, economic – depending on job sites used — and probably automatic.

What I found surprising is that only 16% of respondents started their recruiting process by launching a CRM email campaign, and only 27% started by launching a broad social media campaign. I wondered why – does it have to do with technology, marketing competencies, the effectiveness of those campaigns, or just the automatic manner in which organizations tend to implement these practices? The question did focus on hard-to-find talent, so why not try a more targeted marketing approach?

In terms of technology, there are indications that the recruitment marketing technology market is growing:

  • More than half (52%) have a CRM, though 23% say they don’t need it.
  • 58% have a social recruiting solution, though 20% think they don’t need that solution.
  • About one-third do not have those solutions, but indicate they need them – CRM (33%) and social recruiting (32%).

As to recruitment marketing competencies in HR, nearly half (47%) indicate their HR team/recruiters have the skills to effectively perform recruitment marketing.  The rest are looking to others outside of HR/recruitment with marketing skills, outsourcing, or want to hire someone with those skills.

There is no one reason why CRM email and broad social media campaigns are not implemented earlier in the recruitment process. However, there does seems to be a transition going on where recruiters are transforming themselves into brand marketers, learning how to use the new technologies, and incorporating them in their recruitment marketing practices. Transitions take time.

Please remember that the research presented here is not the whole story. I will be looking at the data by segment (organizational size, industry group, performance, culture, etc.), thoroughly analyzing all the survey questions, and conducting some qualitative interviews with organizations on this topic. In addition, I want to hear from you. What has been your experience with recruitment marketing?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Daria Friedman, Principal Analyst, Talent Acquisition, Brandon Hall Group


Daria Friedman

Daria Friedman is the Principal Analyst overseeing the talent acquisition practice for Brandon Hall Group. Prior to Brandon Hall, Daria led the research practice for Bernard Hodes Group, a recruitment solutions agency, and Findly, a talent acquisition software service provider. Daria’s focus is on conducting talent acquisition research on topics such as candidate experience, employer value proposition validation, onboarding, candidate experience, retention, internal communications, career site messaging, talent pool assessments/supply and demand, employee engagement, campus/graduate recruitment, brand perceptions/positioning, best practices, diversity, market/competitive dynamics, talent acquisition metrics, source-of-hire/job search dynamics, employer preferences, employee benefits, technology purchase preferences, and more. She has produced many thought-leading and award-winning research studies at Hodes, including: Healthcare Talent Metrics, The Growing Value of Employer Brands, RNs at Risk, The Collegiate Career Mindset, The Employment Conversation - How Employers and Talent Meet on the Social Web, and Playing for Keeps/Recruiting for Retention. Daria developed Industry Matters, a monthly newsletter that provides insight on the talent landscape from both an economic and talent acquisition trend perspective. She has conducted research globally across many industries, such as Healthcare, Technology, Insurance, Finance, Hospitality, Telecommunications, Defense, Law Enforcement, and Retail. Daria is skilled in quantitative, qualitative and secondary research methodologies. Daria has an MBA in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a BA in French from Montclair State University.