Recruitment and sales have a lot in common.

I’d be willing to argue that recruitment and sales are more alike than they are different: modern candidates are shopping for a great job just as aggressively as hiring managers are fishing the talent pool for the next stand-out team member. If I have learned anything from the countless talented creatives we’ve met at Market Recruitment, it’s that this process is very much a two-way street.

At our agency, we work specifically with matching outstanding marketing talent to technology and B2B clients. The field is highly specialized and demands very specific skill sets from its people. Our first recommendation to every client is universal: before you even post a job description, remember that you have to pitch your place.

Here’s what I have learned in my 20 years in recruitment.

Enthusiasm and a great tagline just aren’t enough: communicate.

According to a survey from Glassdoor, 61% of employees report that the realities of their jobs just didn’t match the expectations set for them during the interview process. Whether you’re working with professional recruiters like my team, hiring managers, or in-house interview specialists, clear communication is about more than just finding a good match: it’s an essential part of your company experience.

Possessing clear knowledge of core values, effectively articulating the brand vision, and taking all parts of these conversations seriously carries critical weight in the candidate’s first impressions of your company — whether you choose to eventually welcome them on board or not.

Show them your best side: get face to face.

We’ve noticed that when we send our candidates a video job description, with a manager actively talking through the role in question, we’ve experienced a whopping 82% increase in applications. A full 49% more applicants want to be put forward to the next round for the job than when they’ve been offered traditional job descriptions or less personal invitations. But why?

Two simple reasons:

  1. When you lead the hiring experience with real people, they get to see your face — literally. If a candidate gets to e-meet a manager out of the gate, they have more of an opportunity to paint a picture of the company experience: is this a person they like? Could they connect with them? Do they seem kind, clear, and approachable? A job description that offers nuanced details and an insight into the culture is far more compelling than a poster or a generic listing.
  2. You stand out. The hiring market is a busy place, and a more personal contact — be it a video, a video chat, or even a more personalized call — positions you and your team as real, breathing human beings. You automatically gain a leg up on your competitors by presenting personality first — not to mention being a bit more tech-savvy and innovative than the rest.

Take things social.

Yes, we’re all too familiar with paid adverts and product placements in the world of social media. It’s a content pool that just keeps growing, and it’s fast outpacing the traditional ways of attracting talent (goodbye, job boards).

But it’s more than simply paying for a sponsored post from time to time. Pitching your place through social media opens up a whole world of possibilities: much like the videos I just mentioned, these channels allow your team to tell an authentic story. They position your company at the heart of the action, with an accessible, interesting, and compelling culture.

  • Optimize a LinkedIn page for your company and make sure it’s up-to-date. It makes it easy to find.
  • Run digital Q&A sessions for interested candidates. From video streaming to live chat opportunities, social media can create direct connections with potential talent. For goodness sake, get on the gram if you haven’t yet!
  • Create branded videos beyond job descriptions. These can cover all kinds of content to build your brand. Facility tours, team introductions, or project highlights — whatever the content, they’re a great way to pitch who you really are.

Create comfortable quarters.

I’ve talked a lot about the ways to portray your company, but it’s also a big deal for your workplace to feel great IRL. Bad offices are killing us, while good ones hold the power to boost moods, decrease fatigue, encourage camaraderie, and enhance productivity. From reception to interview, it’s key to make candidates comfortable — and to house your team in a space that creates a welcoming atmosphere.

There are lots of ways to kick your curb appeal up a notch and get folks to feel at home:

  • Integrate stylish branding, creative elements, and artwork to make your space unique.
  • Make sure people don’t feel cramped — there’s nothing worse than a team who feels physically restricted.
  • Offer both standing and seated meeting spaces. Active collaboration on one’s feet can be just as beneficial as gathering around a conference table.
  • Make your reception and community areas easy to find.
  • Encourage movement throughout your space with interconnecting stairs, lobbies, and high activity zones that draw teams together.
  • Promote good health: consider offering healthy snacks for your team and visitors, or even hosting fitness classes.

Engage employees from the first interview.

My team has found that building a great team — and creating a great hiring and staffing dynamic — is all about the experience. Genuine engagement and attention from the very first interview makes candidates feel valued, and that means they’ll respect your brand and your company from the get-go — even if they never end up on your team!

After studying millions of international employees to find the best of the best in workplaces, the researchers at Gallup agreed: regardless of your company’s location, industry, size, or culture, the absolute standouts focus on engaging their employees and committing to treating them as valuable parts of a powerful team. They don’t just talk the talk. They focus on creating comprehensive development programs, they emphasize teamwork, they clarify work expectations and they reward standout performance. They provide the necessary tools and answer questions. They start it all on the first day.

So remember to treat your candidates with the care you take for your customers, right from the first interaction:

  • Respond to inquiries quickly and thoughtfully.
  • Engage and welcome applicants with straightforward information about your team and the job.
  • Express genuine interest in who a candidate is, and what gives them joy.
  • Welcome new faces with enthusiasm.
  • Respect earns respect — be direct and genuine, and candidates will do the same.

Get out there and pitch your place — great talent is waiting for you.

About Matt: Matt’s passion is marketing, whether he’s helping clients with their recruitment projects or hatching ideas to drive more clients for his business. A graduate from Loughborough University, it goes without saying that he likes sports. His biggest achievement is completing three Ironman triathlons, but these days he has come to his senses and likes to spend time with his wife and two daughters.

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