A Shift in Marketing Spend: Brands Investing in Talent Attraction and Recruitment Campaigns – Global Agency Network Weighs In

July 17, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic left an indelible mark on businesses worldwide, and employee retention and talent attraction was far from spared. According to a recent survey of the Advertising and Marketing Independent Network (AMIN) Worldwide*, a staggering 93% of employer branding and recruitment efforts were at least slightly impacted by the pandemic.

This disruption forced brands to reassess their marketing strategies and adapt to the changing landscape. One notable trend that has emerged is the increased emphasis on employer branding and recruitment campaigns. A remarkable 68% of marketing agencies that are a member of AMIN Worldwide have been briefed on such campaigns, reflecting the growing recognition of the importance of attracting and retaining top talent.

“It seems that so many industry leaders need talent – in some cases, more than they need sales,” says Misty Dykema, owner and principal of Peoria, IL-based agency Simantel.

And in an era where competition for skilled professionals is fierce, organizations are realizing that investing in their employer brand and creating compelling recruitment campaigns is crucial to standing out in the crowd.

“Employer branding requires a lot of effort and investment,” says Francisco di Paola, CEO of Argentina-based agency di Paola Latina. “It’s not something you can just work when you are actively recruiting. It’s crucial to continuously showcase your organization’s unique values and purpose to internal and external stakeholders.”

This may explain why an overwhelming majority of 91% of agencies have actively assisted their clients in promoting diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices. In today’s socially conscious environment, diversity and inclusion are significant factors in attracting talent and building a strong employer brand. Companies that prioritize these values not only foster a more inclusive work environment but also appeal to a wider pool of candidates who seek organizations aligned with their values – something that is becoming more and more important to job seekers.

“When brands and marketers take the time to identify their ideal candidates and understand what they value, what motivates them and who they aspire to be,” di Paola continues, “employer branding efforts can be tailored much more effectively to resonate with those candidates.”

Measuring success in talent attraction and recruitment campaigns looks a little different than it would in a sales campaign. According to the survey results, 79% of AMIN agencies measure the success of these campaigns based on the number of qualified candidates, putting a lot more importance on the credentials of applicants rather than simply the quantity of leads.

And often, this requires involvement from outside the marketing department. “Brands needs to have open lines of communication with the HR team so they have sightline into data like the lift in applications and the percentage of qualified leads,” says Hope Vergara, Director of Integrated Media for Alabama-based Cayenne Creative. “Access to this kind of data ensures that marketing teams can fully optimize recruitment campaigns and continue to attract top talent.”

While this focus on attracting the right individuals ensures that companies are investing in their organization’s culture and long-term growth – only 32% of AMIN agencies said they looked at employee retention rates as a measure of success.

There is an accepted wisdom that it costs far less to keep a current customer than it does to generate a new one – and the same can be said for employees. But a mere 25% of AMIN agencies have provided consultation to their clients on how to effectively onboard and retain employees after the hiring process. Focused efforts around employee retention seem to be on the backburner for clients as they’re not request this support of their agency right now.

“Employer branding is key – and that’s broader than recruitment,” says Kelly Ferguson of Iowa-based agency, Meyocks. “In an employer branding engagement, marketing teams should develop brand identity, messaging and activations designed to attract, retain, engage and align talent throughout the full employee lifecycle.”

By equally prioritizing employee retention rates, marketing teams are bolstering recruitment efforts. It allows them to identify areas of improvement in their organization’s onboarding and engagement strategies, ensuring a more sustainable and effective recruitment process.

“When there is a war for talent, it is essential that brands clearly differentiate their business from competitors,” says Sylvia Zanetti, Managing Director of South Africa-based agency Stratitude.

“Start by developing a clear employer value proposition” Zanetti recommends. “Tap into existing employees – ask them what sets the business apart from other companies they’ve worked for. This can guide the EVP and help define why candidates should choose that employer.”

Getting employees involved in recruitment campaigns can be the difference between landing qualified leads or not. “We’ve produced testimonial videos where employees state why they love working for their brand,” Zanetti explains. “These have performed exceptionally well online and have played a huge role in our client’s recruitment efforts.”

And when employees are involved in these efforts, there’s often a residual boost in morale that keeps retention rates steady, too. But really good recruitment campaigns put a dedicated effort into employee retention.

“Promote employees’ work to bring more visibility to the impact they are having on the business,” suggests Victor Kissner, UX Lead at Portugal-based agency COMON. “Combined with a solid onboarding experience and a fair compensation and benefits – this kind of recognition goes far.”

Ultimately, brands need to remember that success is more than just sales. “Your brand represents both a corporate brand and an employer brand,” says Hans can Eemeren,
Strategy/Partner at Belgium-bsed agency iO. “You should always consider looking at your brand from both angles.”

The Advertising & Marketing Independent Network (AMIN) Worldwide is an alliance of over 50 independent marketing agencies, packed with award-winning talent and experience, across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. We first put our heads together back in 1932 and have been expanding the reach of our members ever since. Learn more at https://www.aminworldwide.com/

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