How to Run Your Recruiting Like a Successful Marketing Campaign


With the job market so full of people searching for employment, it may not seem like it would be difficult for startups to find the right people to fill their teams. That said, there is a big difference between ‘people’ and ‘the right people’, and many companies struggle to find those ideal candidates with that oh-so desirable mix of technical skill, personability, and work ethic.

The business sphere is just as loaded with companies in need of talented people. According to a study run by the Harvard Business Review, “more than 60 percent of executives worry that the skills gap will make it increasingly difficult to find and recruit the right people for their growing teams.” If you want to stand out from the crowd and attract the premium talent out there, you need to run your recruitment like a marketing campaign.

As is always the case with marketing, the first step is to focus your target audience and learn how to cater to their interests. If you’re looking to draw in young millennials, take a page from Apple and Adobe. These companies commercials, perks, and promises all align with the sorts of things millennials are looking for in their company. An inspiring culture, opportunity, and a chance to build toward a future.

If you are looking for more experienced people then promise security and market a steady, traditional experience with its own share of benefits.

Either way, the key here is to draw people with more than just the promise of a paycheck. If that’s all that your team is invested in, what’s to stop them from jumping ship as soon as a more competitive offer arises?

This is more a matter of building a culture that inspires dedication and belief in a shared mission. Now more than ever, people want more of a purpose of their job than simply coming in, doing their work, and getting their money.

Fortunately, startups are in a good position to exploit this new paradigm. Since they trend toward smaller teams, people are more likely to feel like they have a real role to play in the company’s success instead of simply being a cog in a huge machine. Even though startups have this opening advantage, there’s still work to be done if you truly want people to devote their lives to your business.

Culture isn’t as simple as good perks and fancy offices. Those things are nice, but you certainly don’t need them to build an environment where people want to work. The most important thing that workers need to see these days is that their efforts will mean something; may that be to the world, to themselves, or to the people around them.

Of course, a good first step is to always recognize your established employees for successful efforts as we discussed last week. Once you have that framework in place, communicate that promise of recognition to any potential hires.

Every company is capable of illustrating this sense of purpose no matter what you do. Even if you’re building an app that tracks bus transit analytics or building a new way to package reams of paper, there’s always a story worth telling and a purpose to invest in.

May it be the journey of how you got there, the unique experiences of you and your team, or the trials and tribulations that you’ve battled through at every single step. These are the things that engage people, and get them on your side. There’s a reason why you feel like you could jump up and fight to the death when you hear an inspirational speech in an movie. Harness that potential and funnel it into not just your marketing, but your recruitment too.

When you make a posting, run a commercial, or throw out a call-to-action somewhere; seed every piece of the campaign with the story of your company: what you’ve accomplished, how you did it, and how far you plan to go. That’s what’s going to inspire people, and it’s what’s going to get them invested in your startup’s future just as much as they are committed to their own.

— ZK

Ed Lynes13p5Comment