Segment Your Recruiting Message to Excite Top Performance Candidates

By Tess Curle Taylor, PHR, CPC

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It should not come as a surprise that many recruiters use methods that are closely tied to general business marketing.  And when marketing is at its best, a corporate brand stands out.  The same approach works in recruiting because candidates are attracted to the most familiar brand.  The more appealing the brand, the greater the chance that high performance candidates will take the time to apply for a career opportunity.  Essentially, this is what recruiters do to reel in the best candidates -- they leverage a great brand message.

What is Recruitment Brand Segmentation?

When it comes to standing out from the competition, the best tools in the recruiter’s bag of tricks is a solid corporate brand strategy that breaks down the message into focused areas.  This is often referred to as "segmentation" in the marketing world.  Used in recruitment activities and something magical happens

Why is this the case?  Simple.  In recruiting there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  Candidates are as unique as snowflakes.  What affects one candidate may have the opposite effect on another.  Using segmented brand messaging that is customized to high target candidates increases the recruiter's chance of success.  It also puts the focus on the right candidates for the right job.

3 Ways to Use Brand Message Segmentation in Recruitment

When using brand segmentation in recruiting it's important to note that you need to know your candidate behavior fairly well.  This takes a period of study, trial and error for a short time. Here, we will take a closer look at how to bring out the excitement factor in top performing candidates with brand segmentation tactics.

#1 - Find out what your candidates really want.

Lay the groundwork for your candidate focus in recruitment by understanding what they are interested in the most.  You can accomplish this with a brief survey of your current talent pool. Find out what inspired them to come work for you. Interestingly, many times this is not tied to compensation according to a recent McKinsey Quarterly survey. Instead, candidates may have been attracted to you through your content sharing, the corporate culture, or the opportunity to grow with a company representing deep values.

#2 - Get to the root of core success drivers.

Candidates who are in the top percentage of performance metrics are often driven by unique factors.  It's your job as a recruiter to dig below the surface and get to the core of the success drivers.  For example, when recruiting management candidates, look for those who like peer recognition.  Share the corporate brand in a strategic method by segmenting your brand communication to this need.

#3 - Choose specific industry and career buzz words.

It's easy to get caught up in writing job postings and descriptions that are too general.  Candidates are not a single-minded audience, however.  Consider setting up specific niche groups on social networks to build your brand with targeted job listings for each group.  Also post job adverts where your candidate specialists frequent, so they get the message directed to them.  Share a segmented brand message designed specifically for your top performing candidates and get them excited about working for your agency. Tap into their passions, interests, and unique ways of absorbing information.

When you follow the above tips, you’ll be on your way to putting segmentation to work for recruitment success.  Recruiting takes on a much more personal connection with the high performance candidates who desire something better than the ordinary in a career. 

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