How Marketing Practices Can Drive Employee Acquisition and Retention

Working at an agency allows you to learn the ins and outs of many different organizations across various industries. Every company inherently has their own culture, processes and challenges. But in 2022, every organization seemed to face the same business problem: talent retention and acquisition. According to ADP Canada, a quarter of Canadians had recently changed jobs that summer. The great resignation impacted everyone as employees looked for new career paths, better work-life balance, larger salaries and companies that fit their values and lifestyle. Now organizations are turning to traditional marketing strategies and applying them to talent acquisition and retention. No longer is it the sole responsibility of HR to attract and retain great people – it’s also marketing’s job. And they’re engaging us – their marketing agencies – to apply the same discipline to talent acquisition and retention as we do to traditional B2C and B2B marketing campaigns. Here are six marketing strategies to borrow that’ll help you develop a sound talent acquisition and retention plan.

Be clear in communicating your value proposition

Your value proposition is the promise you make as a company to your employees. It defines what you will give in return for their dedication and talent, and it unites the organization under a common platform. You can then market that value proposition and platform externally to potential talent.

According to research from Gartner, organizations that effectively deliver on their value proposition can decrease annual employee turnover by under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%.

PwC’s value proposition is a best-in-class example: Be Well, Work Well.

PwC prioritizes the well-being of employees across six different pillars: physical, emotional, spiritual, financial and social – which, according to the company, are proven drivers of performance, fulfillment and engagement. It understands that healthy and happy people make healthy and happy employees, as outlined on the careers page of their website. Above and beyond compensation and benefits, it’s a strong manifesto and message for existing and potential employees.

Lean on testimonials

Employee testimonials are an effective way to build trust with potential candidates authentically. For industry-leading tech company Intuit, they put their employees and testimonials at the centre of their employer brand marketing campaign called “Tech’s Best Kept Secret,” showcasing Intuit as a leading innovative and inclusive tech company where employees can have meaningful impact with their work.

Use non-traditional channels to market your offering

In addition to traditional channels where potential talent may be looking for new opportunities (i.e., LinkedIn, company social channels and website), think about more traditional marketing channels to connect to your audience. As an example, every day, thousands of tech talent passes through Union Station, a commuter hub in downtown Toronto. While Canada’s biggest tech conference was underway, sponsors launched a Union Station takeover with their recruiting campaigns. Create a strategy to understand where your target audience is, then determine how to reach them there. Also consider events and open houses to make the talent acquisition process experiential, giving potential employees the feeling of what it’s like to be a part of the team, and letting them meet other employees, see the office and experience the culture. Show them, don’t just tell them.

Appeal to the audience you already have

Focus your resources on your existing employees. Feeling connected to the company and its people is one of the key factors ensuring “job embeddedness” or retention. Build stronger relationships by bringing people together to foster meaningful connections. Employees will stay if they feel rooted in their job.

With a hybrid work model, companies must create opportunities for employees to deepen their relationships with their colleagues and the company.

A way to do this is to create social moments both inside and outside the workplace. Bring people together in person for town halls, all-hands meetings, award and recognition events and simple summer socials.

Interac is an example of an organization that invests in “face-to-face experiences” to help employees connect outside of day-to-day work while embracing a fully flexible work model.

Use experiences to build emotional connection

An experience that brings people together for a shared moment can build a lasting and meaningful impression, which in turn builds a strong emotional connection. Experiences are a great way to create positive “tentpole” moments for employees.

Nestlé recently launched their new employer brand #NestleChangemakers. Nestlé’s people-focused culture inspires employees to be curious, do things differently and move beyond job titles. This new employee platform celebrates Nestlé employees and empowers them to create real change through their work.

For its launch, 800 Nestlé employees gathered in person and online for a full day of learning, celebration and workshops that reinforced what it means to be a #NestleChangemaker. This was a meaningful way to immerse employees in the new employer brand and leave them feeling inspired, connected and motivated to make change.

Invest in creative

Talent engagement and acquisition campaigns should be developed by creative talent, the same way we engage or acquire customers. Talent will respond to the same emotional and rational triggers that customers do – after all, we’re all humans. And the media buy, or production costs need to follow suit. Heineken is a prime example of a company that has invested creatively in its employer brand with its “Go Places” campaign, which spans digital, social, owned channels and a fully interactive and customized interview process. Above all, be genuine in your efforts. Making false claims about your culture, values and happenings will backfire if your employees don’t feel your efforts are authentic. The examples above reflect empathy, a human element and a commitment to building a culture that attracts and retains the best talent in the industry. The bottom line is human capital remains the biggest investment and asset to any employer brand marketing strategy. Remember your candidates are also investing in you.
Kelly Power

Senior Vice President, Client Experience


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