As marketers for hundreds of brands nationwide, a common question we get over and over from clients across the U.S., crossing many industries and marketing dispositions, relates to how they can use digital marketing to fill employment vacancies.
First, let’s applaud the outside-of-the-box thinking: coming to us with this important (and possibly today’s biggest) marketing problem. However, the solution is complicated because of why we were hired in the first place. All, or at least the vast majority, of our customers hire us to help them grow their business using digital marketing.
They want us to help optimize the performance of their online footprint, whether that is on their website or on their social media channels, to reach previously unreached audiences. More precisely, our customers want us to steward their marketing budget into a stream of income. Truly, this is how we position ourselves as a digital marketing services company.
The pandemic forced a pivot in the digital marketing conversation in several ways and several times. There were no 180-degree about-faces, but companies certainly expect more from their digital marketing and websites than ever before, and attracting talent is just one example.
Here is how we hear such a request: If my website ranks as well as it does for audience A, can we just tack on audience B?
Sounds reasonable, right? Here’s an analogy: I already know how to speak French and Spanish fluently. Can’t I just tack on Italian? Sure, learning a third romance language is easier if you’ve mastered two others, but the similarities end there.
Here’s an example. Vargas Face & Skin Center is a cosmetic procedure center in Overland Park, KS. Our contact emailed me and asked, “how can I get our website ranking for job searches, like ‘nursing job near me?'” Great question!
We’ve been optimizing their website with SEO and content for many years to engage their target audience: women aged 35 – 65 searching for specific light cosmetic procedures within a 20-mile radius of their office.
Expanded Services requires an Adjusted Reach
Time and time again, they have expanded their services with requests like, “we added a new lip procedure” or “we now offer hair procedures for men.” Each time, we are able to leverage their current search power to engage an expanded audience due to their growing service line.
Adding a new service line or a new product usually just addresses a slightly modified audience vector: men, different areas of the face, broader age ranges, or different geographic areas. However, attracting those who want to work at Vargas is not a modified audience; it’s a completely different audience with no overlap worth mentioning.
Unemployed nurses have never been the focus of our marketing effort, but like many websites, they have always had one “Careers” page with a function to send in a resume. But, that’s all it was: one page with no SEO focus. Compare that to 40 highly optimized cosmetic procedures pages and 100s of blog articles with years of technical on- and off-page SEO pressure.
We will face the same uphill digital marketing battle attracting unemployed nurses as if we added lawn mowing to the site.
Brand. New. Audience.
Is it possible? Of course, it is. However, adding a new audience takes a LOT of time. You have to develop new content (which is what Google really ranks), a new category of articles, and a separate SEO effort. Is there a new budget? Probably not, but guess what we are not doing as we spend our time trying to rank for unemployed nurses searching for jobs? Marketing cosmetic procedures!
Oh yeah. Remember that whole “get us more revenue” thing? Nurses don’t produce revenue. They consume it as a salary expense.
Before I get into what you should do, just know that adding a LOT of budget to this ranking effort is not only unnecessary, but it’s also a temporary need. Once you are fully staffed, the need wears away quickly. Compare that to the need to stay in front of your audience (your future customers): clearly a permanent marketing effort.
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How to Use Digital Marketing to Fill Employment Positions
1) Build a New Web Page for Each Position
Start with your empty positions, but eventually, every position should be there. Have a way to mark them as “Open” or “Filled.” This is pretty easy if you already have a careers page that mentions “Nurses for Hire” (for example). Now link that Job Title to the new page and put the job description on that page with a way for them to reach out.
2) Search for the Positions You Intend to Hire
You may not be able to rank well for your positions, you can list your open positions on the platforms (such as Indeed) that occupy the top 5 search results for those positions. Link those listings to the corresponding job pages you created.
3) Add a Culture Section to your Website
Market your culture like you market your products or services – even though the actual effort or budget will be less. On your website, you definitely want current candidates and interviewees to find out what it’s like to work at your company, so make that cultural content browsable from your job openings.
4) Leverage Existing Audiences
All your customers know people looking for jobs. In your outbound email marketing, create a section that says, “We’re Hiring!” or “Forward this to a job seeker you know.” Include links to the jobs on your website, the job listings on other websites, and your cultural content.
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