What The US Presidential Election Has Taught Us In Recruitment Marketing


The 2016 US Presidential Election has been filled with controversy. From unqualified candidates to police investigations, there has been no end to the slanging matches that have been at the forefront of each of the candidates’ campaigns. We have been silently (or not so silent in some cases) judging the US for the behaviour of their presidential candidates but from a recruitment marketing perspective, there has been a lot we can learn from the election process.

Here are the top 5 recruitment marketing lessons we have learnt from the campaign:

Find Your Target Market:

There would be no point in Hillary campaigning hard in southern states, or Trump aiming for a black audience, some people just aren’t going to vote for certain parties. That’s why you see Hillary Clinton rallying with the likes of Beyonce and JayZ, and Trump aiming work the working class white males.
Knowing your target market, refining your audience and focusing your energy on marketing to these candidates is key to success in recruitment marketing. If you struggle to identify your target market, consider outsourcing a company to come in for a brand audit. This will help to improve your employer brand / talent acquisition strategy and enable you to create a clear recruitment plan going forward.

Learn The Importance of Social Media:

Social media can be kill or cure in recruitment marketing. Having a poor social media presence is worse than having none at all. It can be a key platform in communicating with your potential candidates but if pointless content is diluting your message, it can have a detrimental effect on your marketing campaign.
There have been numerous occasions where Trump has put his foot in his mouth and damaged his own campaign due to what he has posted on Twitter. So much so that his campaign team have taken his social media off him and banned him from handling his Twitter account.
Leave social media to marketing specialists (or at least people who understand your brand). Having it as an after-thought creates a weak profile, so seek specialist advice going forward if you feel that your company could benefit from increased brand awareness on social media.

Once It’s Out There, It’s Not Coming Back

Be very careful with what you post on social media. It’s good to have a voice, but make sure it’s brand appropriate and unlikely to offend a mass audience. If you are posting on behalf of your business, it’s probably best to avoid topics that are going to cause offence. Engagement is great, as long as it’s relevant, you don’t want people to unfollow you for controversial comments.
Take the majority of Trump’s previous tweets. He has had so many misinformed and controversial tweets that have come up as part of the campaign that this has clouded the judgement of many voters and has made key stakeholders question his suitability for the role.

Extending The Truth Can Only Go So Far:

You can’t make wild statements that can never come to life. It’s all well and good wanting to attract the best candidates through engaging adverts but if the role they are applying for is vastly different to your advert it can lead to poor staff retention and costly recruitment campaigns.
Look at Trump’s ability to extend the truth. His comments about Barack Obama’s treatment of a Trump supporter at a rally in Fayetteville, N.C was ultimately an ‘unhinged lie’. The joy of the internet is that things can rarely disappear all together, so if there is hard evidence that you are lying, you’re likely to be found out.
Manage all expectations along the recruitment process. This will ultimately lead to increased employee satisfaction and advocacy along the way.

Emails, Done Wrong They Can Be A Deal Breaker:

Emailing candidates can be a crucial form of communication. If you are sending mass emails to databases, be very careful on the time and tone of your message. People are sick to death of receiving irrelevant spam emails to their inbox. So much so that the majority of emails aren’t even read. This is why it’s key to ensure that your subject line is spot on – we are looking for catchy, relevant taglines that makes us want to open your email.
Email marketing has played a massive part in both campaigns in this election. Hillary in particular has hit the nail on the head with her email marketing campaigns. Her biggest success was with her email titled ‘Dinner with Bill?’. This subject line encouraged people to click through to the email because they didn’t fully understand what it meant but spiked peoples interests enough for them to want to find out more. If you have the flexibility to trial different subject lines – do it! Ensure you keep an eye on your analytics to find out what’s working and implement it going forward.

Need Help?
If you are struggling with any phase of your recruitment marketing strategy, JobHoller can help. JobHoller is a product that was designed to help companies recruit directly and build their online employer brand. For more information, contact Sophie Heaton on [email protected] or 01244 567 967.

Hannah Ryle – Employer Brand Consultant


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