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  • Writer's pictureAlexia Saumon

Influencer marketing, talent recruiters’ new ally in the face of talent shortage

If you happen to live in any Canadian city, it is very likely that you have witnessed an increasing number of “we are hiring” signs on almost every storefront. Canada is currently experiencing a severe labor shortage, thought to persist in the long term, due to declining labor force participation rates, an aging population, and declining fertility rates. While all the provinces have been hit, Quebec and British Columbia have suffered particularly. According to Statistics Canada, while nearly two-fifth of all businesses will continue to struggle to recruit skilled employees, the most impacted industries in 2023 will remain the construction, manufacturing, accommodation & food services sectors. As of today, it is estimated that 1 million jobs in Canada are to be filled.

So, here is our farfetched tip, as marketing specialists. Talent managers should treat their recruiting processes the same way marketers work on a marketing campaign; using out-of-the-box tactics, A/B tests in messaging, and strong KPIs to measure. In fact, a recent Glassdoor report states that 86% of human resources professionals already say that recruitment is becoming marketing-like. Recruitment marketing - the practice of using marketing strategies to attract, engage, recruit and retain talent, has been on the rise and is particularly relevant in our current competitive job market. Talent Now reports that top candidates stay available for an average of 10 days before getting hired.

We, at Clark Influence, are convinced that influence marketing can help in the recruitment of both skilled and unskilled labor. And in fact, we are not the only ones! Last year, a pilot project was launched by TikTok to help candidates find jobs on the platform and connect with companies looking to hire. By using influencer marketing in their recruitment strategies, recruiters can reach talents where they actually spend time, rather than relying solely on their traffic to job posting websites. Individuals in the job market in fact already trust social media to help them stay aware of their favorite brands’ open positions, with 96% of job seekers using social media when conducting a job search, and 49% of professionals following companies on social media, according to CareerArc and Linkedin Talent Solution.

Furthermore, influencers are able to use personalized, relevant messaging that embodies the employer brand and goes far beyond traditional job descriptions. Some strategic ideas include:

  • Communicating about your brand’s work-life balance culture by working with family-focused influencers.

  • Building an employer brand by touring your office and interviewing employees with a YouTube influencer.

  • Promoting seasonal jobs at your company by working with local college students.

Partnering up with the right influencers could thus increase the employers’ visibility, grow and diversify its touchpoints with talents, and maximize engagement by leveraging the influencers’ trust and credibility built with their followers over time. However, we are well aware talent managers are not marketers - and most of them do not intend to be. It might feel overwhelming for some to even consider influencer marketing. Where to start? Who to reach? Is it worth the investment?

Clark Influence is here to help. Below, talent managers will find some helpful resources to help them create the perfect influencer strategy for their brands. Thank us later!

1. Establish a strong strategy and vision

Just like any other marketing endeavor, an influencer marketing campaign will not be successful if talent managers do not clearly define their objectives. Should you promote a particular position that needs to be filled urgently? Do you want to promote your employer brand as a whole? Does your brand have any certifications you can put forward - Great Place To Work, etc? Do you want to promote a predicted workforce need? While the opportunities are endless, your team should work on establishing clear campaign goals, as well as a campaign timeline and budget.

2. Working with the right Influencer

There is an influencer for everyone. The amount of influencers is constantly rising, with new ones making their way up every day. Finding which type of influencer to trust to be your brand’s advocate might be tedious and stressful. This is why influencer marketing agencies such as Clark Influence exist. Some crucial steps to think about include defining your target market segmentation. In other words, understanding who your perfect candidate is. An effective market segmentation strategy should include their demographic and geographic attributes as well as a detailed understanding of their profiles, both in terms of behaviors and psychographics - personalities, values, attitudes, interests, lifestyles, etc.

Once this is done, it might be easier to visualize the type of influencer that would resonate best with your ideal candidate. As a rule of thumb, if your company is looking to hire a seasonal worker, your market research might show that working with a ski influencer might generate good returns.

3. Using the right message

Once you have chosen the influencers to work with, it will be important to work with them and with their agencies to create a messaging strategy that will fit your brand’s needs but more importantly, resonate with the influencers’ followers. Authenticity is the most important success factor related to influencer marketing strategies. Using consistent hashtags including keywords relating to your recruitment campaign might be helpful as well. Here again, the messaging opportunities are endless.

4. A digestible application form

Finally, it will be very important to create easy ways for potential talents to apply for the advertised position. When I say "easy", I really mean it. Not a 45 mins online interrogation. Here, the success factors are two-layered, especially when it comes to hiring younger, less experienced individuals. Online, and on social media specifically, their attention span is very limited - 8 seconds on average. A record high 60% of candidates report quitting an application process that is too long. For this reason, it should be easy to get to the application form through story swipe-ups or in-post redirection links. And the application form itself should be aligned with the influencers’ tone and messaging: fun, easy, and understandable, rather than tedious, and time-consuming. Linkedin’s “Easy Apply” is the perfect example to follow and allows candidates to apply for positions in two clicks.

As for some inspiration, we had to mention Ogilvy’s iconic “The world’s greatest salesman” 2010 recruiting campaign. Through a funny and engaging YouTube video, Ogilvy invited candidates to submit a video of themselves selling a brick. The finalists were flown to the Cannes International Advertising Festival and were to pitch their ideas in front of the world’s best advertising agency executives. The world’s best salesman was offered a full-time position in the company.

More recently, Cisco, a global tech company, was able to leverage the power of TikTok in its recruiting process. The campaign #WeAreCisco aimed at building a strong community by creating real connections with future employees by deepening engagement with current ones. They used EGC - Employee Generated Content, to portray what it is like to work at Cisco and featured real people and authentic stories. The campaign generated almost 300 000 organic views.

I know, that was a lot. Sorry about that. Unfortunately, these are just the basics. Do not forget to include budgeting, choosing the perfect timing for your campaigns, and monitoring & tracking your results. Luckily, here at Clark, we are influence specialists. We can help you throughout the entire workflow. Our expertise includes determining KPIs, budget & targets, determining the marketing channels & timeline, matching your brand with the most relevant influencers, managing their briefing, negotiating rates and contracts, reviewing content, and delivering reporting and analysis of brand success.


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