What’s your recruiting strategy? Maybe you place ads on recruiting sites or try to share information about your company via word-of-mouth. Perhaps you even offer incentives to your employees for finding new hires. All of these are fine recruitment tactics, and you should certainly continue to do what’s working for you. But you should be sure that your recruitment plan also includes a digital strategy. After all, we are already immersed in a digital age and you are missing an enormous opportunity if you are ignoring your digital brand when it comes to your recruiting efforts.

Everything we know about marketing applies to recruitment, says Maria Mayorga of Coalmarch Productions, a company specializing in lead generation and employee training for green industry companies. Mayorga says that means building a digital strategy is essential not only for targeting new clients but also for targeting potential hires. When people find out about your company, they’re going to Google you for more information and you want to be sure that they like what they see.

Building your brand

Your digital strategy all starts with brand, Mayorga says. Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room. Most companies think about their brand in terms of getting client leads. But it’s definitely important when it comes to recruitment leads, as well.

“A strong employer brand is going to do a lot to bring in people,” Mayorga says. “If you have a great name in the community, and you do a lot of outreach, it’s going to make people want to work for your company.”

When you think about your company, think about why people would want to come work for you and focus on continuing to develop those aspects. The reasons why someone might want to work for you are often the same reasons why someone might want to work with you. Therefore, your strategies to generate client leads have a strong overlap with recruiting. Things like community commitment, integrity and quality work make you desirable all around. It’s important that these types of efforts are showcased in your digital brand.

Mayorga says she spends a lot of time reviewing websites and thinking how they will help recruit more people to those companies. How will your website stand out? The things that make you special should be evident.

But your website should also be easy to navigate as that also says a lot about who you are. How easy is it for a job applicant to find information about potential job opportunities at your company? Recruits should not have to hunt for a careers section on your website, Mayorga says. Your careers section should be easy to find and it should also be easy to apply.

Converting leads

Just as the goal of marketing is to convert potential clients into actual clients, Mayorga says the goal of recruiting is to convert potential hires into actual hires. Once you’ve attracted people to your business, you want to get them to apply for a position. It’s not enough for them to just stop by your page.

If you find that recruitment conversion is where you’re struggling, Mayorga says to take a look at your job descriptions. She says there is an “art to writing job descriptions” and many people don’t realize it and just slap something together.

A lot of it comes down to language. Mayorga says it’s important not to turn people away by using the wrong choice of words. For instance, Mayorga says a lot has been written about “fixed mindset” in business (those who believe abilities and talents are fixed traits) and “growth mindset” in business (those that believe abilities and talents can be developed). If you use language that is fixed mindset — words such as “high performer” or “the best and the brightest” — then you may limit your applicants.

The length of your job descriptions also matters. This is another area where it’s a “fine art,” says Mayorga, as finding just the right length can be challenging.

“Long descriptions can hurt you, but so can short ones,” Mayorga says. “You want to attract attention and to compel people to keep reading, but you don’t want to overdo it. Some of the biggest problems I have seen with job descriptions are that they are too short, they don’t have enough bulleted content and they use too much directive language.”

So, what is the perfect job description? Mayorga says to pay attention to the title, keep it simple, talk about the company culture, and mention a salary — or at least give a range. She says that research shows nearly three-quarters of job applications say they value seeing salary more than any other feature in a job posting but companies rarely include it.

When thinking about converting recruits to hires, it’s also important to make sure that interested candidates can follow through on applying. This might sound obvious but it’s not uncommon for companies to fail to actively maintain their website information.

“Try applying for a position through your own website,” Mayorga suggests. “Does it work for you? See what your company actually looks like for employees and for recruits.”

Mayorga says that looking at your website through the lens of being a “potential hire” can be eye opening. In her own research she has applied for jobs through various green industry websites only to find that things often go awry and the company doesn’t even realize their “careers page” is not working. Or maybe some of the job application questions require updating. Make sure you’re staying on top of this information.

Closing the deal

You’ve attracted potential recruits to your website, you’ve converted them into applicants, and now you need to close the deal. Mayorga’s best advice on how to do that? Treat every candidate like a customer, she says. That means putting in the work. Treat them well, help them to understand your brand and then follow up with them regularly.

Mayorga says that last part is crucial as four out of 10 applicants say they never even receive a response from potential employers. “The best digital marketers understand that you are not going to convert everyone in that first transaction and recruiters need to be thinking the same way,” she says. “Continually follow up with applicants. Create an email campaign to do this. Encourage your managers to also reach out. Be sure that you maintain ongoing communication with all candidates.”

When all of your hard work to recruit does pay off, Mayorga says, don’t drop the ball and assume your job is done. Her final point is to ensure that you “delight new hires.”

“Once new employees start, you want them to be happy to be there,” she says. “You put in all the work to get them there. Now you want them to stay.”