The job market environment has shifted significantly in recent years. With candidates now in the driver’s seat, it is more important than ever for employers to better understand the needs, behaviours and motivators of today’s candidates. 

To make this happen, all sectors are looking to leverage its data for decision-making. We are more fact-driven than ever and technology is the superpower for measuring (almost) everything. Data is the new ‘oil’ and it is fuelling decisions worldwide, not only with financial data but with all kinds of data sources, such as people data.

People data was seen in the past as HR territory and sometimes not even considered in the data conversation. Now, finally, more and more companies are using this data to do analytics - people analytics - to support and enhance their business strategy. This trend was also confirmed in the Talent Trends Report 2022, which shows a higher percentage than ever (73%) of talent leaders stating that they are investing in people analytics. Companies that are not yet there are spending a lot of money trying to attract and retain top talent, without having any clue about how to optimise these investments and minimise any risks to their business plans.

Some may say that people analytics is a buzzword, or a temporary concern because the market is now candidate driven, but we know that this is not true. People analytics is critical and key to fighting the talent scarcity, preparing the workforce, closing the skills gap, and attracting and retaining the talent you need. It can also help your company build a successful employer branding strategy.  Social and economic environment challenges, such as the great resignation(1) or quiet quitting(2), create the demand for a people strategy based on data and analytics. These challenges are real-life business problems, not (just) HR problems. They are also strategic pillars for a successful business. 

Now that alarm bells are going off around the world regarding higher acquisition costs, vacancies that are not fulfilled, jobboard dependencies and a salary competition with no borders, everyone seems to agree that people analytics are not just an OPEX line!  HR keywords are part of any CEO pitch and even government programmes, but how to solve this global challenge of attracting and retaining talents is keeping leaders awake at night. People analytics is part of the solution, but a full transformation goes even deeper. 

a recruitment marketing approach

Companies need a new, innovative approach to recruitment marketing. A complete and radical change from the old way of working. From attraction to the end of the relationship, keeping the alumni connection forever and ever (eternity is the goal for all people managers). Because this is a lifetime data journey with a lot of dimensions to consider and millions of data points that start in the recruitment stage. This is where the magic begins (or the nightmare). It is that moment when a candidate starts exploring job offerings online. That fraction of time where we are attracting the (right) candidate, making sure it converts into an application and getting through the selection process until the match. A straight and clear line that is in fact a funnel with thousands of data points that can be collected and analysed to bring efficiency, speed, insights and quality to the table. This is true for your highly qualified white-collar profiles, as well as volumes of blue-collar profiles because the challenge is not for one job role, but for the entire talent ecosystem. 

Understanding the complexity is acknowledging the need to merge the expertise of HR with marketing and IT. It is a combined strategy to develop a data-driven recruitment journey. To take decisions based on analytics and to improve recruitment throughout the funnel. People analytics will support a recruitment marketing approach that will leverage the business. A new approach Randstad already uses in the recruitment process for our clients, has three main objectives:

  1. improve the quality of recruitment;
  2. speed up time-to-hire;
  3. reduce acquisition costs.

But what is recruitment marketing? Let’s go a bit deeper into the concept and then understand how Randstad is using recruitment marketing to support our clients and our business decisions.


(1) The Great Resignation was coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management in Texas, who in May 2021 compared the wave of resignations with the great recession. Today there are a lot of articles and research about it, but the most interesting fact is that people were leaving their jobs in droves, a cycle that didn’t stop yet and that also impacts the talent scarcity.

(2) Tik Tok, gen Z’s favourite social media, is full of content promoting quiet quitting. It all started with this viral video from a young engineer and now it is everywhere - #QuietQuitting has now racked up more than 17 million views on TikTok and has spread to all social media channels. Quiet quitting is not about quitting your job, but it is just doing the job and going on with your life after it. It is a big movement for work-life balance, with a strong brand and a lot of followers that fight extra hours, burnout or workaholics.

Four colleagues having a meeting in a meeting room. Financial charts in the background.
Four colleagues having a meeting in a meeting room. Financial charts in the background.

7 questions about recruitment marketing


1. what is recruitment marketing?

Recruitment marketing is a strategic approach to recruitment that combines HR with IT and marketing strategies. There are a lot of different ways to formulate the concept, but the key is to understand that companies need to approach talent like it does clients. They need to understand what motivates candidates to apply for new job opportunities and to accept job offers. Talent are the ones in the driver’s seat and employers can use analytical data to better understand what it’s like to be them. Adding marketing insights into the recruitment process along with people analytics creates a powerful mix. 

2. what is the goal of recruitment marketing?

The holy grail of recruitment marketing is to attract the right candidate to the right job. But it’s also the perfect opportunity to build a talent pool of highly skilled applicants. Therefore, recruitment marketing  not only focuses on driving quality applicants to a specific vacancy but also on identifying skilled candidates to add to its talent pool. Besides conversion, recruitment marketing also can improve the candidate experience, which is central to stimulating talent to become returning applicants.

3. how does recruitment marketing work?

There are two main things you need to do before starting to build a recruitment marketing strategy:

a) bring the team together

Start by building a team of experts from different departments within the company, including IT and marketing. Since they need to work as one to build a strong recruitment marketing strategy it’s important to develop this team as early in the process as possible. HR knows talents, understands the skills and can support the team in building  personas and validating the quality of candidates. Marketing understands the market, creates the personas and develops strategies for all stages of the recruitment funnel, including organic and paid marketing strategies. IT contributes with technology and data. This combination of expertise can deliver an improved experience for the candidate and better hiring outcomes for the employer. 

b) understand the data 

Recruitment marketing is (or must be) a data -driven strategy. To make this happen, people analytics must play a key role. It’s crucial that you’re using the right data to make the best marketing decisions. So, after having the team in place, it is critical to conduct a data assessment. Your team should ask itself relevant questions, such as:

  • Which data do we have available? Is this data trustworthy?
  • What data do we want to know more about?
  • What are the team’s overall goals and objectives?
  • Is there a clear taxonomy for the data points and concepts we want to analyse?
  • What analyses do we already have available?

This data assessment supports the strategic process of collecting and analysing data pertaining to talent. This data is the fuel for people analytics that enables the recruitment marketing team to make informed HR and business-related decisions.

4. how is recruitment related to marketing?

In the past, the answer would be that there is no relation between marketing and recruitment and that candidates and employees are not part of a marketing strategy, but this is an outdated approach. Companies need to be more human-centric. Talent is key to business success, and the working relationship has been changing in the last few years. Employing strong talent is as important as attracting clients, and you should take the same approach you use to attract prospects and customers. This step can be done by understanding their needs, drivers and expectations in order to build a full journey that generates engagement with productivity and happiness. 

5. does recruitment marketing depend on people analytics?

Yes, definitely. With no data collection and analysis, recruitment marketing is a blind strategy. People analytics is key for implementing successful recruitment marketing strategies.

6. how recruitment marketing relates with employer branding?

Recruitment marketing is a strategic approach from the first moment of the talent journey to onboarding. Employer branding is broader than just attracting candidates. It is your brand as an employer and how prospective candidates as well as your employees perceive it. It includes components like employee value proposition (EVP) and focuses not only on attracting but also retaining top talent. Both concepts work together in a sense that the company employer brand impacts the strategy of recruitment marketing, and  the recruitment marketing strategy contributes to the employer brand of the company. Understanding what drives talent, the perception of the company’s employer brand  and the EVP are key for recruitment marketing. Randstad has a long track record of providing insights about employer branding. Our annual research in 30 countries  allows us to collect relevant data to help our clients build a strategic recruitment marketing approach that attracts top  talent.

7. why use an HR partner for recruitment marketing? 

Recruitment marketing is all about data and people analytics. It is a strategic approach that benefits from expertise, market insights and deep knowledge of what drives candidates and how to bring their experience to a different level. As your HR partner, Randstad knows how to maximise these benefits to drive improved hiring results.Our clients also benefit from the fact that we are a one-stop shop, with a comprehensive portfolio that allows us to understand the different challenges regarding, profile, volume and countries. Together we can overcome the talent challenges businesses are facing today.

a curly haired woman smiling brightly at her coworker
a curly haired woman smiling brightly at her coworker

recruitment marketing in practice

At Randstad, we bring recruitment marketing into practice. We believe that a strong recruitment marketing strategy is the best way to get to the right talent. We work at a local level with support from global teams and we are constantly working on the following pillars:

1. Channel optimisation

We have a strategy in place per channel to feed the right audience. By combining the expertise of our marketing team, we create and implement quality content that performs and is relevant for our candidates in all stages of the funnel. Social media is also an important  channel for us, allowing us to have constant conversations with key profiles. All these channels, together with our branches and recruiters allow us to gather powerful data  to better understand the best channels to use for each profile based on the moment of the journey. This strategy also enables us to build a vast database of top talent.

2. Campaign implementation

Investing in a campaign involves a mix of channels and data-driven decisions. We don’t just post job ads everywhere and hope for the best. We know who we are targeting and how many people we need to reach to make sure we can deliver quality candidates for high-volume orders. For every campaign, people analytics is key as well as other factors, such as trend research, understanding the talent drivers, employer brand and the value proposition of each offer. 

3. E2E analysis

E2E stands for “End to End”, which is the key to everything. We need to measure all stages of the funnel, including conversion rates, sources and cost of acquisition. These concepts are critical not only for planning but also for measuring results and for making future decisions regarding the adoption of an attribution model that can also leverage our performance. 

one size doesn’t fit all

In challenging times, we need more strategic approaches to recruitment. At Randstad, we combine our expertise about our clients’ needs with talent insights. Our teams have a complete understanding of people analytics and how to build a robust recruitment marketing process that focuses on three main goals:

  1. improve the quality of the recruitment;
  2. speed up the the time-to-hire process;
  3. reduce acquisition costs.

These objectives apply to all profiles, technical or not, including high-volume demand. With high-volume recruitment, there is a clear benefit from this holistic research and taking advantage of technology to automate moments of the journey where the human touch is not adding value. Some examples are:

  • do it yourself

Implementation of lead generation campaigns where candidates can do their self-assessment and schedule the interview if they pass the first screening. This approach combines the speed of delivery with pre-screening activity. 

  • put your money in the right pot

Acquisition costs and job board dependency is also reduced when we know how many people we need to reach because the conversion percentage of the applications and the validated ones, support our decision process and at the same time allow us to know what the best channel mix to get the candidates is.

There is a lot you can do in a recruitment marketing approach, but what is really important to remember is that one size doesn’t fit all.  It’s impossible to simply post ads in every direction, or to do nothing, and hope applicants find you. Forget the white-collar and blue-collar distinction, we are targeting people. We need to know them and to engage with them and then present who we are and what our value proposition is. We need to answer them, have more and more channels to support them and speed up the funnel between applying and placement. The market demand doesn’t allow for recruitment failure without having an enormous impact on business success. We need to not just find candidates, but to find the right candidates for the job, for the team and for your company. Whether it’s just one or one thousand roles to fill, we know how to do it. We combine digital with a human touch in a way that only Randstad knows how to do.

randstad supports your recruitment marketing strategy

We can support you to create a recruitment marketing strategy for your high-volume demand that assures the quality of the candidates and also supports you with relevant data for all stages of the recruitment journey. Randstad provides end-to-end recruitment solutions, including sourcing, recruitment, onboarding, training and workforce scheduling. Our portfolio of services include staffing for permanent and temporary workforce needs. We offer a completely customisable service so you can determine exactly what aspects of the recruitment process you want our teams to handle and what parts you want to keep in-house.

Are you ready to implement a recruitment marketing approach based on people analytics in your company? Download our E2E model to get to know the key concepts of the implementation and the model we use for the recruitment funnel.

about the author
a bearded man wearing a suit while smiling and looking to the right
a bearded man wearing a suit while smiling and looking to the right

richard kennedy

country director

Richard is responsible for leading the continued growth of Randstad New Zealand. An empathetic and relationship focused business leader, Richard works closely with his talented team of recruitment professionals who are passionate about shaping the future of work.

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