The 4 P’s of Recruiter Engagement
By: Teri DePuy
So, you’ve done a ton of work fine tuning your personal marketing materials such as a resume, cover letter, business cards and you’re thinking– now what? “How do I leverage these tools to connect with or be discovered by recruiters?” Before tackling the answer to that question, know that regardless of what kind of talent acquisition professional we’re referring to, e.g. inside company recruiter, retained search or contingency, they all have the same goals; find likeable individuals that have the skills and experiences required and at a fair price. Thus, as a job seeker, your objective is to position yourself and engage with recruiters in a way that enables you to move forward in their selection process.
How do you do that? Let’s refer to 4 P’s of the marketing mix and use this as a framework for working with recruiters. When you think about it, there are a lot of similarities with how a marketer positions a product in the marketplace and the strategies that must be employed in a job search. The 4 P’s are product, price, promotion and placement.
To leave a memorable impression it’s imperative you are an expert on the product – the product is you. Extensive preparation is required to ensure you articulate:
- your value proposition flawlessly,
- succinctly explain your work history, highlighting relevant knowledge, skills and abilities, and
- tell compelling accomplishment stories to exemplify how you will benefit the prospective employer.
Next is price. In this context, price refers to salary potential for the fair market value of your services. While it’s well understood, you want to reserve the opportunity to negotiate all compensatory and benefits as a package and at the offer stage, it’s still important you are clear about what the range is for your targeted base salary at the onset. Salary expectations will come up early on in the recruiter’s screening phase and you must know what your walk away point is when the gap between an employer’s pay range and your base compensation goal is too great.
Promotion from a marketer’s perspective consists of advertising, public relations and social media to name a few. Job seekers in today’s Information Age are expected to utilize social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram to reach their target audience, demonstrate their industry relevance and engagement. LinkedIn is more than a well-written profile – regular activity including sharing & posting articles, joining and participation in groups and leveraging the recommendations and endorsement features are essential to rising to the top of a recruiters search query. Note: according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 2014 a recent Pew Research poll showed that 98% of recruiters and 85% of hiring managers use LinkedIn to find prospects. The relevancy of this platform is too great not to be an integrated component for engaging recruiters.
The method for determining how a product is presented to the consumer is Placement. In our scenario, placement equates to the best way for recruiters to find you. For some, this can be one of the toughest to employ – the answer is networking. To meet talent acquisition professionals, candidates must be adept at; asking their network for introductions; be comfortable cold calling and actively attend and participate in career fairs, hiring events, meet-ups and industry forums to garner the coveted face time sought by all.
An effective marketing plan requires all these elements for working with and being discovered by recruiters. Is this enough, is there an argument for adding a 5th P? What would that be?