Published on
June 14, 2023

Recruitment marketing: The ultimate guide for 2023

Recruitment marketing is the hottest topic in HR right now. But what is recruitment marketing, and what are its merits for your Talent Attraction strategy?

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Over the last 30 years, recruitment hasn’t changed that much.

Sure, you can reach candidates on LinkedIn instead of calling your way through. Sure, there is a ton of technology to support you in that. But the fundamental process has stayed very much the same.

Recruitment marketing is on its way to significantly change that. In this article, we will walk you through what recruitment marketing in 2023 means, and what you need to understand to be successful at attracting talent.

What is recruitment marketing?

Most people will tell you that recruitment marketing is, in fact, employer branding. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Recruitment marketing is marketing, but instead of attracting new business, its role is to attract talent.

This is the overall trend in recruitment marketing: It has grown to adapt modern marketing strategies and tactics to a changing recruitment world.

Let’s break down the three fundamental roles of Marketing:

  1. Attract and build an audience of potential customers
  2. Build and accompany the customer journey & experience
  3. Build a pipeline of new business

The role of recruitment marketing is the same, only with talent:

  1. Attract and build an audience of potential candidates
  2. Build and accompany the candidate journey & experience
  3. Build a pipeline of new candidates

Just writing a nice job ad won’t get you far, just as much as just posting a funny picture on Instagram won’t get you far in attracting new business.


Now that we know what the goals of recruitment marketing are, let’s talk about how recruitment marketing in 2023 can reach them.

Recruitment marketing funnel and the talent journey

Recruitment marketing has learned from marketing that what it needs is a systematic approach to convert talents from prospects to candidates. That is why the recruitment Funnef (sometimes also considered the recruitment flywheel) is a key to any Talent Attraction strategy.

Let’s look at how Hubspot defines the customer journey:

Recruitment Marketing Funnel

The customer journey, or the funnel, is typically split up in three stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Action / Decision

You will find many more models that make the funnel unnecessarily complex. But these are really the three stages you need to care about.

Now let’s break down what these three stages mean for our recruitment Funnef.

Awareness stage in the recruitment funnel

Every candidate who is not actively looking for a new job is considered to be in the Awareness stage. That means that about 80% of candidates are to be found in this stage.

The role of recruitment marketing in the awareness stage is not to bombard them with job offers – it is to make them aware of potential future opportunities, keep them engaged, and potentially build a pool of future candidates.

The role of recruitment marketing in the awareness stage is to build a pool of potential future candidates


This is where candidates are actively researching potential new jobs. They are

  • Reviewing the market
  • Looking at job posts
  • Comparing salaries
  • Aware that they want to move on from their current job

A very attractive job, well presented and promoted, might bring them straight to an application. But the main role of recruitment marketing in this stage of the recruitment funnel is to stand out as an attractive potential employer, as well as offer a seamless and positive experience to the potential candidate.

Action / Decision phase

This talent is not only actively looking for a job, but applying for interesting new positions.

The job of recruitment marketing at this stage is to make the application process attractive, as well as offer a good experience after the application. This happens through a mix of automation and manual selection, but it is a crucial step for a great candidate experience.

The recruitment flywheel

Sorry to say so, but recruiting is usually 5 years behind what Marketing is doing.

In marketing, companies are more and more adopting a customer success centric “flywheel”-approach. The same holds true for more and more recruitment marketing organizations:

New hires are activated in the recruitment process to attract new candidates. This can be through employee referral programs, or through other interactive format.

The Dutch company Ormit involves its alumni and current trainees in webinars for potential new trainees, to show them the benefits of the program and answer potential questions.

Recruitment Marketing Flywheel

Employer branding in recruitment marketing

We haven’t talked about the employer brand yet. But isn’t that the most important aspect of any recruitment marketing campaign?

Yet and now. Employer branding lives in between marketing and recruiting.

A “brand” delivers a promise to potential customers and partners.

This translates to the employer brand as the brand promise that we make to current and potential employees. It answers the question of how we want to be perceived by talent in the market.

The employer brand therefore is important throughout the entire candidate journey, because it influences every step along the way.

Talent Attraction: The new paradigm in recruitment marketing

Talent acquisition is a strange term – after all, it’s all about the talent. That’s why more and more companies are moving towards the new paradigm of Talent Attraction, where the talent is in the center of everything.

Instead of “how can we acquire that talent” it asks other questions:

  • How can we be the right choice for talent?
  • How do we find them where they are?
  • How do we make the experience seamless for them?

Recruitment marketing tools & tactics

Recruitment marketing relies on a number of tools and tactics. These are the tools that every recruitment marketer should be aware of.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is at the heart of your Talent Attraction strategy. This is where your candidates apply to, where you convert prospects into candidates, and where you monitor the candidate journey.

Applicant Tracking Systems like Homerun and Recruitee allow you to easily use the best tactics in your Recruitment Marketing efforts.

More and more Recruitment Marketers are also using CRMs like Hubspot, to make their candidate experience as seamless as in the most modern lead generation campaigns.

Programmatic recruiting / Talent Attraction Technology

We already established that 80% of your potential candidates are not actively looking for jobs.

Recruitment Marketers need to also reach those 80% on channels they actually use – social media and other online platforms are only one example.

Our Talent Attraction Technology supports recruitment marketing specialists with exactly this toolkit

Want to learn more about our Talent Attraction Technology?

Make more placements while keeping a clear overview of costs and ROI.