Geneviève Bélanger, CHRP

HR Marketing: Entice, Attract, and Retain the Best Talent!

In recent years, the job market has evolved, as have recruitment strategies. It is now more difficult to recruit quality employees, and businesses must engage in a full-scale “talent war.” In the context of a labour shortage and during a period of transformation, applicants are no longer the ones seeking out businesses—it is businesses that must entice applicants.

Recruiters must now use a wealth of creativity to find new ways to attract the best talent. It is not enough to announce and post job vacancies. They must make every effort to convince potential applicants to apply to work at the company—but they need to know how to do so!

The solution is as follows: dare to stand out on the job market by practising HR marketing to boost attraction and retention strategies. HR marketing is a human resources approach that uses knowledge and marketing strategies to assert the value of a company to its “clients”—applicants and employees. The goal is to clarify, consolidate, and promote the company’s positioning as an employer to entice, attract, and retain employees. Therefore, a great deal of importance must now be attached to the applicant experience, the employee experience, and the brand experience.

The Applicant Experience

To optimize the applicant experience, the ability to appeal to applicants needs to be improved by better communicating the employer brand and by adopting new recruitment strategies:

  • Identify the company’s appeal, positioning, and employer brand to use as a pitch to new prospects. Conducting a poll among employees about what attracts them to the company could be a good way to highlight components of employer positioning;
  • Develop and implement a social media content strategy to convert, entice, and engage the network;
  • Identify the target audience and address it with unique, eye-catching job offers;
  • Switch to a sourcing approach by implementing an applicant search strategy to discover passive profiles and convert them into potential applicants. LinkedIn Recruiter is a good tool that allows you to carry out advanced searches and to contact new talent directly;
  • Adapt the hiring process so that it becomes faster, more dynamic, and more enjoyable, so as to capture the interest of the applicants. It is important that they have a good first impression; and
  • Have a good presence on the field (job fairs, schools, networking events, etc.).

Inspired in part by customer relationship management (CRM) where customers are the target, the applicant experience positions new talent as the target. Such an approach begins well before the first meeting, and applicants must therefore be heard from before, during, and after the first meeting.

The Employee Experience

Once talent is recruited, it is crucial to ensure that it is retained. The employer must strive to make its employees’ experience as interesting as possible so that they don’t leave. The employer also needs to improve loyalty by optimizing its human resources management retention practices. To ensure that there is good retention,

  • Motivate employees to go beyond personal and professional interest for the benefit of the organization by proposing a long-term career plan, interesting challenges, and professional development. These opportunities should allow them to get out of their comfort zone, surpass themselves, improve their skills, move forward, and thrive professionally;
  • Adopt a management style based on positive leadership by listening to the needs of the team, by being available to help them, by being accommodating, flexible, and transparent in communications, and by appreciating employee contribution to the success of the organization;
  • Ensure that employees have the time and energy to pursue their hobbies and enjoy life outside of the office (trips, sports, etc.), while offering sufficient vacation time starting in the first year of employment;
  • Offer salaries and performance bonuses that are competitive and higher than those of the competition; and
  • Provide pleasant, collaborative, and inspiring workspaces (common areas, natural light, technology, multifunctionality, gym, break room, etc.).

In doing so, the employer will encourage commitment from members of the team by making them more motivated, passionate, and engaged.

The Brand Experience

Slowly, the company will distinguish itself by creating its own employer brand, allowing it to compete with other businesses in the labour market. It should not keep its secrets to itself! It needs to optimize the dissemination of its brand messages on the career section of its website, social networks, and traditional media. To do so, it is important to develop new strategies aimed at converting, enticing, and being of interest to future applicants:

  • Be present on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), and regularly publish materials based on the implemented content strategy;
  • Create or revise the career section of the company’s website;
  • Add a career page to your LinkedIn company page to provide a unique glimpse at organizational life and culture, as well as information about job openings;
  • Create dynamic video clips promoting your company; and
  • Develop an ambassador program by selecting a team of employees to contribute to increasing the company’s visibility.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to introduce various HR marketing techniques. They will allow you to define your appeal, position yourself as a top employer in the eyes of potential applicants, and think differently about how to recruit and retain the best talent. Although this step requires an action plan, it is a strategic investment that will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your company.

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Geneviève Bélanger, CHRP Personal-Lines VP and Associate Partner
Damage Insurance Broker
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