by Paula on July 15, 2013

It is often said that “Marketing is too important to be left just to your Marketing Team”…

…and any marketing team will vouch this is true. Marketing is all about the external perception of your company and you can invest hundreds or thousands of pounds on getting your carefully planned message right, but it can be tripped up in the smallest of ways.

One of the big ones that is so often overlooked is recruitment. This may well be the first time your company touches that person in the outside world – this person who may be a potential customer or who may know a number of people who would like to buy your product or service. How you reach this person and how they are treated through this process is therefore a valuable part of your marketing arsenal.

Let me give you two examples I’ve come across recently where this has gone wrong.

The Advert

This should reflect your brand, your culture, everything about your company. You especially want to attract those who not just have the skills and experience but who also have a passion for who you are and what you do. You will also have people reading this who are not applicants but who know and like your brand. You want them to nod with satisfaction at the way you seek and treat staff, so your message is also to them.

I saw a job advert recently for a business I respect and know very well. The advert was in a local trade paper. It was badly written with a number of spelling & grammar mistakes. Having seen their beautifully branded literature and website I knew this would not be what I’d expect from them so I contacted them to let them know. It turned out a very keen member of staff had posted this on behalf of the company with all the good intention of getting the message out far and wide and hadn’t thought to get it checked. The advert was removed, the employee guided on appropriate etiquette and the excellent and appropriate advert went out soon after.

Had it not been me, and had I not known that this wouldn’t have gone through the usual channels, I could have thought this was reflective of a standard they thought was acceptable and to be honest it would have significantly lowered my impression of the business.

The Applicant

Over the years, applying for jobs has gone from sending in a CV with a covering letter, to handing over your trust to a recruitment agency to represent you on your behalf, and now it seems back to personal applications via forms. And when I say forms, I mean FORMS! Big, long pages where you copy & paste various elements of your CV into different sized boxes asking things in different ways. Then the (minimum 2) pages where you interpret what you do into a way which shows you’ve understood exactly what they’re after. Then more details, equality forms etc etc. If you’re looking to genuinely and properly apply for a job, you need a good 2 hours set aside.

So then the small print. “Due to the large amount of applications we receive, we will only reply to those who are invited to interview. If you don’t hear anything then you didn’t get through.”

How does this actually interpret to this person showing an interest in your business?

“Even though it would only take a temp or an admin person a very short amount of time to send off a generic ‘Thank you but Sorry you weren’t successful’ letter to you & the other non-successful applicants, we actually can’t be bothered. We recognise that you have put 2 hours of your life into telling us why you’d like to work with us, but actually this means nothing to us. We don’t care about people.”


Next time you decide it’s time to recruit, think carefully about how the advert represents you. Make an effort to acknowledge those who took time to reply, thank them for it and advise that you have successfully recruited. If that’s too much trouble perhaps go back to the CV + letter for the first stage and a further application should you have interest then?

After all – if every one of your dealings with external people are potential marketing opportunities then the “hundreds of applicants” + their friends and families they complain to is a very quick and easy win to put right.




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