The recruitment industry is vast, covering everything from small, in-house talent acquisition teams to large external agencies. In order to grow and attract clients, recruiters have to rely on marketing and outreach. We spoke to recruiter-turned-marketer Parul Singh on Episode 112 of Talent & Growth about her journey between sectors. Parul is a recruitment marketing partner at xDesign, where she is also passionate about her role as a Neurodiversity Advocate. She unpacked what a day in the life of a recruitment marketer looks like and shared her insights on the future of recruitment marketing.
How did you get into recruitment marketing, and what were the drivers that motivated you to transition?
When I joined xDesign, I’d built up my personal brand, which was one of the reasons they hired me. The company was originally based in Edinburgh, but we’re looking to expand to areas like Manchester. To grow successfully you have to be involved in the tech community by creating content like newsletters, meetups, etc. Because of my personal brand I was offered a recruitment marketing role to help expand in that area. I toyed with the idea, because I’m a creature of habit. Was I ready to walk away from recruitment? At the time I said “No, I’m not not done yet, I’ve got more work to do.” About six months later, they came back to me, and offered it to me again. By then I’d done some event stuff and collaborated with the marketing team, so saying yes felt absolutely amazing.
The second offer was also low risk, because they said my role would still be there if I changed my mind. The opportunity allowed me to add more strings to my bow, and I couldn’t say no to developing my career. I moved into the role full time in mid November last year. What really attracted me to it was the ownership I have in the role, and that I can shape it to suit me, because it’s quite different from a typical marketing role. I’m definitely considering it as a full time move, which is such an exciting opportunity because I’d never have thought about doing something like this six months ago.
What does the recruitment marketer do on a day to day basis?
I don’t do typical marketing stuff – it’s not what people think it is. I don’t use Google Analytics, SEO, social media, etc. It will differ from company to company, but my role is focused around increasing our candidate attraction and visibility on the market. The aim is to enable us to continuously hire great people to scale to our company. We have a headcount goal that we want to get to, but we’re not a bums-on-seats company. Some of the things that I’ve been involved in is a large-scale job adverts project. We’ve been looking to revamp our job adverts for quite a long time, but TAs are busy recruiting day in and day out. I’ve been doing research on various companies and job outfits, then running focus groups, coming up with proposals and doing A-B testing. I’m putting myself in the candidate’s shoes, and working with them.
Other projects I work on include developing candidate personas and doing interviews with people that have joined the business to understand why they applied. What did they like about the hiring process? What stood out about x design? Why did they choose our offer? Has it lived up to their expectations? That feeds into the job adverts we create. Overall, it’s very different to recruitment because I don’t have any hard deadlines, it’s very much long term and strategic. The big difference for me has been that it’s not always “Go go go!” That’s worked really well with my ADHD, because I love recruitment, because there’s so much variety and a lot going on, but I definitely did struggle with getting overwhelmed at times. This is the best of both worlds. It’s still working at pace and with a lot of variety, but without strict deadlines.
What do you think is the future of recruitment marketing?
Part of my research is about the future of this role. If you search LinkedIn jobs for ‘Talent Acquisition Partner’, there are 1000s of results. If you search ‘Recruitment Marketing Partner’, there are a lot less opportunities. I actually have a lot of confidence in the future of the role though, because in the short period I’ve been here, I’ve seen how much scope there is for recruitment marketing. It just surprised me how few companies don’t have a dedicated recruitment marketing person, because it’s a whole job in itself. You can’t have just one foot in for this. I would love to see more companies recognising the value in this. My advice would be to trial one of your TAs as a marketer, and see how it goes. If you want to hire more people, you need to work on your strategy. It’s not just about sending emails out day in and day out. There’s a lot more to it, and marketers can help to guide that output and raise awareness for your company.
To learn more about recruitment marketing, tune into Parul’s episode of the Talent & Growth podcast here.