Recruiting, Technology

Effectively Using Your ‘Digital Real Estate’ to Attract Talent

Constant communication is a great way to create a memorable candidate experience—and what better way than through e-mail? But are you going about your e-mail communications successfully? There’s a ton of real estate in the e-mail space, and if you aren’t using that space effectively, you could be losing candidates’ interest before they’ve even read the job description.

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Source: winui / shutterstock

We talk a lot about creating catchy subject lines and personalizing e-mails to get your candidates to click on that “apply” button, but have you tried incorporating banners in your signature space for maximum exposure? We’re taking a look at how one staffing company’s use of e-mail banners resulted in over 3,000 more applicants for its client companies as a result of using this strategy.

Kforce is a professional staffing service and solutions firm that specializes in flexible and direct-hire staffing in technology, financing, and accounting industries. The company has more than 4,000 customers, including 70% of the Fortune 100, and provides opportunities for more than 36,000 highly skilled professionals each year. Kforce knew the power e-mails held over attracting top talent, but it was looking for an effective way to get its employees onboard.

E-Mail Signatures to the Rescue

Kforce’s Director of Communications and PR, Kimberly Bird, says the company’s employees were sending 8 million e-mails a month—which equals 96 million e-mails a year! As marketing pros will tell you, these numbers represent a massive way to market your company’s brand. And as we all know, employer branding is key to becoming an employer of choice. So how does this tie into recruiting and e-mail signatures?

Bird developed a strategy for ALL Kforce employees: Use the e-mail signature space to market your employer brand. To drive viewers to the Kforce website and to attract potential applicants for its clients’ jobs, Bird and the marketing team created promotional banners that employees could use to market Kforce and its clients’ open roles.

Except, there was one minor problem with this strategy: Bird’s team adopted a DIY model. They created the banners and the campaigns and then dropped the promotions onto their employees with no real strategy for using them. Some employees forgot to use them in the first place, and others forgot to remove the promotions once they were over.

The concept, in theory, was a great idea, but in practice, it left much to be desired. Kforce then turned to a third-party platform that specializes in building and deploying these types of campaigns in the hopes that the company could improve its return on investment (ROI).

Technology Saves the Day

The third-party platform is Sigstr, an e-mail signature marketing platform that allows you to standardize brand consistency and drive marketing ROI with every e-mail an employee sends. Within the first 2 years of using Sigstr, Kforce was able to promote 140 e-mail banners across its 2,500+ employees. What was the ROI for Kforce recruiters?

Within the first 6 months of launching the Sigstr platform in November 2017, Bird noted that Kforce saw an increase in the number of potential recruits and clients who were visiting the company’s website. Since then, its employees’ e-mail marketing has generated 3,672 job applications for Kforce’s client companies.

Given an industry average top-to-bottom conversion rate of 0.56%, the résumé submissions generated by e-mail banners have converted into double-digit successful placements. Depending on the type of placement and the fees applying to each, this “owned” marketing channel can prove to be an additional revenue-generating platform.

Although industry averages do not represent actual revenue numbers from Kforce, the 2018 average recruiting fee of $20,283 per placement does signify the impact double-digit placements can have on similar businesses.

Benefits Outside of Recruiting

Remember the brand thing we mentioned earlier? Kforce also used this banner strategy to highlight its employer brand, resulting in 327,000 unique page views for the Kforce website—and of these clicks, 60% were new users to the site.

The most popular item that the Kforce brand promoted was original content, which was featured on the company’s blog. Bird reports that only one-third of Kforce employees included that banner in their e-mail signatures, yet the campaign achieved more than 3,000 banner clicks in fewer than 2 weeks. For comparison, generating that many clicks through Google AdWords would have cost the company $4,035 a week.

It wasn’t just original content that garnered attention; social media content was also a huge hit for Kforce. “We added all of our social icons into Sigstr’s e-mail signature template and tagged them to understand what kind of traffic we were generating to our social channels,” Bird says. “The 173,000+ clicks on these social media icons across all employee e-mail signatures have led to hundreds of new followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Glassdoor.”

By creating original content that’s sharable across all mediums, you help boost your brand and show candidates what it’s like to work at your company. Additionally, along with the 173,000+ clicks from social media icons located within the e-mail signature, Kforce has achieved 107,150 total clicks across all of its e-mail banners. That’s 280,150 total clicks, which results in over 200,000 eyes on your brand—or one overzealous applicant clicking your link over 200,000 times in the hopes of landing his or her dream job.

Social media and original content were just two ways Kforce was able to demonstrate its branding via e-mail signatures. The company also implemented a corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign through the use of e-mail signature banners to help the victims of Hurricane Irma.

According to Bird, this campaign received more than 5,000 clicks and generated several thousands of dollars in additional donations for hurricane victims, helping to support the Red Cross and ultimately funding 31 missions to the Bahamas.

Any recruiter trying to attract Gen Z and Millennial talent will tell you that CSR is a huge attraction for this age group. The younger generations are socially conscious, and they want to work for employers that share these same values. By showcasing your company’s CSR offerings in the signature space, you’ll be able to better recruit the talent that shares these same views and help support local causes to give back to your community, as well.  To learn more about Kforce’s success with e-mail signatures, click here.

These are just a few of the instances when e-mail signatures were successfully used in the recruiting process. Have you tried this strategy at your company? If so, share your results in the comment section below!