This post was updated in June 2019.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the recruiting and HR fields expand to include a range of new expertise. Areas like talent attraction and employee relations are giving rise to new career paths for HR professionals, and with them come new knowledge, expectations and practices.

Who could have predicted  that our field would include job titles like Social Recruiting Specialist, Talent Brand Manager or Director of Talent Attraction?

At their core, these specializations are about knowing your audiences and crafting messages that resonate with them. Knowing your audience requires strategy and data, and in talent attraction in particular, recruiters now have access to audience insights that weren’t available even a few years ago. Marketers have built up a number of practices combining art and science, that are now equally relevant to how talent attraction teams operate.

Whether you have someone dedicated on your team or just added another bullet point to your list of responsibilities, here are three marketing principles your organization can implement now:

Make data-driven decisions

The best marketing teams use data to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs, and the best recruiters do the same. Tracking not only source metrics but also dimensions like time to hire, cost per hire and quality of hire are the step stones to identifying which recruitment channels are working for you, and which aren’t.

And remember: There are more conversions than simply applying to the job. Early stage conversions may be following or engaging with your social recruiting profiles or joining your talent community.

Providing the right “why” content when you post a job is critical to nurturing relationships with candidates. When the timing is right for your prospect’s buying cycle, they are likely to start researching your company’s reputation as an employer or set up a custom job alert before they decide to apply.

Data checkpoint: If you have the advertising search results, views and clicks but aren’t seeing the applications, your job description is likely the cause of your candidate drop off. Think about your product —are you selling tangible benefits to the audience or simply stating a list of your job requirements and features?

Your team may already be highly analytical or on its way there. Regardless of where you are on your journey, there are free resources from Indeed that can help. And, there are outside data that can provide important context to your internal metrics: like the fact that 50% of employed candidates were attracted to a job because it offered flexible hours.

Hone your writing skills for search as well as sizzle

Yes, you need to be more data driven, but where do you get your data and which metrics help you reach more of your audience? To connect with inbound candidates, start with search. Simply put: Do the keywords that people are entering lead them to your job post?

Your Job Analytics report from Indeed can show you the top search terms that candidates are using to search for jobs in your industry. You can use these insights to hit the right terms and help your writing attract more of the best-fit candidates. Contact the team to get access to your customized Job Analytics report.

Indeed’s research shows that job postings between 700 and 1,500 words receive 25% more applications than job postings with fewer words. As long-time opponent of wordy job descriptions, you could knock me over with a feather from your white hat. But the data doesn’t lie.

Make sure your job titles and descriptions are clear and thorough so candidates have all the information they need to decide whether this job is right for them. That said, don’t bury the lead. Longer recruiting posts mean you need to set your hook and set it early to keep people reading.

Imagine your prospective employees are consumers of work. If you want them hungry and ready to sink their teeth into a new job, think about conveying the emotional and intellectual challenges and feelings of your employment experience. You wouldn’t simply read an ingredient label to them, expecting them to whet their appetite. You’re selling a warm, nourishing and delicious meal that will give them the energy to tackle their day. Evoke emotion, then inspire action.

Use candidate personas to strengthen your employer brand

While you’re writing your job descriptions to be as accurate and informative as possible, the picture of the perfect candidate should begin to form in your mind. This is where you’ll begin adapting your employer brand message to meet the needs of different talent audiences.

Recruitment marketing: Don’t do it just because everyone says you should. Do it because it’s just good recruiting. 

The most productive marketers don’t try to sell to everyone—they carefully target prospects who closely match the characteristics of their most desirable customer groups. Similarly, recruiters should focus on candidates who have the specific skills, competencies and attributes that the company requires to achieve its business goals and objectives. Here comes some of that artistic approach. There are 24 hours in each and every day and our personalities shine outside of the daytime shift. That’s sixteen hours of grit, passion, humor and humility to fortify your storytelling toolkit.

Candidate personas can help with this. These are profiles of fictional people who illustrate the qualities and characteristics of ideal candidates, as well as where they go to find information about career opportunities. For example, candidate personas may be developed for different roles, such as engineers or customer service representatives, as well as for different levels of seniority and tenure, like frontline managers and directors.

Trying to reach sales people? The best hunters aren’t afraid of quotas. In fact, they want to know what they need to do to succeed and how they’ll be rewarded. So don’t be afraid to tell them in a way that grabs their attention.