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We Want You: Marketing for Talent Attraction

There’s been an undeniable shift in workplace priorities in recent years. In a matter of weeks, corporate offices went from bustling and boisterous to desolate and deserted, forcing many employers to become…selective about the assets they invested in. For some, that meant trading in-person gatherings for high-tech virtual meeting options, downsizing their brick and mortar or even going all-in on remote work. For others, it meant organizational restructures and yes, dreaded layoffs. And it all led to one of the most significant spikes in unemployment rates this generation had ever seen.

But almost as quickly as the world “shut down,” it has skyrocketed “back to normal” as employers and staff figure out just what that new normal means for them. At least one common trend has emerged, regardless of geographical location or industry: employers need talent, desperately. And for many that means putting their mouth where their marketing money is and investing in talent attraction campaigns.

According to a recent survey by AMIN Worldwide (Simantel’s agency network), a staggering 93% of employer branding and recruitment efforts were at least slightly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meaning it quite literally affected nearly every company, from the outside in, in some way. Since the Advertising and Independent Network (AMIN) includes more than 50 agencies from across 30 different countries, we can confidently say that talent attraction is an issue around the world.

With so many leaders needing talent these days (in some cases, more than they need sales), marketers around the world are trading quantity of sales KPIs for quality of people KPIs. Just shy of 70% of agencies in the AMIN network reported that their clients have asked them for help with employer branding and recruitment campaigns. And Simantel is one of them.

Choose Greater Peoria: A Success Story

It’s no secret we have a deep love for our hometown Peoria, Illinois. We’ve talked about it again and again (and again). So when the Gilmore Foundation asked if we’d join their initiative to invest in our region through attracting top talent to live, work and play here, it was an immediate yes.

Together, Simantel, Gilmore and over 24 local businesses helped launch the Choose Greater Peoria campaign, a collaborative effort to elevate Peoria’s brand, empower local businesses through education, attract talent to the area and cultivate community engagement and relationships.

In just four months, the team produced an impressive array of content – from brand materials, blog posts and social media efforts to HR trainings, press releases and events. We launched a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy that includes a website (, marketing toolkits, a media plan, influencer partnerships, CRM integration and so much more.

While still in its infancy, Choose Greater Peoria has ignited a transformative fire that is organically revitalizing our very own “hidden gem” of a community. The efforts have resulted in over 22.3 million media impressions, 40 pieces of earned media and press coverage, robust social media followings and 150+ new leads for mid- and senior-level career opportunities. This campaign has been a testament to the power of talent attraction campaigns and how joining arms with your community can lead to big wins for all.

Different Approach, Different KPIs

Talent attraction campaigns have a very different audience – and very different stakeholders – than your typical sales-focused campaigns, so brands and marketers must remember that success looks quite different, too. According to the AMIN survey results, almost 80% of agencies measure the success of these campaigns on the quality of candidates, rather than a number driven KPI we are often tasked with. Access to data like the lift in applications and the percentage of qualified leads ensures that your marketing teams can fully optimize recruitment campaigns and continue to attract top talent. And this means that open communication with HR teams is vital throughout the campaign lifecycle.

Success is about more than just sales – and brands who invest in building up their workforce through talent attraction campaigns will reap the rewards of a strong foundation and find success far beyond the sales pipeline.

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