There’s a Reason Why No One’s Responding to Your Hiring Billboard

Your recruitment billboard is not working. Here’s what to do.

Drive any well-traveled highway and you’ll be inundated with recruiting billboards. In fact, I counted five “Now Hiring!” billboards on a thirty-mile stretch alone. The problem is most of these billboards don’t work. The first rule of any good advertisement is it needs to stand out to be effective. If a billboard looks like every other billboard out there, it gets lost in the noise. Here’s a common scenario I see while working with B2B companies when it comes to talent attraction:

CEO: We need more employees to ship all the orders we have. 

HR Manager: I’ve seen a lot of billboards advertising job openings. We should try that.

CEO: That sounds like a great idea! When can the billboard be up?

HR Manager: I’ll call the billboard company right now and see what they can do.

VP of Marketing one month later: Did someone see that we’re running a billboard?

It’s not the HR manager’s fault; the right people aren’t talking to each other. 

Attracting and retaining qualified employees is the #1 challenge facing many businesses today. The same old approach to recruiting isn’t working. Forward-thinking companies are looking at their employer brand for the answers.

As Amazon’s Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

This doesn’t just apply to attracting customers. The same holds true for reaching potential employees. 

An employer brand is the sum of the visual and non-visual aspects that give individuals a reason to believe in an organization and dedicate their careers to fulfilling its mission.

Every company has a brand. The ones that are winning in the Great Resignation take control of their brand narrative to strengthen relationships with existing employees and appeal to job candidates. Here are a few tips for developing an effective employer branding strategy:

1. Find Your Why

According to McKinsey, employees expect their jobs to bring a significant sense of purpose to their lives. Companies that have a clear reason for being appeal to employees who share their values. The first step is getting everyone at the company on the same page about the company’s purpose. That means bringing leadership, operations, human resources, and marketing together to define the company’s “Why”. Simon Sinek’s Start With Why exercise is a great way to do this. His process helps teams articulate the reason organizations exist and helps businesses highlight their unique culture. 

2. Bring in Marketing

Don’t leave human resources alone on an island. Businesses must stop thinking about recruiting as a job for HR and team up with marketing. Companies need to get creative to attract the right type of employees, and that’s where marketing comes in. Instead of a generic “Now Hiring!” advertisement, enlist the help of the marketing department or an outside agency to develop a multifaceted campaign to reach applicants via billboards, radio, television, social media posts, and paid social media ads to ensure your job posting is seen and responded to. Take the time to create a stand-out careers page on your website that highlights the company’s culture and benefits. Finally, drive candidates to the page using a memorable URL like for the best results.

3. Pay Attention to What’s Working

Marketing’s job is to lead applicants to HR’s door, the same way sales and marketing work together to deliver leads. When HR and marketing are aligned, that’s when the magic happens. Ask applicants where they heard about the job. Was it a Google search or a Facebook ad? Create a dashboard to track where job applicants came from. Prepare a report that looks at website, paid advertising, and social media analytics. Meet regularly as a team to review the results and adjust the campaign. Monitoring a hiring campaign’s activities will help determine how successful it has been and will guide future efforts.

The truth is, the rules of the game have changed. By developing a cohesive employer branding strategy, companies are setting themselves apart from the hundreds of other businesses competing for the same employees. If you do the same, before you know it, you’ll have the right candidates knocking down your door.

Jason is a Partner and the CEO at Revel, a B2B marketing agency. He is a diehard baseball fan who loves his Detroit Tigers. Family vacations often revolve around seeing games in different MLB ballparks around the country – they’ve been to 21 so far and counting. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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