(Take this for what it is: an overview.)
Marketing enterprise software:
Marketing uses search, ads, content, and influencers to lead prospective buyers to a company’s website. There, they opt-in by requesting a demo with a sales rep.
Requesting a demo typically means that you click a button on the site, fill out a form, and schedule a call with a rep.
- Low friction
- Optimizes for a conversation
- Little pre-qualifying
- Mid to high intent
Additionally, almost every B2B website includes the ability to engage in a lightweight conversation via chat before moving to a formal demo request.
The buyer’s action itself is pretty simple and straightforward. The marketing that drives this action is quite complex.
Compare this to marketing a job to a mid to senior-level candidate:
The talent marketing team or the recruiting team lists open jobs on job boards and runs ads to further promote these jobs on job site platforms. This leads candidates to submit a job application.
Submitting a job application can be as simple as filling out a few fields or as tedious as having to create a user account in order to upload a resume and answer a series of painfully boring questions.
The buyer’s action is simple: Submit a job application. The process for doing so is often high friction.
- Mid-to high friction
- Optimizes for a job application (as opposed to a conversation)
- Lots of pre-qualifying (typically via a software algorithm that filters resumes)
- High intent (presumably)
- No chat option
On the surface, the recruiting process looks to have smarter filters. But if you look under the hood, the vast majority of those inbound applications are being ignored due to their lack of quality.
This is why the job buying experience cannot move in the direction that buying software has. The ability to drive qualified inbound job applications isn’t there.
Talent marketing is years behind product marketing. Most is amateur, at best. It’s successful at driving a high volume of low-quality job applications—and terrible and delivering a low volume of high-quality candidates to recruiters.
If talent marketing generated qualified applications, recruiting teams could remove all friction from the initial stage of the buying process and have one simple CTA: Schedule a conversation with a recruiter.
Recruiters could then “hand-deliver” a robust FAQ to the candidate as preparation before their call.
The outcome: a genuinely productive conversation for all parties involved. Aka a great use of everyone's time.
It’s blatantly obvious that companies have no clue how to market to talent.
And right now, their solution seems to be more recruiter spam.
P.S. For context, I believe that recruiting is most closely related to selling enterprise software.