Why Don’t Companies Recruit Employees Like They Market Customers?

Most companies these days rely on the Internet for marketing and sales. To accomplish this they use combinations of e-commerce, customer relationship management (CRM) software, email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and live chat to create a positive customer experience.

But when it comes to recruiting employees, many of these same businesses are functioning in the Stone Age. When an applicant lands on their company website, many businesses still ask interested candidates to “send your resume to jobs@abccompany.” If the job seeker calls the business direct, they are again reminded to email their resume. These companiesRecruit Smarte, Hire Faster Free Webinar offer little information about what it is like to work for the company, bland job descriptions, no company or employee pictures, and no customer support.

A few more “advanced” businesses might offer an “apply now” button which sends the applicant to apply elsewhere, such as Careerbuilder, Monster, or Craigslist. While these job boards are still integral strategies in acquiring candidates, sending the applicant away from your company website is the equivalent of sending your customers to Amazon to buy your product. 

If anyone suggested that same strategy to the VP of Sales and Marketing, they’d be fired on sight. But when it comes to recruiting, the first thing that comes to mind is to send a prospective “internal customer” to a third-party website where many of their competitors are pitching other and often better job opportunities.  How crazy is that?

For those businesses still stuck marketing and selling to an analog and print audience, their days are numbered.  The same goes for recruiting employees.

Nearly everyone agrees that once a customer lands on your site, the goal is to keep them there. Companies build customer lists by collecting email addresses and other personal data all the time. They build relationships by sending newsletters and special offers periodically. They engage customers and prospects on Facebook and Twitter even though the customer might not be ready to buy today.

So why don’t companies follow the same strategy with job applicants?

From that question, many others pop up:

  1. Why don’t companies create recruiting sites the same way they do marketing and e-commerce sites? Aren’t job seekers potential customers too?
  2. Why re-create recruiting campaigns every time there is a job opening? Why not collect job candidate data even when you don’t have an opening and develop a talent pool that can be nurtured?
  3. Why do companies insist on sending job seekers away to third-party sites to apply for jobs but would never consider such a strategy for customers? Don’t they know that once a candidate arrives on third party job boards, the candidate might get distracted or find another opportunity? Besides, an application on a third party site is available to all your competitors.  An application submitted through a company applicant processing system is exclusive to the company. You wouldn’t share your customer data with your competitor. Why do it with your job applicants?

Click here to learn more about creating a company recruiting website.


Ira S Wolfe


  1. David Hunt PE January 4, 2015 at 4:07 pm -

    There’s another reason to retain control of the candidate on your site – control of the process. There is a LOT of anger at the dehumanizing nature of such online applications, which can turn people off from applying.


    • admin January 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      David – Agreed. Technology is just a tool. You can use it as a craftsman does or abuse it. The application process itself can be dehumanizing with or without technology. But it’s also becoming the norm due to many circumstances including increased diligence many companies now apply and the high unemployment. I agree employers MUST use the technology in a humanistic way but if an applicant doesn’t apply, then he has no chance of getting the job either.

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