Not Skill Marketing Your Candidates?

You’re missing out!

You may be thinking: “Skill marketing? Heck – we’re struggling to recruit candidates for our open job orders right now.”

I get it – recruiting is a huge challenge for most of our clients. But believe it or not, proactively marketing talented people who’ve already registered with you can help ease recruiting challenges in several ways:

  • Building your employment brand. When you skill-market candidates, it demonstrates your commitment to job seekers’ success – by doing more to get them placed.
  • Keeping your best people working for you. By lining up new assignments, projects or contracts for top performers before their current gig ends, you keep them out of competitors’ clutches.
  • Showcasing the depth of your talent pool. High performers want to align themselves with the best staffing partners. If your firm features exceptional candidates on its website and other places, talented job seekers (active and passive) will take notice – and be more likely to apply themselves.
  • Generating more high-quality referrals. Everyone (employers and job seekers) exposed to your skill-marketing program will view your organization as one that places exceptional talent – and be more likely to refer other talented people to you.

What’s more, developing skill-marketing tools and processes now will put you in a better position when the next economic downturn hits. Instead of scrambling to generate orders, you’ll have a finely tuned machine already in place to help you drive business.

skill marketing your candidatesYour Competitors Are Already Skill Marketing Their Best People

You should be, too! Here are a few ways to proactively market the talented candidates you’ve worked so hard to recruit:


  • For each candidate, construct a list of companies that may require someone with their skills – and for which the candidate has an interest in working. Train recruiters to call appropriate decision makers in each organization and have a brief conversation that highlights:
    • The candidate’s success profile. Don’t just pitch a list of positions they’ve held; explain what’s in it for the employer. Touch on measurable results achieved, unique skills/experience, exceptional soft skills, and the types of problems they could solve for the employer.
    • The candidate’s desire to work for the employer. The beauty of skill marketing is that candidates are already interested in working for the company.
  • If you’re skill-marketing candidates one-on-one, skip the hard sales tactics. Focus instead on generating interest, by using an opener like:
    • “I’m calling you under rather unusual circumstances. (Briefly describe your company and role). I recently met an exceptional (insert type of candidate), who is currently looking for their next opportunity. After undergoing our rigorous screening and testing process, this individual asked me to make discreet inquiries on their behalf to a handful of companies, including yours, that could benefit from their unique expertise.”


  • Add a Top Candidate page to your website. Include a photo and success profile (see overview above) for each candidate.
  • Promote your top talent in your e-newsletter.
  • Skill-market candidates one-on-one, via email, to select employers.
  • Feature and promote candidate profiles on your social media pages.

Set the Stage for Success

  • Train recruiters to select individuals with marketable/in-demand skills, solid references, and reasonable pay expectations.
  • Get each candidate’s approval before skill-marketing them. Candidates should be available for interviews (if applicable) and ready to accept a new assignment/position within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Make responding easy. No matter how or where an employer learns about a top candidate, you must provide a simple method for them to: learn more about the individual; view their resume; request an interview; or access profiles of other highly desirable candidates.
  • Start small, testing one or two methods for marketing a handful of candidates. Once you refine your program and learn what tactics work best, work on expanding your scope and marketing channels.

Skill Marketing Is Smart Business

With the unemployment rate near historic lows, placeable candidates will remain in short supply. Proactively marketing the great people who have registered with your firm is a smart way to maximize the return on the recruiting investment you’ve already made in these individuals.

Mandy Wittschen Haley Marketing GroupGuest Author: Mandy Wittschen, Haley Marketing Group

Mandy Wittschen is a marketing strategist with Haley Marketing Group, the largest marketing firm in the world dedicated to servicing the recruitment and staffing industry. Agency services include website development, mobile-optimized job portal, social media, blog writing, email marketing, SEO, PPC, corporate identity, strategy, reputation management and more.


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