A Guide to Recruitment Marketing Strategies on a Small Budget

How to get ahead and stand out in the recruitment marketing world to find the best talent—even on a small budget.

5 min read

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Finding top talent to add to the team requires a lot of time, energy, and money. Recruiting best practices are always changing, making it hard to keep up and know what actually works. 

How can you get ahead and stand out in the recruitment marketing world to find the best talent? 

The best recruitment marketing strategies attract and drive individuals to apply to the open positions that a company wants filled online, but there are many ways, on and off line, to send applicants to your website—even on a budget. 

Here are budget friendly recruitment strategies to help companies stand out and reach the best prospective employees.

1. Increase Online Visibility

Having a strong online presence is the best way for prospects to find a company. People search for businesses, products, and jobs online where they find information and results fast. Showing up on the first page of a search result extends a company’s reach to a wider audience. A company’s website and social media channels should have cohesiveness to build credibility and to improve visibility in searches. 


In looking for talent to apply for jobs on your website, the careers section of the website needs to be optimized. A careers page streamlines the job search process for prospects who visit so they can find all the information about the position, company, and its culture in one place. 

An effective career section will:

  • Be in the main navigation of the website. Make it clear and easy for prospects to find what they’re looking for no matter where they are on the site. 
  • Speak to company culture. Show pictures of employees in the workplace, participating in team building exercises, or at company sponsored events. What features does your work environment offer that are unique? What traditions does the team practice? Prospects should be able to get a sense of what it would be like to work at a company.
  • Have a mission statement. This mission statement addresses why the company exists. What are the core values that drive the employees to work hard every day?
  • Have materials for career paths. Provide prospects with clear outlines about where their career could go if they join the team and the industry. Career pathing can also help prospects self-analyze if it’s a good fit or not. Resources such as pamphlets, infographics, or eBooks provide transparency into career development opportunities, which can make or break an applicant’s decision to apply.

Social Media

Social media is a great and inexpensive way to reach prospects. It gives companies a platform to share job postings and encourage conversations that lead to job seekers applying for open positions.

Keep in mind that each channel has different best practices to post effectively. 

Best practices:

  • Share photos and videos. Give prospects the chance to see what company events and day-to-day life look like. Company culture is an important factor that many prospective employees look at when job hunting. 
  • Link to the career section of the website. It’s crucial to make finding your website easy for prospects who like what they see on social media and want to learn more.
  • Have employees post on their individual pages. This broadens who’s reached; it opens the opportunity for someone to recommend a peer for the job. 
  • Be conversational.  Save the legal talk for the listing on the website. This creates a friendly and inviting tone so prospective employees feel comfortable engaging.
  • Vary the language. Make hiring posts captivating and exciting. Let prospects know what they’ll bring to the company, how exciting the job is, perks offered, and how much the company values their employees. 

2. Promote In Person Connections

One of the best ways to find prospective employees is to connect with them in small groups, one-on-one, or through a video meeting. It’s easier for both parties involved to see if they’re a good fit for the company and answer any questions. 


Before COVID-19, events such as trade shows, conferences or career fairs gave companies the opportunity to show prospects an intriguing aspect of the company. Events boosted brand awareness and gave a human face to a company. 

Now, the popularity of virtual events is growing rapidly to accommodate those who can’t travel to events, live too far away, or need to comply with new social distancing requirements. Video conferencing programs, like Zoom, make it possible for companies to connect with attendees. Virtual events open up opportunities for companies to connect with prospects all over the world. Get on a first name basis with prospective employees to create a contact and follow up on after the event. These events are also cost efficient because there’s no need to book a large venue or hire temporary staff to help set up the booths. 

Promotional Products

One effective way to attract prospective employees is to have giveaways—even for events that are now virtual like a trade show or career fair. Send a prospect a promo item before or after meeting with them virtually to make the connection tangible. 

Studies show that promotional items:

  • Help prospects remember the brand
  • Improve brand image

3. Communicate Directly to Prospects

Another recruiting method is direct communication to prospects. Companies are able to extend the search beyond their network for a larger pool of prospective employees. 

Direct Mail

A postcard or pamphlet is a direct and tangible way to get in front of prospects. Direct mail is a successful recruitment method because it:

  • Has an 80% open rate
  • Doesn’t require a prospect reaching out; mail to anyone with an address
  • Reaches relevant prospects based on demographics and interests; can incorporate analytics for an even more targeted approach

With direct mail, be sure to keep your brand recognizable to avoid blending in with junk mail. Be impactful, but not overly wordy; postcards with visuals are great for getting the message across. Provide a link on any direct mail to a hashtag or landing page specific for the campaign—it’s the only way to track traffic going to the landing page as a result of the mail efforts—and proves ROI. 


Emailing is inexpensive, easy to send, and testable. The key to an effective recruitment email is not being spammy. It also allows for segmentation and targeting. Get lists from partners to add to the mailing list and increase reach.

Searching for prospects on LinkedIn and finding their contact information is another way to directly reach out to those who fulfill the job qualifications.

Social Advertising

A small budget goes a long way in the realm of social advertising when targeting the right persona. Most social media platforms have the ability to create campaigns and allow control over the budget and target audience. For example, a company can run Facebook ads for as little as $50 a month.

Ads that promote company accolades make hiring posts captivating and, if boosted, reach a larger audience. For example, post about how the company won an innovation award and in the same post ask if readers want to join the team. This shows the company is credible, achieves success, and wants the reader to join and share future successes.

Pro Tip: Each channel is different and posts should be tailored to the specific best practices and uses. 

4. Advertise Company Culture

Posting photos of employees working in unique office spaces or videos of company-sponsored activities that promote company culture attracts the right prospects. If a small company posts about how tight-knit the employees are, job-seekers who are searching for a larger company won’t move forward, saving time and money.

Culture is the foundation of a company and establishes that it values and recognizes that employees are essential. 

Key Takeaways:

The combination of multiple methods that work for your team and company will make finding prospects easier. How a company can stand out and attract the right potential employees:

  • Have a strong online presence and designated careers section on the website
  • Utilize social media to reach out to prospects
  • Host virtual events
  • Attend events and give away appropriate promotional items
  • Have direct mail and email campaigns
  • Use social advertising
  • Promote company culture

There’s no need for a large budget to stand out and find the best talent.

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