How Marel Transformed the Candidate Journey with Talent Marketing

Jenn Thomas

Candidate outreach is part of the daily life for a recruiter. But are you missing out on an opportunity for job seekers to find you? 
 

That’s what the global recruiting team at Marel, a leading global provider of advanced food processing systems and services, discovered. The revelation propelled them to shift their focus to talent marketing as a way to connect with quality job seekers and fuel their pipelines faster. 
 

Employing approximately 6,300 employees across more than 30 countries, Marel is a company that is focused on growth—growth to enhance their product offerings and expand into more markets around the world over the next decade. To help accomplish their goals, Marel’s talent acquisition team needed to ensure they had the right processes, technology, and people in place to support their initiatives.


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Rebuilding a Solid Foundation

According to Marlies van de Stolpe, HR Director Global Supply Chain at Marel, the team faced several challenges that were standing in their way of delivering a good candidate experience. 
 

Challenge #1: Too many career sites

Due to Marel’s expansive global reach, the company had 10 different career sites. Although many countries wanted their own site in their own language, they didn’t want the responsibility of maintaining it. The end result was that little was done to optimize content and user experience. As Marlies recalls, information was out of date, language issues cropped up, and the entire talent journey was not in line with one of Marel’s critical core values—unity. 
 

Solution: Consolidate career sites

The TA team wanted to combine their disparate career sites into one site that could track important data and be easily translated into different languages. Through Phenom, Marel is now able to host and maintain one consistent career site that entices visitors with compelling video, reviews, and how-to-get-hired tips while capturing data across Danish, Dutch, and Icelandic languages.
 

Challenge #2: High applicant drop-off

Prior to Phenom, Marlies reveals that Marel’s candidate drop-off rate was 70%. Without analytics in place, she and her team couldn’t tell where the majority of drop offs occurred.  
 

Solution: Use data-driven insights to decrease drop off

Phenom’s robust analytics helped Marlies’ team gain insight into where drop-off was happening so they could adjust their strategies. Marlies credits Phenom’s user-friendly one-page apply flow for helping to reduce their drop-off rate to just 15-20%—a huge improvement over previous numbers. 
 

As the Marel team addressed these challenges, they found marketing to talent was essential to connect with best-fit candidates—but this meant changing their approach to traditional recruiting. Instead of operating as reactive recruiters, they needed to become proactive talent marketers. 

 

How to Transition From Reactive to Proactive Recruiting

Over the past 2 years, Marlies and Marel's TA team have learned invaluable lessons while shifting from a reactive to a proactive recruiter mindset in order to improve their candidate experience. If you’re looking to make the switch, the following tips can help:
 

1. Think like a candidate

Marlies recommends “stepping into a candidate’s shoes” to gain  insight into a job seeker’s perspective through every step of the process. Before Phenom, “We were focusing on what we wanted to know about candidates instead of thinking through a really good candidate experience,” she says. For example, a question-heavy application gives recruiters more information, but it’s often at the expense of the job seeker’s time (and patience!).
 

When designing Marel’s new career site, her team created a sounding board for everyone from executives to new hires to share what they liked and disliked about the apply process and all the stages in between. Considering the search and apply preferences (manual entry, social apply, CV upload) of different employees was essential to shape the process and content of the site, she reveals. “And Phenom really helped with the layout,” Marlies adds, referring to convenient drag-and-drop widgets that allow on-the-fly customization to showcase pertinent information.
 

Marel career site screenshot of widgets

 

2. Take time to build your data

Detailed analytics are essential to successful talent marketing. Compiling good data takes time, so start measuring it immediately and track it continuously to reveal patterns or inconsistencies, advises Marlies. Then you can make smart, data-driven decisions to target leads appropriately. For example, Marel’s TA team is building an external social media marketing campaign based on data analyzed from last year to dictate their strategy.

 

3. Personalize targeted campaigns

People expect personalization in all their online interactions, and job seeking is no exception. Look at leads generated, and make sure you’re running specific campaigns to nurture them across multiple channels. For example, some job seekers are more likely to respond to SMS messages on their cell phones instead of emails. Others may prefer using a chatbot that lives on your career site to answer their questions and guide them to recommended jobs. And additional candidates may favor engaging on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook—both viable places to source candidates and generate leads.
 

Regardless of which audience you’re targeting, feature content that will capture and hold their attention, such as employee testimonials, videos, and thoroughly vetted FAQs. The longer a job seeker remains on your site, the better the odds of converting them into an applicant. 
 

Marel employee testimonial

 

4. Utilize campus recruiting

Recruiting at colleges and universities can provide a plethora of qualified candidates. But collecting candidate information at on-campus events is frequently disorganized and inefficient, as recruiters have to manually input collected resumes and potential leads later. 
 

Phenom’s events module for campus recruiting is an app that recruiters can conveniently access on their phones. It allows recruiters to promote events to leads in the CRM and pre-register them; send reminders and other timely communications; and easily scan attendees, add new prospects to the CRM with individual notes, and follow up. 
 

Screenshot of Events and Campus Recruiting

 

5. Leverage video frequently

Considering the TikTok phenomenon and the fact that more than 700,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube a day, it’s apparent video content is consumed at a staggering rate. Using it on your career site and in outbound messaging can provide an engaging, hyper-personalized experience for candidates. 
 


Some examples of how you can leverage video include: a brief post-apply video that includes next steps; asking candidates who progress to the interview phase to submit a short clip of how they exemplify a particular core value of your company; texting a fun video offer before the official letter is sent; and compiling a congratulatory video that surprises candidates on their first day. These special touches won’t go unnoticed and will help drive enthusiastic brand advocates.

 

As more recruiters and TA teams embrace a proactive talent marketing approach like the team at Marel, technology will prove instrumental in the process. Getting the right message to the right person at the right time requires strategy. Adopting automated technology that improves recruiter efficiency for simple tasks enables them to dedicate time to more meaningful work—like building quality relationships with the right candidates.
 


 

Learn more about Marel's recruiting success—hear their full story in our webinar here!