150 Days Lead Time – What Would You Do?

150 Days Lead Time – What Would You Do?

February 19, 2019
For most people, 150 days lead time seems mythical. For our customers, it's the norm. So we asked Recruitment Marketing Experts SMRS what they would do with it!

Having worked in employer marketing for more than 10 years, I understand how difficult it is becoming to attract the right people. Skills shortages, cultural fit, diversity, a lack of active candidates are just a few of the challenges our clients are facing. 

So, when I was asked to write a blog about what I’d do if I had 150 days lead time of a recruitment campaign my initial thoughts were: 

  1. Take a holiday 

  2. Buy everyone in the agency a drink to celebrate 

  3. Sit back and relax 

  4. _T__hink__ _rather than react.  

And I’d still have plenty of time to spare!   

In a shorter space of time than 150 days we’ve developed an employer brand (including research and creative development, video and photo shoots, guidelines creation and a fully blown attraction toolkit of assets), designed, built and launched a website. Whilst planning, buying and activating an attraction campaign for a client to support with the recruitment of thousands of candidates throughout the UK.  

So, if I had 150 days lead time of a recruitment campaign, I would… 

Take the usual thorough brief to understand why the client needs to recruit, what the role/s is/are, how many people they need to recruit, in which location(s), what they’ve done to recruit in the past – successfully or otherwise, what challenges they face with attraction in general and for this/these role/s specifically, who their ideal candidate would be – not just from an experience and ability to do the job perspective but the type of person that would fit in with the team and company – and what their offer is to these ideal candidates, from basic salary and benefits through to cultural diversity, environment, values, CSR and development. 

Based on the answers to the above I’d then engage with our Insight team to look at the research we could carry out to help answer the brief. Starting with whether this person exists! And if so, how many of them are there for us to target, where do they live, what media do they consume (for both personal and careers use), what messages will resonate with them and what’s their preferred method of communication? I’d also task them with carrying out research in to the market to understand what the competition is like for these candidates, what other companies are offering and what my client can/needs to offer to compete or differentiate.  

Dependent on both the brief and findings from the insight I’d then formulate an approach to attraction. Working with our Delivery team and Digital experts to ensure we utilise the right channels to communicate with our target audience, and our Content and Tech teams to make sure that there is further content available for them to find out more about the role and company as a whole on the careers site, and that the application method is suitable for the audience.  

And before going live with any activity I’d not only ensure that all of it was tagged so we could monitor the performance of each channel, but that the candidate journey was fit for purpose – what comms go out after a candidate applies and in what format? Is the screening process automated, does it take place over the phone, online or in person? What format is the first stage interview going to take? And the second one? Are there any values-based questions being asked? How will unconscious bias be dealt with? How will unsuccessful candidates be communicated with? What information do we want to communicate to them to give the best possible experience so whether they are successful or not they leave with a positive attitude towards the company and leave positive reviews and/or recommend peers for future vacancies?  

And for the successful candidate(s), what does the onboarding process look like? What are the key milestones within the first 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and beyond?  

And, most importantly, at all touchpoints, from the first targeted social post they read or web banner we serve to candidates throughout the application process and beyond, I’d ensure the client’s EVP is front and centre and consistent throughout.  


We understand employer marketing. We know how challenging it can be. And we come up with plenty of smart and innovative ways to help all kinds of organisations find, keep, motivate and engage their kind of people. 

Our team loves helping businesses tell their story of why they’re a great employer. They’re equally excited about finding ways to attract great candidates for specific roles. 

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