Recruitment marketing is one of the most misunderstood markets in talent acquisition. Companies are increasing their investment in solutions that can help them engage and connect with individuals before they apply. But, too often, they don’t know what they are looking for in a provider. It doesn’t help when some solution providers are competing in a market where they do not belong.

Recruitment marketing has been an important research initiative for us this year. We are very excited to launch our latest index report on the recruitment marketing space this Thursday, March 9. Not only do we define what a recruitment marketing platform is but we are providing in-depth analysis and highlighting key differentiators of the leading providers in this space. This is not a ranking report. It’s a report to provide clarity around a market that plays a critical part of any talent acquisition strategy.

Below are some of the Top Trends we found in this year’s report.

The Need for Greater Simplicity: Despite the growth in this market, most companies are unsure how they should leverage a recruitment marketing platform. Many of these solutions are designed for modern marketers, and recruiters can be wary of changing processes and adopting new technology. While the functionality of a recruitment marketing platform is user-friendly, these solutions are not always intuitive for talent acquisition professionals. Too often, organizations invest in a recruitment marketing platform and use limited functionality. Providers need to help their customers by finding the balance between robust marketing functionality and a simple user experience.

Services Take Two Forms: Services are now becoming embedded in many technology deals. Customers have specific expectations about what they will get from their providers and, in order to keep customer satisfaction high, services need to be included. Services are either tactical (running campaigns, events, content) or transformational (change management, process optimization or adoption, and ongoing support).

The Cost is Justified: Some organizations are hesitant to purchase a recruitment marketing platform because of the cost of investing in these systems. Some companies spend more on their recruitment marketing solution than they do on the ATS. The cost becomes justified when considering the value of these solutions in replacing not only disparate technology providers but also services and advertising providers. By consolidating all the spending that goes into attracting talent, many organizations actually find that they are reducing costs.

The Opportunity in the Mid-Market: The majority of the providers in this report are targeting the same market: enterprise and global enterprise. Enterprise companies such as GE, PwC, Schneider Electric, and others have been quick to adopt these solutions. Yet, midmarket organizations with 2500 employees or less have many of the same challenges when competing for talent. These solutions can provide immediate value to the candidate experience, efficiency, and time-to-fill, and it is just a matter of time before providers start to move down market.

Artificial Intelligence is a Must-Have: Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a fad or a passing trend in recruitment marketing. Providers are using AI to help companies stay informed about what content engages candidates, the campaigns that are most effective, and the likelihood of someone applying for a position. These systems use AI to help recruiters and candidates make better decisions around the right fit for their organization – while optimizing cost and results.

Check back with us Thursday to see the nine providers that met with criteria for this year’s report and how you can download your copy for free.