It may not be the first thing you think about as a company, but it can be some of the most important work you do — recruitment marketing. Afterall, it’s usually the employees that drive the culture and success of your company. Your organization is only as good as your people.

I’ve had the privilege of working on dedicated recruitment marketing for Aspen Dental for 3 years and running, not to mention the recruitment efforts at the companies I’ve worked for over the years. Here’s a Top 5 list of best practices to keep in mind when you’re recruiting:

  1. Make it personal: connect with them emotionally. Since we’re talking about a career (people spend more time at their jobs than anywhere else), not buying toilet paper, there needs to be a deep connection to your words and your images. Remember that people make decisions based primarily on an emotional, not rational, connection.
  2. Customize your messages: people like being recognized as individuals. It’s that much more powerful when you feel like someone is talking directly to you. This could be related to the type of job, position, location, aspirations, etc.
  3. Make them dream: don’t just talk about today, but talk about the future and possibilities. This is what gets them excited. Carry this through in all your communications, from your website down to your job posting. Where is the growth opportunity for them and for the company?
  4. Date before you get married: ask them for a conversation before a commitment. Think about what the calls-to-action on your communications drive to: are you asking them to apply or get to know you first? If they like you or your company, they’ll stick around for the details later.
  5. Culture is king: yeah, I’m talking about millennials, who will make up 75% of the total workforce soon (more on the millennial workforce here in Wired). It’s more important to them that they are proud of the company they work for than the amount of money they make. So make it clear what you stand for. How are you impacting the world beyond your company? It matters to them.

A lot of people do recruitment poorly and a handful do it well. Here’s an example of one of my favorite recruitment videos, full of personality and company culture, from Dropbox. And who wouldn’t love to see a muppets version of themselves?

A strong brand recruits the best people – is it time to evaluate your brand?

Read more about the importance of conducting a brand audit.