If you didn’t happen to catch part one of my series, the basic gist is that companies need to be thinking about total rewards as a marketing effort that helps convert employees into happy, engaged, lasting team members.

But what does that mean for someone who’s not even on the team yet?

Total Rewards marketing is the next step in the evolution of total compensation—and especially important during the offer stage. Let’s be honest: a static PDF offer is pretty lackluster. After all, it usually isn’t very personalized to your candidate, and it can do your company a disservice by not fully communicating all that your offer has to, well, offer.

When you engage candidates as though they are customers and make benefits the focus of your marketing approach, candidates see the full value of your offer and you end up with higher quality hires who don’t drop off right at the last moment or join the team feeling less than excited. Win-win.

Competition for Talent Is Fierce

A Hiring Tsunami. The 2021 Rush. The War for Talent. No matter how you describe it, there’s no question that the competition to attract and close top talent is fiercely raging on.

If you want to stand out, you need to create an experience from the very beginning. Apply your total rewards marketing efforts to recruiting and draw parallels between the customer experience and the candidate experience. Think about it this way: If you have a bad experience at a store, what are the chances you’ll buy anything or much less be a repeat customer? A recent Forbes article summed it up nicely: The companies that prioritize their candidates and do everything in their power to make them happy and motivated will be the winners in this new era of hiring.

Positive, customized total rewards marketing experiences can help you attract, engage and delight candidates through the entire recruitment process, ensuring they convert to employees at the end.

Candidates Have Developed an Eye for Branding

Sleek and shiny Apple products, streamlined user interfaces, branding and good design are everywhere. Chances are your candidates have noticed. If you’ve put your company’s image on the backburner, especially as it relates to your candidate recruitment, let this be a call to arms to move it up to the front of the queue.


Because good branding shows candidates that you care about your business and your mission, which in turn means you’ll care about them. A rich, web-based total rewards experience that enlightens candidates to your values, mission and culture—bolstered by good branding—can be a game-changer for your recruiting efforts.

Employer branding is typically discussed at the ‘attract’ stage of recruitment (thanks to sites like Glassdoor and others). However, applying that same level of attention during all steps of the hiring process can ensure a smooth transition from one stage to the next.

Total Rewards Marketing for Candidates

Bringing all these concepts together—treating candidates as key constituents, approaching total rewards as a marketing effort, and doing it all with good branding—those are just some of the reasons why I’m so excited about CandidateRewards, our purpose-built recruitment software that allows you to bring real value to your candidate offers (which you can try for free now with our new CandidateRewards Xpress).

When you send a static offer, your only strategy is hope. Send it to an email and cross your fingers they don’t miss it, dismiss it or counter because they can’t see the full value. But with a hyper-personalized offer through a dynamic offer platform, you can send offers that stand out and see where candidates have spent time browsing. Using metrics and tracking, you can tailor your follow-up messages.

Did they spend time on the career paths page? Talk about how your company fosters growth. Were they enamored with the culture section? Be prepared to share stories and ask questions about how your values align. Did they drill down on the personalized total compensation page? Be ready to discuss the details of their comp package.

With CandidateRewards, you can easily show, not tell, your total value. Turn a boring (but vital) stage of the hiring process from a PDF email attachment into a fully customized experience that goes above and beyond to sell your company to future team members. Track metrics and tailor conversations so you can spend less time creating and sending offers and more time welcoming new hires.

The bottom line is that when you treat your total rewards efforts and offer letters as a dynamic, tailored marketing outreach that links to an online offer experience, you provide an engagement opportunity along with the analytics to transform the hiring process and get the right people for your business.

Ray O’Donnell is the founder and CEO of TotalRewards Software. To learn more about effectively marketing total rewards to employees, executives and candidates, get a free trial of TotalRewards Software today.