This week’s blog aims to provide recruitment agencies across the world with 3 simple marketing tips that can be implemented with no cost other than time. COVID-19 has meant that even the most traditional hard-core, cold calling recruiters are now looking to digitalise some of their business development processes through marketing. I’ve had conversations with agency owners who have been in business since the 1980’s and have never invested in marketing up until now – most of them referring to themselves as “old school”.
The blog is targeted at senior recruitment leaders and marketing professionals working across the recruitment industry. The purpose will be to provide some tools and systems that could aid client and candidate attraction, as well as brand awareness.
One concern that most of my recruitment leader network share when it comes to marketing, is the fear of replacing human contact and losing productivity through hiding behind a computer screen. Which I completely understand, however, working in business development myself, I have learnt about the importance of a strong marketing function and how it can impact the amount of leads you generate. Ultimately, marketing is there to help, not to hinder business processes.
Personal Brand vs Company Branding
Before jumping into the tips, I wanted to briefly discuss a topic which I feel is really important. There are a number of specialists out there at the moment who are providing recruiters across the UK with training on how to improve their personal brand – this training is great and it’s leading to some really strong results.
However, unless working in rec2rec or executive search where the individual recruiter is much more important than the brand, I’d recommend ensuring that you have a slick marketing process in place pushing your company brand. This is particularly important if you are looking to scale your business in the future.
We’ve seen a number of scenarios where individuals have scaled a business using a strong personal brand, however, as the business has grown, their network and clients have not even known the company’s name.
So, the key takeaway point is that personal branding is incredibly important BUT do not let it be your only source of marketing!
Tip #1 How to get a return on investment from your marketing
I speak to many recruitment leaders who measure the success of their marketing activities based on how many likes, comments or shares they get via social media. Although these metrics are interesting and exciting, unfortunately they do not pay the bills and certainly do not lead to a return on investment!
When it comes to return on investment from a marketing perspective, it’s quite simple…total £ of leads generated divided by total cost of your marketing, then times this by 100. One thing that marketing is not responsible for is closing business, that is the role of your business development team!
But, taking a step back here’s a few approaches and ideas to generate leads…
- Conversion– in marketing we often use the term “conversion” which typically relates to when our audience complete an action relating to a targeted outcome. For example:
- Whitepaper download – we always encourage recruitment agencies to create industry related articles or specialist whitepapers. For example, “5 tips on how to recruit in X industry” or “3 tips for candidates looking for a role in X industry”. This provides agencies with an asset that will add value to their customers and ultimately something that they can “trade”. This typically comes in the form of building a landing page on the company website where the audience can submit their details (name, phone, email) in order to receive this paper – this works for both candidates and clients too!
- Salary surveys – similar to whitepapers, salary surveys can act as an asset for most agencies across the UK. They’re perfect for targeting Hiring Managers, along with candidates. Again, following on from the salary survey you’ll have the contact details of all participants who you can target to become your next candidate or client.
- Social media – when researching recruitment agencies, I come across plenty of company social media accounts where the agency is asking clients or candidates to “email X at hwright@b&H.com”. Unfortunately, humans are lazy and naturally, to complete that process seems a lot of effort. Therefore, any steps you can take to make this process easier for candidates and clients is more than likely to increase your chances of generating a lead. Instead of sharing email addresses, look to direct them to specific landing pages or “contact us” pages.
Tip #2 What to post on social media
An objection that I receive from recruitment leaders all over the world, is that they don’t know what to post on social media and therefore, they’re simply not active. This is a very fair point and it’s typically followed with “I don’t want to show off” etc.
The reality is for every single one of you that continues to think like this, you’re missing out on an opportunity to reach millions of people every single day.
As of March 10th 2020, there were 766 million LinkedIn users across the world
Here’s a few ideas on what to post across your company socials…
- Graphics – ensuring that you have clear and consistent brand guidelines (colours, typography etc). Look to create and share graphics that have job advertisements, meet the team, recognising key successes, client case studies, corporate social responsibility and charity activity etc.
- Industry related articles – every week, take some time to find interesting articles that relate to your given industry. E.g., if you work in logistics, you may find some articles on Brexit. Look to share these across your socials, however, limit the use of these as they typically drive traffic away from your website/platforms.
- Blogs – writing simple blogs such as this one are great for socials, as well as business development. Drop me a message on LinkedIn if you’d like some ideas on how to write a blog – I’d be happy to share a simple structure with you!
- Interactive PDF’s – create simple click through guides that provide your audience with some simple ideas and tips.
- Video – showing off your internal culture, sharing business updates or tips always seem to work well.
Tip #3 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is a slightly more technical piece of work, however, in Lehman’s terms it is ultimately where your company ranks in google. The two elements of SEO are referred to as on-site and off-site changes. On-site changes relate to things such as: links to your website, links away from your website, keywords and graphic quality. Off-site is all about how many other individuals and businesses share links back to your website – e.g., if you write a blog and they share it on their social media, this will improve your SEO.
SEO is completely free (unlike pay-per-click (PPC) which costs).
One limitation of SEO is that it is not a quick solution. It can take months, if not years, to improve your SEO and where you rank on google.
But when your SEO is strong, it has a key benefit of typically leading to larger contracts. This is mainly down to the fact that if a new HR Manager joins a business and they aren’t from that industry, they’re likely to search on google for the best recruiters. The higher you rank on google, the higher the chances are of you receiving that call. Also, if you rank higher it’s likely that you’ll be able to agree terms and be actively working on the role before other agencies even receive the brief.
Today’s blog has only scraped the barrel of marketing in the recruitment industry and in future weeks I’ll look to cover some further areas. Ultimately, the most important thing for recruiters who are looking at marketing initiatives, is to focus on return on investment – your three key success metrics should be client attraction, candidate attraction and brand awareness.
If you’d like to improve your agency’s marketing, then why not take advantage of our free marketing review? Simply follow the link below, submit your details and a member of our team will be in touch – it’s quick and simple!
Business Development Manager
Bristow and Hardy