8 Steps to Recruitment Marketing Success
Recruitment agencies are rapidly waking up to the realisation that marketing is becoming a critical element of ongoing business success and growth. You’ve only got to look at posts such as this from Australian recruitment commentator Greg Savage, who lists branding as one of the essential strands of the modern day recruiter’s DNA.
So as an Agency Director or Manager, how do you ensure your recruitment agency’s marketing plan is strong enough for your recruitment business? Well the answer is that there is no one-size fits all solution, however, all recruitment businesses share similar goals. In general, most agencies need to attract high quality and relevant candidates, to engage existing clients and to attract new clients. This means that there are many core marketing elements that can be implemented with a reasonable level of certainty that they will produce positive results.
As Asia Pacific’s leading recruitment marketing agency, we’re in a unique position to know what marketing activities work for recruitment purposes and how to implement these. Here are our top eight tips that you should consider as a Recruitment Director or Manager when putting together your marketing strategy for your recruitment business.
1. All or Nothing
For most this is probably obvious, but like everything else in your business, marketing requires investment. The levels of investment needed vary dramatically and you don’t always get what you pay for, but marketing success can’t be done without some cost or time investment. The largest cost is the person/company who will either build the marketing strategy, implement it or both. But there are other costs (either time or money) including: marketing charges from advertising channels, content creation and importantly managing your campaigns performance.
2. The 3 S’s
Ok really only one, Strategy. It sounds obvious, but without having a comprehensive strategy up-front your marketing success is largely going to be based on luck and will be even harder to measure. It is fine to adjust and change your initial strategy, but having something to follow with clear and measureable goals is essential. A good strategy should include accountability, an annualised activity plan, milestones, budget, selected suppliers and objectives. It is perfectly acceptable to start small and to then ramp up your activities and to also find it hard to predict in detail activities beyond the first 12 months. However it is important to have a high level long term plan that stretches at least 3 years into the future.
3. Hire Right
You may decide to hire a marketing resource before putting together your strategy together or once it is complete. Whatever you choose, ensure you hire the right person or company for your business. The most common agency marketing hire is an existing recruiter or administrator who has shown some interest in marketing. This tactic can be successful as they have at least some understanding of the recruitment sector, however, without clear marketing guidance they will either go through a long trial and error battle, or worse, fail. The other options are a marketing graduate, an experienced marketing professional or to outsource your marketing to a specialist agency (ahem). All have their merits, a graduate has some marketing knowledge, but will mostly lack commercial and recruitment skills. An experienced marketer will be more costly but will be commercial in their approach (be sure to check they have an extensive digital background), they will also need upskilling on the recruitment sector. A marketing agency has many resources available on tap, but will have varying levels of industry understanding and must be prepared to immerse themselves fully into your business.
This section is probably one of the most important, as it can save huge amounts of wasted time. Unlike earlier marketing activities such as print media, it is now extremely easy to view what other agencies are up to, not just in your local market but also globally. This means that somewhere in the world there is likely an agency similar to yours, tackling the exact same challenges. In addition, there are ideas that can be used for inspiration from agencies that aren’t alike but are leading their industry. If you’re looking for some inspiration take a look at this article we wrote on the top recruitment agencies for marketing. One top tip is to follow the agencies you identify as having a relevant marketing approach on their social channels and also sign up to their newsletters.
5. Measure and Adjust
Once your campaign is up and running, keep a constant watch on what is and isn’t working and adjust your strategy accordingly. Our experience has shown that it’s important not to react too quickly though, as quite often results can take several months to filter through. Taking LinkedIn Company Page Followers as one example; we generally see a slow growth rate of +/-50 Followers over the first few months, but then as the content marketing strategy takes effect this can quickly grow to well over 300. Not every activity is directly measurable but Google Analytics, your agency database and the detailed analytics reports from the marketing platform of each social channel are good tools for getting a baseline measurement.
6. Organic is Only Half the Race
It sounds great to be able to say that your company has a fantastic brand, but this is often only with existing candidates and clients who are regularly in touch with your business. Organic marketing will provide you with some reach beyond this audience, however to truly get your brand to more candidates and clients it’s crucial to use some of the various paid marketing tools that are available. The good news is that paid digital marketing is comparatively cheap when compared to print. For instance, putting $200 behind a targeted job advert on Facebook can easily reach 7,000 targeted people.
7. Train and Engage Your Recruiters
Nearly all recruitment agencies now train their recruiters to recruit, but a lot of these have yet to include training on personal branding and marketing. Although there is understandably some concern from recruitment leaders about over-empowering recruiters, the payoffs of doing so are significant. This is because, if done correctly, the recruiter will increase their brand presence, but because it is tied in tightly with your agency’s brand, your agency will also gain increased audience recognition. In addition, rather than losing the recruiter, they will be so entwined in the overall agency brand that it will become a very challenging prospect to leave.
8. Don’t Forget the Database
There are many different marketing initiatives, but perhaps the least utilised and most underrated is the recruitment agency database. By coding it accurately and then using it to build engagement through Electronic Database Mailers (EDMs) it keeps your brand in constant contact not only with existing clients, but also new clients and candidates. Whilst a regular master EDM is a good start, the best marketing strategies will include several different EDMs, each of which is specifically tailored to the relevant audience segment and links content back to your agency website.
If you’re able to follow just a couple of these tips you will improve your organisation’s brand presence and, crucially, the amount of business that comes to you. There are obviously plenty of other initiatives that may work for your business. Start experimenting on a small scale to see what works for you, and if you get stuck please feel free to get in touch with us.