Recruitment Marketing During a Crisis

 

One of the most commonly cited assumptions is that the balance of power has shifted from candidates to clients almost overnight, and therefore all marketing efforts should be geared towards clients. There is most definitely a degree of reality here as there are fewer roles in the market and finding and securing them is going to be tougher. However, I believe, for most sectors, one of the biggest challenges is going to remain: convincing high-quality candidates to consider a new opportunity.

Speaking to several recruitment leaders who have managed through previous crises, they all agree that risk aversion takes a while to wear off for candidates, with many electing to stay put when they may have previously considered a move. As a recruiter, it is essential to reach these people ahead of time so they are engaged with your brand and ready to move when your clients need them.

This issue is going to be compounded, as client expectations will have changed and they will now expect to be able to attract higher-quality candidates far more easily than they may have done before. In other words, it is going to be far harder to convince them to take a ‘7 out of 10’ when they think there are lots of ‘10 out of 10s’ flooding the market.

Therefore, my advice (perhaps contrary to what others are saying) is that marketing efforts most definitely need to be weighted towards clients, but it is essential to continue marketing to good quality candidates as well. To be clear, not all candidates, as this has the potential to distract and waste time, but the very best people in the market who you know will be high value to your clients.

Timing

It has been really interesting to watch how different businesses have responded. Businesses in different sectors are taking different approaches, but we are also seeing seemingly-identical businesses taking approaches that are the polar opposite of each other. I believe this is due to sheer panic and uncertainty, with reactive decisions at the forefront for most of us.

We are going through an incredibly quick, multistage process that has been changing on a weekly basis, however, this speed of change is already beginning to slow.

Marketing Crisis Stages

Marketing Crisis Stages for the Recruitment Sector

These stages are relevant to the tactics I discuss below. The key point is that the speed and reactive nature of your marketing will slow, and there is now time for a carefully thought-out approach.

Tactics

At present, with most people confined to their homes, the number of channels available to all Marketing teams (whether recruitment or not) has significantly shrunk and is now restricted to digital/social/radio/TV. This means there is increased competition for the available space, but the good news is that there are also currently significantly more eyeballs online, resulting in a bigger overall audience.

One example of a more engaged or available audience that we have seen is email open rates, which have significantly increased. In the same way, the numbers of people viewing and reading content online has also gone up. So, right now, content marketing is very important – meaning more online and even an increase in frequencies around email. This content should include a balanced mix of indirect and direct messaging. You want to help and assist so your brand is front-of-mind but also make it easy for the audience to take action, whether that is coming to you with a vacancy or applying to a job. Here are two examples (example 1, example 2) of content created specifically to help candidates and clients during this period.

Remember, the content you produce doesn’t have to be ground-breaking, but it does need to be useful and relevant. Even though your competitors may be producing similar material and advice, don’t let this be a barrier to your own efforts. If you do, your brand will fade into the background, making your recruiters’ jobs twice as hard.

This is not to say there is no room for innovation – there is, and it absolutely should be done. Some of the best ideas and initiatives we have been involved in have been partnerships with other businesses or individuals, and also charity initiatives such as this one.

Arm your recruitment team – content marketing is great, but you are likely asking your teams to make a significantly increased number of business development calls, something which may be a relatively new concept to some of them. It is absolutely essential to make this process as easy as possible, otherwise, it just won’t happen. So, when producing material for email or social media, think about how this can be tweaked for the recruiters to discuss or present to their clients. At the same time, the more input you can get from your recruitment teams on what is going on and what their clients or candidates want to hear about, the more relevant you can make your marketing approach.

In the current stage, I would limit paid spend to absolute core priority groups; for example, a limited AdWords campaign geared towards client lead generation. However, as we enter the planning stage, I expect to see paid digital advertising budgets return to a level of normality relatively quickly.

One opportunity that will materialise is the potential to attract good recruiters to your brand as we move out of this period. I don’t just mean the recruiters that have been made redundant, but those that have been unsettled or unimpressed by their company’s approach and therefore are more likely to want to move. How you visualise your brand’s response and showcase your team during this period will really make you stand out later. Another option I have seen one agency begin to do is to organise Zoom chats with recruiters that they believe could be a good future fit.

Key Marketing Rules for Recruiters

  • Fight to ensure your brand does not appear out of touch, or worse, out of action
  • Support your recruiters to make their business development calls
  • Focus on activities related to the core business, but ensure you know what this is first
  • Be personable, empathetic and reasonable with your approach
  • Keep an eye on what others are doing, but do not let this lead your decisions

Whatever you focus on, remember it is all about adding value, playing the long game and generating goodwill – people will remember this later.

 

Chris

 

Chris South

As Director of Prominence, Chris is the first person recruiters speak to when trying to get a handle on their marketing activity. He is also highly involved in the day-to-day delivery on all client accounts, but is slowly learning to let his fantastic team take care of business and to only interfere when needed! Based in Auckland, Chris travels to Australia monthly, meaning he has a lot of air miles and has also seen every new film. However, he is the first to tell you that the life of a frequent traveller isn’t quite as glamorous as it seems! Chris is inspired by people that break the mould and try to make things better.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterLinkedIn

You may also like

Leave a comment

Tracking & Measurement

Monthly analytics reporting on campaign performance through platform analytics, data includes impressions, click rate, conversion rate, specific keyword and individual advert performance, landing page results and call metrics.

×
Conversion Rate Optimisation

It’s the most important element in a successful campaign and the old saying ‘you snooze, you lose’ is very apt and it’s where most fail. Using the analytics data we continue to test and refine the campaigns to increase conversation rates and therefore the results for your recruitment business.

This includes:

×
Phone Call Tracking

A large percentage of both Display and SEM generates phone calls to your recruitment business or individual recruiters. Because of this, usually this is where the ability to track return on investment ceases. However on all of our campaigns we enable a proprietary piece of technology that tracks and records each phone call. Not only can we now track the success of each call, we can give you access to the call recording platform to use the calls as training and service improvement tools.

×
Customised Landing Pages

A digital advertising campaign without a landing page is a bit like a candidate with an unexplained gap in their CV. There is a chance it will be ok, but also a big risk that it won’t. We use our own landing page tool to create customisable experiences that are centered on generating outcomes. They also allow us carry out conversion rate optimisation (CRO), to increase Google Quality Scores and to split (A/B) test different concepts.

×
Advert Design & Copywriting

The success and failure of a digital advertising campaign often relies on the quality of the advert itself. Using our in-house design and copywriting teams we’re able to create the very best visual and copy based adverts. This is across a range of mediums, from text and static images to moving GIF/HTML5 files and even video.

×
Research & Analysis

We use all the available tools and our recruitment industry experience to ensure we fully understand your business goals. As a certified Google Partner we are also able to produce industry insights created by our dedicated Account Managers within Google, which are directly passed on to you.

×
Tracking & Measurement

Monthly analytics reporting on campaign performance through platform analytics, data includes impressions, click rate, conversion rate, specific advert performance, landing page results and call metrics.

×
Conversion Rate Optimisation

It’s the most important element in a successful campaign, and the old saying ‘you snooze, you lose’ is very apt, and it’s where most fail. Using the analytics data, we continue to test and refine the campaigns to increase conversation rates and therefore the results for your recruitment business.

This includes:

×
Phone Call Tracking

A large percentage of Social Media Advertising campaigns generate phone calls to your recruitment business or individual recruiters. Because of this, usually this is where the ability to track return on investment ceases. However, on all of our campaigns we enable a proprietary piece of technology that tracks and records each phone call. Not only can we now track the success of each call, we can give you access to the call recording platform to use the calls as training and service improvement tools.

×
Customised Landing Pages

A social media advertising campaign without a landing page is a bit like a candidate with an unexplained gap in their CV. There is a chance it will be ok, but also a big risk that it won’t. We use our own landing page tool to create customisable experiences that are centered on generating outcomes.

×
Advert Design & Copywriting

The success and failure of a social media advertising campaign often relies on the quality of the advert itself. Using our in-house design and copywriting teams we’re able to create the very best visual and copy based adverts. This is across a range of mediums, from text and static images to moving GIF/HTML5 files, Facebook Canvas adverts and even video.

×
Case Study Request

×