Engaging your Candidates and Clients with Recruitment Marketing
Recruitment Marketing, a “nice to have” or a “necessity”?
With the continual development of the digital world and the importance it plays in our industry, I feel it’s fair to say that recruitment marketing has changed from an aspirational “nice to have” into a key requirement for agencies. Companies are increasingly aware that the best candidates are not always the “active” candidates who are searching for new opportunities. Businesses all around the world are seeing huge benefits from successful recruitment marketing as it continues to contribute to significant improvements engaging candidates and clients with their businesses.
Last week, we hosted the latest installment of our Virtual Round Table Series with a group of senior industry professionals. We also enlisted the expertise of marketing guru Sean Withford, Founder of recruitment marketing agency, Eloquent. To kick start the session, Sean gave us an insight into how the pandemic has had an impact on agencies’ marketing strategies throughout 2020. From his perspective, agencies had split into 3 different camps. For one third of agencies, marketing spend has been removed completely as they batten down the hatches to weather the storm. Another third, he explained, have used this time to invest in building relationships through offering value add activity with examples such as “webinars, virtual networking sessions and remote working content”. The final third he detailed has focused on demand generation activities, “these agencies are using marketing to go after sales and focusing on high ROI marketing activities. For these people there has been a lot of focus on performance advertising, for example increasing google ad spend”. He also detailed that he has seen a huge increase in automation tools being used by agencies, “automation tools such as Herefish have enabled staff to do more with less and drive ROI”.
Aligning your marketing and recruitment teams
In order for marketing to be successful, there needs to be alignment between the marketing teams and the sales consultants. The more you can align these two teams the better you will be able to develop a cohesive marketing strategy that can yield results.
At Healthcare Professionals Group (HPG), Hayley Webb the Associate Director of Marketing explained to the group the importance of getting buy-in from your recruitment consultants and taking them on the marketing journey. “When we induct people into HPG we give everyone training and it includes components such as brand training. We see value in teaching them why a brand is much more than a logo, that it’s an experience with it.” HPG feel it’s important to help their staff “find their voice” and not be afraid to create their own content, Hayley explained. “What we have found is that consultants don’t want to look silly, they want to feel empowered, so the more information we can give our consultants in terms of why we are doing these things, why it’s of interest and why it’s important, really helps them to want to engage with marketing”.
When working with your consultants on marketing it is important to reduce friction and make it as easy as possible for them. Sean highlighted often people may not want to be positioned as the experts or hero in content they create. He recommended solutions such as having the consultants, “interview a group of people about their opinions on what’s happening in the market. This is a great way for consultants to build a personal brand”. Alternatively he suggested having the consultants position themselves as “curious learners”. They can create posts or content about interesting new things they have learnt recently that their audience may be interested to know more about. “It’s just about showing them the different archetypes for creation” Sean detailed, “some may prefer written verse video, or verbal verses graphics. Allow them to explore different avenues to decide what works best for them”.
The importance of personalised marketing
With the increase in cost to advertise jobs the group felt there had been a shift in the way agencies were looking to attract candidates. Andrew Pyke, Executive Director from Troocoo explained, “the increase in advertising pricing models has driven agencies to LinkedIn to engage with people more and not just post ads”. With the unusual state of the market over 2020, Andrew explained the importance of projecting personal and empathetic messaging on these platforms. “Feedback has been that many agencies are making their marketing very much about them, how good they are doing and there are still clients out there that are doing it tough. And this behaviour has been noted by clients as being unsympathetic to the current climate”. Andrew explained how important it is to put the customer at the heart of everything you say. Sean seconded this notion explaining, “Your job is to help people, your marketing should make your clients and candidates the hero and you’re the guide to help them on their journey. Chest beating marketing isn’t what you should be doing”.
At Polyglot Group, they have focused on developing content that would be of value for both their customers and clients, especially throughout the Covid-19 period. Manon Bot, Global Head of Marketing at Polyglot Group, explained that their recent marketing efforts have focused on how they can help the industry. Manon explained that they have been “Centralising information that people needed around subjects such as Jobkeeper for example”. Their goal was to develop content that applied to everyone and support them at a time when they needed it. Their focus was not about winning jobs but how they could help the industry.
During the session we questioned the group if they felt there had been a shift in their mindset towards marketing and where they were currently directing their focus. When discussing marketing from a lead generation perspective Mat Westcott, Managing Director of Fuse Recruitment explained “I think for us, the automation of marketing has made things a whole lot easier”. Mat detailed that using systems like Herefish enables you to use your imagination in regards to what you want to automate “every week we have 25-35000 automation actions that happen, which really changed our ability to believe [in marketing] as we are getting so many leads back from it”.
Following on from Mat, Sean explained that as a marketer one of the biggest frustrations previously has been proving ROI, “previously the tools were not available for you to bring it to life for consultants”. Sean continued “Herefish gives you an engagement score for both candidates and clients, which includes things like; is this person opening/engaging with your content, visiting your website and then that information is then surfaced to the consultants. So based on marketing engagement scores consultants can then ring people who are engaged with your business.”