Why Your Agency Needs a Recruitment Marketing Strategy
In any industry, it can be difficult to cut through the noise – but in recruitment, it’s especially challenging. Agencies are competing for a limited amount of candidates; last year, candidate acquisition was listed as the top priority for staffing firms in our Global Recruitment Insights & Data (GRID) Trends Report, and if the past few months are any indication, the competition for talent will remain high in 2023.
How can you ensure your agency stands out and brings candidates into your pipeline? An effective recruitment marketing strategy might just be the answer.
Marketing to candidates is now part and parcel of the recruitment lifecycle. Said Nicole Clarke, Co-Founder of Shazamme, in our conversation about Connected Recruiting strategies, “Recruitment is now marketing, and you need to be evolving your brand day in and day out.”
What does effective recruitment marketing look like, and how can you build a strategy – and a brand – that works for your organisation? Read on to find out.
What is recruitment marketing?
Now more than ever, recruitment is about the candidate. In the case of marketing, any solid recruitment marketing strategy should position your organisation as the agency of choice. When candidates are looking for a new role, they should immediately think of your agency. This means creating a message and making sure that message reaches the right people, at the right time, at every step of the journey.
Recruitment marketing is critical when it comes to finding and sourcing new candidates. Telling your story effectively and across different channels helps reach talent that otherwise might not have been aware of your agency – and helps differentiate you from the competition.
But the best recruitment marketing strategies don’t stop at attracting candidates. They keep talent engaged throughout the interview cycle, during their assignment, and after their placement has ended. They can even help re-engage existing candidates who may not have worked with your agency in a while. No matter where your candidates are in the talent lifecycle, the right marketing game plan can help build a sustainable, generative relationship that keeps talent working with you again and again.
Keys to effective recruitment marketing
As with any other aspect of running a recruitment agency, when it comes to marketing, what works for one organisation won’t work for another. Depending on your sector, size, and specialty, your strategy will – and should! – look different from any other agency’s.
Generally, though, there are a few key ways you can get your recruitment marketing strategy up and running.
Create content that converts
Marketing comes down to telling stories. Building content offers your candidates something of value other than job listing after job listing. “If you’re only broadcasting positions, then that’s all you do,” said Jonathan Langley, Executive VP, NextGen Global Resources, in our recent Connected Recruiting webinar series. Langley’s team looks to attract candidates by sharing information about specific segments and skill sets and using this thought leadership to build a community.
This content can look like anything: social media posts, blogs, events, paid campaigns, etc. What’s important is that you’re building content that resonates with your candidates. Here, you can rely on your team’s expertise and offer them a platform in which they can share their wisdom. “Don’t be afraid to make your recruiters thought leaders,” said Lauren Jones, Founder of Leap Consulting Solutions, in our webinar series.
Whichever form your content takes, the important takeaway is that it builds trust within your candidate pool. Reading one thought leadership piece isn’t necessarily a conversion, but it’s crucial to your engagement strategy. Telling a compelling story or sharing insightful thought leadership helps to build a relationship between your agency and your candidates, helping to transform your candidate pool into a true community – and ensuring conversions later on down the road.
Understand your audience
Building effective content that resonates requires an understanding of just who you’re marketing to. Said Julie Haldorson, Executive VP at Parqa Digital Marketing, “Depth of understanding of your candidate segment or segments is the first step in any engagement strategy.”
Does your agency specialise in a particular sector, like light industrial or healthcare? Is your organisation working to foster more diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts? Or maybe your agency prioritises learning, growing, and reskilling candidates? Regardless of your company’s focus, leverage it while shaping and building your brand.
Highlighting your agency’s niche to the right people will help deliver the right talent to your organisation. Said Michelle Krier, SVP at ClearEdge Marketing, “Spend time getting into the weeds of what your candidates want to hear about, and then create tailored pieces of content to reach those audiences.”
Analyse and iterate
Building a recruitment marketing strategy isn’t a one-and-done effort. It takes time to understand what touchpoints actually convert a candidate and adjust as necessary. Said Jack Copeland, CEO and Co-Founder of Staffing Future, “If you’ve got the right reporting in place, then you’re going to know what’s accurate for you. And I think that’s sometimes a gap for a surprisingly large amount of the industry.”
Once you know where your strengths lie, you’ll be able to scale up. And if one tactic doesn’t quite work, you’ll know where to adjust. Data and reporting is crucial in finding what does and doesn’t work so you can make the most out of your efforts and your spending.
Invest in your tech stack
Building and executing on a recruitment marketing strategy is a significant endeavor – but your team doesn’t have to do it alone. Automation platforms can help take away some of the mundane tasks and help your team focus on strategising, personalising, and building relationships. “Marketing automation can do things at scale, and [it’s] why you need to invest in technology to enable it,” said Vivianne Arnold, Chief Marketing Officer at Capgemini at last year’s Engage Sydney.
Regardless of which tools you leverage, there’s no one-size-fits-all recruitment marketing strategy. Added Krier, “There’s not just one tactic to use. There are a lot of levers that you can pull to create an optimised experience for your candidates.”
Want to learn more about engaging talent through every step of the recruitment lifecycle? Say hello to Connected Recruiting.