by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, Editor and managing director of ClearlyPR
As recruiters the number of agencies you’re up against is at a record high, with an average 85 new agencies starting up every week. Whilst competition is good for business, it also means that you need to be on your game if you are to stay ahead of the curve.
There are many ways to promote your recruitment business, from advertising in the local press and social media advertising to e-marketing and exhibiting at key industry events. All these things take time and require a sizeable budget to generate a great ROI.
But there are other – potentially more effective – ways of ensuring you get the recognition you and your agency is looking for.
1 Create content that helps candidates:
I worked as the lead careers content writer for Monster from 2006-2010 and as much as 40% of all visitors to the site each month were not just looking to see what jobs were being advertised, they were reading the careers pages too.
Think about where your candidates are in the job cycle – are they still passive and yet to decide whether to look for a new job? Are they active seekers who want help in ‘selling’ themselves as the candidate of choice? Or are they returning to the workforce after having time off and need to get up to speed with the latest job search strategies?
Demonstrate your ability to help your candidates maximise their career prospects and create content that addresses their pain points. Focus on the specific wants and needs of your audience and target your message accordingly.
2 Host a breakfast roundtable:
We worked with a client who specialised in cyber security recruitment – a sector that is facing a chronic shortfall of suitably skilled candidates. Both employers and recruiters face significant challenges in finding the right staff to fill those roles needed in the here and now and crucially, within the next few years.
So we set up a breakfast meeting where we invited representatives from various organisations in The City (mainly finance, banking, retail and IT) as well as partnering with a leading business journalist. This ensured we would get media coverage for the event, with the key take-aways from the breakfast meeting forming the central focus of the resulting article.
Regardless of which sector you operate, hosting a roundtable that aims to discuss and provide possible solutions for some of the key challenges facing that sector will create media interest in you and raise your profile at the same time.
While the temptation is to remain firmly attached to your laptop and phone and focus on sales, do not underestimate the importance of networking as a way to build your profile and generate new leads.
We live in an age of ‘influencer marketing’ where purchasing decisions are increasingly based on word of mouth recommendation. But you won’t be referred if you spend all your time rooted to your desk.
Attend local business and industry networking events and start building your network of contacts – not everyone will need your services in the here and now, but either they or someone else they know may do so in the near future and they could recommend you.
4 Upload case studies to your site:
Recruiters are known to big up what they do – well, they do! There is nothing wrong with that providing you can demonstrate how good you actually are. Case studies detailing the recruitment challenges your clients faced and the solutions that you provided to ensure a successful hire, will boost your profile more than any use of hyperbole ever will.
In doing so, you will inspire confidence in what you can do and persuade potential clients to want to work with you.
5 Blog (often):
Between February and October 2014 our blogging activity averaged at around 2-3 posts per month. We then realised that we need to up our game and committed to doubling the number of posts we were doing each month as a minimum – and it has made a real difference.
Fast-forward to this year, and the number of visitors we now receive each month has seen a four-fold increase. Our blog has won us five clients over the last 12 months alone.
For recruiters, that could be a healthy ROI on your blogging investment – let’s look at the maths:
If you were a recruiter placing five candidates over the next 12 months, all of who are being paid the national average salary (£26,500), and you’re charging 15% commission, you would generate £19,875 in fees – all from a blog.
Not a bad return in anyone’s book.