Recruitment marketing is not a new concept, but constant innovation means what was trending five years ago is remarkably different in today’s world of marketing.
More and more agencies are adopting an inbound marketing model. They are leveraging social media, blogging and email nurturing to communicate their unique value proposition. They are actively adding value by building talent communities (LiveHire is a cool tool) and feeding their partners regular valuable content - not just sending resumes.
The Mindset Shift
It’s a mindset shift - we need to market to candidates, not advertise for them. We also need to value our own personal brand as recruitment agency leaders and clearly understand and articulate an employee value proposition (EVP).The very best agencies are applying marketing growth strategies to drive measurable results that allow them to focus their attention on what works for their business.
Most agencies struggle with an EVP. They don’t understand how to describe it because they don’t necessarily believe they have one. Of course you do! Your value proposition is your specialisation, your staff, your client service and the candidate experience you provide. Every agency is unique and every day recruiters are making a positive contribution to people’s lives by connecting them to relevant job opportunities.
Investing in Specialist Staff
My number one piece of advice is to invest in specialist staff - the agencies I see who are successfully building positive brand recognition have dedicated marketing staff innovating and upskilling internally. They know about growth hacking. They understand and reading the data. They are working to move the needle every week with a strategy and tangible, measurable goals.
This pivotal role involves creating targeted and relevant content for candidates so the brand is top of mind before candidates even start to look for a job, speaking to and nurturing them long before they start applying. The same theory applies to hiring managers, help them buy into your brand as a great agency.
A good Marketing Growth Manager understands the importance of on-brand assets at every step of the recruitment process. Even a small investment like Canva (I love Canva, it makes building beautiful graphics easy) gives your team the power to create content that reinforces your brand and EVP which will have a huge impact. Of course, you do need to make sure you have clear branding guidelines before you let the team loose on Canva, consistency is key.
If Sue in accounts is spending a day a week crafting a blog that no-one reads, you need to kill it! You need someone who can look at your data and ask your candidates and partners what they actually want to hear about. Just creating content is not enough. That’s where your marketing specialist can add value, setting up employee advocacy tools such as LinkedIn’s Elevate and a strategy to ensure your candidate stories and customer testimonials are distributed widely on social, email and internally to achieve maximum impact.
Get the Right Tools
There are so many great tools available to recruiters that help you to communicate and amplify your brand. Video is increasingly common in all aspects of the recruitment lifecycle. When used effectively video can do all of the things I mentioned above - it’s memorable and authentic, it’s favoured by social and search algorithms, it’s mobile friendly and your candidates can consume it on the run.
Video is not going away, according to eMarketer’s Global Digital Video Viewers report in 2018, nearly 2.38 billion people will watch streaming or downloaded digital video content via any device at least once per month.
Recent research by Lighthouse found that welcome videos from a hiring manager would make a candidate 46% more likely to consider the job and 30% more likely to respond to a recruiter or apply. If you're not already using video in your recruitment workflow you are missing a huge opportunity. If you don’t have the budget to take on a production company, do some research into the tools that could bring this skill in-house.
At the risk of banging my own drum, an app like VideoMyJob (oh wait, there are no apps like VideoMyJob!) has all the smarts to help your team produce branded professional videos regularly and consistently. It’s like Canva for video.
A website is one small but important piece of the puzzle. Working with a web developer, digital agency or a company that specialise in recruitment sites (JXT or Volcanic are great) organisations with a marketing-first mindset can thrive in today’s digital landscape. A Marketing Growth Manager will be all over your website and brand persona.
The DNA of an excellent recruitment agency is a combination of many things. Apart from having a great culture, the most dynamic recruitment agencies have a growth mindset, a philosophy to embrace change. They are innovative, they share their stories and most importantly, they use real data to make decisions.
A great recruitment agency in 2018 must have a Marketing Growth Manager, it’s the new black.