Many recruiters are wondering what they can DO right now while placement activity is slow-to-nonexistent. You may be wondering whether it’s OK to make sales calls or ask your clients about their hiring plans. Some recruiters are working to offer outplacement assistance or resume coaching to candidates. I would like suggest there are valuable marketing activities that you can be doing, especially since some (most?) of these tend to get pushed to the bottom of your priority list in better times.
Do you have a list of keywords or phrases that people might use when they search for their firm? If you don’t have a list, now is the time to start one. If you DO have a list, how long has it been since you reviewed it? Do you rank on page 1 or page 2 in search results for all or most of your keywords? Are there keywords you SHOULD rank on, but don’t? You might consider asking your clients (or candidates) how they found you on the web. What words or phrases did they use? Voice-enabled search has changed the way people search. You may want to consider optimizing content based on common questions you get asked. Here is a list of free keyword research tools to help you get started. A word of warning: search results are VERY skewed right now as so many people are searching for pandemic-related terms, so be careful when looking at trends.
SEO should be one of your ongoing marketing activities, but it’s easy to think about it as a “set it and forget it” task. It’s important to continually monitor your performance to ensure your site continues to rank highly in search results. Your competitors may be outperforming you, or you may uncover a new keyword that you need to optimize. Link-building can still be beneficial if done well. Who is linking to your site? Can you offer link reciprocity to your clients? Look at competitor sites to see what keywords they are using; you may find a new word or phrase to incorporate into your efforts. How is your site’s mobile performance? Google rewards sites with good mobile performance with better search results. It is becoming more important to create content that matches a user’s “intent” and not just a string of keywords. Don’t try to game the rankings with keyword stuffing. Focus on valuable, high-quality content that solves a user’s problem.
Do you have a blog? Maybe it’s been gathering dust for a while? Now is a perfect time to launch, or relaunch, your blog. Blogging is still an excellent way to ensure that you have fresh content on your site. It gives search engines a reason to crawl your site. It will help you with your SEO efforts. Host your blog directly on your website if possible. While you have fewer demands on your time, see if you can write 1 -2 posts per day for the next 3-4 weeks. If you post twice a week, you’ll have enough content stored up to last a few months. Offer the ability to subscribe by email. This will help you build a marketing database of prospects. Mailchimp sends new posts out automatically to your email subscribers; I’m sure there are other services that also do that. Don’t know what to write? Start by writing posts that answer common questions in your niche. Examples might include topics like, What are the top accounting jobs in 2020 or What are the hottest skills for software developers. Once you have new blog content, you can share it on LinkedIn or other social media platforms to help drive traffic (and leads!) back to your website. Which leads me to my final point…
This is a great time to ramp up social media activity. Start small, perhaps just with LinkedIn. Focus on sharing content from your blog or your website if you can. Share quality content from other sources you respect. Comment on good content that you see. Consider starting a group that you can engage in recruitment-related topics. Use a free tool like Canva to help you create high-quality images for social media use. Canva offers thousands of free templates for a variety of needs, which can be easily customized. Social media isn’t going away; here are some stats to help you develop a strategy.
Are there other marketing activities you are having success with right now? Please share your ideas in the comments!