Over the past year, I’ve heard an increasing number of recruiters comment on the need for business development. Not only that, the things they *used* to do to find new clients don’t work as well now. And, business has been good for a number of years, so recruiters haven’t had to keep this skill too sharp. So if you’re finding that it’s tougher to find new clients, here are some lead generation tips for recruiters.
Turn Your Website into a Lead Generation Machine
We embraced inbound marketing when we launched our blog 10 years ago this month. The first thing we did was allow site visitors to subscribe to receive new blog posts via email. It’s very simple – visitors provide their email address, and we send them new content as we create it (never more than twice per week). Obviously, this required us to really commit to blogging as a business development tactic, but the lead capture itself is very simple. I am a huge, huge proponent of blogging as part of your marketing plan. It forces you to think about the ways in which prospective clients and candidates find you, and the ways in which you would like to be found. Once you know that, create content around those keywords and phrases, and you should notice a steady increase in the right site traffic.
When you’re implementing inbound marketing, you want to think about inviting leads at multiple stages of your sales process – so top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel. At the top of the funnel are prospects with the least amount of knowledge about your business – you can’t ask them to give you a lot of data yet because they’re still learning about you. Leads in the middle of the funnel are generally a bit warmer – if they haven’t heard of you specifically, they’re at least actively seeking out a recruitment firm like yours. They might be willing to share more of their personal data in exchange for a higher value piece of content. So think about what kinds of content you can offer, and in what forms, that you can share with site visitors in exchange for their lead details. Remember, the more high-value the content, the more information you can request.
Other Lead Generation Tips for Recruiters
Now that you understand the importance of blogging, what else can you do to drive leads to your recruitment firm? Well, you can use all that rich content you created on social media. You may want to beef up your presence on LinkedIn. Share your lead capture forms and content on LinkedIn – you’ll drive traffic back to your own website (bonus!) and also bring content directly to a platform where prospective clients and candidates can often be found. Where else do your best prospects hang out?
If you work a local market, do you actively participate in your chamber of commerce, Rotary, or other service group? Look for ways to tell your story in those groups – maybe you can write an article, lead a round table, or be a panelist. Offer to help organize an event. Farther afield, what about online communities where your target market gathers? Set aside a few minutes each week to answer others’ questions and you might be surprised what that generates in leads.
Experiment with online advertisements. Pay-per-click hasn’t proven to be a great tool for us in terms of membership development, but you may have better luck reaching your audience. The one thing we have found that helps us is that a more narrow keyword generates better results – usually fewer clicks, but they are more on-target. You can try on LinkedIn or Google or even Facebook – these can be surprisingly affordable, well-targeted and easy to test different versions out to see which performs best.
Reconnect with former clients, or former hiring managers who have moved elsewhere. If you have a former client that has faded away, reconnect to talk about new opportunities. Or, if a former hiring manager has moved to a new company, see what their recruitment needs are.
Use your recruitment network. If you’re connected to other like-minded recruitment firms, do they have jobs you can work on a split-fee basis? Whether it’s a strategy to help you survive an economic downturn or because your strengths are better-suited to candidate development, don’t overlook splits as a business development tool for your business.
The business climate has shifted, as it always does. Try some of these lead generation tips for recruiters to bring in additional revenue for your desk or firm.