by Veronica Blatt
Traditional marketing methods – print ads, billboards, flyers, brochures, TV or radio spots – were wildly successful for many years. It’s no surprise that as there have been disruptions to print and electronic media, those methods are not as effective as they used to be. Inbound marketing is a new methodology that can be highly effective, although it is much different from traditional marketing efforts. What is inbound marketing? It’s a strategy that helps draw customers to you through a variety of attraction and nurturing tactics including content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and more.
The way people make purchasing decisions has changed dramatically. Back in the day, the seller controlled all the information about the product or service. When a business needed to hire a recruitment firm, they would look through the telephone book and start calling them. At that point, the recruiting firm was in a position to heavily influence the sales process. With the advent of the internet, consumers of all types are able to do their own research and in many cases have their purchasing decision narrowed down to a shortlist before ever having a direct interaction with the seller. There are inbound marketing activities that all recruitment firms can employ in order to attract both candidates and clients. Here is a very basic introduction to these concepts:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – In a nutshell, SEO means optimizing your website so that clients and candidates can easily find your firm when conducting online searches. Ideally, you want your firm listed in the top few spots on the search results page. To do this, you need to think about what you’re selling, and how people would go about searching for that. That could include things like “recruitment firms in Houston, Texas” or “financial services recruiters.” Once you have a list of search terms and phrases that identify your business, you will need to create content on your site that utilizes those words and phrases. This is an overly simplified description, but covers the basics. When we first started down the SEO path, we utilized a lot of training and resources by Jason McDonald, which were extremely helpful (and budget-friendly as well).
- Content Marketing – Once you’ve helped visitors find your search, you need to offer valuable content related to their search terms. This content should educate potential customers in some way. And you need to have a regular supply of fresh content so that the search indexes continually visit your site and keep it high in the search rankings. A blog is an excellent way to enter the content marketing scene. Even better if you allow readers to subscribe via email, and automatically push new content out to your subscribers as you create it. White papers, guides, e-books are other kinds of valuable content to share.
- Social Media – After creating and posting your amazing content, the next step is letting the universe know that it exists. Social media can be invaluable to help you share your message by getting others to share it as well. Make sure website visitors can easily share your content to their social channels. Do some research to determine the social media sites where your potential customers are likely to be, and post your content there. Tools like Canva and Bit.ly offer free versions that help you create professional images and easy-to-click hyperlinks.
- Landing Pages – In layman’s terms, a landing page is the page a website visitor goes to (“lands on”) after clicking a call-to-action somewhere else. Effective landing pages match your overall site branding, but just ONE primary activity that can be conducted there (with minimal navigation back to your main site). For example, if your call to action is “download our free white paper,” the corresponding landing page would simply include a short form to fill out with a download button to access the white paper. The goal here is to convert your traffic into a lead, so you don’t want to confuse your visitor by offering multiple actionable items.
There is a lot more to learn and do to build a successful inbound marketing program for your recruitment firm. These initial steps will go a long way to ensuring your firm is findable and attractive to potential customers. Once you convert traffic to leads, you can begin to nurture those leads through your sales funnel. We’ve found it’s much easier to close sales with “warm” prospects. Do you have an inbound marketing success story to share? Drop a note in the comments!
by Liz Carey
Recently, we had a staff meeting centered around establishing our goals and values as a team — while each staff members has their own set role and responsibilities, the purpose of this meeting was to discuss how we all view the “bigger picture” of our purpose and view for the organization. It got me thinking about how it applies to a recruiting firm. Within a recruitment firm, recruiters work as part of a larger team, but because this industry is so cut-throat and quote driven, it could be perceived as every person for themselves. And a little bit of healthy competition is great, but it’s important that your team is focused on working towards a common goal.
Your recruiting team are the people who are going to help you succeed in finding talent and keeping your firm’s clients happy, so it’s important to make sure you are all on the same page. It could be useful to hold a team meeting to discuss your recruitment firm’s goals, values, purpose, and expectations. As an owner/manager, here are a few things to consider:
- It’s not all about metrics. Of course your recruiters should be held to a certain standard, and you can expect them to make a certain number of calls made per week, send-outs, placements, etc., but owners/managers should empower team members to learn as much as possible – spending time networking, learning, sharing best practices with each other, and improving internal processes. Because there’s so much pressure to fill roles, this will likely take time and support from leadership to encourage recruiters to shift their gears to learning and growing.
- Involve your team in decisions. Experience is one of the most valuable assets that recruiters bring to their firms. Leverage these diverse perspectives and insight to get them involved in the decision-making process and ultimately, build stronger recruiting operations. If a recruiter has background/experience in an area that you currently don’t recruit in, let them try to build up that sector as a new area of business for your firm.
- Set expectations. If you’re part of a recruiting network / organization, make sure your recruiters are using these resources to get the most ROI. Set up a training with the network staff to ensure all your recruiters know how to use the site/database and how to get the most out of your membership. Make it a requirement for your staff to post any new reqs to the site to get help from your network affiliates. Set a goal for your recruiters that if they hit a certain number of placements, they can attend an in-person recruitment network meeting/conference. One placement made through your membership pays for itself!
How do you keep your recruiting team motivated? If you’re part of a recruiting network, what is your process for getting your recruiters involved?
by Dave Nerz
Much attention is focused on AI and robots replacing people in their jobs. While it will happen, and is happening to some degree already, the process is more evolutionary than instantly implemented. As it applies to the future of recruitment, the AI transition might actually benefit recruiters short-term before having a negative impact.
The successful examples of AI and recruitment automation in the hiring process focus on low-skill, entry-level jobs or jobs easily defined by a few words, computer languages or credentials that candidates have achieved. The recruitment for higher-end jobs will someday be similarly automated. That time is not here yet. Read the rest of this entry »
by Veronica Blatt
I stumbled upon a blog from Katrina Kibben earlier this week, What I Learned Writing 60 Job Posts in 60 Days. You should read it, too. A couple of things really jumped out for me. First, there are a lot of truly awful job postings. They’re not doing much, if anything, to attract the right kinds of candidates.
Next was Katrina’s assertion that most recruiters have never been taught how to properly write a job description. I bet she’s right. I hadn’t really thought about it much, but it’s really a specific type of writing … in much the same way that blogging differs from literary fiction which differs from technical writing. So even people who are great bloggers or competent business communicators struggle to write compelling job postings. Read the rest of this entry »
by Veronica Blatt
Today’s guest blogger is Wilson Cole. He is the CEO of BackdoorHires.com and Adams, Evens & Ross, the nation’s largest credit and collection agency designed exclusively for the staffing and recruiting industry. In 2008 he was inducted into INC Magazine’s, “INC 500” for being the CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross, the 307th fastest-growing privately held company in America. Adams, Evens, & Ross has helped more than 3,000 staffing and recruiting firms recover more than $1 billion in past-due debt and is an NPAworldwide Endorsed Program.
Today we’re going to talk about reducing credit risk. 80% of businesses will go out of business within the first 5 years. After that window, even the 80% of the surviving 20% won’t make it through the next 5 years.
Reducing risk to me means that if you’re extending credit, to make sure you’re covered. The best way I can explain it is that as crazy as it would be to give a large amount of money to a complete stranger, think of providing services to a complete stranger asking for staffing services, without properly reducing your risk, as the same type of crazy thing. Unfortunately I have had many clients who did not have that mindset, or had it but acted against their better judgement anyway, before they called me to explain the bad situation they were in. Read the rest of this entry »
by Liz Carey
One of our recruitment network’s members recently shared that she experienced not 1, not 2, but 3 different candidates accepting counteroffers from their companies. This is an age-old problem in the recruiting industry, and something that we are seeing more and more of these days in a candidate-friendly market, especially when working with strong candidates. It’s up to the recruiter, as part of the whole interview process, to discuss and really dig down and find the truth of what the candidate would do if their company presented a counteroffer to them.
Here’s some suggestions our other members gave on how to handle the counteroffer situation: Read the rest of this entry »
by Dave Nerz
It is that time of year when everyone is starting their new recruitment plans or setting recruitment goals. It is also when, as individuals, we make recruiter resolutions. Here are some things to consider to make your time invested worthwhile. If you are going to do this, make sure it can work. Read the rest of this entry »
by Dave Nerz
So this is often the time of year clients take a break from recruiting as do some candidates. If you are finding the ability to connect difficult, have you considered using your time to get ready for 2019? Use your time to research the top tools for recruiters or best for small business.
Consider these 5 things that might help you implement some best practices for recruiters and get you in the best position possible to make money in the year ahead. Read the rest of this entry »
by Liz Carey
Recruiters are all-too familiar with the seasonal wind-down that happens around this time of year. Typically, there’s not much hiring going on around the holidays and it usually ramps back up after the new year. But instead of hitting up an ugly Christmas sweater party, the holiday season is actually a great opportunity for recruitment. Many people take time off, so the quiet stretch of December makes for a good time to focus in on your recruitment process. Read the rest of this entry »
by Veronica Blatt
We are settling into new headquarters after moving from our previous home of 25 years. A lot of things in our business have changed since the last time we moved! For starters, the amount of equipment we have now compared to back in 1994 is significantly reduced. In fact, we accomplished the move in a single truckload! Read the rest of this entry »