Recruitment consultants are an invaluable fountain of knowledge for marketeers. They’re experts in their fields, they interact with the target audience on a daily basis, they know the pain-points of their clients and candidates (the marketeers target audience) and engaging with your recruiters to gather this information in order to create engaging material is a vital cog in the SME recruitment marketing machine.
Effectively engaging your recruiters in marketing activities will help them grow their personal brand, help you (the marketeers) enhance the company brand, which without listing all the benefits of marketing, is an incredibly valuable tool in the growth of any recruitment business.
The recruiter-marketeer relationship can often be a strained one and getting their buy-in is often a pain-point for recruitment marketeers. A key attribute of any successful recruitment marketeer is having the ability to nurture this relationship and use it to create the most profitable marketing department possible. This dream relationship is not always easy to achieve, so have spoken with a number of recruitment marketing’s leading professionals to get their top tips on how to engage your recruiters in marketing.
The colouring in department is just there to make things look pretty, right? Dispel this misconception and make the value of marketing clear. Marketeers know what they do, but do the Recruiters?
‘Show (the consultant) that when you do something properly it can make them money. I recently gave an example to the business of a real consultant who didn’t advertise many job ads and on top of that, didn’t spend any time on them, which resulted in xx candidates (leads) coming through. I then gave the example of another consultant who did place more ads, did write good job adverts and it’s no surprise that they did receive more applications. They also did three times as many deals as the first consultant.’ - Chris Howard, Chief Marketing Officer @ Apis Alvi.
‘A bespoke piece of branded material to support a really important client meeting, generating leads for a tricky to fill role - showcase your value by delivering value. They’ll always come back for more.’ - Sarah Roebuck, Head of Marketing @ Eames Consulting.
Marketing needs to be ingrained in all the activities of any recruitment businesses. One of the most important being fully integrating marketing activities with the business development strategy of a company. Do this, and you will reap the rewards.
‘To truly engage consultants we should be building marketing in to their BD strategies and coaching them through this change in mindset and process. Where they might have made 20 cold calls, demonstrate the ease of replacing one of those calls with a tweet, for example, which reaches out to clients' interests. Instead of bombarding clients with emails they never answer, exchange one email with a blog post which talks about solutions to their client's business challenges and send the link! Believe me, consultants will soon understand that this approach differentiates them from the 149 other "hello, are you hiring?" emails they have received that week.’ – Kim Pasteau, Group Head of Marketing - Global @ LHI Group Ltd.
‘Recruiters are used to quick wins. They like to see results right away from the effort they put in. It will be difficult for them to understand the value in writing blogs for example if they don’t make money from it right away, so ensure your longer-term strategy has some quick wins such as likes on social media, or job applications.’ – Sarah Roebuck, Head of Marketing @ Eames Consulting.
A good marketing strategy will ensure that somebody who doesn’t know very much about your brand is given a positive experience and will repeat purchase. People buy from people, but they also buy from a name that means something. If your client believes you are an authority on your subject matter then they will naturally lean on you for support and inevitably, that next time a vacancy comes up.’ – Chris Howard, Chief Marketing Officer @ Apis Alvi.
Forrest Gump struggled to run with his leg braces on and he turned out to be quite the runner, didn’t he? The point is, everybody has to start somewhere and producing content can be daunting, but you will improve the more you practice. Don’t let graphophobia define you!
‘Writing content, in particular, can be scary. With all the online trolling and ‘recruitment bashing’ that goes on (particularly on LinkedIn) it’s no wonder consultants feel nervous about putting themselves out there online. Our job is to coach them through this and enable them to write content which GIVES something to their audience instead of trying to engage people with a view of TAKING away information that benefits their sales. If consultants keep reciprocity at the forefront of writing their content they should avoid what they fear the most, the online backlash.‘ – Kim Pasteau, Group Head of Marketing - Global @ LHI Group Ltd.
‘Understand the pressures that consultants face and the thought processes that may stop them from doing marketing activity. More often than not it boils down to three things; time, understanding and confidence.
Time – They only have so many hours in a day and have a lot to fit into them. Why should they use that time to post an article, write a blog, make a video?
Understanding – They know the tried and tested activities that will result in placements, so why should they do anything differently? LinkedIn is just for posting jobs, right?
Confidence – I’ve heard “I’m rubbish at writing” hundreds of times, and there’s a genuine concern that they’ll say something contentious and unleash an army of online trolls.
With each barrier you just need to understand the objection and sell the long-term benefits of building the brand and standing out as a face in the crowd. If they stick to writing about their experience and having a personality they will see results… it just takes time.’ – Dan Birch, (at the time of writing) Marketing Manager @ Gleeson Recruitment Group.
Forrest Gump didn’t have a coach, but if he did, there would have been a sequel, FACT (based on no evidence/I’m defining a fact as my opinion based on no evidence whatsoever). As a marketeer you should be coaching your recruiters to help them improve.
‘It's necessary for consultants to build their profiles as 'experts' separate from the marketing activity of the company they work for. Don't expect them to just 'get it'. Coaching them through that transition from Sales to Marketing is key.’ – Kim Pasteau, Group Head of Marketing - Global @ LHI Group Ltd.
‘If you want more engagement from consultants in writing content, make it all about them and how great they are and that’s why you want to get their name and expertise out there. A little confidence boost and making them feel like #1 is a quick win for engagement.’ – Sarah Roebuck, Head of Marketing @ Eames Consulting.
‘If your audience already holds you (the Recruiter) in a high esteem, that’s half the battle won. If you look at it from a time efficiency point of view, how much time does it take you per day to explain what you do and prove your expertise, imagine the number of people you could get that message across to by spending some time writing a blog.’ – Chris Howard, Chief Marketing Officer @ Apis Alvi.
Recruiters love results. When one in the business gets positive results, others will be clambering for a spot on the bandwagon.
‘Creating change within the culture or mindset of any recruitment business presents numerous challenges and getting your recruiters onboard with Marketing is no different. As we all know, Recruiters like results and if you try to enforce something that hasn’t shown them any benefit yet, it can damage their long-term engagement. For me, I usually start small and get a marketing champion within the business. Working closely with a couple of people initially will give you real-world results and as soon as those placements start rolling in, everyone wants to know their ‘secret’ and they see the full benefits of what marketing can do.’ - Natasha South, Head of Operations & Marketing @ Camino Partners.
Once recruiters see a peer achieving success through marketing, they will all buy in quickly.
Engaging recruiters in marketing will not only allow the marketeers to produce insightful content, but it will also enable the recruiter to build their own brand and position themselves as the ‘go-to’ recruiter. It takes 7 points of contact to pick up a role if you’re giving information or business solutions to prospects they’re much more likely to engage with the recruiter.
The benefits are obvious, but they are only as plentiful as the marketeer-recruiter relationship allows it to be.
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