4 ways to successfully market your recruitment business
So, do you know that made me think about writing this blog today? Come on, picture the scene for me if you would – I’m sitting in my study, writing this blog, it’s 8:30pm on a Wednesday and the gentle warble of “Chris Country” in the background is slowly but surely causing my focus to wain and my eyes to drop. I need some energy and while my partner would probably dis-own me for making a coffee at this un-earthly hour (she drives a hard bargain that one!) I need something to wake me up, get these creative juices flowing and write a blog that, while it wouldn’t rival Oliver Twist, it might give Fifty Shades of Grey a run for its money when it comes to value-add! (sorry).
So, I gave in and went to go get myself on of my favourite energy drinks; the ones I save up for those horrible early morning gym sessions, I was desperate! So here I am now, with as much energy in me as a toddler at LEGOLAND and I started to wonder why I love this drink so much. It’s not the taste (it’s not great), it’s not the caffeine (would never “cheat” on coffee), so what is it? and then it dawned on me, it’s the brand. The look and feel of the can was what made me buy it, continue to buy it and recommend it to friends (literally!). I mean, for me, brand is everything for this drink.
It’s ironic because one of the common, and understandable, concerns that many recruiters feel when looking to start their own agencies is marketing, is building their own brand away from those they have worked for before. Leaving that well-known brand behind, and going out there “brandless”. Like walking through a tornado without an umbrella, drinking water out of a fire hose, or trying to have “just” a 5-minute conversation about Game of Thrones – it’s an overwhelming and sometimes pivotal factor in a recruiter’s decision whether to work for themselves or not.
The bottom line is, while the manta “people buy from people” is very true and I wouldn’t want to get away from that – it would be ignorant of SSG, an experienced support company for Recruitment Entrepreneurs, to not value the importance of marketing and establishing the brands of the companies we support. So, over the last 13 years, what advice do we have when it comes to marketing your recruitment agency?
But the only business platform is LinkedIn and that’s just full of recruiter bashing and photos of company pets?! What’s “in it” for my small business?
Everyone loves a social recruiter. Maybe not at first, but as time develops and the following grows, being social as part of your daily business owner routine will be integral to your success from Day 1. Whether that be promoting your brand on Facebook, posting regularly on Twitter or blogging on LinkedIn, all content is good content and, if kept consistent with you’re the brand you are trying to create, will start to create returns for you before you know it.
For example, one the best things to do, or the best ways to really look at “being social” is to think about how you can leverage one bit of content – just one. Let’s say a blog of 500 words) - you can post it firstly on LinkedIn then, a week later, cross post that content across all your social media platforms in slightly different and weird ways. Iconographic content, videos, slideshows, Twitter polls – whatever you want!
Whether it be polls, surveys, open-ended questions – one of the best ways to help build your brand and market your recruitment agency is by, not only having a strong stance yourself, but encourage debate and what I like to refer to as “controlled conflict” online.
Sounds so harsh doesn’t it, controlled conflict?... What I mean is as a way of building your content and broadcasting your company online – look at each platform as a perfect place to start up a debate. A debate around office culture – “are shoes with no socks acceptable?”, recruitment – “do you prefer contingency or retained recruitment models?” etc! Anything that’s going to spark a professional debate with your brand at the centre.
Promote Prize giveaways and customer referrals
The age-old referral system works wonders, but the “traditional” model is a little bit dated – is it not? What can your company do that can turn this slightly archaic way of gaining new business, into a fresh, new and unique way of building your candidate and client base.
Can you run weekly prize giveaways? Can you create a referral system whereby if someone refers a candidate to you, instead of getting £500 for the trouble they get an all-expenses paid for dinner at Barbacoa? I know what I’ve rather had (although I am a foodie if ever there was one!).
Now I was never a real believer in this, until I began to experience it first-hand. I never believed it worked nor existed until I set eyes on it myself – some would say it’s a bit like when you see a man bench press 500kg, you don’t believe it until you see it and even then, you don’t believe it!
But over the years, “buddying up” with other small recruitment agencies has really helped “our guys” go from where they are to where they want to be in their own ventures. Whether that be through a more formal split fee arrangement or simply a mutual understanding that you would share each other’s content wherever possible. Leverage others in your position, interview other small business owners about their brand, their challenges, their experiences in their own agencies.