How a recruitment agency can allocate resources and capitalise on the digital economy.

Recruitment agencies spend a huge amount on outbound advertising, certainly disproportionate to the size of the industry. While this could be apportioned to online job boards and other candidate attraction techniques, recruiters still seem eager to spend money on ever-changing techniques to attract clients.  The purpose of this article this to point out opportunities for engagement and conversion, focused on clients, that aren’t commonly being used. Importantly, this is not to say that the industry is lagging behind, or that any particular recruitment agency is doing something wrong – this is simply what we would do, if we were a recruitment agency.

1. Industry Focused Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic, scientifically based advertising that is targeted at specific industries and individuals is ripe for recruitment agencies to capitalise on. Using online video, graphics and connecting them with relevant industry publications, recruitment organisations could forge an enviable position as market leaders, as well as leaders in technology. Programmatic, often regarded as expensive would be a cheap option for most recruitment businesses as compared to traditional mass media, and enable divisional teams to carve out more specific market niches, and engage with a higher calibre of client on a more consistent basis.

2. Consistent, High-Quality Content Marketing

Recruitment agency sites are usually thick with case studies, white papers and advice pieces based on what the agency deems to be useful to their clients. However, this is rarely based on scientific research or specific engagement with members of an industry sector. Recruitment businesses would do well to produce periodicals in the style of McKinsey or Boston Consulting Group, targeted at specific industry problems and structured in such a way so as to offer high-quality recommendations and market commentary. In doing this, the organisation would position itself as an expert far beyond traditional recruitment methodology. Importantly, this would also break down some psychological barriers with clients who may see recruiters as being able to solve one problem, rather than being consultants who can offer them relevant business advice and intelligence.

3. Effective Channel Management

Recruiters, not the similar to accountants or lawyers, tend to do one thing well from a marketing standpoint, often at the expense of everything else. For example, it’s uncommon for our recruitment business to have a good website, solid social media, effective content creation, and a robust email sales funnel all being managed sustainably. Rather, the business will tend to focus on one or two key elements, and ignore the rest. This is admittedly far more statistically common in accounting practices, where resources are generally allocated to specific areas to the exclusion of others, but recruiters are common victims of this, “it’s better to do something than nothing,” attitude also.

If we were advising a recruitment company, we would suggest that a series of products, offers and content be created and then distributed via a central hub. In line with this, client communication and emails should be distributed, and the audience grown through the demonstration of expertise and a solid advertising base. This project takes less time than ad hoc marketing efforts, which tend to be a big distraction for a few people, and then go by the wayside when immediate results aren’t evident.

The recruitment industry is well poised to capitalise on the digital revolution, and the nature of the people in recruitment, who tend to be highly entrepreneurial and motivated to high levels of achievement, means that the resource most likely lies latent within the business already.

If seeking a process, we would recommend starting with current and future channels, building a robust advertising strategy and filling the content marketing funnel in that order.