I have a potentially unpopular opinion I’d like to get off my chest:
I think probably 80% of the recruitment firms I’ve come across are doing digital marketing badly. Unnecessarily badly.
At I-COM, we work with many different clients across a whole host of industries in both the B2B and B2C sectors and, to be totally honest, there are some briefs that we receive where I think, “Oh Christ, this is going to be tough”.
That’s because some industries and companies don’t always have what I would call an ideal marketing environment. For example:
- Some companies have an extremely complicated service offering
- Some have convoluted sales and onboarding processes
- Some are restricted in their activity by strict regulations or NDAs
- Some companies have a billion different target markets all with individual requirements and challenges
- Some companies’ prospects have incredibly protracted customer journeys
- Some don’t have case studies or testimonials
- Some don’t yet have any customers at all
The list of potential obstacles to marketing success goes on.
However, in my opinion, the recruitment sector is possibly the most marketing-friendly environment out there, for reasons I’ll go on to explain.
But the reality is that firms are not taking full advantage of these extremely favourable conditions. Far from it.
So, if you’re responsible or involved in marketing for a recruitment company, read on. In this post I’ll share with you the many digital marketing opportunities available to you and offer some tips that will help you see your marketing strategies in a completely new light.
What makes the recruitment sector ideal for digital marketing?
On the face of it, most recruitment agencies have two broad target audiences:
And for each, there are nice, clear stages to their respective customer journeys.
Now, there is obviously a lot of context and nuance that I’m leaving out here, as there could be a million reasons contributing to someone’s feelings about their job, or their recruitment challenges as an employer, but we can safely assume that the below is a reasonably accurate breakdown of the different stages of the customer journey for most clients and candidates:
- Not looking to recruit
- Thinking about recruiting
- Actively looking to recruit
- Have recently placed talent in the business after working with your recruiters
- Happy in their current job and not looking to move
- Happy in their current job but open to seeing what’s out there
- Thinking about moving jobs
- Actively looking for a new job
- Have recently secured a new job after working with your recruiters
That means there are actually more like nine (at least) different target audiences for the average recruitment firm. Therefore, there are at least nine potential avenues for marketing.
However, this is where the problem - and opportunity - really comes into focus.
Why focus on 11% of your market when you can focus on 100%?
For years now, more often than not, I see recruitment firms pretty much solely focusing on one stage of the customer journey, and, therefore, only one of their potential target markets in their digital marketing efforts: the active candidate.
There might be lots of reasons for that:
- Many marketers are under pressure to demonstrate a return on investment, so are encouraged by their bosses to focus on activity that more obviously targets those ready to bring in revenue for the company. In some cases, bosses just can’t see why you’d do anything to engage the passive client or candidate at all.
- Many might be struggling with resourcing or the budget available to implement a more comprehensive marketing strategy.
But I also know from experience that some simply don’t consider the passive candidate or client when creating a marketing strategy.
Whatever the reason, the fact is the majority of firms I see are working off a marketing strategy that only engages 11% of a company’s potential audience. And when you only focus on the minority of people who are actively looking for your services, it means you’re not building a sustainable pipeline of prospects to ensure growth. That pipeline will soon dry up.
When you also consider that passive candidates make up 75% of the available employed workforce, it just doesn’t make sense for marketers to ignore so much of their market.
So, moving forward, you need to make sure your marketing strategies engage all of your potential target audience at every stage of their journey.
The next step: the potential of purpose
If you’re one of those people who struggle to target more than those actively looking for jobs, I’ve already shown you how you can massively expand the scope of your marketing strategies by considering the different stages of the customer journey and targeting them separately.
But you can, and should, go one step further, to make it easier again to create a winning marketing strategy brimming with ideas.
Prospects at different stages of the customer journey will have completely different wants and needs. They might have completely different challenges and considerations. They might have completely different levels of education about certain topics. They could be at completely different levels of seniority in their jobs. One person might react well to humorous content, while another may prefer to seek out educational content.
Basically. People and their lives are all different. Who knew?!
Luckily, digital marketing is extremely versatile and can vary in its purpose and the impact it has on our target audiences.
For instance, we could produce different content that:
- Builds trust
- Builds loyalty
- Provokes thought
- Solves problems
And much more.
An effective digital marketing strategy tries as much as possible to do all of the above, at the most appropriate times, to help build sustainable, strong relationships with prospects and generate more business when they do eventually need your services.
By adding activity that serves a diverse set of purposes into your strategy AND adopting this approach for every stage of your client and candidate customer journeys, you open up a huge amount of potential - 100+ ideas for future activity - as illustrated below:
Do you need help marketing your recruitment firm’s website? Take a look at some of our work for the sector here. Alternatively, if you’re on the search for a complete website refresh, check out our bespoke recruitment platform Recaza here. Recaza offers your company a fully-integrated, SEO-friendly CMS on a scalable and flexible website platform that can be added to, developed and adapted as your business grows and evolves.
Got any questions? Give us a call on 0161 402 3170 or send us an email.