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Recruitment | 6 min read

How to Market a Recruitment Agency: 8 Specialist Tips

15 August 2017 Written by Alexander Costello

So, you’re working in the recruitment industry. You have a lot in common with my job, actually.

That’s because, in essence, you’re marketing candidates: their skills, the relevance of their experience to any roles you have going, and what that prospective candidate brings to the table. You’re prospecting leads, seeking out skill-specific candidates that go well with certain job vacancies.

And on behalf of your clients, they need you as a marketer as well. Perks of working there, chances of progression, working atmospheres - if it takes two to tango, both sides need a middleman to be sold on each other.

All in all, you’re in the business of putting individuals in touch with employers (and vice-versa) - and, there’s a little salesmanship in that.

Now, far from telling you how recruitment works, what we’re getting at is that it’s very much an outward-facing business. With all the networking involved, it’s a little alarming how many recruitment agencies do not take the time to look inward, think about what kind of agency they want to be and, in a word, market themselves.

With that in mind, we’ve written an in-depth guide on how to market a recruitment agency - filled with insights as well as actionable tips, your agency will be leagues ahead of the competition.

#1 Get your agency on the SEO map

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a vital part of your recruitment marketing plan, whether you have a budding recruitment agency setting out its services or you’re an established, long-standing agency. It goes one further, too - SEO is non-specific to industries and is massive for growth. If you want to get noticed, the first place you should look is SEO.

With SEO, you can hone in on multiple keywords that not only speak for your services and what the searcher is looking for but can expand your net potential for ranking. Say, for example, that your agency specialises in recruiting for tech jobs. Within that umbrella term, you can incorporate the location of your agency (otherwise known as ‘local SEO’ and any other specific areas of your service.

This then creates long-tail keyword opportunities. By optimising your content for longer keywords, your short-tail pillar terms have a better chance of ranking well. After all, the broader keywords may well be dominated by others. It’s important, especially if you’re starting out, to focus your efforts realistically. In this sense, pursue the longer-tail to wag the short one.

You can target varying demographics: the sectors you recruit for, the locations that have worked well in the past and the types of jobs you focus on (for instance, do you specialise in board level, or do you have a base in graduates and early career standouts?)

#2 Use Smart Content Marketing

You’ve heard it said before: content is king. And, while this is a digital marketing mantra that may have grown stale through overuse, it’s incredibly true. Having A* content will not only position your agency as experts, it will boost your Google rankings so long as the content is optimised.

Think of it like this: you’ve done the work to bring visitors to your page. Through word-of-mouth and various other marketing efforts, people are looking at your site. What your content does is keep them there (engaging content, anyway).

When you're trying to market a recruitment agency, think about your audience? Their wants and needs are arguably more pressing than those of a general retailer, for example. Their pain point is gainful employment!

So, having relevant content is your priority. Understand your audience’s concerns, and write accordingly. Think: everyone gets a little nervous at interviews, right? Blog idea right there. Does everyone know what a perfect CV looks like? That’s another blog too.

The opportunities are endless. Speak to your candidates, step in their shoes, assume their problems and write according to those pain points. The same goes for employers, too - what are their pain points when it comes to finding quality talent? 

As a final note, make sure you use call-to-actions (CTAs). They assist your user with site navigation, expose them to more content and generally aid the sales process.

#3 Every Gem Deserves Some Polish

If your agency manages to source a stand-out, talented candidate who you then match up with a great company, this is your achievement just as much as the candidates'.

It’s worth celebrating. Get a quote from the candidate and use it across your site as an example of the great recruiting work your agency does on a day to day basis.

You use this in much the same way as you would a testimonial - let others know that you’re extremely good at what you do. You’ll soon see the leads trickle in.

#4 The Power of First Impressions & Branding

Since your site is likely the first thing people encounter, make sure it’s looking great and reflects the ethos and messaging of the agency. First impressions count, remember, especially with your online branding.

It’s easy to get so involved within the day-to-day work at your agency that you miss or overlook things. Try and keep a fresh perspective and take a look at your agency as if it is the first time. Does the website reflect the agency? Does your social media (more on this in a bit) reflect that ethos? Think like a candidate!

#5 Be on the Scene

Conferences, trade shows, exhibitions and industry pow-wows: whether you like it or not, networking is vital. This goes for a lot of industries but recruitment in particular, given the nature of the work.

Being seen, offering insight, receiving insight and representing your agency should be a top priority. You will be part of a culture within other agencies, and regardless of your size, you should be on the scene.

Who knows - some years down the line, you might be picking up awards and rubbing shoulders with the big boys!

#6 Craft your Social Media Presence

Your marketing efforts will be bolstered robust, organised social media strategy. Ensuring your publishing calendars are up to date, the tone of voice guides are accurate and you are speaking with candidates in the appropriate manner, your agency can’t go wrong. Some social tidbits to keep in mind:

Pursue the relevant hashtags, have a visual strategy for the platform and tailor your content to the relevant platform (Instagram is edgier than LinkedIn, right?)

In recent years, social media has become massive for the job search. People can now find roles on their Twitter feed, and regularly use LinkedIn to build their network and put others in touch with influential sources.

Think about people’s relationships with social media. It’s where they are most comfortable, right? It’s a platform to talk to friends as much as look for vacancies. By approaching candidates on social media, you’re speaking on their terms. It’s a sincere, non-pushy way of letting them know your agency can help.

Don't forget, social media is just one element of a successful marketing strategy for recruiters. To discover more, have a read of our Inbound Marketing for Recruitment Agencies page.

#7 Big Data is your Friend

A little extra authority makes your content that bit more trustworthy and effective, and you can do so using big data. You can use government statistics to inform your campaigns and tell your audience that your content has come from a place of true authority. Whether it be labour stats, intelligence from mergers and acquisitions or research relevant to the recruitment industry, you can use it to your advantage.

Say, for example, that a company is due to go through a merger, or is being bought out elsewhere. In a fluid situation like that, job opportunities could be worth their weight in gold, and people could well be looking for a move.

You can also do it yourself - create an industry-focused survey with which your marketing can attract attention and generate leads.

#8 Improve the Perception of your Industry

Be a spokesperson, thought-leader and a shining example for your industry by speaking out against the naysayers. Over the years, recruitment has been the victim of some criticism - what you can do is push the merits of your industry with your content and make people aware.

It’s all about soft skills - skills that can be applied to any number of situations and are not tied down to any specificity. Recruitment requires a great level of communication, attention to detail and - without a doubt - people skills.

Shout this out, and lead by example. The industry will thank you.

To summarise: 

  • Get on the SEO map
  • Use smart content marketing
  • Utilise your success stories
  • Give candidates a good first impression
  • Go to conferences and trade shows
  • Get your social media right
  • Use government data
  • Speak for your industry

With the above tips: you’ll be able to set an example, lead your industry and service high-quality candidates high-quality roles. Recruitment is competitive, but there are so many ways you can stake your claim in the industry and become the agency you want to be.

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