In this digital age, many of the skills required to be a kick-ass recruiter and a top-notch marketer are one and the same. When competition is tough, you need to do everything you can to show you’re the best the recruitment industry has to offer – and marketers know how to do this better than anyone!
Marketing can offer much more to the recruitment industry than just tips on how to be seen and heard, too. Look a little bit closer and it's clear that there are some other fundamentals to the way marketers go about their daily work that recruiters could really benefit from taking on board.
So read on to find out which tricks we’d recommend you adopt from the marketing industry to help you pull in more candidates and clients, improve candidate experience and make more placements as a result.
Showing personality and empathy
You might be making thirty calls a day just to have the same conversation over and over again with each candidate, but fall into the trap of sounding robotic and scripted – or worse still, disinterested in what they have to say – and the game’s a bogey!
The best kinds of marketers talk to consumers, not at them – and the same goes for recruiters talking to candidates! Gone are the days of being able to get away with dry, formulaic job ads that focus on what the role requires rather than what’s in it for the candidate. In the same way that marketers tap into consumer needs when trying to sell a product: you’ve got to focus on the candidate’s needs, not yours (or your client’s), when trying to pull in applicants to a role.
Staying on-brand with key messaging across all public platforms is at the core of all great marketing. As a recruiter, you should be doing the same – whether this is in relation to how you conduct yourself on social media, at a networking event or even just on the phone to a candidate.
Represent your brand consistently and professionally, and never let clients or candidates know you’re flapping in times of high stress. You might be bursting to have a rant about how under pressure you’re feeling over LinkedIn, but candidates don’t want to know when you’re stressed, and clients don’t need to know when you’re struggling to recruit. Maintain brand at all times to ensure your audience feel confident in your ability to deliver.
Keeping your finger on the pulse
It’s a huge part of a marketer’s job to stay in the loop with constantly evolving marketing trends, and any who don’t keep up get left behind pretty quickly. Similarly, the recruitment landscape is changing at such a pace nowadays that any recruiter who takes their finger off the pulse will struggle to compete.
On the other hand, thinking outside the box and using creative ways to fill tricky roles means you’ll likely find new candidate pools ahead of your competitors. And if you show yourself to be consistently in the know for your industry and sector, both candidates and clients will come to you as often as you reach out the them. A dream situation for any recruiter!
Segmenting your data
How many times have you unsubscribed from a mailing list because you’re getting emails filled with content that’s totally irrelevant to you? Marketers protect their database from unsubscribes by segmenting their data to suit different audience personas, ensuring they only send the most relevant content to each different persona subscriber.
Recruiters should be segmenting their database into talent pools to effectively do the same. Assigning your candidates to relevant talent pools and targeting them with roles and other valuable content that’s relevant to their location, skills, interests and salary or rate level will result in fewer unsubscribes, more engaged candidates and ultimately more placements!
Find out how to begin building out audience personas by downloading the toolkit at the bottom of this page.
Learning from your competitors
Marketers love to network with other marketers, and they use industry events, dinners and conferences to make connections, share best practices and learn from one other. In contrast, recruiters tend to only network with clients and candidates – in other words, those who can directly help them reach their targets!
Whilst it’s totally understandable that recruitment requires a degree of holding your cards close to your chest, a lot can be said for building your community and sharing knowledge with your fellow recruiters; it’s a big part of learning to love what you do too. Keeping an eye on how your closest competitors are evolving, growing, dealing with the changing landscape and embracing new tech is a crucial part of business, and the best way to ensure you’re always doing something different.
It’s with these habits that great marketers differentiate themselves from average marketers, and it’s clear they have the potential to transform good recruiters into top class recruiters too. Begin nurturing these habits in your daily workload now and you’ll see an improvement in your practice and your billing figures in no time.
Heidi is PhD student at the University of Aberdeen. Her research focuses on the issues surrounding the recruitment of patients into clinical trials.