It’s easier than it’s ever been to set up shop as a new recruitment agency, but the downside of this is... everyone’s doing it! So, what can you do to stand out from the crowd as a strong competitor if your brand is new to the recruitment market and relatively unknown?
Here are 6 tactics that will take your recruitment brand from zero to hero in no time.
Take advantage of being a new kid on the block (NKOTB)
Embrace the excitement of being a totally new recruitment brand with a clean slate and make this your ‘thing’ for the entire first year of running.
Here is your message: You’re new, you’re shaking things up, doing things differently and definitely worth a shot.
Any recruitment agency that’s been up and running for longer than a year or two won’t have this privilege, and they’ll be jealous of the start-up buzz you’re able to create surrounding your brand.
This is your time – make sure you use it!
Leverage a narrow niche
If you’re a small agency just starting out, really narrowing your niche to one particular area means you’re able to focus on establishing yourself as the go-to agency for that particular niche.
And if you’re finding that your niche is already saturated – go deeper.
Think about it from the candidate’s point of view: If you were approached by an agency that markets itself as an expert in recruiting for your specialisation (let's say Data & Analytics, for example) and another agency that was ten times the size and a known recruitment brand but takes a more generalist approach to the sectors it recruits in, who would you be more likely to choose?
Read: How to win a recruitment sales pitch when you're up against an agency giant
Laser target your marketing budget
The best thing about social media marketing is that the narrower your niche, the smaller a budget you’ll need to reach your target audience.
A good first step for a new agency would be to run a ‘like our Facebook page’ promotion to get the ball rolling with your page followers, targeting candidates within a certain radius of your recruitment area who have jobs and interests related to your niche.
But before you start spending money on social media, spend some time creating recruitment marketing personas so you understand exactly where your target audience hang out online and focus your marketing budget on those channels. This saves you wasting a lot of time and effort on areas that aren’t going to get you any return.
Capitalise on the human aspect of social media
One of the biggest perks of marketing a small brand is that you can have a lot more freedom regarding what you post on social media.
When you’re part of a small team, you don’t have to worry about submitting every single tweet for approval before you post, and you won’t have a 20-page long company social media policy document to stick to that basically stops you from doing anything interesting (a lot of in-house recruitment marketers battle with this daily!).
The freedom you have with social allows you to experiment with marketing on channels that other recruiters aren’t using (Instagram and Snapchat, for example) and really go to town on the humanizing aspects of social media by posting culture videos and fun insights about the day-to-day of life in your office – which is something that will make candidates and clients excited about working with you.
Make candidates your biggest marketers
No agency needs to be a big brand to provide an excellent service to candidates, and there’s no better marketing than word of mouth marketing.
In fact, working with a smaller candidate database means your agency can focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to building relationships, and this will pay off in the long term.
If you provide an excellent service to your candidates, they will be your biggest marketers. They’ll recommend you to their networks and even leave you a nice review (if you ask them to!).
Add a referral incentive to the mix and you should have a lot of success with this. Just think of it like cultivating evangelists for your recruitment brand!
Master Google for Jobs
As a new agency, it’s likely you won’t have the budget to shout the loudest on job boards, and you won’t have the organic SEO strength to appear tops Google search results either.
But the good news is, Google launched a job search feature last year that gives smaller agencies an opportunity to compete for visibility against businesses that have been around for decades and have fifty times the manpower.
With Google for Jobs, you don’t need to have a long-running SEO strategy to ensure your jobs appear top of the page in Google searches anymore. You just need to have all the Google for Jobs boxes ticked when publishing your job ads so Google can scrape them to appear in job seeker’s searches.
For everything you need to know about Google for Jobs and how to get the most out of it for your recruitment agency, download our playbook below.
Katie once headed up the Firefish blog and marketing team. She now works as a freelance copywriter and continues to contribute to our award-winning blog.