Shifting from Candidate to Client Marketing

Shifting from Candidate to Client Marketing

When the economy shifts from a candidate to a client-led market, those recruiters who can pivot strategy and refocus their efforts are best positioned to weather the storm.

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While the talent shortage remains more widely across highly skilled and niche occupations, overall there has been a shift in the market, with recruitment plans on hold and recruitment agencies struggling to source job orders in a increasingly competitive market. Recruitment marketing strategies have had to pivot, with a greater emphasis on client acquisition and the argument for sales and marketing teams to (finally) unite stronger than ever before.

But where to start?

Thrive has compiled 5 things you need to do immediately to move to a client marketing focus.

1. (Re)define your value proposition:

What makes your recruitment agency different from the next? Sure you say that it’s about the people and the relationships you build, but why should anyone believe you and what are the proof points to back up your claim?

This is your chance to find out from your customer what pain points they face, why they have chosen your agency in the past and why they would again in the future. Craft your value proposition around solving real-world challenges and get into the data to find the stats to back up your claim – this can include your success rate percentage, average tenure, speed to market insights etc.

Plus, with HR and internal recruitment departments shaking up their departments and looking possibly for a more flexible take on the traditional RPO model, finding out how you can evolve your business to address their needs will hold you in good stead.

2. Know what you want to achieve:

Do you know your growth goals and projections for the coming quarter/year? Chances are you have an idea of your targets and resulting revenue, cash flow and profitability, but have you assessed how your marketing will contribute to this?

If you know you want to achieve X% growth, how many placements will that equate to? How many job orders will you need? Based on your conversion/fill rate, how many leads will be required? And finally, how will marketing support you in achieving these? Without the right KPIs and measurement, you’ll never know if your marketing efforts are moving the dial.

3. Assess your candidate acquisition needs…pronto!

Recruitment agencies have a lot of expenditure to attract candidates. From premium LinkedIn licenses to job boards and CV databases, we have (over time) developed a host of tools to attract candidates in a talent-short marketplace.

Many a marketer will relish in the fact that their website and candidate acquisition metrics are going to be in a steady upward curve over this period, but don’t be fooled: candidates already make up the bulk of a recruiter’s website traffic, and with more candidates on the market, these figures will naturally increase. Now, it is true that you’ll have fewer jobs on your website to attract candidates, so it’s important to do a deep dive into your data to see if you really need so many candidates applying in order to make a placement.

If you’re like most recruitment agencies, the bulk of your candidates will be coming from Indeed, particularly now as there are more candidates actively looking for roles. It’s therefore a wise idea to look at all of your candidate acquisition channels to see what you really need and what can be repurposed into other areas – for example, do you need that LinkedIn Recruiter license or will Sales Navigator suffice? Do you really need that job board or have you worked out which are actually driving the candidates you actually place (or better yet, do they already exist in your database?!)

4. Consider the channels that will drive client acquisition:

Hopefully you’ve freed up some expenditure from your job boards and are ready to invest in additional client-facing initiatives. But where to start? Relying on organic (unpaid) social media is not enough. While it may support the brand awareness of both your company and consultants, it can be difficult to cut through the noise to drive new customers.

There are a number of client-facing channels to consider: paid social media (particularly LinkedIn), programmatic advertising and pay-per-click (PPC) have more immediate ROI, but it’s going to cost you. SEO in contrast is a medium-to-long-term strategy, but definitely should be considered. Database marketing, when combined with a sales/marketing automation strategy and sequence(s) can be hugely effective with the added benefit of reactivating contacts that you already ‘own’.

5. Know your target client and mushroom the account:

If you have your sights set on a company with the opportunity to place candidates across multiple departments or functions, account-based marketing (ABM) may be right for you. Generally more relevant for contract/interim/temporary recruitment models (or for higher-volume permanent hires), ABM is best deployed when sales and marketing teams work together to identify target contacts and company-specific pain points, then develop marketing programmes specifically geared to the business.

A lot of businesses fear that ABM may be putting all of their eggs in one basket instead of marketing more broadly. This may be true, although when done strategically and effectively, can yield incredible return on investment. Learn more about account-based marketing for recruiters.

Developing your Client Marketing Strategy Fit for the Future

Client marketing strategies should be part of your business development function no matter the economic cycle. Leveraging more inbound and automated strategies to attract and pull customers into your sales funnel and nurture them through to point of sale will help you scale your business without having to add headcount. It will also allow your consultants to get back to doing what they love: building relationships, getting job orders and working the job.

Developing a recruitment marketing strategy that’s fit for purpose and aligned with business development goals will help you achieve your growth goals no matter the challenge. At Thrive Recruitment Marketing, we’d like to show you how!

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