Intro – Inbound Marketing for Recruitment Agencies
This is a guide for ambitious recruitment agencies wanting to work smarter to attract top talent, boost business growth with more vacancies added to their books and nurture candidate and client relationships. Does this sound like you?
If you don’t have time to digest all the valuable nuggets of information and digital marketing hacks below, or you want a printed version to refer to and show colleagues, download it as a handy PDF.
Get more leads
No matter your role in recruitment, there’s likely to be one pressing issue that’s constantly on your mind … “How can I get more leads?”
It may be that you’re the best consultant in your sector, but without a healthy pipeline of quality job vacancies and top talent to fill them, you won’t be successful.
Look through the marketer’s lens
It’s time to start thinking like a marketer to develop a more streamlined approach to finding top talent and attracting new clients. Effective recruiters take time to truly understand their target audiences, leveraging data and running experiments to see which methods and channels are most effective in driving action, nurturing leads and continually measuring results.
Transform your recruitment agency into a highly effective, data-driven operation, whilst maintaining the human face of your brand by creating an engaging, helpful candidate experience. Learn how inbound marketing can help you to delight clients and candidates alike to drive repeat business, referrals and growth of your network.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
HubSpot puts it like this: “In a nutshell, inbound marketing is about marketing with a magnet, not a sledgehammer.”
The inbound approach for recruitment is all about:
- Being loved, not ignored by your candidates and clients
- Building trust, not scepticism among your prospects
- Outsmarting, not outspending your competitors
Inbound recruiting creates a remarkable candidate experience from beginning to end, helping your agency build meaningful relationships with top talent. It enables you to have one-to-one relationships at scale; a winning formula for recruitment agencies.
Inbound marketing encompasses everything from web page copy, blogs, videos, social media posts and eBooks to online paid media. Emailing your leads helpful content about your application process, inviting them to recruiting events, or giving them the opportunity to talk to a recruiter through live chat are all ways to provide value in the decision-making process.
Interruptive marketing methods like buying ads, buying email lists, or cold calling, simply don’t work like they used to. Inbound marketing is different, it focuses on earning trust using educational content that draws quality candidates and clients toward your website where they can learn more about vacancies and your agency approach on their own terms.
Reduce your cost per lead
Generating online leads has the power to transform your business – your website is your number one marketing asset and has the potential to be your number one salesperson. By creating hyper-targeted content, clear calls-to-action, persuasive landing pages and forms for data capture, you can significantly reduce your cost-per lead and deliver higher quality prospects.
So how is inbound different to traditional marketing…
The inbound marketing way of thinking employs two fundamental concepts to appeal to candidates based on how they research careers and specific opportunities they’re interested in (the same tailored approach works for clients too):
Content: Create online content (web pages, blog articles, social messages etc.) optimised for search and social media to get found by potential candidates and attract passive candidates.
Context: Understand what content pulls them through the sales funnel and use that context to automatically create bespoke experiences, personalising what messages and job opportunities visitors see depending on where they are in the funnel.
Inbound marketing works particularly well for recruiters because of the highly personal nature of the business – given that we spend most of our lives in work there’s arguably nothing more self-defining than our job. Recruitment campaign actions revolve around detailed buyer persona development; meaning inbound strategies attract relevant, quality leads by offering targeted helpful content.
Traditional marketing is dead
There are three major reasons why candidates and clients are sceptical about recruitment agencies’ old interruptive advertising and cold calling and why they aren’t nearly as effective as they once were.
1. The Proliferation of Media
The media landscape has become insanely cluttered. There’s a magazine, TV channel, radio station, and a host of websites for every conceivable interest and each of those channels has become saturated with ads.
2. A History of Deceptive Advertising
Clients are accustomed to false claims, so all ads — even the clever ones — are considered untrustworthy.
3. Technology Empowered the Client and the Candidate
Ubiquitous access to tools and information has enabled them to dodge interruptive brand messages and instead seek out information when they’re ready.
Not only are people tired of being bombarded by intrusive ads, mailers, and cold calls, they have the tools – caller ID, ad blockers, spam-filtering software – to evade the messages that don’t interest them.
Recruiters that align the content they publish with client and candidate interests can naturally attract the types of people most likely to convert and go on to become advocates.
How Inbound Attracts Talent and Clients
The inbound philosophy is backed by a methodology that helps brands attract, convert, close, and delight visitors, leads, clients and candidates through a multitude of channels such as social media, blogging, SEO, landing pages, forms and email.
The methodology facilitates the client journey through the sales funnel – right from strangers to promoters of your agency.
The inbound methodology can be summed up into four simple steps:
Inbound Strategy – First Step
If you agree that the key to successful recruiting is being timely, relevant and genuinely helpful, then you need to have an in-depth understanding of the people you’re talking to.
Ask yourself, do you really know your candidates? Most recruiters are quick to convince themselves they do, but attention to detail is the fine line between success and failure. Candidate and client personas give you a platform to acquire the details your competition could be missing.
The first step in creating an inbound strategy for your agency is to build ideal candidate and client personas (semi-fictional representations of the people you’re looking for) for each position you’re trying to fill and for each new company profile you want to attract. If your agency focuses on a sector vertical then this process can be repeated and refined for specific roles.
These personas are formed by defining the characteristics, skills and traits that make up your perfect hire and ideal client. Creating personas guide your hiring process and help you identify the talent that is the best fit for your client.
Creating personas based on market research and real data about your existing contacts, enhances your accuracy, saving you valuable time in the long run. Spend less resources chasing lost leads and writing long-winded job descriptions that appeal to everyone and target nobody.
Here’s a useful tool that you can use to truly understand who your key candidate personas are. Follow a similar process to identify new clients.
Inbound Themes for Recruiters
There are many different elements to inbound marketing, that when used together provide a compelling recipe for success. Here we outline the key areas to include in your strategy, once you’ve started work on your candidate and client personas.
Create hyper-targeted content that answers client, candidates and passive candidate’s questions and needs. Address their pain points and challenges and help them with solutions. Share that content across multiple channels.
You recognize that people go through stages as they interact with your company and that each stage requires different marketing actions.
Personalisation and context
As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalise your messages to their specific needs. This is important as there’s nothing more personal than somebody’s job and career aspirations. The key to offering an experience that candidates will remember is personalisation.
Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature because it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you. Repurpose the content you create for each channel.
Your publishing and analytics tools all work together like a well-oiled machine, allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time.
Get Started with Inbound Marketing Tools
Step 1: Tools to attract strangers to your site:
- Blogging – the average company that blogs generates 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, 434% more indexed pages [source: HubSpot].
- Social Media – share valuable content, engage with your prospects, and put a human face to your agency.
- Keyword Optimisation – analytically pick keywords, optimise your pages, create content and build links around the terms your ideal clients and candidates are searching for.
- Site Pages – Search engines and users like frequently updated websites, so you need to transform your site into a beacon of helpful, fresh, and optimised pages.
Step 2: Tools to convert visitors into leads include:
- Calls-to-Action (CTAs) – generate leads with buttons or links that encourage visitors to take action, like ‘Book a Consultation’ or ‘Attend a Webinar’.
- Landing Pages – after clicking on a CTA, visitors should be sent to a landing page where the offer is fulfilled and the prospect submits information that your sales team can use to begin a conversation with them.
- Forms – for visitors to become leads, they must fill out a form and submit their contact information. Optimise your form to make the conversion process as easy as possible.
- Contacts Database – Keep track of the leads you’re converting in a centralised marketing database so you can make sense out of every interaction you’ve had with your contacts – be it through email, a landing page, or social media.
Step 3: Tools to close leads into clients/candidates include:
- Lead Scoring – using a numerical representation of the sales-readiness of a lead means you know which of your contacts are ready to speak to your sales team.
- Email – nurture your contacts with a series of emails focused on useful, relevant content until they’re ready to move to the next stage.
- Marketing Automation – if a visitor downloaded a CV guide from you in the past for example, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails.
- Closed-Loop Reporting – Know which marketing efforts are bringing in the best leads and whether your sales team is focused on the most qualified leads by integrating with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
Step 4: Tools to delight your clients/candidates include:
- Smart Calls-to-Action – create personalised, tailored experiences based on prospects’ needs across all marketing channels, from email to landing pages.
- Social Media – keep your existing clients happy, informed and engaged so they go on to be advocates of your agency, feeding the top of your sales funnel.
- Email and Marketing Automation – create an ongoing connection to delight all contacts, so there are regular touchpoints, but not at the expense of your own time management.
Content Ideas for your Recruitment Agency
By offering personal, valuable and engaging content delivered across channels your target personas are actively using you can attract relevant, qualified and genuinely interested leads.
In short, killer content brings the top talent to you; people who are actively looking for jobs, so all your leads are warm from the outset. For this to be effective your content must resonate with your audience and pull in active and passive candidates, browsing the web for inspiration.
Providing value-added content in exchange for more lead details, means you can extract information that could help your recruitment process. It will also help you to build a reputation as industry specialists to appeal to new clients.
Formats to experiment with could include:
- Meet the recruiter – live video feed
- Career blog
- Behind the scenes video series – what’s it like to work in different companies and settings
- Day-in-the-life features
- Guides and tip sheets for every stage of the candidate journey
- Influencer interviews
Test what engages your key audiences and do more of what works.
Show a Clear Return on Investment
Marketing should always link closely with sales, enabling your recruiters to perform better.
By analysing the results of your inbound marketing activities you will have a clearer picture of how clients, candidates or potential recruiters arrived at your site, what they did when they got there, what content they went on to interact with and what actions they took.
Integrating this data into your customer relationship management (CRM) system will allow you to attribute any outcomes, such as winning new business, new hires or new candidates to their original marketing source.
Using HubSpot’s CRM for example would provide you with customised reporting to measure the success of each campaign against your wider business objectives. This is particularly useful for setting marketing budgets that drive growth.
How We Can Help
Pixel Lab is a HubSpot Certified Partner Agency; we can help you with all aspects of your inbound marketing from strategy through to delivery and sales enablement to help your recruitment agency grow.
What does your online presence look like and what’s the competitive landscape? We examine your current business objectives, your precise goals and how your marketing activity connects them.
Our team will take time to understand your niche and evaluate how you attract and engage with the talent or clients you’re looking for.
The next step is to map out your personas – your ideal clients, candidates and potential new recruitment consultants. How are you perceived by them and does this align with your key messages?
Once we determine together what you’re trying to achieve, we can create hyper-targeted content for your personas. As part of this process we’ll undertake a content audit to see if there are any existing pieces that we can reshape and repurpose to capitalise on quick wins.
We’ll create compelling content to engage with your target market and nurture them through to the point of conversion on your website.
Is your website working hard enough to attract visitors and convert them into leads? We can help you to optimise your web pages for search and develop your call-to actions. If you need to redesign, restructure or refresh your website we can help with that too.
A distribution plan, plotting content across different marketing channels will be drawn up for maximum reach and impact.
Recruitment campaigns will be set up with smart automated emails and innovative marketing workflows to take website visitors through to the next stage in the candidate/client journey. To do this we utilise HubSpot’s platform to build progressive profiles of the people interacting with your site and automate many parts of the otherwise manual recruitment process.
We can build persona driven journeys in your CRM that use content to identify potential candidates and clients and drive them through to conversion. Once you have their attention, you can segment their paths and nurture their engagement towards your sales team.
The really clever part comes once your recruiters are alerted to an active lead on your website; they will be armed with real-time information to have timely, qualified calls with your target audience, effectively starting new relationships or strengthening existing ones.
Intrigued to learn more about how your agency could put inbound marketing into practice to generate more leads. Contact us about how we can help with inbound marketing for recruitment agencies.