21 May Who’s in Charge of Your Staffing Firm’s Recruitment Marketing?
There’s no other way to put it: competition for talent in 2018 is fierce. Especially in a hot sector like tech where two-thirds of employers say they are facing a moderate to extreme skills shortage, staffing firms are looking for a way to set themselves apart and send a clear message to candidates. Recruitment marketing can be that solution, but who takes ownership of it? Is it the c-suite? Is it the recruiting team? What about the marketing department? Since such an important strategy requires the participation of several different departments and roles, the answer isn’t so cut and dry.
The President, Owner, or C-Suite
Candidate acquisition is the top priority for 42% of staffing firms. For those organizations this mentality comes from the top, illustrating how important upper management and ownership are for a company’s strategic direction. When it comes to recruitment marketing for staffing firms, buy-in must be led from the c-suite. Leadership that expresses how marketing strategies are vital to a flowing pipeline of qualified candidates sets the stage for the whole organization to act accordingly.
If a staffing firm’s president and ownership are the commanders, then the recruiters are the boots on the ground. They’re the ones using any and all marketing tools at their disposal to reach the right candidates, garner their interest, and sell opportunities. The more effective their tools, the better. After all, as recruiters look to build relationships with candidates, they need something more than a cold call. It takes multiple touches to build trust, and that’s all on the recruiter, right?
Not exactly. Surveys indicate that 48% of staffing firms believe recruiters own the candidate experience, which leaves over half that feel otherwise. Recruiters cannot take sole charge of a staffing firm’s recruitment marketing because they simply don’t have the time. If a recruiter has access to compelling touch points like blogs, emails, and downloadable content full of information that is genuinely relevant to candidates, then they can focus on using those items to build the relationship that could turn a lead into a placement. Not only do they need buy-in from the top, but recruiters also need these marketing materials readily available.
Even though account managers are focused on clients instead of candidates, that does not mean they can sit removed from a staffing firm’s recruitment marketing strategy. With a consultative approach to client relationships, account managers can play an important role in ensuring that a position is attractive enough to entice talented candidates. Furthermore, effective communication between the account manager and the recruiter is crucial to providing timely feedback to candidates. Recruitment marketing relies upon that connection for successful execution.
The Marketing Department
If a staffing firm has a marketing department, can’t they handle recruitment marketing? In practice, a marketing department cannot create an effective recruitment marketing strategy in a vacuum. Input from every level of the organization is essential to providing the tools and creating the resources that recruiters will need to reach more (and better) candidates. After all, the marketing department can’t know a candidate’s pain points and career goals without knowledge from the recruiters that work with them. While marketing may own recruitment marketing initiatives on paper, they cannot make much of an impact alone.
A Proven Marketing Partner
Clearly, it takes more than just one role or department to create and execute a strong recruitment marketing strategy. Unfortunately, this takes time and attention away from a president’s, recruiter’s, or account manager’s regular responsibilities. At the same time, these professionals don’t necessarily have the marketing expertise necessary to drive the strategy on their own. Forbes reports that while over 70% of small businesses do their marketing in-house, this model is often ineffective. That’s where a proven partner versed in staffing firm recruitment marketing comes in. Engaging with a marketing firm injects expertise into your organization right where you need it in a cost-effective way and allows you to pinpoint the ownership of this important initiative.
Who’s in Charge of Your Staffing Firm’s Recruitment Marketing?
After all, recruitment marketing is more than just someone posting on job boards. It’s creating emails, blogging, updating websites, researching SEO, planning social media, outlining referral programs, organizing events, and much more. On top of that, every initiative need measuring to ensure success. What about cost-per-hire, website-visitors-to-applicants, applicants-to-hire, time-to-hire, and other important measurables? To be done right, recruitment marketing in staffing requires dedication not just to get a lead, but to nurture that lead throughout the entire candidate experience.
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Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.