03 Feb When Your Staffing Firm Has No In-House Marketing Team
For small-to-mid-sized staffing firms in growth mode, marketing can make all the difference. But you might not be ready to hire a handful of full-time marketing professionals to do it for you.
It’s a common scenario in the staffing world. Consequently, those marketing initiatives end up in the hands of one of three people: the owner themselves, a recruiter or salesperson, or an administrative assistant.
Will it work? Well, it depends. Read on – we explore what it looks like for a staffing firm to do marketing with no in-house marketing team.
When the Owner Does the Marketing
You’re the owner. You have an extensive background in staffing, and you believe you can achieve greater success in your own business venture. This is your moment to prove it—and you know marketing is going to be a big part of that. It’s what will help you gain brand recognition and credibility.
There are some advantages for you, the owner, to run marketing directly. It’s likely that you have a solid relationship built with your audience already—you know them and they know you. It serves as a great foundation for online engagement, audience trust, and digital reach. You’re also more in-tune with your business goals than anyone else in your company, which is critical knowledge for setting associated marketing goals.
The downside? You’re only one person (no offense). You’re already wearing a multitude of hats, as the CEO who’s also the #1 salesperson, while simultaneously running your business, managing employees, interacting with clients, not to mention tackling HR, finances, risk management, internal hiring, and more. Adding marketing to the mix might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. This is especially true if you simply don’t have much experience in the complexities of digital marketing.
What to Prioritize
If DIYing it is just what works for you and your staffing firm right now, what marketing efforts should you prioritize? Rather than spreading your efforts thin, pick just a couple of specific activities. Can you commit to writing an article per month, sharing your experience and insights from a unique perspective? Can you publish these to LinkedIn and spark conversations with your connections and new sales prospects? Sharing your valuable knowledge in a way that builds new and existing relationships will help you build a solid foundation for future marketing initiatives.
However, at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself where your time is better spent. Is performing these marketing tasks going to establish enough traction in order to reach new client prospects and gain credibility? Is your time better spent on selling or marketing? What is more valuable to you – making a phone call or writing an article?
When a Recruiter or Salesperson Takes on Marketing
A recruiter’s or salesperson’s network stretches far and wide. It makes them a great resource for boosting marketing efforts in support of a staffing firm’s core business.
Because recruiters and salespeople are already widely connected with both candidates and clients, they have an established relationship with their audience. This serves as a valuable jumping-off point for your marketing program—building that audience is often half the battle. Additionally, recruiters and salespeople know exactly what kind of marketing support they need in their specific roles and can cater their marketing efforts accordingly.
The downside to recruiters and salespeople taking on your staffing firm marketing is that it takes them away from activities that are core to the business. You’re left with either not enough sales and recruiting efforts to grow revenue or not enough marketing to support those efforts. It’s a Catch-22. Even if there was a perfect balance, the fact is that most recruiters and salespeople aren’t marketing experts—they can effectively skim the surface, but they may not understand how to truly leverage the ins and outs of digital marketing.
What to Prioritize
Despite the disadvantages, if it still makes sense for a recruiter or salesperson to run your marketing for now, the best activity to prioritize is building your company networks on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. LinkedIn allows administrators of company profiles to invite personal connections to the page, so this is a good starting point. From there, engaging with those followers in conversation or in response to specific posts and articles is a good next move.
When a Staffing Admin Assists with Marketing
Tasked with welcoming guests, filing paperwork, answering phone calls, managing schedules, and much more, your admin may be a natural choice to help out with marketing efforts.
As discussed, the downside to owners, recruiters, and salespeople running marketing is that it takes away from key business activities. That’s why an administrative assistant, office manager, or similar position might be the perfect role to take on marketing. They often have greater bandwidth and are naturally wearing more hats. Additionally, it’s entirely possible to tailor this role to automatically include marketing (rather than making it a last-minute add-on) by hiring someone who has prior experience and knowledge in marketing. And finally, it’s often the lowest cost alternative.
It’s likely your admin isn’t quite as in tune with your staffing firm’s business goals or challenges—and these should be key drivers of what your marketing efforts look like. Consequently, the disconnect may mean your marketing won’t reach the right audience or will inadvertently reflect your brand in an inaccurate light. Additionally, for one person to take on marketing as a fraction of their role requires that they be a jack-of-all-trades, possibly missing the complexities of a hard-hitting marketing program.
What to Prioritize
An admin can help you cover all your bases, even if they’re not an expert. Keeping social profiles active, publishing occasional blog posts, and setting up email platforms are some key activities that will help.
No In-House Marketing?
The fact is, effective marketing goes much deeper and wider than the efforts listed above. Social profiles and blog posts are great jumping-off points, but you need someone who’s in tune with the highly competitive staffing industry and can tap into your goals and objectives full-time. They’ll use that knowledge to leverage their expertise in brand identity and strategy, ad campaigns, email marketing, content strategy, and much more.
When you can’t (or don’t want to) invest in several full-time marketing employees to handle all that responsibility in-house, your other option is often the best option: an outsourced marketing team for your staffing firm.
We can’t wait to discuss your needs and challenges. Give Kevin a call today.
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.