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6 Insider Tips on How to Grow Your Recruiting Firm Through Digital Marketing By Kelli Schutrop

Successful recruiting firms have a small handful of common factors, especially when it comes to firms that receive inbound website traffic and inbound client / candidate conversations. Cold calling has long been the norm in the recruiting industry, but now with the developments within digital marketing – it is possible to trigger clients / candidates to contact YOU!

Kelli’s marketing career in the recruiting industry started when she was introduced to a one-person recruiting firm owner who knew she wanted to grow her business through marketing and branding. Fast forward a year and they had both been recruited to a well-known, awarded executive search and consulting firm in Minneapolis. A company on the verge of change whose leadership team was soon to part ways because of different philosophies of what “success” meant to them.

In 2013, they went from being a well-known name in the market to be a brand-new company. The former name was phased out and a new name was created. The new executive search and consulting agency became known as “Versique” – and no one in the market had ever heard of us, and neither had Google.

How A Recruiting Firms Receives 50% of Its Revenue from People Calling Them

What happened over the next four years is nothing short of vision, hard work, excellent recruiters…and the intense power of digital marketing! In just four years, the company grew from $0-$10M on the perm placement side. Now $17M between perm and consulting with 10 distinct practice areas and 30 recruiters, many of which have more than a decade of recruiting experience. Versique is now one of the largest single-site recruiting firms in the Midwest.

Throughout our journey of growth, we created a strategy that not only got our name known in our market, but also got the phone to ring…to the tune of now receiving over 50% of revenue through digital marketing sources.

6 Marketing Keys for Success

Here are six keys we implemented to realize this success. Inbound marketing is a lifestyle, not an overnight fix. If you want to gain better brand recognition, get found online, and bring more business in the door for your recruiting firm, this is the way to do it. Much like lifting weights to become more fit, it’s a long-play, and the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see the value.

1. Know What You Do (Niche, Niche, Niche)

We’ve seen many recruiting company websites that do not state what they do. They say they specialize in recruiting, staffing, executive search, headhunting, etc. They have information about their process and their unique strategy to attract the best candidates in the industry, but what they don’t say what they specialize in.

If given a choice of hiring someone who specializes in fixing your issue, or someone who fixes “all issues” – who would you pick? Easy answer. So, why would it be different for your clients or candidates who are looking for someone to fix their issue of hiring talent or landing in the best next role for them – in their niche? Being “all things to all people” only works on paper, but not in reality. The key to becoming the best in your space is to define a niche and talk about it on your website. Whether you specialize by function such as sales, marketing, and finance; by industry such as CPG or healthcare; or by one of those and a market such as Minneapolis, it’s crucial to set yourself apart. If you’re all things to all people, you’re making it harder on yourself to get business.

2. Tell Google What You Do (SEO and PPC)

If your website doesn’t say what you specialize in, there is no way for Google and other search engines to know. And if search engines don’t know what you do, how will people find you who are searching for your services? SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) are technical marketing terms and most recruiting firm owners have heard of them and some have maybe even dabbled in them. The key to SEO is to make sure you have the right content on your website to attract people searching for keywords of what you do – through technical components on the back-end of your website, and also through relevant practice area pages that talk about each niche you focus on.

PPC tends to be “easier” to see working because you can create ads and drive people to your website, but what happens if they get to your site and do not see that you specialize in their need, or worse, you have zero credibility online? Having relevant information on your website is important to anyone coming to your site, no matter how they get there – by typing in your URL directly because someone referred them or by Googling you and clicking on an ad.

3. Tell Your Audience What You Do (Content and Thought Leadership)

Once you have the basics on your website, such as practice area pages and relevant keywords, it’s important to continue adding relevant content over time. One of the best ways to do this is to blog. Yes, everyone knows “blogging is important” – but who has time for that? Consider this, what if the clients you’re talking to on a day-to-day basis were able to enter their questions in Google and find you? We’re not just talking about “CFO recruiters Minneapolis” but more of a thought leadership topic like “what are salaries for CFOs in Minneapolis in 2017”? What if you were the thought leader behind that blog they clicked on, and they had a positive view of your brand, and when they have a hiring need in the future, they thought of you? Does blogging sound like a waste of time then? (PS – if you blog, make sure to push it out to your company’s social media channels, post it to your personal LinkedIn Publisher, and have your employees share it from their profiles – get your brand out there!

4. Make People Choose You (Credibility)

Now that you have people coming to your website, do they see credibility? How many years of experience do your recruiters have? Do they specialize in your specific industry niche? Are there client / candidate testimonials? What kinds of searches have been completed in the past? What types of roles are currently on the website now? All of these elements build your credibility and build a case for website visitors to contact YOU rather than your competitors.

5. Make Sure They Can Contact You (User Experience)

So, a client wants to have a conversation to learn more. Great! But wait, what if you don’t give them a great user experience in finding a way to contact you? Sure, you have a Contact Us page, but do you have a Learn More / Start the Conversation / Contact Us call-to-action button on the page they are on right now? Let’s say they are on your finance and accounting recruiting practice area page – they found you online, they’ve looked at your team, they see testimonials, and they know they want to have a conversation – don’t make them work for it. Make it as easy as possible for them to contact you.

6. Be Ready When They Are (Internal Processes)

Now, you’ve accomplished what you’ve wanted! A client has found YOU (online) and they reached out to learn more about how you can help their need. Where are you? Are you on the phone with them within minutes? Have you returned their email to schedule a time to connect? Have they already filled out three other recruiting firm’s forms? Be there for them. Have an internal process that captures every lead that comes through as soon as possible. If you aren’t, someone else is, and they may get the business because of it.

BONUS: Track How People Find You (Results)

So, you’ve gained more inbound traffic to your website and people are reaching out – now it’s more important than ever to track how people are finding you! Is it through paid channels (PPC, social ads, that LinkedIn Job Slot you paid way too much for) or through organic search (people typing in keywords to find your website – maybe they landed on a specific practice area page, your homepage, or even a blog)? Keeping track of client and candidate sources in your ATS or a spreadsheet will help you determine what’s working and what to invest more in. If you spend money on a job board, you certainly monitor how many jobs you close through that board – how much more would you want to track clients (and candidates) coming to your website who turn into a placement?

There you have it, a recipe for building a successful recruiting brand online! The more credibility you have online, the more it will help people find you – and it will also help your recruiters in their outbound efforts. When people they reach out to view your website, you want them to see how credible your company is, and call your recruiter back!

If you need help getting your digital marketing started, let’s have a conversation. It’s never too late to start. Contact Parqa Here. 

A few years ago, Versique, with a desire to train and educate the industry, established a digital marketing agency specifically for recruiting firms – called Parqa. We take our thought leadership and best practices and implement them for your company (assuming we’re not direct competitors in the Minneapolis market).  If you are a recruiting firm looking to grow, I’d love to have a conversation with you.  Let’s talk!