When it comes to personal representation, talent development is as important as image development. Building a brand requires a great image. Building a great image requires having fantastic talent. Recruiting fantastic talent requires putting a great learning and development (L&D) strategy in place from the very beginning. Utilising a great L&D strategy is increasingly becoming the norm in organisations. According to the 2019 L&D Report compiled by findcourses.co.uk, a massive 72% of industry-leading organisations use L&D in their recruitment process. More than half believe that it gives them a competitive advantage, while 39% take L&D even further, using it is a decision-making tool when promoting talent. Why? The numbers speak for themselves. Organisations that use L&D in this way have a 22% lower staff turnover rate, with much higher levels of staff satisfaction with their roles. But how do you put a great L&D strategy together in the first place?
In this ‘always on’ digital age, social media has become incredibly important for recruitment agencies. However, one of the biggest challenges facing marketers is securing buy-in from senior management who sometimes fail to recognise the value that social media has to offer. This may be due to the leaders not being active on social, or simply because they are of the (wrong) opinion that it shouldn’t be a business priority.
When I’m speaking to new contacts in the recruitment and HR sphere I often find myself being asked during recruitment marketing discussions: “what is employer branding and why does it matter?” (this usually stems from a conversation where I’m explaining what we do here at BlueSky PR that makes us more than just a PR firm!) So, having faced the question again recently, I thought now would be a great time to jot down some useful information.
As the impact of Covid-19 changes the landscape of the recruitment industry from a candidate-centric to a client-led market, it is crucial that agencies focus on attracting new clients if they are to successfully navigate themselves through the easing of lockdown and into 2021.
Since being founded in February 2009 as a way for co-founder Jan Koum and his mum to stay in touch with their family back in Ukraine, WhatsApp has become the world’s most popular messaging app with two billion active users worldwide.
The past few months have been testing for all of us, however we are starting to see shoots of optimism when it comes to the recruitment sector, which, as we all know, is often viewed as a barometer for the wider economy. In fact, the latest data from APSCo reveals that vacancies have improved with July marking the second month in a row that job opportunities increased. And while it would be remiss to suggest that we are out of the woods, things are certainly starting to pick up again. Agencies are beginning to get back to the office once again, our conversations with clients concurs with APSCo’s research that levels of recruitment are picking up, and lockdown measures are easing.
As more staffing companies get back to the office, it’s encouraging to see much more positive chatter in the hiring landscape. And there’s certainly been an uptick in the number of firms starting to once again get their communication and PR activity running. But the successful implementation of recruitment marketing strategies is reliant on a number of factors. While this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, the below tips will certainly help businesses hit the ground running.
Recruitment marketing is a vital function for firms of all sizes, yet it can be incredibly difficult to know what we should be measuring and how. Too often recruitment marketers rely on vanity metrics, such as the number of social media followers they have acquired or the website traffic their site receives, which ultimately do not drive many relevant opportunities for business development.
I attended the Recruitment Network’s marketing round table last week and a key theme was how to get sales and marketing teams working together. And despite the fact that companies which successfully align sales and marketing not only drive more revenue, but also have better customer satisfaction levels, the subject has always been contentious. There a number of reasons for this – from a perception that marketing doesn’t drive sales through to cultural misalignment inherent within a business.
As the importance of social media in recruitment firm’s marketing strategies continues to grow, businesses across the industry are refining their approaches across the platforms to maximise their ROI. However, whilst focusing on the areas that directly impact the engagement and visibility of your brand’s social media presence is incredibly important, many marketers are overlooking the need to train employees on social media best practice – from the basics, such as how to create and share posts through to more advanced areas like nurturing prospects.
With over 4.5 billion active internet users today, the power of digital marketing can’t be overlooked. While internet usage has been steadily rising in recent times, unsurprisingly Covid-19 has accelerated the move towards greater usage and reliance on technology. And if recruitment firms want to ensure that they get their message heard and rise above the noise, it’s crucial that they have a strategic marketing plan which is fit for the new virtual world. Here’s how recruitment firms can step up their digital marketing strategy.
Recruitment marketers have faced a common challenge for a long time now: getting consultants on board with PR activity. We all recognise the frustration. Those in the profession know that the best and most impactful marketing and content strategies are ones that everyone in the company supports. Whether that’s through sharing press coverage and blogs, being active on social media or contributing to the content themselves, having recruiters involved in PR will be hugely valuable in driving up engagement levels.
In the weeks since our lives were turned upside down due to COVID-19 I have seen several posts on LinkedIn about poor candidate experiences – from the jobseekers applying for roles and hearing nothing – not even an acknowledgement that their application has been received – to those seeking advice and being met with silence. Of course, it’s important to note that there are exceptions to this rule, and some recruiters have ramped up their comms activity to ensure that candidate experience remains on point. In fact, I saw a great post yesterday from a recruiter who is currently on furlough asking her network to get in touch if they have lost their job and need help with CV writing or simply a chat about what their options are.
How high does your recruitment firm’s website content rank on Google?
In our most recent live recruitment marketing Q&A, hosted by Vickie Collinge and Dan Stobbs, we focused on the future of recruitment PR and marketing, BlueSky's @VickieCollinge and @Stobbzy are live for our recruitment marketing Q&A. They are discussing how agencies can future-proof their comms strategy. Send in your questions! #RecruitmentMarketing #Recruitment #Staffing #HRhttps://t.co/pSyvEkRPPX — Tracey Barrett (Dunn) (@BlueSkyPR) May 18, 2020 Here's what was covered: . Vickie: Hi everyone, it's Vicki here from BlueSky PR.
Are you struggling to demonstrate social media ROI to your manager or the wider team at your recruitment firm? Measuring the return on social media metrics can often feel like a real struggle as not everything you do will result in a new candidate or client.
While no-one is really sure what will happen in the wake of COVID-19, one certainty is that millions of job-seekers will be searching for employment at the same time. Therefore, if agencies are to stand out in this market, having consistent and clear communications with clients and candidates will be essential for firms going forward.
The UK eagerly awaited the scheduled announcement from the Prime Minister on Sunday 10th May, with the expectation of lockdown being eased a prediction of the hopeful, while the realists among us perhaps knew that it’s still too early for that. And while there remains to be some clarity on exactly what we can and can’t do (remember, you can go out but you can’t, and go to work but don’t travel, and don’t go to work if you can work from home – and please, PLEASE stay alert, whatever that’s supposed to mean) one thing is for sure: uncertainty remains. So just what does the latest Covid-19 news mean for recruiters and what should we all be doing more of to keep battling on?
Last week we ran our fifth live recruitment marketing Q&A focusing on crisis PR for recruiters, hosted by Vickie Collinge and Dan Stobbs.
Last week we ran our fourth live recruitment marketing Q&A focusing on recruiters social media use, hosted by Dan Stobbs and Steph King.
There’s no denying that COVID-19 has meant that the messages you communicate with candidates has had to change exponentially in a matter of weeks. Many agencies will have spent a lot of time and effort developing a content calendar full of useful tips and resources. However, in the current climate some of these subjects will no longer be appropriate – a series aimed at job opportunities overseas or securing a pay rise, for example. Consequently, firms have had to go back to the drawing board and come up with new resources that address candidates’ pain points in the current climate. So what are the top tips for ensuring your content is appropriate and, crucially, that all candidates are responded to when they engage with your brand?
Last week we ran our third live recruitment marketing Q&A focusing on events and survey data hosted by Vickie Collinge and Dan Stobbs. BlueSky's @VickieCollinge and @Stobbzy are live for our recruitment marketing Q&A. Ask them your questions concerning virtual events and survey data.#RecruitmentMarketing #Recruitment https://t.co/0d2XzAQeYR — Tracey Barrett (Dunn) (@BlueSkyPR) April 22, 2020 Here's what was covered: Vickie: Hi everyone! Hi Dan! Welcome everyone who’s joined us. I hope everyone is well. Thank you for coming on board for this week’s live Q&A. Just a quick comment from me, I’m sure if anyone has seen the promo’s we’ve been putting out on social media, it was my colleague Steph King that was going to be joining me on this today, obviously Dan is not Steph but I’m afraid Steph has been pulled away on something else suddenly. So, Dan our Head of Social Media has kindly agreed to join me today and pose some of the questions you’ve been asking us over the last week or so. If anyone has seen one of these before, we’ve all been taking part in these live Twitter Q&A’s to give everyone in the recruitment industry the opportunity to ask us anything about recruitment marketing, PR, social media – questions that are really at the top of your list at the moment. And we’re answering them so we can give everyone as much support and help as we can during these difficult times.
In just a matter of months, the coronavirus pandemic has completely turned our lives upside down. From the way in which we attend events to how we communicate with friends and colleagues, the pandemic has forced us to take things online.
Last week we ran our second coronavirus helpline live recruitment marketing Q&A on Twitter, this time focusing on social media for recruitment and hosted by Dan Stobbs and Stephanie King.
With talks of GDP falling and the possibility of a recession on the cards as COVID-19 causes chaos to the global economy, I thought it pertinent to write a blog on how recruitment can survive a recession. As someone who started her PR career as the financial crisis hit, I’ve witnessed first-hand from the first day of my working life what tactics do and don’t work during turbulent times like these. Of course, I’m not suggesting that these approaches will work on a blanket basis and as a disclaimer I will add that I’m fully aware the we’re facing unprecedented times – the likes of which we’ve never seen, so naturally, no one can definitely say that if you do X, your business will survive. But we’re all human, and part of what makes us all so great is our ability to learn (well some of us anyway – I’m still waiting for my husband to learn to put laundry IN the wash basket, not next to it).
If you’re anything like the team at BlueSky you’ll be used to attending – and for many organising your own - industry events. At a time when we can’t attend in person, it is perhaps fair to say that many recruitment marketers are removing events from their future plans. But it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have to be that way – in fact now is a great time to create virtual events for your clients and candidates. So, how can you organise a successful virtual event? And what should they be about?
Last week we ran our first coronavirus helpline live recruitment marketing Q&A on Twitter, hosted by Vickie Collinge and Dan Stobbs, who answered all the marketing, PR and social media questions you tweeted in to us.
Whilst we might all be conducting 'business as normal', the current global situation is far from it. Working remotely is possibly something you've always dreamt of under different circumstances but this reality is more challenging. One of the key things we've learnt though is that, locked in our homes as we might be, and difficult as it may be to navigate, life does not stop, and recruitment cannot afford to wait this one out. So, what do you do?
The last few weeks have certainly been trying times for many of us. As most of the world goes into ‘lockdown’ in an attempt to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, and the news is inundated with statistics and updates of cases, it can be difficult to remain positive. However, during tough times we see many cases of community support emerge – and there are many of them we should celebrate during this period of difficulty. Here are five uplifting stories which have surfaced from this time of crisis which will help put a smile on your face.
The recruitment industry has thankfully come a long way since the days of being proudly run with a ‘boys’ club’ attitude, however there is still so much left to do in terms of achieving equality. While there certainly has been a shift in mentality, with women more welcome than ever before, just like several other industries, there is still a stark gender pay gap and lack of representation at board level. This International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting the need for gender balance in recruitment.
By now, I’m sure you’re aware of how important creating content is for your business. If you don’t, here’s a quick post from us explaining why your firm needs to have a blog.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last twenty years, you will know social media is a tool most often used by people to present themselves and companies to promote their products and brand. But did you know that 92% of recruiters are avid users of social media, using social networks in their recruitment efforts?
This month, the BlueSky PR team headed to the Recruitment Agency Expo 2020 in Olympia London, the UK’s number one event for recruitment leaders. Both days were packed with insightful talks back-to-back on all things ranging from IR35 to leadership skills. Here’s a quick run-down of what happened on the day.
In the busy world of recruitment, agencies are often so fixated on the daily complexities of their jobs that they may miss out on the benefits of an effective communications strategy. Here’s just a few of the most effective communications tricks to double your recruitment agency’s client base:
In my last Apprentice blog I outlined the reasons why I thought Scarlet would win. Then Lord Sugar hired Carina. Now I'm not going to lie, in the lead up to the final it appeared that the head hunter had the most ideal business proposal – and I truly believe it still is, even if she didn't win. However, Carina absolutely pulled it out of the bag in the last show of 2019 and completely deserved the win. As both candidates arguably fared well in the final, for my last blog post I want to outline the recruitment PR lessons both individuals demonstrated well.
I genuinely cannot believe that we’re talking about lies on CVs once again on the Apprentice. It seems like only yesterday when Lee McQueen (another recruiter) was caught out in the interview stage for making false statements, but it was actually 11 years ago this was first aired. Then seven years ago, we saw another candidate from the employment sphere – Ricky Martin – also face the wrath of the interviewers for claiming to be a member of APSCo when, in fact, he wasn’t. And it looks like we’re three for three when it comes to lies from recruiters on the Apprentice. Here’s some of the recruitment PR lessons from the penultimate episode of the 2019 show.
Normally I focus on the PR lessons we can learn from the latest episode of the Apprentice, however this week it makes absolute sense to focus on recruitment marketing instead. Afterall, it was a marketing challenge – or fail for some.
I couldn’t bring myself to write this blog post straight away for one simple reason: I am absolutely gutted that Thomas has gone. Don’t get me wrong, his team deserved to lose and he made a fundamental mistake in this latest task. But, he was a genuinely likeable personality (very hard to find in the realms of reality TV shows these days). And I think that’s one of the crucial lessons we should all take away when it comes to PR for recruitment agencies: being authentic.
In today’s digitally driven world, social media is a vital component of any recruitment marketing strategy. However, whilst most firms are more than competent at sharing content such as job posts and blogs across their firm’s channels, at BlueSky PR we’ve found that they are often missing out on some of the key opportunities that social media has to offer.
A poorly conceived PR stunt, an attempt to mislead the public, or a Machiavellian plan to position Tory MP’s front and centre of the news agenda? Whatever your opinion on the Conservatives’ decision to temporarily rebrand its CCHQ Press Twitter account to ‘factcheckUK’ for the ITV leaders’ debate, it will certainly be remembered as a watershed moment in PR and communications for years to come.
As the UK eagerly awaits the next episode of the Apprentice (ok, I might be slightly exaggerating there!) I thought I’d be a bit different with my regular blog posts and outline my predictions for what recruitment PR lessons we can expect this week.
If you had asked me two weeks ago how PR could’ve helped in my role, I honestly wouldn’t be sure. But after just one week working at BlueSky I can see how integral PR is to help recruitment businesses stand out from the crowd and in turn increase revenue.
I was lucky enough to attend one of the most iconic and highest profile events in recruitment last week, TALiNT’s World Leaders in Recruitment conference. All of the hottest topics in the industry and upcoming challenges and trends were discussed and debated by some of the most influential people in the sector, including our own Head of Practice, Vickie Collinge. There were a number of interesting discussions, which provided much food for thought on key recruitment trends for 2020. Here are the key takeaways from the event.
If you’ve been following my recent blogs, you might have guessed that my opinion of the Apprentice isn’t great. There’s a wealth of flaws in the process itself that I find frustrating – what value is it to a potential business partner to see if someone can design a rollercoaster when the product they’re seeking investment for is a beauty cream, for example. BUT, the show does give me plenty of recruitment PR tips to talk about. So, as much as my family are probably fed up with me shouting at the TV on a Wednesday night, I’ll keep watching and keep writing. Here’s my thoughts from last night’s car (or rollercoaster) crash.
I may be wrong here, but from my personal recollection I can’t remember a group on the Apprentice ever being thrashed as much as Team Unison did last night (and how ironic is the name considering the complete disarray they all fell into!). You could almost pinpoint the moment their hearts sank as it was revealed that Empower had sold over £1 million, while Unison failed to even reach £500,000. In my view, so much went wrong for the losing team last night that I can’t give you a concrete recruitment PR lesson. But I can give three.
I’m not going to lie, I was slightly concerned when I committed to writing a weekly reaction to the Apprentice and the relevant lessons in PR for recruitment firms, but the show seems to keep on giving! Indeed, before we were even half way into the latest episode, I had my top advice outlined and, had I been a gambling woman, I would’ve successfully bet on which team would lose.
Hands up who watched the Apprentice last night and found themselves arguing with the TV? I know I did! Once again in typical Apprentice fashion we witnessed a team fail miserably in what should arguably have been a relatively simple task. And yet again, I have a crucial recruitment PR lesson to talk about.
Building a thought leader We’ve blogged before on the value of positioning your spokespeople as thought leaders when it comes to profile building, and how publicly sharing insight can be a fast-track to elevating your personal brand and, by association, your company’s corporate identity.
It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about the time to break out your jumpers and dig out your warm coats. It’s Apprentice time. Now I won’t lie, way back when this show first aired, I was a big fan. As a recruitment PR professional, it was great entertainment watching the cut-throat nature of high-profile (and highly-paid) hiring. And at the time, the activities on the show seemed completely reasonable ways to identify the next high-paid apprentice for Lord Sugar.