Just when we got used to planning and operating in the ‘new normal’, we have had to face an intricate roadmap full of ‘ifs’ and ‘whens’. While the future now looks more promising than it did in the depths of the pandemic, can recruitment marketeers be expected to develop a plan at a time when the future is nothing short of uncertain?
The answer is yes - and this was the subject of a recent webinar the BlueSky team hosted on how recruitment marketing has changed and what your team should be focusing on in 2021.
This blog looks at the five tips to ensure your 2021 recruitment marketing strategy is fit for purpose in today’s ever changing landscape.
Be Personable, Relatable and Honest
While it is true that working remotely has made many of us feel isolated, it has also created a stronger bond between our personal and professional lives, unfathomable over a year ago. Within the time span of a video call, we have shared a background populated by flatmates, family or children asking us whether they could have ‘two biscuits’ – amalgamating our personal and professional lives in a way they had never been before.
It therefore comes as no surprise that communication has become more ‘human’ and, consequently, there is an expectation from stakeholders that any marketing initiatives need to be not only personable, but also relatable.
A case in point is the rise of ‘talking head’ videos that have sprung up on social media over the past year, where recruiters have been getting their message across in a more approachable way. And being this personal will definitely remain key to communication in 2021, as people are more inclined to connect and relate with others than with a brand. What will perhaps become even more essential, however, is the value of your brand’s people and their voices, a helpful tool to allow you to stand out.
The knowledge and expertise of your consultants and recruiters is going to be what will allow you to stop fighting for a space in the crowd. This is your consultants’ time to shine: having team members with informed yet unique voices can and will ensure more engagement, as well as generate more leads – which is essentially what businesses need right now.
Marcomms teams, however, are the ones responsible for getting these messages across, keeping an eye on the wants and needs of the audience and selecting where and when content should be shared. This is true when it comes to stealing the attention of the wider public - what is your potential audience interested in right now? How can you reach those who are hovering around your company but are still unsure whether you are the right fit? Building the foundations now for a fruitious, collaborative relationship between recruiters and marketeers can ensure that your expert voice can get through the right channels to the right audience.
This collaborative communication process is perhaps responsible for another big change brought about by the pandemic - a renewed appreciation for the work of marcomms teams. Communication has been critical for business survival in 2020, and 2021 will be the year that will require this collaborative momentum to keep going.
Your employees need to be at the forefront of the conversation, not only positioning themselves as experts within the industry, but also exploring more personal topics which could strengthen the person-to-person connection with clients and candidates. A clear example can be Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – becoming part of the inclusivity conversation is not only the right thing to do, but also creates a fertile ground for likeminded individuals to connect with a firm that shares their priorities and values.
We all know how much time and effort it takes to write a valuable piece of content – so why should it just sit on your website?
Repurposing and reusing content was key in 2020, especially to fill in the gaps created by the lack of live, face-to-face initiatives. Not only can a blog provide you with leads, especially if promoted by everyone in the business, but it can also become a useful tool to engage with your current clients and candidates, reminding them of why they have chosen your recruitment business and reinforcing your position as an expert in the field. But in these times, it is also important to be adaptable - if the piece you have written is not relevant anymore, find ways to tweak it to make it news-worthy again – it could become a great starting point for brand new conversations!
By stretching every piece of content your business is creating into different formats and disseminating it on channels at your disposal – from mailers and blog, to snippets for social media – you will be able to reach a far greater audience.
The three Rs: Reassess, Refine and Reflect
Just like your content will need tweaking from time to time, 2020 taught us that we need to always be ready to review our strategies. Your audience will be the first one to notice if you are not keeping up with the times - so staying on top of what your clients, candidates and prospects need and feeding this into your content is fundamental to success.
It is virtually impossible to refine your marketing strategy and make it work if you have not spent the necessary time reviewing what is already out there and how your content is performing. We learn from our successes as much as we learn from our losses: if a piece has not had as much pick up as you would expect, it does not mean it has failed, it means it needs to be edited. 2021 is the year of agility, and the next two or three years will, most likely, follow suit.
Having a plan is good, but having the ability to refine it as necessary is key in today’s ever changing climate.
Author: Elisabetta Caria