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How to attract candidates, clients, and recruiters to your business

Recruitment businesses need three things in order to be successful:

  1. Great candidates
  2. Great clients
  3. Great recruitment consultants

So how do you attract recruiters, candidates and clients to your business?

Attracting candidates with job adverts

  • Who writes your job adverts?  Your clients?  Your consultants?  Your marketing department?  An external supplier?
  • Do they use the job description as a starting point?  Is there a standard template you use as a business?
  • Do you know who your ideal applicant is and what they’re looking for from a new role?
  • Do you research key search terms before you start writing?

Whoever it is that writes your job ads, marketing should definitely have an input. Why? Because they have experience with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and can help make your job ad be found by more of the right applicants.

So, should you be using the key search terms as a starting point when you write an ad, or should you be using the job spec?

The answer is a bit of both. Before you start you should know exactly who are are targeting - luckily this should have been part of the brief from your client.

Once you know who the ideal candidate is, it's easier to decide what to include in your job advert - what they are searching for (e.g. what they type into Google or the job site search box) and the key selling points of the role. Remember a job ad isn't a job specification, it doesn't have to include every aspect of the role, it doesn't even have to use the job title your client uses, it is a hook to get the right people to apply. The real sale happens after they've applied, when you speak to them directly.

Attracting clients and candidates with content marketing

Are you and your team writing regular blog posts?  And sharing regular social media posts? Are you utilising guest blogging opportunities in targeted industry publications?

And, more importantly is the content that’s being written useful?

When I say useful, I mean this: do your blog posts answer a key query for your target audience?  Are you adding value?  The key way to build readership for your content is to provide your target audience with what they’re looking for.

I recently wrote an article for Global Recruiter on the toughest challenges for recruitment marketers right now and, without repeating the whole thing, the top two are generating traffic and generating leads. One key reason for this is that the competition for reader's attention is at an all time high.

So, why should you even bother right?

Wrong. More competition doesn't make content marketing a waste of time. It means you have to up your game. Luckily I have a blog post on how to do just that

When it comes to sharing content on social media, the social network of all the recruitment consultants working at your business will usually be larger than the following of your company page - so use it. Encouraging everyone in the team to engage with your posts and share your content will both significantly widen its reach and increase your organic post optimisation in terms of the way the algorithms work.

Attracting clients and candidates via direct marketing

Do you use your content to build into your mailshot campaigns?

You'll make your cold approaches less frosty by giving your target what they want.

Is a prospective client interested in being pitched a candidate when they don’t have any open roles?  Unless they’re looking to build up a future talent pipeline, probably not.  But they might be interested to read your research on the key concerns this year for managers at their level within the same industry.

Is a passive candidate interested in receiving a job spec out of the blue?  Probably not.  But they’re likely to be interested in figures from your latest salary survey within their field.

This type of content positions you as an expert, so you already have a relationship in place when a client is ready to recruit or a candidate starts to think about their next role.

Attracting candidates, clients, and recruiters to join your team with media coverage

Media coverage gives you something no other form of marketing or advertising can.  Third party credibility.

When you visible in publications read by your target audience, it makes your direct approaches less cold. In fact, one of our clients turned a single article in a sector specific publication into over £100,000 in fees by using it as part of his business development approach.

Not only that – but when you are being seen regularly as a thought leader within your sector, you’ll be the first agency your potential client thinks of when they’re next hiring, you’ll be the agency candidates call when they’re starting to consider opportunities, and you’ll be the agency other recruiters within your sector want to work for.

So how do you achieve media coverage for your recruitment business?

  • Write a press release
  • Pitch a journalist
  • Reply to journalists requests on social media or via a media relations tool
  • Work with a public relations agency like BlueSky PR.

Learn more

For more tips on client and candidate attraction including blogs, free eBooks and on-demand webinars, visit the resources section of our website.

Jennifer Wright-2

Author: Jennifer Wright

Originally posted January 2017, updated September 2021

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