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 global situation continues to be 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.
Have you tried googling yourself before? That’s one of the first things I got told to do in my journalism class, and it’s stayed useful throughout my career. It’s also something that I recommend every business do too. With most people researching products and services online before buying, you want to ensure that your digital brand stands out from the crowd and leaves a memorable impression. Utilising the web is one of the best ways to secure candidates and clients. So, here’s how recruitment firms can build their reputation online and take their business to the next level.
I know first-hand how much effort goes into developing content ideas and getting copy drafted and fine-tuned so that it is a perfect balance of opinion and promotion. So, I also know that seeing all this hard work result in one or two bits of coverage, and then being left to stagnate, can be incredibly frustrating. But there are ways of making your content work better for you. Here’s a few tips.
As social media feeds continue to become increasingly saturated, it is undoubtedly harder than ever for brands to cut through the noise. So how can your recruitment firm attempt to stand out from the crowd?
Blogging is one of the key skills that I’ve picked up during my time at BlueSky, and whether it’s for our clients, or for ourselves, there are a few key principles that always hold true. Here are my tips for writing a compelling blog.
Having been at BlueSky for close to a year now, and starting with next to no PR experience, I’ve definitely picked up a few things! So, here are some of the most valuable PR lessons I’ve learnt about pitching, one of the most important aspects of the job.
A few years ago, I came across an idea called 'pay it forward'. If you are unfamiliar with it, it's actually rather a nice idea that simply promotes the notion that if everyone does something to help someone else, then, in the long run, we all benefit. The same concept of collaboration to make things better for everyone underpins the value of content contribution, in that your brand will feel the benefit of helping another business build theirs.
Over the past 12-18 months, LinkedIn has been busy tweaking its algorithm to increase the number of valuable conversations taking place on the platform whilst reducing the number of viral posts that appear in users’ feeds.
Over the coming weeks the BlueSky PR recruitment and talent management team will be sharing some of their PR lessons. While I certainly have many to talk about (it’s an age thing – I’ve learnt a lot in my long career!) there’s one lesson that crops up as a recurring theme in conversations: how can you develop the best story.
With 45% of the total world population using social networks, businesses now have a fantastic and cost-effective way of reaching potential customers and interacting with existing ones worldwide. However, to reap all the benefits that come with using social platforms, you must always be thinking about how to get more engagement on your social media. Even if you have many followers, you want to aim for lots of interaction as this will help you appear higher in people’s feeds. A channel without much engagement can be perceived as dull and doesn’t generate all the business benefits of a thriving, active page. That’s why it’s crucial to understand how each platform you’re using works and how it’s best to target users. Here’s how to get more people liking, sharing and commenting.
I have already written about the importance of having a business blog if you are a recruitment firm. However, there are more steps that you need to consider after starting one, such as using the right keywords for recruitment blogs, and then applying them effectively. This can be difficult to get to grips with at first, however it is a crucial step in content writing to master, as without the correct keywords, your carefully crafted work risks being lost in the depths of Google! There are now a number of free tools online such as ‘Google Trends’ or ‘Answer The Public ’ to help you find out what is trending around your topic and what the relevant keywords are.
Whether you’re crafting blog posts, white papers, articles or press releases, including insight from third parties can boost the authority and reach of your communications. I’ve previously written on how statistics or quotes pulled from public domain can elevate your thought leadership offerings from a rambling rant, to objective and measured insight, in the eyes of your readers. However, it is crucial that you always check your sources.
When it comes to helping your company achieve its goals, great communication can be what makes the difference. So, here are some of the reasons why you should invest in recruitment agency PR.
With over 500 million tweets sent every day, it is essential to have an understanding of how Twitter’s algorithm works if your recruitment firm is to rise above the noise and attract new candidates and clients on the platform.
If there’s one PR issue that recruitment agency owners are arguably most concerned about it’s what to do in a crisis. Whether this be a breaking news story about some less than scrupulous actions from an employee or potentially detrimental information about your firm’s finances being leaked, implementing a damage limitation process at this time is crucial for businesses of all sizes. But it’s not an easy task. So how should you handle a PR crisis?
In the business world, and particularly in recruitment, people are considered a company’s greatest asset – and rightly so. Not only do your staff get the actual work done, they also hold the key to your very best marketing strategy – employee advocacy.
When it comes to PR, sitting down and strategising before embarking on a campaign is essential. A well thought out, comprehensive strategy can often make the difference between success and failure. Correct planning will help you organise your ideas, make sure your core messages are congruent, work out your target audience and decide on the tactics that you will use to target them. While ‘make a plan’ might sound like the most obvious statement in the book, it’s something that often gets overlooked or doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. So, with that in mind – here’s some simple tips for how to create a PR plan.
We often hear about the importance of having good presentation skills in life. But while for some, the idea of presentations seems exciting and a great way to communicate their thoughts – for others the idea of public speaking and presenting can understandably fill them with dread. It can be an utterly nerve wracking experience standing up in front of a crowd – no matter what the subject matter is. However, presenting skills are crucial in the art of communication, and particularly important when pitching for new business, training a team or if you are involved in public speaking.
It might sound a little biased coming from me, but I’m going to explain why hiring a PR agency is worth it.
Companies invest considerable time and money into PR campaigns. While PR measurement may be a chore to some, without it you won’t learn anything, and won’t be able to improve future PR efforts. Measurement is an integral part of communications, and something that pays dividends in the long run. However, so many companies are neglecting it, with 50-60% of PR campaigns having no method of evaluation at all. Here’s how to measure PR effectively: How to measure PR effectively: Goal-setting Ultimately, the return on your investment depends on the desired goals of a campaign, so goal-setting is fundamental. These targets should be as quantitative as possible and address who, what, when and how much the program is intended to affect. This could mean an increase in client acquisition in your sector, or higher numbers of candidate registration. Goals should all be agreed on upfront, along with the metrics for measuring them. Business results
You’re an excellent recruiter and you know it, but when it comes to writing, perhaps not. Don’t worry though, this shouldn’t stop you from starting a business blog that is packed with search engine optimised posts that will keep customers glued to your page. Poetic writing may be a benefit, but honestly, it all comes down to the content. Here at BlueSky PR we write quite a few blogs which is why we have devised a checklist that will guide you through creating your own. Why you need to be starting a business blog It is clear that content is the present and future of marketing. It is a powerful tool that allows you to build your brand image in one of the most direct ways. In fact, creating content is vital going into the future, as nowadays customers are seeking brands that align with their ethics and seeking more information about their message. Demand Metric found that 68% of people spend time reading about brands that interest them. A great example of a brand blog is Etsy. The site connects individuals with sellers around the globe while maintaining a high-quality, fun blog. The site excels in providing content that is fit for purpose while maintaining its company voice. Without a doubt, the blog helps establish the brand as an expert in its field. So, why not stay up to date with the latest trends and show what your business stands for by writing your very own blog.
In an increasingly candidate-led market, it is more important than ever that your recruitment firm’s marketing is as effective as can be. Candidate personas enable you to successfully target jobseekers and produce compelling content that resonates with them so that you can save time, money and resources on finding the perfect candidate for your client. What are candidate personas? A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your recruitment firm’s ideal applicant for a specific job role. A persona is created by defining the characteristics, skills and traits that make up the perfect hire.
Branding and PR are key ingredients to the success of any business. Therefore, from the word go it’s important a company has established its brand identity, message and image it wants to put out there. Similarly, in order to maximise your brand, a PR strategy is a vital tool for helping organisations grow an industry presence, communicate their message and further their reach. In essence, to get the most out of your business you need the two to work in tandem as they influence each other. With this in mind, here are three key ways a PR strategy can help build and maximise your brand. Consistency is key for brand identity Look at Coca Cola for example – it’s one brand that we all value and recognise across the globe. With stats showing 98% of the world’s population recognise the brand name, while it certainly is impressive – this didn’t happen overnight. Sometimes unknown to the naked eye, it takes a PR and marketing strategy that is consistently and succinctly driving home a company’s message, its brand image, latest news and communicating this with a targeted audience. In this instance, Coca Cola is all about enjoying a light carbonated drink – so the PR strategy is all about making sure audiences and consumers associate good and positive feelings with the brand. A case in point, the company’s latest motto is “Taste the feeling” which is linked to all the new flavours the business has recently launched.
I’ve previously written on why public relations is an art, rather than a science. However, that doesn’t mean that PR skills training isn’t vital to the professional success of individual practitioners – and the media campaigns they develop and execute. The benefits of professional development As a consultancy which specialises in the recruitment and talent management sectors, we often work with our clients to share stories around the benefits of professional development. Research from Guidant Group, for example, recently found that almost half of businesses (47%) believe that developing staff internally will be their greatest opportunity over the next three years. The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), meanwhile, often shares insight into the impact that CPD has on boosting staff engagement, motivation and productivity.
I recently contributed to a great initiative launched by Alex Moyle and Louise Triance called the A-Z of Recruiting success. You can see all the contributors on Alex’s blog but my particular letter was H for Hero Content. For me Hero Content really is a recruitment marketing dream because it gives you so much more to work with than one piece of content. Content driven recruitment marketing We all know that original content that adds value and addresses a particular pain point of your audience is likely to get more engagement than any other. But for busy recruitment marketers or for owner managers that don’t have the luxury of an in-house recruitment marketing team, this can be difficult to achieve on a regular basis. This is where hero content really comes into its own.