3 minute read

Recruitment marketing: make the most of the downturn while it lasts

It’s been a tough few years for recruiters in the UK. Following the post-pandemic boom period and since the beginning of last year, the fortunes of many have taken a downturn, with the market locked in stagnation. However, light looms on the horizon; with the election approaching, there have already been signs that hiring is on the up and, as the now infamous song goes, ‘things can only get better’.

For recruiters, this means that it’s critical to make the most of this period (and it helps that the sun has finally shown its face) and ensure that your marketing and content strategies are set up for success.

Here’s why it’s so important – and how you do it

Recruitment is certainly a highly competitive market – at last count your organisation is one of nearly 40,000 operating in the UK alone. That means that, unless you’re in the most niche of niche industries, you are probably competing with hundreds of other firms for the relatively small pool of talent in the market.

That means standing out is of the utmost importance. The purple cow effect essentially means doing something to stand out from the crowd. You don’t need to take it too literally, there needs to be a limit to how far your organisation stands out from the market, but the best agencies find ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

While there are myriad ways of highlighting your unique proposition, good marketing is possibly the most effective. Everyone thinks they know what to do, but what are the key aspects of boosting your agency’s visibility?

Audit services

The basis of any review is to audit your existing services and identify areas for improvement. This process should be developed in partnership with your employees in order to be authentic and aligned with the reality of your organisation, as well as aiming to identify areas of your overall marketing strategy that could be optimised. Reviewing whether your brand voice, for example, is still aligned with your target audiences can help you to engage more effectively with potential clients and candidates. Ultimately, this process needs to help you to understand what sets you apart from competitors and ensure this is reflected in your branding and all external activities.

Content is key

Once the foundations are in place you can start reaching looking to reach larger audiences. This can naturally be achieved through several different methods; producing more thoroughly optimised and targeted content is an excellent starting point as it not only allows your organisation to shows its expertise, but it also has a more measurable impact of boosting your organic search ranking. BrightEdge research suggests that over 50% of web traffic comes from search, meaning if you’re not ranking, you’re not being found. In practice, this means producing more blogs, case studies and white papers that provide useful information on subjects that you know are of interest to your audiences. Social media, while not being a priority for every agency, should also be reviewed. These platforms evolve at a scary rate so unless you’re on top of your activity then you can quickly feel dated.

Show expertise

Almost every agency will proclaim that they’re the best at what they do, however it’s one thing saying it, it’s another proving it, and showing your expertise. By securing opportunities with key media targets – that you know are consumed by your target audiences – you can position yourself as a thought leader in your field. This not only shows that you can back up what you say, but it also builds trust with potential clients and candidates, and enhances your agency’s reputation.

This could ultimately become an endless list, as there is so much you can do with the vast array of channels in front of you that it can become challenging to know what to do, how you do it and when. We haven’t even touched on the likes of email and digital marketing, newsletters, automation, the importance of incorporating a data-led approach to your activities and the thousands of other pieces that form the marketing puzzle.

However, if you’ve been umming and ahhing over whether to review your marketing activity then make the decision, as now is the time to do it. When the market does pick up, smarter agencies that have got their house in order in the downturn will be the first to benefit from heightened demand. The firms that have got a strong marketing foundation will be better positioned to ride the crest of the wave, secure new business and get on the radar of more candidates.

If you are looking to get your house in order before the market improves, then speak to our expert team to find out how we can help.

Bruce CallanderAuthor: Bruce Callander

With over a decade’s experience in PR, marketing and communications, Bruce develops and executes media relations, content and social media strategies for firms in the recruitment and hiring industries, as well as suppliers to those sectors and other organisations both in the UK and internationally.


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