Many hiring tools and processes have come and gone since I started in the recruiting business 20 years ago, but not all of them work anymore. Competition is at an all-time high in every sector, and with more recruiters than ever before vying for the same business, recruiting firms have to leverage new methods to attract new clients.
While transactional recruitment strategies popularized in the 90s, like job boards and cold calling, are still how most companies approach recruitment, both clients and candidates expect a lot more from recruiting firms they consider working with.
My primary source of new business is still cold calling
At one point, cold calling was one of the most successful and effective recruiting strategies, but that’s just not the case anymore. Because everyone has caller ID, direct lines and cell phones today, people choose not to answer the phone when they don’t recognize the caller.
At my recruiting firm, Versique, we’ve used digital and inbound marketing tools to generate over half of our revenue. Rather than cold calling, we create thought leadership content, leverage our networks through LinkedIn and invest in Search Engine Optimization so our website appears first when clients and candidates enter terms like “Recruiting Firm Minneapolis” in Google Search.
The top metric your company tracks is number of phone calls
If the number of phone calls your recruiting firm is making is the top metric you’re tracking, you may be stuck in the 90’s. Think about this: when is the last time you ever bought something from a telemarketer who cold called you at home? Although I know it does work, you have to ask yourself: what is the ROI on 100 daily phone calls?
As an owner, the metrics you should be tracking are things like impressions, total visits, total conversions, cost-per-lead, and customer lifetime value. See a common theme here? Your website should be a primary target for your customers. It’s one of the best tools you have in your toolbox to measure the effectiveness of your recruiting firm.
I don’t use my website to generate leads
If your recruiting firm doesn’t have an online presence, or doesn’t have a way to attract and capture leads using your website, then you’re still stuck in the 90’s. In today’s world, your website is essentially your storefront and, if optimized correctly, can quickly become your most effective tool for new client and candidate generation.
Appearing at the top of search results is critical, but you must also be proactively creating content such as blogs and landing pages to educate prospects, build loyalty and showcase your firm’s credibility. People are coming to your website every single day to determine if they are going to buy from you. What story does your website share with people?
I recently received a call from a VP of HR for an 800 person healthcare organization that was looking to hire their next CIO. She found us on Google because we ranked #1, but that alone wasn’t enough to land us the business. It was the credibility, thought leadership and relevant content on our website that helped us land the search. If a client like this came to your website, what story would they see? Forward thinking firms know where they rank on Google, and have the content to back it up.
I’m still leaving voice messages and hoping for responses
As a recruiting firm owner, I get 50 plus phone calls every week. When the phone rings, the first thing I do is look who it’s coming from and if I don’t know the caller, I don’t answer. I would be willing to bet that I haven’t answered the phone in over a month if I don’t know who the number is. This isn’t to say that cold calling doesn’t have its place or isn’t effective, but it can be very expensive.
The one time that I will always return a phone call, email or meet with someone is when someone in my professional network that I trust provides a recommendation or asks a favor for me to talk with them. If you leave me a voicemail and want a response, you’d better have some credibility to back it up. The first thing I’ll do is go on LinkedIn or search Google to learn more about someone, and based on their credibility, I decide whether or not to return their call.
Is Your Recruiting Firm Stuck in the 90’s?
If you’re still cold calling or your firm isn’t online yet, there’s a good chance you’re stuck in the 90’s. If you’re tired of cold calling or you need to find a way to generate new business, building your brand through digital marketing is the solution.
What did online marketing do for my firm, Versique?
50+ placements from online marketing
87% increase in revenue
300+ new clients generated from Google
Tony Sorensen is the Visionary of Parqa. As a 19 year veteran and thought leader of the consulting and executive search industry, he is responsible for all aspects of the business, with a passion built around building winning teams, digital marketing, strategic partnerships and philanthropy. Tony is a national industry expert and has spoken and contributed to publications such as NAPS National Conference, EMinfo, Star Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Monster.com and The Fordyce Letter. He has been recognized by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as a “40 under 40” award recipient.