How Emotional Drivers Can Help You Market Your Recruitment Business


[Transcription: Prefer to read? Here is the transcription. Please excuse any typos. You can download the PDF of the 25 emotional drivers I mentioned by clicking here.]

Sharon: Are you going to talk to people about your little secret then?

Denise: Which particular secret of mine?

Sharon: Well, I know you have many but I’m referring to that one on a Sunday night – that thing you do on a Sunday night.

Denise: You mean watching that particular television program called “Surprise Surprise”… Not quite as good as it used to be when Cilla was doing it but I still like it. You know I’m an emotional type of being, don’t you?

Sharon: Well, that is true I do and so how does emotion relate to marketing?

Denise: Well, emotion is really important when it comes to marketing because that really hooks people into your message and why they might want to buy something from you and that was really really tenuous…. Oh well, it’s actually quite a logical link to the subject of today’s podcast and that is about emotion and peoples drivers when they decide to purchase. So let’s get into it!

Now I’m going to come on and list the top 25 key emotional drivers that are important.

Some of them are more important than others in recruitment but just reflect on it for a minute and think about how emotion might play out for you at the moment.

And thinking about what you may be seeing on TV or the adverts that you are being exposed to, there is a huge trend for using animals or animal type things if you want to call a meerkat an animal, in marketing and it’s a really emotional little figure that people get obsessed with. You look at the WONGA ladies and gentlemen… all these sorts of like funny little creatures that are there play into our emotions. They either make us smile, they’re memorable and it’s about tapping into our emotions.

Buying Decisions

So how does that actually play out when it comes to making a buying decision and how might you use that when you’re thinking about structuring your marketing campaigns for attracting more clients and candidates and maybe just even your own talent pool as a recruitment organisation?

Now, the real power about using emotion in your recruitment marketing is when you actually speak into the conversation that is going on for your potential client and candidates in their head and that is so important. I’m going to say it again – It’s about linking into the conversation that they are having at that point in time.

I often tell people and tell our clients about one of the reasons why I believe that search engine marketing works so well for people is because of the whole thing about keywords, people sitting in front of the computer, typing in a phrase or a word and needing some help around it. That’s because that’s their raw emotion that is actually doing that and if you can tap into providing a solution there then hey ho! That works really well! And as I say, it’s all about speaking into what’s going on for your client or candidate at that point in time.

So how do you know what might be going on for them? Well, let’s look at some emotional drivers that are really imperative for people when they’re making decisions. I’m sure that you will recognise some of them that drive your own behaviour as well. So let’s fire into this now.

Being Sociable

Now here is one for you – it’s around being sociable. I was talking to a good friend of mine recently who is a decorator and at the moment he is so busy because everyone bizarrely wants their front rooms decorated before Christmas. And why do they want to do that? Because they want everything to look nice and there is another driver here as well… they want everything to look nice because they want to be sociable… because they want to invite people around to have a drink.

And the retail organisations do this so well. If you watch anything like DFS, you know, “We can have your new settee and you can invite all your family around at Christmas and have a wonderful time.” And they lock into people’s emotion around being sociable.

Express Creativity

Now the next thing… another one for you is to express creativity. I’m quite the creative type and I spend a fortune on camera equipment because I like to take photographs and express my creativity. It’s amazing how I might grizzle about paying an extra £2.00 or £3.00 on the toilet rolls that I buy but however, when it comes to buying a new camera lens then I don’t… I can think of all the reasons in the world why I should buy the macro lens that I particularly want.

Being Efficient

Now here’s one for you and it’s a subject about being efficient. We all love to be efficient and get things done on time and quickly and if we can buy something – a piece of equipment, a piece of software or whatever that will do that for us, that is something that we will all spend money on. So if you can build that into marketing, about being efficient maybe as a recruitment company, you can talk about how quickly you can get candidates, interviewed, screened and sent for an interview with your client. That efficiency will really appeal to your client because that’s the key driver of everyone actually.

Protecting Our Loved Ones

Now here are three that really work well for recruiters and they are – to protect oneself and one’s family, to protect the future of a family and to be a good parent. These are all around relationships and how relationships are important to us. So one other factor of getting a new job is maybe being home earlier in the evening or not, being able to have better career prospects that mean that the children go to private school, you can have the new kitchen, you can have the holidays in Barbados or wherever you want to go because you’re being paid more, because you’re being valued.

That comes on to another couple which is to be liked, to be loved and to be valued. It’s really important for people to feel that connection with other people as well. Often when people leave a position where they’ve been for a while and they decide to look for a new one, it’s because they don’t feel valued where they are. So again really these are key drivers that really need to be built into your marketing and your marketing messages.

Be In Fashion

Now he’s a couple for you – to express a personality and to be in fashion. I think I mentioned on a previous podcast that my great nephew is a fanatical Wigan athletic supporter and he has to have the latest kit all the time. It’s great because I don’t really have to engage my brain too much when I’m thinking about what present to buy him. However, it’s important to him… anyone that’s been around teenagers at all will know about the latest fashion, how it has to be Hollister, it has to have a label here or it has to do that… and it’s all about being in fashion. And that can be the same for adults as well as children but that’s a huge motivator and an emotional driver when it comes to purchases.

Avoid Embarrassment

Now avoiding embarrassment… nobody loves to be wrong. People hate being wrong and people hate being embarrassed and if that can be built into your marketing, it does work incredibly well with people as well because that’s a real hot driver for people.


Now he is one that you might not appreciate will work in recruitment and that’s about fulfilling a fantasy and you know it’s really important to some people to work for particular companies. They’ve always had it in their head “Well, you know I’ve always wanted to work for IBM” or “I’ve always wanted to work for XYZed” whoever… and if you happen to be a recruitment company that has inroads into that organisation that could be a huge difference and it could be a real driver for attracting people to you.

Get The Latest… Thing

Now here’s one – If you are an Apple fan and I do have various pieces of Apple equipment as I do have pieces of PC but you know, the latest rush was the iPhone X. I can’t remember how many they sold within X number of minutes and they sold rather a lot because for everyone it’s really important to be totally up-to-date. They need the newest of everything and that can be a driver, a real purchasing driver for a lot of people.

Now here are two more for you – one is owning attractive things and the other one is collecting valuable things. Would that work in recruitment? Well it may well do if working in a new position at a new salary structure means that you can actually buy different things that you then can utilise your earnings to do things with your family. That could be important and again it depends maybe on the sector that you’re working in but we all know how we like to have nice things.

I have a thing about crystal glasses. I don’t care. I’m a woman of substance and I like to drink my wine out of really nice crystal glasses. I spend a lot of money on them and that’s my choice and that’s something where many people may feel the same way that I do. Now how could that be built to your marketing or how could you utilise that in the adverts that you create… in the website copy that you have to really engage and pull people in?


Now here are three emotional drivers that all really sort of link in together – One is enjoying exotic tastes, another one is around satisfying the ego and then the other one is to be first at something. All of these can have a place in your recruitment marketing as well… really really important. Imagine you have a unique position in an organisation, it’s the first, its heading up a department – that really will play into somebody’s ego.

If they do have exotic taste, they will be able to facilitate those by the new salary level that they probably start one on. You can see what were talking about here – that these are all key fundamentals which we all know deep down, we’re probably all a little bit driven by and if that can be built into how you profile the positions that you have and how you work with your clients, that can make a huge difference.

Now there’s a few other ones here as was well – one of which is to live in a clean atmosphere. You only need to look at the environment at the moment and how sustainable living is so important to people. That’s a big driver for people. To be strong and to be healthy – a new gym is just opened down the road from us and it’s packing them out literally because people are really concerned about what they’re eating, their health and they’re willing to spend a lot of money around that as well.

Similarly, thinking about renewing vigor and energy, getting rid of aches and pains, finding new and rare things and being more beautiful. All of those are emotional drivers as a said, I’ve mentioned 26 emotional drivers and some of those are much more relevant for your recruitment market than others.

So what can you take away from this? What can you do now? Well, I would say the first action point is to go away and think about “Okay, so what are the emotional drivers that will work for my clients and my candidate? What exactly is important to them? What is the conversation that is going on in their head?” You know, if you’ve got some Google Analytics data you can find out how people are finding you online. What is it that is important to them? What is it that they want and how can you speak directly into that?

Now, where can you use this information? Well, you can use it on all the pages on your website, on your blog, in your adverts, on your Facebook page. You can even start to build it into the social media communication that is going out to people so that you are utilising some of the copy that you are writing in your social media tweets.

If you’re thinking about “What’s the emotion that’s going on in my candidate and my clients head when they’re thinking about using our particular company as their recruitment company of choice?” Think about these emotional drivers, start to build them in and as I say, think about the website copy you write, think about your ad copy, think about the conversations that you are having with people.

I know we’re all about marketing and getting that out there but also think about these conversations that you’re having when your one-to-one face-to-face with people and how important that would be in being able to really create that connection with people. It’s like speaking the same language because you are tapping into what’s going on into their head.

So this is a bit of a whistlestop tour around emotion and emotional drivers and how that can work in your marketing. Key thing – it works. People buy on emotion. They buy an emotion and they justify with logic afterward and that is really key to think about when you are planning your marketing. So this is Denise from “The Recruitment Marketing Podcast” and Super Fast Recruitment saying bye for now!


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