January 2021 is finally here, and while there were all these conversations about how 2021 was going to be totally different, here we are in the UK in lockdown 3.0.
However, there are lots of positive things happening too. You have to remember we’ve got three vaccinations now for the virus; the last one came on board at the backend of this week. We’ve also got two medications that can be used as well.
We need to hold on to the fact that we’re in a very different position than we were last year and people still need to recruit.
That’s the reason why over the next few blogs, I want to give you some ideas on potentially what could happen. Maybe there are some gaps that you haven’t necessarily leveraged in the market at the moment, and we’ll look at how you can bring all these together as you start to deliver your marketing plan for this year.
First of all, though, as always, if you’re new here, welcome. It’s great to have you on board. If you would like to go back and look at some of the other blogs that we have that may help you, then head over to superfastrecruitment.co.uk/blog, and you will find them there.
Whilst you’re there, you’ll see various resources that you can download, one of which I would strongly suggest that you do take the time to do is our recruitment marketing audit checklist. You can get a free copy of the marketing checklist by clicking here. It’s about helping you identify where there are different elements that you may still need to work on when it comes to your marketing.
One of the main reasons I’m doing these blogs is that you will find that things will change. There are areas that you do need to get onto this year if you want to continue your growth or reestablish where you were in the market at the start of last year before all this craziness happened.
Recruitment Marketing Predictions
Let’s get going on our topic of predictions and what’s happening in the market now.
As you may or may not know, I’m connected to a lot of marketers, and I’ve been involved in marketing for a long time. Recently I’ve been researching this topic, and have been looking at what’s happening for us, and for all our different clients. I’m always looking at patterns and factors that seem to alter the trajectory of things we are doing. This blog is based on what I am seeing now.
In today’s market, with the technology that we have and how this has changed things on a global scale, you have to plan and expect things to shift and change this year.
I think this was already starting to happen in the recruitment sector. Historically, it’s always been very sales-led rather than marketing-led. That is beginning to shift now.
Sales targets for your recruiters and consultants are never going to go away. However, the way you use marketing in your business and how it aligns with sales will change.
I’m going to cover eight specific things that I think are important here. Before I do that, there’s something that’s overarching you need to consider. It’s about the human psyche and what’s been happening over the past few months, although it really started to happen in March last year, and that is the increase in human beings being a lot more connected.
We have so many different social media channels available to us; we have the internet, we have WhatsApp. Even we have two family groups; one is a lot more buoyant than the other, and that’s on WhatsApp.
That wouldn’t have happened a couple of years ago, but I think everything that’s happened today makes us as individuals and human beings have a lot more empathy for one another.
Though the recruitment sector has been incredibly competitive, I have seen more collaboration, help, and inclusiveness going on between the business owners we work with than I’ve ever seen before. Because of that, people are much more willing to listen, eager to collaborate; and people need really practical help.
When you look at this as an overarching theme in the market, you need to have much more empathy for your clients and your candidates, because the market has shifted.
Obviously, we know many people who have been made redundant, some organisations think that they can do their own recruitment, and some are going through a tough time. All of this is a blend.
Really, you have to stand back and look at it and think, “Okay, the market has shifted, it’s become a lot more human. How do I need to work on this, as I go through this year as I develop my business?”
As I always say to people, of course, you can always get better at recruiting. Most people who take the time to listen to this podcast are good at recruiting; they just need to get their message out more.
Here are eight specific areas to consider when it comes to marketing and how you will continue to grow. The first one is, you need to have more of a focus on marketing.
1. An Increased Focus on Marketing
Let’s just think about this in context. Marketing is about creating demand; it’s about getting the message about you and your recruiting service out into the market.
Obviously, the rationale for doing that is to help your business grow.
An interesting thing happened to us last week.
We’re a partner with Elite Leaders. Some of you may have heard of it; it’s a network of recruitment business owners in the UK, and it’s a great place to hang out with people too. On a call this week, they had Tara Rick, who is quite well known in the industry around London; she’s sold multiple recruitment organisations.
One of her pieces of advice to everyone on the call was whatever you do, do not stop marketing.
If you’re going through a tough time and you want to pull back some costs, do it from somewhere else, but whatever you do, do not pause your marketing because you will, if you’re lucky, live to regret it.
You may think you’re saving money, but you’re not.
Because in the long term, you’re probably going to lose even more. We work very closely with recruitment business owners, and we know that the ones who have continued with their marketing over the last few months are doing better than others.
You might also need to look at the uptake of different marketing automation software, which I’ll later come onto.
For example, there’s a particular social media app called Paiger. It’s fascinating to see how many people, including some of our clients, are using this at the moment as a way to move forward. They’re starting to understand that, all these people are on social media and for your business to grow, you need to get more attention.
Until people know who you are or what you can deliver for them, they’re not going to work with you.
If you want to increase the number of clients you have, and everyone wants to do that in today’s market, and the number of candidates, you have to market more, you have to carve out some time to do this. You need to invest, come and join one of our programs or at least do something, bring a new grad on board to help you but really, my plea to you is to focus on doing more when it comes to getting your message out there in the form of marketing.
2. Developing Your Brand
I’m sure many of you will have lost clients; I’m sure you’ll have gained new ones as well because, in an environment like this, everything gets thrown up in the air.
As human nature dictates, we start to evaluate, “well, what does that supplier actually deliver to us?”
When you’re weighing things up, you start looking at the value that certain suppliers bring to your organisation.
You might have suppliers who provide A, B and C and D, whereas another supplier only does A. So this is where you need to make sure that you are communicating with your brand the absolute benefits of working with you rather than somebody else.
Think about how will you develop your brand. That might be new materials, that might be new social media, it might be a new website. It might be an updated logo; it might be appearing on different channels.
Think about how you develop your brand to link with your market to stand out more as well.
3. Creating New Offers
Number three is about creating more and different offers.
We have a number of clients looking at how to make their offer irresistible to clients and candidates.
They are considering: what can we do, or what can we add to our service? Or can we break our service up into different elements that people can buy one part rather than another part? How do we do that?
It can be very easy to dig your heels in. You might think, you know what, I’m not going to change, I’m just going to stay where I am, because everything’s going to get back to normal. Well, my friend, I suggest you might need to rethink that because you don’t think things will ever go entirely back to normal because when you’ve had such a massive shift like this, it rarely does.
I think the way we are now – people are looking for value; people want the value-add. So what are the value-add elements to your service that you can develop?
They don’t cost you an awful lot, and they’re very easy for you to create or deliver, which you can use as part of your promotion.
If you’re not developing a new offer or improving the offer that you have now, then I predict you will lose business unless you’re in a market that’s really taking off. If you don’t add something different or a different offer or the way that you position your offer, you will lose out this year.
4. Understand Your Market
Number four, and again, you’ll notice that these are all interlinked, that I’m sure many of you have had that conversation with yourself. I’m missing something, what can I do differently?
One of the things to do differently is you need to understand your market more. The current market has changed; people’s views have changed.
Many people are remote working now where they’ve never done that before. You’re maybe having to adapt your service when it comes to using video, Zoom or all the different types of interview software such as Hinterview.
It’s thinking about, what do I now need to understand about my market? What do I now need to understand about my ideal clients and candidates?
If you were to look at your historical data and go, who are the best clients for me to work with? Who are the best candidates? Get on the phone and have a conversation with them because sending out the same vanilla messages that you’ve been doing for years, isn’t going to work anymore.
People are looking for empathetic suppliers that understand them. They want to partner with people that understand them.
Over the last few months, yes, we lost a couple of clients, but we also gained an awful lot of new ones.
We were delighted that we lost very few people, but it was funny, the people that stayed with us, stayed with us because they know that we care about their business.
We did a lot of things for free, and people appreciate that. You need to understand that your market might have shifted slightly and you need to be thinking about, “Okay, what can I do differently? What does my new market now look like? What do they want?”
The easiest way to find out? Just pick up the phone and speak to them because they’re more than happy to tell you what’s going on for them right now.
5. Connecting Sales and Marketing Together
Now here’s something that not everyone I think has connected. Marketing and sales are so, so linked, and yet people don’t seem to understand how connected they are.
You need to connect your marketing and sales teams. Because more than ever, people want to accelerate their client acquisition.
To do this, you need to create marketing collateral that works throughout the sales process, which not everyone does. It’s not just about putting up a couple of useful blogs on the websites, but how those blogs are adapted and used and leveraged with the sales team to create a more significant impact.
Think about the journey from attracting that client initially, through going through different parts of the buyer’s cycle.
Last year, we ran a webinar around marketing automation, and we covered quite a bit of that in that particular webinar. We’re going to create a report on it, so if you’re interested in that, just drop me an email, denise at superfastrecruitment, and I’ll send you a link over to that before it’s all sort of up and out.
6. Marketing Technology
Next up is marketing technology.
I know that many of you will have used different CRMs over the past. There are all sorts of CRM’s on the market currently. There’s FiveFish; there’s Venturi, there’s Loxo, there are many CRMs that you can use. As we continue to move through 2021, watch out because they will change and adapt.
You’re going to need some marketing automation elements added into this because you will have to be able to leverage technology more as we move forward. After all, other organisations are going to be doing it.
Think about where you are missing gaps in your recruitment company, where you could automate processes, where maybe using some technology is going to help you.
Because if you don’t, you will be overtaken by people that are investing in things like this. We see it already when we look at the different clients that we work with.
AI is changing the landscape, and there are so many tools that you can now use that will help you stand out, that will get you in front of more people.
7. Personal Connections and Stories
As human beings, we are wired to listen to stories. We all love stories; we’ve been involved with them from when our mums and dads first picked up that storybook and read to us in bed, so it’s mapped into our psyche.
Human beings need to understand, to connect, to link.
Back in March and April, I created a series of daily podcasts to connect with people over what was happening at the time during the crazy time of the first lockdown, and I got massive positive feedback about that.
I was being honest, transparent, and wanted to help, and there was that connection created.
Then I wrote another post about what I would teach my younger self, which you can read here.
From this, I’ve noticed that the more personal connections that I have, and how I share stories about family, what’s going on for me, what’s going on in our business, and that makes a difference.
I would suggest that you utilise personal connections, use stories more. People want to know what’s going on for you, your family. You may think, well, this is business, it’s not important, but because of the shift that has happened, personal connection is crucial right now.
I was listening to one of my mentors recently, and he was sharing the story about him and his family. Yes, he knows some great metaphors around marketing, but I recognised how I want a little bit of an insight into him.
We all want a little bit of an insight into how others make their lives work, as well as how they create their business.
Expect to see more of that. Again, if you’re not doing it, I suggest that you do, you start to have some air where people can connect with you on a personal level too.
8. Rich Media
Then number eight, the final thing I want to talk about is rich media.
Now is the time to use more rich media in the way that you communicate with people. So what is rich media? It could be videos; it could be podcasts; it could be using video in an email.
Over the last few months, we have all got used to being on video more. It’s been an issue for some people to get onto a video and talk to clients and candidates.
But this has all changed now. Anyone who was previously uncomfortable in front of a camera will probably now be used to jumping on Zoom. Video is everywhere now, and therefore it’s a great idea to use it in your marketing strategy.
I do not see video marketing going away anytime soon because it’s broken through that barrier. It’s gone out to a bigger market, more people think, do you know what? This is okay.
If you aren’t using video in your marketing, you are missing a trick. I would imagine everyone on this particular listened to this podcast has a paid version of Zoom. If you’ve got a paid version of Zoom, then you can record video on it, and it’s easy to do.
All of you I’m sure in your back pocket briefcase or handbag will have a smartphone. There’s no excuse for not creating videos. I’ve talked through this about that personal connection, how important that is; you can’t beat video for that.
The other thing that I predict will, really start to increase is podcasting. We’ve been podcasting for years now, and quite soon we’ll break through the 300 episode barrier.
People are listening to podcasts more, and one of the reasons is that we want to get out and away from the computer.
Our sales guy was saying how he’s had a bike on order, a new brand new bike on order for months because so many people have taken up hobbies to get them outdoors. If you look at the people you see outside, most of them will have headphones in. The amount of exercise we are now doing – people understand the value of podcasts now.
If you haven’t started a podcast, it’s a really easy thing to do. If you’d like to know more about it, contact us, we can help you with that.
Not only is podcasting is easy, but it’s also so leverageable. You can tun your podcast into a blog post, into audio snippets, you can distribute it around social media and out on email.
Think about rich media and think about how you can use that. Fair enough, if you don’t want to do a podcast at least get yourself on to video, which will make a difference for you in how you can market.
Sometimes you need a third party, somebody like ourselves to highlight what actions to take next in your business.
Prepare now, because as this year has shown us, it’s impossible what’s going to happen in the future.
If you want to move faster, then get in contact with us because we can help you get a lot of these things in place with our Superfast Circle.
We know what works.
We’re sharing the information that works with our clients consistently. We even create marketing collateral for them, so they have pieces of material that they can use with their sales team to make them move forward and fast.
If you want to do that, then click here to find out more.
Get in contact with us; let’s move forward as fast as possible this year.
This is Denise saying bye for now.