I was speaking with a friend this weekend about internet marketing. During the course of our conversation, my thoughts turned to the various business segments that could benefit from thinking more like internet marketers.
Take recruiting for example.
It’s still a fragmented and often times “old school” business. While some recruiters have embraced internet marketing many have not. These folks still rely on resume screening and phone calls. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
While these methods are a necessary evil, they are only one-to-one conversations as Dorie Clark talks about on my podcast. What recruiters need to do is think bigger. They need to engage at the next level; one-to-many.
In order to reach the one-to-many level however, recruiters must begin to think like an internet marketer. More than that they need to implement the strategies employed by internet marketers into their business.
Tim Saumier, founder of Tyges International, probably summed it up best when he stated during our interview that “we need to reinvent recruiting”.
I think the reinvention starts by thinking and acting more like an internet marketer and less like a recruiter.
12 ways Recruiters can think more like internet marketers
1 – Responsive website
I mentioned this in a previous post but having a responsive website is a must in today’s online world. 60% of my personal website traffic is from mobile devices. If you are a recruitment firm and you are not mobile friendly, you are losing prospects. Go mobile or go home.
2 – Add white space to the website
Websites with solid colors throughout are so 2005. Today you need to utilize white spaces. They are far more appealing to the eye and easier to view on mobile devices.
Incorporate your company’s colors but do it in the header, footer, web links and logo. Don’t use it on every page from top to bottom. Websites like this feel like a bad 1970’s designed house. You know, the one with wallpaper in every room.
3 – Capture email addresses
Very few recruitment websites I’ve visited (for research purposes only of course) have an email sign up. Why? Because they don’t realize the importance of having an email list.
Capturing the email addresses of current and potential job seekers is a must. As they say in the internet marketing space “the money is in the list”. For recruiters, the money is in the list.
(This is also an opt-in bribe. See item six below.)
Applications like LeadPages make it easy to capture the email address while companies like MailChimp allow you to store and segment your list.
Having the email addresses of job seekers allows you to stay in touch with them even when they are not actively looking for a new position.
How do stay in touch without being pushy? You develop a newsletter.
4 – Develop a newsletter
I personally only know of one recruiting firm that sends out a monthly newsletter. It’s a shame really. A newsletter is important because it keeps people in tune with what is happening with your company.
Do you believe people do business with people they know, like and trust? If so, one way to build trust is by staying in touch consistently. A newsletter allows you to passively keep in contact with your prospects while at the same time building their trust because you’re not “hounding” them about specific positions.
Instead, you are merely keeping them informed with industry trends, job seeking trends, tips about the job search process, and oh yea, the positions you are trying to fill.
5 – Blog
If you’re not doing this already, start a blog. A lot of recruitment companies still use their website as a brochure. This is internet 1.0 stuff. If this is you, please stop doing this.
Instead, use your website to express your company’s brand by blogging. What do you blog about you might ask? Here is a list to get you started.
Industry trends, common interviewing mistakes, job search etiquette, use of social media, having a personal website, interviewing tips, how to ask for the job, what to wear to an interview, questions to ask interviews, how to write a cover letter, etc.
By the way, these are also all great topics for your newsletter.
6 – Create an email bribe
Ok. You love the idea of a newsletter and having the email addresses of job seekers but how do you get them to sign up? Just like an internet marketer you need to create what is affectionately called an opt-in bribe.
An opt-in bribe is a simple exchange of value. You give the job seeker something they want in exchange for their email address. The opt-in bribe doesn’t need to be anything huge. It just needs to provide massive value.
Examples of potential opt-in bribes.
Top ten tips for passing an interview, Top ten tips for writing a cover letter, A white paper on what to wear to an interview, Top ten questions to ask an interviewer, How to use social media in the job search, a checklist on what to do 3, 2, and 1 hour out from an interview, etc.
Did you notice what I did with the list? Do you see the pattern here? Just like internet marketers, you can repurpose your content. This simply means taking content you wrote for one purpose and offering it for another.
Depending upon the medium you are repurposing to you may not even need to change it much.
7 – Get on YouTube
71 percent of companies are investing more in video marketing in 2015. This is a trend recruiters should jump on. Why? Because this is where your current and future job seekers are hanging out.
According to YouTube Insights report from 2014, 18-34 year-olds choose brands that engage them on their passions, give them choice and keep them entertained.
Video is where it’s at. Even though this report is for those older than 18, I can tell you from watching my own children’s behavior this trend will continue well into the future.
Meet your audience where they are and stop playing in the areas where they are not.
What should your videos be about? I suggest using video to show off your employer brand. Put together few short videos, 3 – 4 minutes in length showing off your employees, your processes and best of all testimonials from job seekers with successful job placements.
Yes. Show off your happy clients.
Additionally, you can create informational videos such as:
Top ten tips for passing an interview, Top ten tips for writing a cover letter, A white paper on what to wear to an interview, Top ten questions to ask an interviewer, How to use social media in the job search, etc.
Afraid of getting in front of the camera? Don’t worry about. Chances are your competitors will start making videos, they will get your job seekers and you will… well, you know.
8 – Hold a monthly Webinar
Internet marketers are going to webinars in droves. Why? Because they work. Webinars are a great way to stay in front of your audience (job seekers) on a regular basis as well as provide some great value.
You can use any number of platforms from GoToWebinar, WebinarJam, Fuze, Zoom, Webex, the list goes on.
The platform you use matters far less than actually holding the webinar. See the above sections on blogging, email bribes, and YouTube, for a list of things to talk about in your webinars.
Are you starting to see the value of repurposing content?
9 – Start a Podcast
I have mentioned this before but podcasting is all the rage these days. It’s estimated that 46 million Americans listen to podcasts each month.
Image from: http://bit.ly/1AKi7zn
This is 46 million listeners without Android even having a native podcast player included in their software.
With the introduction of Apple CarPlay and Android auto, the ability to listen to podcasts will be native in cars. Think about the potential audience as a recruiter you could have.
People (potential job seekers) stuck in traffic or driving to work for an average of 45 minutes each way could be listening to your voice as you talk about the latest industry trends or the top ten interview tips or any of the suggestions listed in this post.
Your reach could expand exponentially.
Podcasting might be the single best way for you to build trust. Oh, and did I mention that you can repurpose this content as well?
10 – Host a Twitter Chat
I’m a big fan of Twitter. I’ve talked a lot about it on my podcast. Internet marketers love Twitter as well. They know you can use it to build and audience and they do, in big numbers.
One secret to their Twitter success is Twitter chats. Hosting a Twitter chat will not only position a recruiter as a thought leader but it will also garner you additional leads for job seekers.
A Twitter chat is an online, real-time question and answer session. They usually last an hour and are moderated by a host (You). There is usually a topic or theme for the hour and new questions are posted every 6 – 10 minutes depending on engagement. Participants show up and answer questions using the hashtag (#) for the chat.
Before you implement a Twitter chat for your recruitment business, I recommend you attend a couple first to get a feel for how they work.
Would you believe I have podcast episode all about Twitter?
11 – Partnerships
Internet marketers know that the best and quickest way to success is by partnering up with someone else who offers a product or a service that would be beneficial for their audience.
Recruiters can do they same. Partnering with career coaches and personal brand strategists to offer additional value to their audience (job seekers) is a great way to extend your employer brand. Not only can these partners offer a service you don’t but they will enhance your brand by association.
Invite them to participate or host one of your monthly webinars. Have them on as guests for your podcast or your YouTube videos. Treat them right and your partners will help spread the good word about your recruiting efforts.
12 – Publish an eBook
Matthew Capala was my guest on episode ten of the podcast. Matthew is a great internet marketer and SEO expert. During the show, he explains to the listeners how an eBook should be your next, new business card.
Publishing a book establishes you as a leader in your field. You can use your book for a number of purposes, the least of which is actually selling it.
You can give your book away as part of an opt-in bribe, as a webinar gift, at the end of a YouTube video, etc.
Recruiters can write books on recruiting from the candidates viewpoint and from their point of view. Keep it entertaining by talking about blunders and what not to do based on what you’ve witnessed.
Imagine how much trust you could build if you were the author of the eBook on recruiting to explain recruiting. In the book you give the readers a behind the scenes look at the recruiting business (also good for YouTube videos).
Too many people find recruiting a mystery. Be the one to solve the mystery.
QUESTIONS: What did I leave out? What other methods can recruiters use to reinvent recruiting?