5 Recruitment Marketing Lessons We’ve All Learnt Over the Last Decade

By Katie Paterson

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Can you imagine a world without Instagram? LinkedIn feeds with no video content to watch? It’s hard to believe, but we were there only just a few years ago.

This year, Firefish is celebrating ten years on the recruitment tech market, and looking back, it’s crazy to think how far recruitment marketing has come since we first launched.

The market has grown incredibly candidate-driven over the last decade, and nowadays, a strong marketing strategy is incremental to success.

Here are a few important marketing lessons the recruitment industry has learned along the way.

1. Being everywhere isn’t always a good thing

Even just a few years ago, there was a tendency to think that to do marketing well, you just needed to make sure you were absolutely everywhere – on every social media channel imaginable and posting 20 times a day.

In a market as crowded as recruitment, you need to shout the loudest, not the most. Therefore, an effective marketing strategy is one that uses candidate personas to ensure you focus on the channels that get you results and posting content that speaks directly to your audience.

2. Marketing KPIs need to align with recruitment KPIs

If your marketing strategy isn’t seamlessly aligned with your recruitment process, what’s the point? Many recruitment agencies fail to see a return on marketing spend, and this is normally because they don’t align their marketing KPIs with their recruitment ones.

Marketing isn’t just about top-of-the-funnel brand awareness – which is of course still important, but hard to track impact. Why target ourselves on social media followers but not track how many followers convert into CVs? Recruitment marketing KPIs should reflect how they help the business make revenue (i.e. make placements).

3. Database marketing is the real low-hanging fruit

Database marketing is a lot more important to the hiring industry than a lot of us have given credit in the past.

For years, we’ve been focusing our marketing strategies on finding new ways to pull new candidates into our recruitment CRMs, but almost no thought goes into how to market to these candidates once they’re in there.

You already have an entire database full of candidates who already know who you are, and having a solid plan for how to regularly market to these candidates and keep them warm should be top of every marketer’s strategy.

4. Personalisation is everything

Before GDPR came along, the email marketing game was a lot less sophisticated than it is now. Nowadays, our audiences have a lot more control over their personal data (and they know it!) so we have to work harder to earn the right to keep marketing to them.

If you’re sending irrelevant content to your marketing database, this will be really damaging to your brand. Getting it right involves a bit of team effort: If recruiters aren’t updating a candidate’s record after they’ve had a career change and you’re still sending them job alerts related to a past life, they will hit that ‘unsubscribe’ button!

Similarly, if you’re an agency and you’re trying to speak to candidates and clients at the same time, this will just result in unengaging, watered-down messaging that convinces no one. We know now that every agency strategy needs to have a separate strategy and messaging for B2B and B2C audiences.

5. Marketing is always in flux, so your strategy should be too

Every time you think you’ve nailed your marketing strategy, a LinkedIn algorithm change will mess everything up, or your email open rates will suddenly plummet. And this is because, just like the sales and recruitment world, marketing is always evolving, and people get bored quickly of too much of the same thing.

An effective marketing strategy is, therefore, one that frequently changes direction in response to data: if you’re no longer getting the results you once were on a marketing platform, focus your energy somewhere else. Simple as that!


Your Social Outsource Team

The Social Hire team never just do social media marketing.

Our team are a company that assists our customers further their digital footprint by giving digital marketing on a regular basis.

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