Recruiters don’t always have the best reputation. There are thousands of recruitment companies out there, all competing for the best candidates and the commission for placing them. But too many focus on slotting as many people as possible into roles without worrying about whether that’s right for the person or the recruiting organisation. If this isn’t you, how do you get that message across in this noisy marketplace?
Before I fell into the flexible lap of Onyx Media and Communications I was signed up to numerous different agencies. Did any of them pair me with the right role? No. I had to find that myself after hours of interviews, days of searching for jobs and weeks of looking at irrelevant emails. My requests were simple: part-time, Central London or Surrey and something creative in the PR and Marketing world. I got sent for an interview for a full-time role in the freight industry… not what I was looking for, but I was so desperate to find work I nearly went to the interview. It took my husband to point out that with two other jobs there was no way I could manage the hours, and of course there was the fact that I had no interest at all in the freight industry.
Of course, not all recruiters behave like that. But too many people have become disenchanted with the process of job hunting and assume all recruiters are the same. The problem is mirrored with employers, who are tired of being bombarded by recruiters who make no effort to send them people who might actually suit them.
The best way of differentiating yourself from the examples I’ve given is to improve your PR (or reputation). Good PR is important for most businesses. In recruitment, it will help you attract the best candidates and the best clients. If you’ve not thought about your PR, below are some key things to consider.
Shop window – What message do potential clients and candidates see when they go on your website and social media accounts? Are you conveying your ethos? Your specialisms? These things should all be obvious from the get go when people research your company. The messaging across all your communication channels needs to be aligned.
Brand – Don’t be afraid to rebrand your business if it doesn’t represent who you are. If you’re getting clients and candidates for creative industries, make sure your brand shows off your own creativity. If you’re finding you’re doing better in the corporate world, make it slick and simple with corporate images and language. Whatever area you’re in, make your brand match.
Internal communications – Are your staff all in sync? Do they have the same email signature and do they use the same language in their communications? It’s important that all staff know your style, ethos and who you’re trying to recruit – clients and candidates. Make sure the whole team are working together to push your brand and messaging forward.
Content – What content are you putting out across your digital channels? Does it fit with your messaging and the candidates and clients you’re trying to attract? It is worth creating blogs that showcase your expertise in the industries you are recruiting for (or get a specialist to help you)? And remember to share your success stories. If you’re different, write about it, tweet about it, shout about it. The way to build trust with clients and candidates is to prove to them that you know what you’re talking about.
Multi media content – Nowadays audio and video are making their way further and further into the corporate world. Try getting video snippets or soundbites from candidates reviewing your business then chop the best ones into a short video or podcast to put on your website. Interview your CEO on what makes your business different and push the content out over social media.
Make sure you’re ahead of the crowd – Do you, for example, find part-time or flexible roles for candidates? I had one recruitment consultant tell me flatly that no recruitment company would find me a part-time role. She couldn’t explain why. Flexible and agile working is now making the headlines, so it might be time to consider adding this to your specialisms. It’s not just relevant to mothers returning to work. At Onyx we employ all our staff on a flexible working basis and have attracted top talent because of it. As our MD Anne Cantelo says:
“There is fierce competition for the best people, making it really tough to recruit the right skills. But in the flexible working space, there is almost no competition and consequently you get your pick of the best talent available. Onyx now has a queue of incredible people wanting to work for us. Other people’s ignorance on this subject is our business opportunity.”