As a staffing agency or recruiting company, this year it will be more important than ever to ensure your customers and candidates can find you online and that your brand resonates with them. And now, more than ever, it’s time to get competitive! I can assure you there are a lot of staffing companies in the industry investing in their brand, their talent and their marketing efforts. If your company hasn’t done the same, now is the time. Or not. Your choice!
2013 changed the marketing landscape for staffing and recruiting firms in several ways – new social platforms and enhancements of more established social sites, further advancements in mobile technology and new strategies for online marketing success. So what does 2014 have in store for staffing companies? Here are some marketing ‘secrets’ we know successful staffing companies are implementing right now as part of their 2014 marketing strategies.
1. Mobile is no longer an option. In 2011, I was telling people you still had time to be early in mobile. Now, in 2014, I can tell you with certainty that if you don’t have a mobile recruiting strategy — sorry to say it but — you’re behind. With most of our customers, we see traffic coming from mobile devices anywhere from 25 percent to 62 percent.
But it’s not enough anymore to just have any mobile strategy, you need the right mobile strategy. Native apps and dedicated mobile websites are no longer best practices. What your staffing or recruiting agency needs is a responsive mobile site. In June of 2013, Google announced that starting in 2014 it will start demoting and penalizing sites that are not mobile, and in fact, not designed properly for mobile — which means having a responsive site.
Your clients and candidates are mobile. Your website should be to. Every day you don’t have mobile content in 2014 is a day your content is being penalized by Google and turning away potential clients and job seekers.
2. Video content marketing is HUGE. Actually, it’s GINORMOUS. In the past year, video content marketing surged in popularity. YouTube (the internet’s most popular video sharing site) is now the second largest search engine behind Google. In addition, ever since Google started giving more attention to its blended results, your staffing or recruiting agency now has an incredible opportunity to jump to the first page of the search engines by creating video content.
Studies have shown that videos are more than 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results as part of these blended results. That’s an AMAZING opportunity for staffing companies of all shapes and sizes to market their brand.
3. Keyword SEO is dead. Technical SEO is Alive and Kicking. Ok. Keyword SEO isn’t really dead — it’s just basic. If you want to see real SEO results, you have to go beyond keyword research. Google is constantly updating its algorithms for search and last year was no exception. In a major change, Google basically removed the keyword research tool, leaving us only with mere scraps of insight. It is now placing a much greater emphasis on technical aspects of your website. These things include such things as sitemaps (HTML/XML and Video), proper code placement, dynamic and relevant content, page load times (site speed).
Keyword SEO is basic. Technical SEO is advanced and produces real results.
4. Customer service is the new marketing. If your company isn’t focused on delivering exceptional customer service, it’s focused on the wrong thing. These days, customer service is everything and in 2013 we worked with several staffing agencies that focus more on their internal culture than many other aspects of their business. Why? Because truly, happy teams make happy customers. By focusing on a positive work environment and encouraging your employees to provide unparalleled customer service, your staffing business will be rewarded by lasting customer loyalty.
From providing quick responses to customers, to measuring overall customer satisfaction, focusing on customer service should be a key part of your brand in 2014.
5. Social is getting sophisticated. Still don’t have a social strategy? Sorry to say it again, but you’re behind. These days, your social marketing strategies should be reaching a point of sophistication, not just be getting started. What do we mean by that? More and more job seekers aren’t just looking at company social sites to browser jobs, they are using social media to find out more about the brand, culture and work environment of a company to see if they feel they are a good fit. This is a much different strategy than searching for a job.
Job seekers also want new, relevant and engaging content from your social sites and don’t want to have to work hard to get it. If a potential job seeker is visiting one of your social sites and can’t find what they need or doesn’t find the content relevant, they’re going to get what they need from one of your competitors.
If your staffing or recruiting firm is using social media to recruit employees, it’s critical that you maintain these sites with full time employees or outsource the efforts.
6. It’s time to rebrand. Look at your brand. Start with your logo. Look at it. LOOK. AT. IT. Seriously, it’s time for new look right? That logo that you paid very little money for all those years ago isn’t doing you any favors and again, sorry to break it to you — but your brand recognition isn’t as strong as you think it is. Not strong enough that a new brand is going to lose you business and transitioning from an old look to a new one is easier than you think.
Innovative staffing and recruiting firms recognize that their reputation matters, and this includes the look of their brand. Your staffing company’s brand strategy needs to communicate all the vision, passion and ideals of your company. That can’t happen with an outdated look and logo.
7. Improved website design. Your site needs to be simple — easy to find content and no unnecessary content; useful — full of relevant content and action items your audience will take; and creative — following current design trends to get a polished, professional, friendly look that will help you stand out.
In 2014 your site needs to be simple, useful and creative to compete for top talent and attract new clients online.
8. Onsite, mobile, properly SEO’d Job Boards. Of all the tips in the list this one is by far the most important. Why? Because this single item alone effects your website, mobile strategy, social and SEO.
As we’ve mentioned, your ATS is great … and it’s necessary. However, let it be good at what it’s good at – managing your candidates and your jobs. But don’t force it to do what it wasn’t designed to do: promote your jobs on your website. Yes, unfortunately, your ATS is killing your SEO and turning away candidates because of its poor application process and the fact that it isn’t mobile.
There are solutions though and in 2014, the staffing companies that implement a proper job board on their site, strategically SEOing job data and going mobile will win big!
9. It’s all about the text message. More and more, candidates are proving their preferred form of communication is text messaging. If your staffing company or recruiting firm is still measuring your teams performance by the number of calls they make and time on the phone you could be missing a huge communication opportunity with your staff. Smartphones now account for over 55 percent of the mobile market in the U.S. and over a third of adults prefer to be reached via text message more than email or calling. From jobs to every day conversations — text message communication is where it’s at.
Staffing companies who learn how to restructure their business to support text message communication with their staff will find much success in 2014.
10. Job aggregators. These days it’s most common for staffing companies to be getting job leads from job boards, VMS and MSP programs. Retrieving, organizing and imputing data from these multiple systems and distributing them to other job boards, social sites and your internal ATS can be challenging. Speed is everything in the staffing/recruiting industry so you need systems and tools that automate as much of this process as possible. There are job service options like our own Jobbee that do this very thing.
Automating your job entry and job distribution from and to multiple systems is key to understanding your staffing business and placing more candidates into new opportunities.
2014 is going to be a great year for the staffing industry and even better for those companies that invest in their brand, technology and marketing efforts. Make 2014 the year your staffing agency or recruiting firm commits to implementing a strategy that utilizes modern methods, technologies and techniques in order to produce real results.
Here’s to a successful 2014!