Social Influence of Your Brand – Analysis of Top Staffing and Recruitment Firms

lines-1285342_640Are there any businesses across industries, global or local, still in denial about the power of social media? I don’t think so, and none should be. The whole world, which consists of consumers and customers, is online; it’s no wonder why Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter and the likes are worth millions and billions of dollars! Business leaders who are late adopters need to understand the two important aspects of the market that social media offers:

1. The size of the population and

2. The frequency at which this population uses social media, or in other words, how engaged is this crowd.

PEW Research studied these two aspects about the top five social platforms:

Social Media Users Demographics - PEW Research -

Two and half years back, when I joined the staffing industry as a marketer, I had my own doubts about whether or not the multi billion-dollar staffing industry realizes the importance and power of social media. I immediately felt that the staffing industry is lagging behind and for business leaders in the staffing world there is a dire need to take stock of the situation and adapt to the change before its too late. Having felt so, I wanted to make sure if it was just me or if others in the staffing world felt the same. I asked experts a very basic question: Is the marketing function obsolete for staffing and recruitment companies? Staffing and recruitment industry is more delivery driven than sales or marketing. Consider the top five global staffing firms – Adecco, Randstad, Manpower, Allegis, Recruit — How do they differentiate among themselves? Here are the excerpts from some of the answers I got from the industry experts:

  • David Searns, CEO, Haley Marketing: “Another reason there is such a lack of emphasis on marketing is, as you note, there is truly very little differentiation in the product, pricing and service models used by the staffing industry. But that is changing. With the advent of online staffing, the concept of “total workforce solutions” (vertical integration) and increasingly difficult market for direct sales, the role and importance of marketing is increasing in the staffing industry”.
  • Pradeep Chauhan, founder, Oncontracting: “Marketing is what gets a staffing agency on a client’s preferred vendor  list. Marketing is what gets a client manager to trust and pick a certain staffing agency’s candidate. Marketing is what gets a candidate to call back your recruiter. So until you replace the client managers and workers with robots (and some may debate even then), you will need Marketing.
  • Lucas Hamon, founder & CEO of Orange Pegs Media (previously into recruitment): Marketing is underutilized, but by no means unnecessary. “The problem with the sales-only model is that you tie all of your relationships to your account executives and recruiters, and when turnover inevitably occurs, you have a difficult time transitioning old accounts to new reps. Marketing solves this problem. Good marketing solves it and boosts everything else you’re doing. But marketing as we know it is changing, and staffing is light years behind. Robert Half only recently adopted more of an inbound approach to their outreach within the last few months, but inbound has been around for nearly a decade.”
  • Chris Hotzak, manager of online recruitment and marketing for Horizon Healthcare Staffing: “Social media, blogging, whitepapers, and infographics are allowing companies to create their own voice and expand their brandHaving a great website and a big social following will help staffing firms differentiate themselves. Companies can get their message out to thousands of people instantaneously.

Read the whole conversation for deeper understanding.

So it looks like everyone agrees that marketing is something that you can’t afford to avoid if you want to remain in the game and social media for sure is something that needs to be given imperative attention to. Experts emphasize that Social Media is beyond the purview of marketing for branding and should be part of every business function:

  • Employer Branding (Part of HR managed with the help of Marketing team)Employer Brand is not a new term, it was coined 24 years ago, in 1989. The 2020 Outlook involves top two goals of creating an employer brand, and that are “Recognition as an employer of choice” and “Ease in attracting candidates,” followed by “Improving retention” and “out-maneuver the competition.” A very important term associated with employer branding is called employee value proposition (EVP) to attain the short- and long-term goals important for overall HR strategy, that business owners can’t afford to ignore. According to SHRM, online employer reviews by candidates has intensified the war for talent. Glassdoor and similar websites force firms to strengthen their employer brand.
  • Social Selling (part of Sales, to keep the Business growth graph moving upwards with the help of Marketing team, generating new business leads) IBM increased its sales by 400%, thanks to its inbound social selling program. Some 77% of B2B buyers won’t even speak to a sales rep until they had done their research (corporate executive board) which means almost two-thirds of the buying process is over without sellers even knowing that less than 55% of all buyers do their research using Social Networks (IBM).
  • Social Media Recruitment (part of delivery for staffing firms and must be the most important part for most of the readers, can double the figure of $$ by working in tandem with Marketing team) – Currently 7-out-of-10 job seekers have reported to having found their previous job through social media. And, nearly half of all employee referrals come in through social media. As a new wave of hyper-connected digital natives enter the workforce, recruiters will naturally go where great candidates are. Being less antisocial will put the leaders miles ahead from the late adopters.

All of the above has gained huge prominence in the way a business has to run in the e-age.

Now this made me look at how the biggest brands in the staffing world are doing in the social space. I used Klout, a third party independent tool that gives a score, a numerical value between 1 and 100, to individuals or brands, uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence they create. In determining the user’s/brand’s score, Klout measures the exact two parameters that the PEW Research showed above –

  • size of a user’s (/brand’s) social media network and
  • how the content created is engaging the people in the network

and this measure gives a Social Influence score of a user / brand.

Social Influence Score by Klout - Staffing Companies - 30March2016


Further study of each of these brands’ social pages gave insights on what kind of key content buckets that are being focused upon to create engagement.

Content Buckets

Today, businesses understand the importance of social media, which is going to stay here for years to come and with big data analytics, social influence is going to be the game changer for brands. For businesses in the staffing world that are primarily targeting these three audiences:

  • Candidates – looking for career options
  • Clients – looking for talented resources
  • Recruitment professionals

Focus will not only increase the population (followers/fans) in their network but also keep them engaged by creating relevant content and making sure the content is reaching the eyeballs it is created for. Companies are upping the ante by getting creative in engaging the target audience, which eventually will not only make a brand, a partner of choice but add $$ to the bottom line.

Please feel free to leave your views/opinions/agreement/disagreement! Love to learn more!

Rakesh Singh

Rakesh Singh
Rakesh Singh is a director, marketing, with Aditi Staffing.

Rakesh Singh

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