Relationships: The Best Recruitment Marketing Tool You Can Have.

Article Originally From Recruiting Reach.

In my posts before, we talk about things like managing your reputation on review sites, the importance of attending events, and how powerful social media has become in the recruitment industry, but what we haven’t talked about is how they are all connected.

 Relationships.

 I’m told the 90’s were equivalent to the gold rush for the recruitment industry. For tech recruiters, it was hard not to make money because everyone needed a .com associated with their business or they were deemed illegitimate. That being said, the recruitment mentality was more focused on volume then anything. There was no time to build relationships because someone else needed candidates and needed them now.

Fast-forward to the recession where companies began to downsize and hiring was almost non-existent. Just like companies had to revamp their structure, so did the recruitment industry. A lot of staffing firms didn’t make it through 2008, but the ones who did realized there was an unprecedented need for relationships. There could be no more transactional mentality; staffing firms needed to think big picture/long term in order to keep their business strong.

My approach to marketing for the companies I work for is simple; think like a mom and pop shop. With the rise of corporate chains and big store/low prices, small businesses are getting drowned out at a pretty alarming rate, but what they offer, no Wal-Mart or McDonalds ever can, relationships.  People usually don’t mind spending a few extra dollars at a local coffee shop because they know the baristas and have a relationship with them; whether it’s talking about their kids, or even just not having to say their order because the person behind the counter already knows it, that’s value. There’s no reason recruitment firms can’t be any different.

 Building relationships with candidates and hiring managers isn’t something that should be looked at as an immediate deal-generator, but more as an investment. Building good relationships with people can lead to tons of deals down the road and all it takes is a few extra minutes of your time. 

The good news is, there is a host of great ways to build relationships that now make it easier then ever.

 The most direct form of contact would probably still be the phone, it never hurts to check in with an old candidate or client to see how they’re doing even when you don’t have opportunities for them. It may not seem like the best use of your time, but trust me when I say, people will remember it.

 Then obviously, you have social media. Using sources like Twitter, LinkedIn or even Facebook is a great opportunity to keep in touch with your clients/candidates on the fly. See how they’re doing, if they’re like their job or opening any new positions, maybe forward along an article you think will enjoy. It doesn’t take much, but it’s going above and beyond the call of duty to show you’re committed to them, which goes a long way when its time to hire, or switch jobs.

 The ongoing theme of this piece is about going beyond. Go beyond the typical practices of your job, go beyond your comfort zone when it comes to using social media,  go beyond the expectations of your clients, and nine times out of ten when the time comes, they will go beyond for you.

Views: 243

Comment by Jacob S. Madsen on February 7, 2012 at 12:27pm
Please do not take this advertisement, however a book published in 2011 by Gordon S Curtis titled 'Well Comnected' offer stories and insight to how connections are built and utilized to the benefit of all parties involved.
Comment by Justin Miller on February 7, 2012 at 1:22pm

Thanks Jacob, I'll try and check it out.

Comment by Sylvia Dahlby on February 8, 2012 at 1:20am

I'd like to point out that Social NETWORKS are NOT new in the recruiting industry.

Social networks are as old as humankind, since each of us is BORN into one that we call our family, then we enter another one when we go to school and church and join a sports team or club, start work and join professional associations, community organizations etc. Our lives are chock full of social networks that change as we grow older and our career takes new directions, or we move to a new neighborhood, etc. Human are social creatures, always have been & always shall be.

Online communities have been around for a very long time too... Recruiting Blogs itself is an online community,and there are MANY others like it and many that predate LinkedIn, Facebook etc. Social MEDIA like job boards of yore, is just another way to connect with people and do what recruiters HAVE ALWAYS DONE since the Roman Empire was looking for a few good men to join its army... and that's leverage professional/social networks to connect candidates with opportunities and provide value to the process. 

When the internet was the new "shiny object" a lot of web sourcers became "recruiters" and deployed the "spray & stick method" of blasting out candidates against a job order. This worked in the 90's when the market was hot, anyone with a little web savvy could make a lot of money fast as a "recruiter" - but they vanish when the market cools, because the REAL recruiters know how to build business relationships & add value to the search/selection/hiring process for both candidates and employers. Now everyone's jumping on the social media bandwagon - but it's no magic bullet, just like the internet & job boards didn't put recruiters out of business as predicted. It's still about people, not technology.

So while all the comments in this post are valid - it's nothing new to position your recruiting firm as a boutique and build relationships by going the extra mile or bringing unexpected or above average value to the relationship - any good business are all built on this principle of exceeding customer expectations.

And call me old school, I agree that the phone is the best marketing tool.

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