With so many communication streams, it can feel like it’s increasingly difficult to get anyone’s attention, and the traditional methods of calling and sending emails simply aren’t as effective as they once were. And, because we have so much more access to information through our social networks and the web, it can feel like your job is more difficult than it’s ever been. But the truth is, if you put all those resources to work for you, it can be easier to build a pipeline of future opportunities you can trust.
Today, the key is to act like a marketer.
The most successful professionals invest in their personal and company brands and actively engage with through branded content and influential communication, keeping their goals top of mind when it’s time to switch jobs. As a result, they’re able to capitalize on new opportunities and deepen existing relationships – and steadily grow their businesses.
What is a brand and why is it important to have one?
Your brand is the sum of all the experiences others have with you. It’s built from many things: your track record, your relationships, and your approach. It includes your industry, company, and role knowledge. The stronger your brand is, the easier it is for clients and candidates to say “YES!”
Create a personal brand
It all starts with your LinkedIn profile. Viewing member profiles is the #1 activity on LinkedIn, so it’s likely that your profile may be the first place others go to research information on you and your background. Your profile offers them a snapshot of who you are and insight into how you can be of service. So it’s important to showcase your professional knowledge, capabilities, and achievements.
Here are some tips to separate yourself from the pack:
Enhance your profile
- Engaging, friendly professional photo: Profiles with a photo are 21x more likely to be viewed.*
- Descriptive headline: Your headline appears in search results, so make sure it’s clear. You can go beyond your title or role. What would stand out to a potential client?
- Essential links: Include links to your firm’s website, LinkedIn Company Page, and anywhere else a client can go to learn more.
- Killer summary: Overinvest in your summary. Use the first person. Give clients insight into your experience, success, and why they would want to work with you.
Include contact information
Add a handle, such as one for Skype or Google Hangouts. These are an easy way to communicate and send quick notes, rather than sending emails they may never see. And, if you add your professional Twitter handle to your profile, you can share LinkedIn updates on Twitter as well.
Add rich media
Showcase your achievements and your company’s capabilities. Upload links to videos about your culture, articles about your accomplishments, presentations you’ve put together, blog posts, and more. Consider recording a short video introducing yourself: who you are, who your audience is, and what industry trends might be affecting the public.
Ask for recommendations from your peers, managers, and coworkers. This helps build your credibility and gives visitors a sense of what it’s like to work with you. Think about it: If a VP-level client gives you a recommendation, other VPs will see that you’re a recommended source and it could very well increase your chance of winning.
There are two professions that dominate LinkedIn: Sales and Recruiting. How is one to handle the massive influx of invites, and what can you get out of it?
As a member of the staffing and recruiting industry, I see LinkedIn as a network of peers. For those who work in ancillary industries, I can think of three major reasons why it’s a good idea to accept invites from recruiters on LinkedIn.
Note: This is from my general experience. Your personal experience may vary, and as always – proceed with caution as not all invites have good intentions. Use your best judgment. However, as an active LinkedIn user for many years, I can speak to the incredible environment and opportunity created by LinkedIn. Let’s get started.
You grow your own network and become visible to more people.
By the nature of their profession, recruiters are typically very well connected. They leverage their countless happy hours, morning meetings, and conference calls by bridging your networks. You are inherently limited in your ability to network yourself, and you never know when you’ll get a LinkedIn InMail with a job opportunity. It never hurts to keep your options open. You don’t have to reach out, and it may be weeks, months, or years until you officially connect in person or over the phone.
You can build a relationship with them so they know what you are looking for and can help you find the next role.
So you’re looking for a new job? There are many reasons to reach out and take that first step to connect with a recruiter. If you wait until you’ job hunting, you’ll likely be at a disadvantage. The best option is to start a relationship early on. This will indicate that you’re already committed to a company. More importantly, don’t let the fact that you’re currently employed detract from the possibility of future opportunities. Reaching out today is better than reaching out in six months when you’ve already decided to leave, or worse – you’ve been laid off.
It will help you stay up-to-date with new roles in your particular industry.
Career paths change over time. Job titles change. Job requirements are modified to include new technologies and tools. One of the best ways to ensure career insulation is to constantly be aware of how your industry – including your company and competitors – is evolving in terms of how they view your job and what’s required or expected in new hires. Even veteran or senior roles may require new methodologies that, regardless how accepted it is within current applicants, will ensure that you stand out if you identify it as a key marker on your own resume.
Now, this is not to say that every recruiter has your best interests in mind. Rarely will you have that perfect connection that occurs when someone reaches out right as you’re exiting your current contract or employer relationship. You will surely begin to receive more messages, and when it turns to spam, LinkedIn helps you flag those individuals who take advantage.
The best thing to do is to connect with a recruiter that is aligned with your location and industry. Use this as an opportunity to grow your network. The right recruiters can be very useful for your career.
Are you sleeping on these valuable recruitment metrics? Check out these three underrated recruitment metrics and why they can help your agency.
Every recruitment agency has a hidden hub of valuable information with the power to transform its business—recruitment data. However, for a variety of excuses—competing priorities, a lack of reporting capabilities, or the reporting intimidation factor—many agencies don’t harness this data. Specifically, many useful and valuable metrics go completely unreported.
What do recruitment agencies track? Gross margin and customer satisfaction—recruitment pros rank these two metrics as the most important indicators of business health and performance, respectively. But there’s a lot of other great metrics that can be important indicators of your business’ performance, profitability, and future. Here are three metrics you may not be tracking but should.
If you read anything about the recruitment industry, you’ve probably read your fair share about the candidate experience. It feels like it’s all anyone can talk about, so surely recruitment agencies are measuring candidate satisfaction, right? After all, how can you accurately gauge the quality of your candidate experience if you’re not doing anything to measure it?
As you have probably predicted by its inclusion on this blog, a large percentage of recruitment agencies are not measuring candidate satisfaction. A whopping 2 out of 5 recruitment pros say don’t measure it on a regular basis, according to a survey of over 1400 recruitment professionals.
And that’s perhaps the reason for this disconnect. Ninety-three percent of recruitment professionals say the candidate experience they provide is good or excellent, while candidates often tell a very different story. For example, only 47 percent of candidates say they felt communication was consistent throughout their hiring process, according to a recent study by CareerBuilder.
Candidate satisfaction isn’t just about measuring the results, however. You can use your data to proactively make changes to your process and ensure a higher rate of satisfied candidates.
Time-to-fill (the number of days a job is available and unfilled) is a super useful metric for measuring the speed and efficiency of your marketing strategy and long-term growth. A poor time-to-fill rate could suggest potentially serious operational efficiencies that could be costing your agency money.
Besides being an indicator of performance, time-to-fill is useful in other ways. It can help you set accurate expectations with a client when setting a time-frame for a placement. Clients cite poor communication as one of their biggest pet peeves, so providing them with an accurate placement prediction can go a long way into being transparent and reliable in the eyes of your clients. You may also want to use-time-to-fill to inform your budget planning and resource allocation.
Yet despite its usefulness, recruitment professionals report little use of the metric. If you want a leg up on the competition, start tracking it now!
This last one is a cheat: recruitment ratios refer not to a single metric, but a whole category of metrics. Ratios are a way of tracking two data sets in relation to one another. For example, the ratio of interviews to placements.
This is critical for recruitment agencies because a candidate placement is the result of a long chain of actions. If any link in the chain is weak, it severely impacts the result. Ratios allow you to analyze every stage of the process to determine any potential inefficiencies.
The five metrics below all represent a fundamental stage in an eventual candidate placement. Track the relationship between each of the metrics to discover if there’s an unusual drop-off between any two stages.
- Client Submission Count
- Internal Submission Count
- Job Count
- Interview Count
- Placement Count
Does cold emailing help people find jobs and get hired?
The opportunity is there, as is cold calling. My post is going to revolve around a behavior and not the part it plays in a job search strategy. This is critical.
To execute a successful cold email campaign, you need to find potential candidates that may already be looking for work and can meet you halfway. After that, your only goal is that they don’t delete the email and immediately dismiss you.
Before I give you the golden email template, consider the following:
What is your target? This can relate to the type of positions you staff for, which types of employers, the industry, and of course location. This will set the stage for where you can find prospective candidates and an idea of how to reach out. You can find current industry professionals online or at in-person events for little to no cost.
How are candidates marketing themselves? Look for candidates that have an up-to-date resume with a full work history that features bullet points explaining the powerful contributions provided to past employers. You never know when they were last denied a raise and may be looking for a new opportunity.
How are candidates networking? The best source of new hires is an employee referral – when a current employee of the organization recommends someone else they know. This is a common best practice for recruiters and hiring managers. Everyone has a network, even the freshly-minted college grads of 2018: their parents, family friends, parents of friends, siblings. If they were close to any professors, they’re a terrific resource.
Armed with this information, how can you find professionals looking for new opportunities?
Email your database asking for referrals. This needs to be informed by the first item in the previous list: Target. Most people aren’t open to moving around for a job, and more importantly, most recruiters and hiring managers are suspicious of someone who says they will. We’ve all been burned by someone who says they’ll move, swears it up and down, but when push comes to shove, they back out.
Identify your network drivers. Ideally, you already have existing relationships with professionals at the company for which you’re staffing, or within the industry at least. Or if not, you know someone who has worked there in the past. How can you find a shortlist of second-degree connections to reach out to? LinkedIn all the way.
Network like it’s your job. We’ve all been at conference happy hours or Chamber mixers and you find those recruiters or sales professionals hunting for leads. It’s a major turn-off, and everyone except them knows it. Relationships start with mutual interests and casual conversation. Be upfront but not overtly so. Your job as a networker isn’t to meet everyone, it’s to be able to introduce someone new to those who can help them meet their unmet needs.
Building a strong baseline as exemplified above may take many weeks, months, or years to accrue. However, if you aren’t committed to being a valuable resource to others, keeping an ear to your industry, and promoting career growth with your friends and family, how do you expect to succeed as a recruiter? These are the fundamentals, and mastering them will lead to many moments when you get to grow your network. In our case, you don’t need to be the loudest recruiter, you just have to listen.
Eventually, you’ll want to know how happy someone is with their current employer, which perks could lead them to consider new job offers, etc. But first you need to focus on the long haul. Don’t scare them away – give them the opportunity to share what’s going on in their life before you talk about yours.
You can even introduce yourself with a cold email. Try the following on for size and comment how it worked for you.
“Hi [name], I see you’ve been at [organization] for a while now. Can you spend about 10 minutes of your time helping me understand what it’s like at [organization]? I want to know what the culture there is like. If you prefer, I’d be happy to buy you a coffee or three after hours. I believe [coffee shop] is near your office, right?
And for those of you who try this, you maybe see that a surprising number of people are indeed open to the request.
Let’s face it, the staffing industry has a negative reputation. Over the years so many organizations have used ineffective tactics to find talent. Whether they’ve bought candidate contact information, scraped emails from websites or cold called off lists of phone numbers, most people have stories about annoying recruiters offering positions that less than desirable for a number of reasons. Because of this, many view recruiters in a bad light. So how do we overcome that negativity? Of course, you have to use sound strategies for sourcing candidates so that your companies brand doesn’t become tainted. But there are a lot of other ways you can brand your company and it’s employees to seem less threatening to candidates.
One effective method is to change the language you use when asking candidates to “apply” when arriving on a landing page. By offering a career consultation or a guide to learning more about staffing and other contract work you can eliminate some of the anxiety around applying. If you go this route, you’ll want to make sure that your recruiters are providing a more consultative & nurturing approach to hiring candidates that apply in this way. You don’t want people to think they’re downloading a guide or being provided a free career consultation only to receive a hard sell on a job they don’t want.
Branding Recruiter Job Titles
That brings me to the next method for lowering the pressure on candidates. The term recruiter has its own negative connotations. That’s why many staffing firms have shifted from naming their sales staff “recruiters” and branding their recruitment employees with a more holistic job title. Below are some recommendations for recruiter job titles with less pressure attached to them:
- Career Consultant
- Career Advisor
- Assignment Coordinator
- Placement Coordinator
- Career Development Strategist
- Personnel Agent
- Personnel Officer
- Human Resources Officer
- Employment Consultant
- Labor Force Advisor
- Personnel Agent
- Personnel Management Specialist
- Placement Consultant
- Candidate Attraction Specialist
- Talent Officer
- Talent Coordinator
- Workforce Specialist
- Talent Selection Agent
- Sourcing Consultant
- Talent Consultant
- Sourcing Specialist
- Sourcing Advisor
- Talent Acquisition Consultant
If you’re not prepared or willing to make that extreme of a shift these job titles offer a little less edge while staying true to traditional job titles for staffing professionals:
- Staff Placement Officer
- Staffing Consultant
- Staffing Advisor
- Recruitment Professional
We’re all familiar with those modifiers for elite recruiters that may or may not help them in their efforts. These include such terms as “Senior”, “Executive”, “National”, “International”, and “Global”. While these terms can make the individual seem more accomplished, they often do nothing to persuade candidates to work with them. They achieve those titles by being good at their job. They’re not good at their job because of the titles. That being said, combining these grandiose modifiers with less aggressive job titles can provide a sense of accomplishment to the recruiter while keeping the vibe less “Boiler Room”.
Implementing New Branding
You might be wondering where these job titles can be most effectively utilized. Other than the obvious places that this will be noticed, like Linkedin and Indeed where recruiters are actively contacting candidates, you probably have recruiter profiles on your website (psst if you don’t, you should). Here you can brand your recruiters as experts and consultants who are going to advise candidates on their best opportunities. This approach can help brands with negative reputations return from the dark side of staffing and become a shining beacon in the darkness, an example for others to aspire to.
When making changes like these it’s best to A/B test so you can view the efficacy of your efforts. You find that the old way of doing things works better in your vertical. Or you may find that by simply changing the way that you brand the application process and your recruiters’ job titles you can improve the image of your brand and place more candidates, thus increasing ROI on your marketing efforts. If you’re interested in learning more about A/B testing and brand building consultation services give us a shout.
How To Make Your Staffing Agencies Jobs Appear In Google Search
Google now includes jobs in their search results which means you can have your jobs one step closer to job seekers, directly in Google’s search results (See what it looks like). If successful, your jobs will appear in a featured snippet type of search result featuring your logo, reviews, rating and job details. This prominent position is appearing in more and more Google searches, which is where most job seekers start their search for work. As Google Job Search Results become more familiar to applicants, inclusion in these search results will become vital to staffing agencies competing in the marketplace. By making your jobs findable in Google Search, you’re bypassing Indeed, Monster, and all the other job boards. Jobs listed in Googles Job Search Results are free (as of Jan 2018). There are two methods for getting your jobs included in Google Search Results, Direct Integration and Third Party Integration. Direct Integration is the most reliable method, but Third Party Integration is easy. If you have any trouble understanding all of this, don’t worry, we can help.
Direct Integration With Google
Direct Integration is by far the most reliable method of getting your jobs icluded in Googles Job Search Results. By choosing direct integration, you get more control over exactly how your job postings appear and how long they’re active for. To implement this you’ll need to be able to make modifications to your websites job board or at least have the ability to create new pages for the purpose of posting them to Google. Most staffing agencies have an ATS that integrates into a job board on their website and/or a CMS like WordPress that allows you to easily generate new pages. Ultimately, you don’t need to have a CMS on your site but you do need to be able to edit the HTML of your site. One or both of these will be needed to get your staffing agencies jobs listed on Google. The exact requirements cited by Google are that you have a website, publish job postings on that website and that you’re able to edit the HTML of the job detail pages. Below is a comprehensive guide that will enable your jobs to be picked up by Google.
1. Ensure Your Job Detail Pages Are Indexable
Webmasters will occasionally block web pages from being indexed for various reasons. The most common reason in the staffing industry is to avoid duplicate content penalties caused by numerous jobs sharing the same or similar job descriptions. There are several other reasons Google might have trouble indexing your job detail pages such as security functions and website errors. In order for your jobs to be included in Google job search results, job detail pages must be crawlable and indexable by Google.
2. Add job posting structured data to your job postings.
The required structured data is called Schema. There are a lot of different Schemas for different things, but the one needed for this task is called, you guessed it, JobPosting. This structured data, or Schema markup, is code that get’s added to the HTML of your job detail pages. If you use a CMS like WordPress there are plugins that you can use to implement Schema. That being said, they’re often not perfect and often require some configuring. Google has provided a detailed integration guide for developers.
3. Create A Jobs Sitemap & Add It To Search Console
If you’re not familiar with Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) you should familiarize yourself. This is a vital tool for optimizing your staffing website for search engines like Google. Among other things, Search Console will allow you to submit a sitemap to Google. This notifies them of all the pages on your website that you want indexed and included in search results. The same is true for job postings such as those you want to be included in their job search results. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress there are a lot of great plugins that can help you generate sitemaps. We recommend Yoast, as it provides a bunch of great search engine optimization (SEO) tools in addition to generating sitemaps. If you don’t use a CMS, Google has provided a guide to generating sitemaps including links to third-party tools that will help you generate them.
4. View Analytics In Google Search Console.
After implementation is complete, you should be able to see impressions and clicks in Search Console. If you don’t, check for errors in the sitemap. As you monitor traffic, try changing up your job titles and job descriptions to test their effectiveness.
Use A Third Party Job Site
Third party integration is far simpler than direct integration. However, it will cost you money every month and won’t give you the control or analytics that direct integration does. Here’s how it works. When you post jobs to job boards and job distribution networks like CareerBuilder or ZipRecruiter they directly integrate their jobs with Google and your job postings may be included. Some ATSs, such as iCIMS and JazzHR, integrate with Google Job Search as well. Google provides a list of job sites, networks, and ATSs that integrate, however, there are likely much more than what they list. As a staffing agency, chances are you’re already using at least one of them to promote your jobs. Below is a distilled list of third-party sites that can integrate your job postings into Google Jobs Search Results: