Recruitment agencies in 2019 operate in much the same as they did in 2018, 17, 16, 15 and way on back. Small things may have changed in the processes and technology and the advent of GDPR midway through last year will certainly have presented a hurdle, but ultimately the recruitment industry’s practices haven’t changed an awful lot.
Unfortunately, in many cases that process still begins with a ‘cold’ approach, whether by phone, email or more commonly through Linkedin. It’s the equivalent of throwing a handful of darts at a dartboard and hoping one hits treble twenty and given that we are in the midst of the digital marketing age, where the targeting options available to us are increasingly precise, it’s a very clunky way of doing things.
On the other side of the coin you have HR departments within organisations doing recruitment in equally unimaginative ways, mainly due to lack of alternatives. Normally the first port of call is posting a vacancy on a job board like Indeed or Totaljobs and if that fails the next option is to enlist the help of a recruitment agency, often reluctantly, who will charge somewhere in the region of 10-15% of final salary.
And what of that large group of people who are speculatively casting their eye around but who aren’t ready to apply? Sure the agency’s blanket ‘cold’ approaches might pick them up but then again, perhaps not. After all, for many of us the default setting when being approached by recruitment professionals is to back away. Job boards won’t pick them up either because they only promote one Call To Action – apply. This huge passive audience sits dormant until they finally make that crucial decision, by which time the perfect new role may have already been filled.
There is another way to find and attract candidates, both active and passive, that does away with the need for cold approaches and job boards, works in the background leaving you to spend valuable time on other things and delivers results that outperform the old, out-dated methods. What’s more it puts control of the initial conversation firmly in the hands of the candidate, which gives it a much greater rate of conversion.
It’s a tactic that could finally change the way the recruitment is done and it relies on the principles of lead generation.
For over well over two years ELG has been running recruitment lead generation campaigns for a number of clients, applying our lead generation and digital marketing knowledge to an age-old problem, and the results have been impressive.
The first project we took on was for a specialist medical recruitment agency that in typical fashion, had a large room full of people making outbound cold calls and Linkedin approaches to people who fit the profile of the ideal candidate, but with no idea if that person was interested in a new job. It was a pure numbers game and seeing the amount of wasted time, effort and ultimately money was eye opening to say the least.
Initially ELG was taken on to do digital acquisition work and SEO – driving more candidates to the agency’s website from digital channels like Google Ads as well as auditing and overhauling the website’s on-page optimisation.
The digital acquisition campaigns did the job in driving traffic and generating conversions but all we had were conversion numbers. We didn’t know the names of the candidates we had brought in so it was difficult to quantify the precise ROI from our paid activity. This is when we floated the idea of testing Hubspot – although it seemed counter-intuitive to move away from the well-established process of sending potential candidates to job listings pages (after all this is the way it’s been done since the internet was first used for recruitment), if we could drive candidates to a landing page and get them to complete a form, Hubspot would record all of their details and we could close the tracking loop, quantifying exactly how much money in fees had been generated from candidates brought in through the digital acquisition activity.
The client signed up for a free 30 day trial of Hubspot (with some scepticism), ELG designed and built the first landing page and turned the digital ads back on, this time pointing at our lead generation page. Within the first week we knew we’d hit on something. Rather than asking candidates to apply or submit a CV we used the landing pages to pitch the agency’s expertise and asked interested candidates to leave their contact details to request a call back for an informal chat with a Consultant.
By the end of week one that first landing page had a conversion rate of over 6%, not ground-breaking but when you consider the agency’s website converted at around 2% it was a huge improvement.
Over the next three weeks we optimised and improved the landing page design and the contact form until our conversion rate averaged over 10%, roughly five times the original campaign conversion rate.
Although our agency client still employs ‘cold’ tactics they do so far less than when we first started working with them. Most of the consultants’ time is now spent responding to inbound leads and vetting candidates rather than hunting for them. Placements are up significantly, as is revenue and Hubspot now sits of the heart of their business.
Since working with the above client ELG has run digital recruitment lead generation campaigns for a number of other businesses and recruitment agencies and each of them has been equally successful, if not more so.
In the case of one client they saved literally tens of thousands of pounds in recruitment fees and agency staff in 2018 because we are now able to consistently generate qualified candidates for them at under £10 per lead.
Just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean there isn’t a better, more productive and profitable alternative. You only have to look at Uber and Air B n’ B for examples of that (not that we’re comparing ourselves to them).
Recruitment lead generation works because it removes the ‘cold’ approaches and hard-sell from the process and replaces it with a mechanism that candidates are much more comfortable with.
How would your business look if you had five times the number of qualified candidates registering their interest for your vacancies at a much lower cost per lead?
If you’d like ELG to run a no-obligation short-term test campaign for your business to show you what recruitment lead generation can do, get in touch.