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Navigating the world of recruitment tech.

Over the years recruitment tech has become marketing’s best friend. Or has it? The opportunities and efficiencies it can provide make it essential for our day-to-day jobs. The possibilities afforded by tech are only hampered by how much, or little, time we have! 

Technology can be a great way to bring sales and marketing together. That might be through platforms to share resources, it might be through lead tracking or it might be levelling up consultant comms with candidates and clients.

What recruitment tech are we using?

There’s an app for that. Literally. There are so many software programs, plugins and apps that it can sometimes be overwhelming. We’ve done a quick round-robin and this is the common tech that recruitment marketers are currently using.

Messaging

  • Slack
  • Teams

Project management

  • Trello
  • Sharepoint
  • Monday

Content creation and planning

  • Canva
  • Notion
  • Paiger

Video production

  • Odro
  • Veed

There’s always a worry with bringing in recruitment tech. After all, unless the people who need to buy in and start using it fully the tech will be redundant no matter how diligently you plug everything into it! One approach is to do a pilot with a smaller group of consultants or senior leadership. Work with them to show them what’s in it for them, explain the value it brings and really break down why they need to bother. Once you’ve then ironed out the kinks and they’re won over, roll it out to the next group.

What are the limitations for recruitment tech for marketers?

For all its benefits there are definitely limitations when it comes to technology in the recruitment marketing sector. Technology divides itself into a CRM system with all the quirks and functionality needed for day-to-day recruitment, and a marketing system. Never the two shall mix, and never the two shall talk. That means there’s a whole bunch of manual work still to do if you want to attribute leads, look at conversion rates or pull together a report on marketing’s ROI.

We hear about the frustration of needing more insights but struggling to extract those. 

There’s a gap in the market that needs to be filled.

What’s the dream tech stack for recruitment marketers?

The dream, the panacea for recruitment marketing teams feels quite simple. It’s to have a collaborative sales and marketing system – recruitment tech that works in harmony while delivering the functionality needed for both consultants and marketing. The reason this feels simple is that in the world outside of recruitment you can get systems that integrate. But they haven’t conquered the recruitment marketing sector. There are solutions that come close, but they aren’t there…yet. 

Until they make the developments or a new product enters the market, we’ll have to keep tinkering and joining the dots ourselves while dreaming of the perfect system. We’d love to hear what you’d look for in a dream recruitment marketing tech stack and how close you are to achieving it!

Have you got any tips for successfully introducing recruitment tech that we could share with our community?

This article was created off the back of a Lonely Marketers huddle with some of the most senior recruitment marketers in the industry representing £100m’s worth of turnover and established around the globe.

This is a regular feature of The Lonely Marketers community which TwoEnds is proud to power as we aim to complete our mission of building the best recruitment marketing teams there possibly can be. You can more recruitment marketing ramblings here.

The challenge of making your recruitment marketing ideas a reality

Frustrations are always there for recruitment marketers. We often sit there with the best ideas in our head, on our notepad or in a draft email that we fear nobody is going to pay attention to. But how do we do better? How do we show that recruitment marketing is more than what many think it is? We can all appreciate that there are immediate business needs that need attention now and again but a marketing strategy can pay dividends and really elevate all of our roles to the next level.

Reactive vs. Proactive

As with all recruitment marketing teams, being pulled into reactive activity takes time away from more strategic recruitment marketing planning. 

This happens more when there are fewer marketing heads in a team. How do we get the balance right?

One way to combat the ‘reactive activity’ is through empowering your consultants to self-serve with pre-prepared centralised toolkits. This central bank of resources can include presentations, case studies, Canva templates and so much more. By providing branded resources you’re controlling the materials being sent out without tying you to creating the documents from scratch every time somebody asks you for them. 

Freeing your team up from reactive activity also allows you to look at the split of time between different brands, teams or locations. It’s so easy to gravitate towards a particular team if they’re being helpful, responsive and have bought into the impact marketing can have. The danger with this is that some teams become overlooked and under-resourced from a marketing perspective. This is when looking at the business’ goals comes into play as you can use that to decide the balance of marketing resources. Ensuring that there’s a conscious split that will support the overarching business objectives (and ultimately boost your standing within the business).

Let technology take the doubt out of the process. And save you time.

Technology should be a key part of your marketing function now. Making you more efficient, more automated and giving you back more time. With so many options available you’re only really limited by your budget. We’ve all heard of Herefish, Paiger, Hubspot and many others and the difference they can make is huge. 

While marketing teams love technology to drive automation and setting up workflows, there is still a challenge around getting consultants to buy into using it fully. This could be that they feel less in control of an automated email sequence or maybe they’ve seen success with their methods and are reluctant to change. A block to new recruitment marketing ideas can simply be getting the buy-in they need from across the business, whether that’s from consultants or leadership. That needs to change. By either focusing on a single team to prove concept or if you’re the more assertive type, by brute force!

Show me the money!

Many of us will know that marketing teams don’t tend to hold a budget of their own, or if they do there will undoubtedly be a few things in it that you disagree with! That means that every new spend more than likely requires sign off. If you’re lucky the leadership of your business will be aligned with marketing’s goals and support new ideas and initiatives. Otherwise, you face the exhausting challenge of justifying and creating a business case every time. A clear budget demonstrates the commitment to marketing and allows more creativity when it comes to recruitment marketing ideas, without the fear that if something doesn’t work it will jeopardise future budget requests. 

Influencing those types of decisions from leadership can be a big jump if you’ve never had those responsibilities before. Taking time to establish your authority and knowledge relies on you shouting that little bit louder, and it doesn’t hurt to be armed with a list of examples of your wins! 

Your ideas for content and other marketing activity in recruitment gets caught up in so many other things. If you’re forever dealing with reactive requests you won’t have time. If you don’t have any budget you don’t have the money to try new things. If you don’t have the influence you won’t get sign-off from the top. Having the time, resources and creativity to create killer content and ideas relies on having the infrastructure around you – so the real question is how can you create that infrastructure? How can you build that strategy? Of course we’re going to say this, “we can help.”

This article was created off the back of a Lonely Marketers huddle with some of the most senior recruitment marketers in the industry representing £100m’s worth of turnover and established around the globe.

This is a regular feature of The Lonely Marketers community which TwoEnds is proud to power as we aim to complete our mission of building the best recruitment marketing teams there possibly can be.

What makes great recruitment marketing teams?

The age-old question, what makes great recruitment marketing teams? It’s a question that so many of us try to answer to justify our teams, our growth plans and as a goal to aim for. But can you ever achieve ‘greatness’ or is it a moveable goalpost that shifts backwards every time you edge a step closer?

What defines great marketing teams in recruitment?

There are different ways to define great. For some, it’s probably clearer than for others. Benchmarking against other marketing teams and their performance is maybe the most logical approach. When you look at the top 20% of marketing teams what they have in common is that all the basics are there. They’re activity focused, competently run and have fixed their data black holes. When you push to the top 5% of teams it’s clear that they’ve started to focus on building a community, establishing their business as a specialist and they’ve got tracking ROI nailed (as much as you possible can anyway). 

Recruitment marketing teams vs. Consultants

But is there a paradox between how marketing defines success vs. how leadership in your recruitment business judges it? Often it’s a challenge to get the board to understand why certain things are being done, or not being done. That feeds into putting significance on tracking and measuring success, with it often seen as vanity metrics rather than essential feedback. 

That tension can also be seen when trying to define what is a marketing lead and what’s a sales lead. Let’s be honest, often it’s a mixture of the two – with a candidate coming off the back of a marketing managed platform or piece of content and then sales sealing the deal. But, systems and consultants don’t always want to take that joined-up approach. Systems and manual processes can be a time drain for many marketing teams. Many of us spend extra time double-checking leads and manually updated source tags to try and gather accurate data. It seems that there isn’t the perfect tech solution that marries together the sales requirements with full marketing capabilities. Maybe that’s another reason why it’s difficult to quantify what a great recruitment marketing function looks like?

“If only we had…”

One of the other challenges of defining what a great team looks like is the constant battle between resources and what we can do. At some point there needs to be a conscious decision about what we’re not going to do, usual suspects are internal comms or maybe PR. Drawing that line in the sand helps focus us on what we need to be doing to support business growth and with being realistic about our capacity. The trouble with that is everything else is always there niggling away in the background. If you know you aren’t doing everything surely you aren’t a great marketing function? 

Focus on you. Not others.

Perhaps our view of a great team shouldn’t be graded on an external perception of other teams. Is it instead of looking at what your team can achieve with your resources? If that’s the case then having automations and processes in place that maximise your productivity should be key to being a great marketing function. Automations should cut out repetitive, unnecessary thinking time allowing your team to be more productive and effective, in other words enabling them to get more work done. Isn’t that what a great function is all about?

We’re really interested to hear from you about what you think makes a great marketing function and any examples of that in practice. For us, it feels like we can’t define it. At this point, there are so many external limiting factors – tech, resources, business structure, culture, that no matter how well we’re doing we can see how much more we could do. How we could improve results and streamline processes if only we had more. Instead of creating a catch-all definition of great, it’s about looking at the structure of your business and creating a vision for what great looks like for you and your team and then using that as inspiration to move forwards.

This article was created off the back of a Lonely Marketers huddle with a number of the most senior recruitment marketers in the industry representing £100m’s worth of turnover and established around the globe.

This is a regular feature of The Lonely Marketers community which TwoEnds is proud to power as we aim to complete our mission of building the best recruitment marketing teams there possibly can be.

Recruitment marketing specialist skills in 2021. What do you need?

The past twelve months have been a challenge for every industry and for those working in recruitment marketing it has been no different. Now that the world is slowly returning to some semblance of normal we are looking at how our recruitment marketing teams and their growth plans have shifted since early 2020 and what the makeup of a team could/should look like when it comes to blended skillsets. 

Pre-March 2020, many teams were looking to bring in marketing specialists in certain disciplines. Roles and opportunities were being created for highly trained/focussed people with a particular skill, usually video or content. But has there been a shift?

A pandemic-led shift in required marketing skills?

With furlough and redundancies having an impact on staffing levels, the need for generalists has once again come to the fore it seems as marketing teams in recruitment look to scale their activity rapidly.

Many marketing functions need individuals who can pick up any task at any point. The pandemic shifted the focus within recruitment businesses and in some cases marketing became more important than ever to maintain visibility throughout a time when actual recruitment activity plateaued in many sectors. 

Certain questions started to be asked. What needed prioritising? How could we strip marketing back to its essential function and outsource where needed? 

But now, as we get back into the swing of things, what is the future for recruitment marketing specialists? Not only that but what’s the progression for those in specialist roles and how can you keep them for longer?

There’s limited career progression for someone like a videographer in a recruitment marketing team, it’s unlikely that specialists like this will have a true ‘career’ in a recruitment firm unless there is a laser focus in that area from the company. But that doesn’t mean there are not career opportunities if they really want it and are maybe willing to pivot a little (sorry, that phrase is still about).

How do you grow a recruitment marketing team?

The ability to grow a marketing function in recruitment rests on the success of the business as a whole, making it difficult to commit to certainties around opportunities and projects for specialists. You can however offer wider training to some so they can develop as a generalist (if they want to of course). Generally though, there is an acceptance that after 18 months – two years somebody with a very specific skillset will likely be looking to move on. 

Another reason for moving away from a team of recruitment marketing specialists with specific skills can be around succession planning. For those that head up a team of marketers, they can struggle with succession planning for their own roles. Fellow team members may not have the breadth of knowledge that would empower them to step up if needed when they are focused on a specific marketing discipline. Keeping generalists in the team, and offering training or projects to keep them interested creates a clearer career path when growth allows. 

What about the wider team structure though, such as junior staff members? Could you hire marketing apprentices to fill a need? But then how do you approach training them, in particular, how much of your own time do you invest in them? There are mixed views on apprentices with some having brilliant experiences and others not so much. But when it comes to training new starters the advice is to use your other team members. Not only will it be a great experience for those without direct management responsibility but it removes some of the burden on a single person in the team.

Do you need experience in recruitment marketing?

Finally, is experience in recruitment needed for new hires in our marketing teams? If you’re bringing somebody in without any recruitment marketing experience, particularly a generalist, then it’s a steep learning curve. One that will involve a lot of your time and some hand-holding. It’s a topic that divides opinion so we’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you’re looking to bring someone into your team do you specifically look for recruitment experience or do wider credentials and personality come first? Does it depend if you’re looking for a recruitment marketing specialist or generalist?

It’s a cop out answer, but it depends.

This article was created off the back of a Lonely Marketers huddle with some of the most senior recruitment marketers in the industry representing £100m’s worth of turnover and established around the globe.

This is a regular feature of The Lonely Marketers community which TwoEnds is proud to power as we aim to complete our mission of building the best recruitment marketing teams there possibly can be.

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