It’s time to change the way you fish

Times have changed. Today, candidates and clients behave like consumers.

TaraSo why are so many recruitment agencies still using ‘client’ and ‘candidate’ speak and talking only about jobs? Such conversations are one-dimensional, and are ever less effective. The brands that are taking marketshare right now are the ones that gain candidate and client exclusivity. And we all know that the holy grail of exclusivity comes when you are ahead of the curve and take control before they have committed to alternative courses of action.

If you want to manage the most lucrative and attractive accounts and ring-fence the best candidates, you have to win the hearts and minds of clients and candidates before they make a decision to hire or move. Which is why you can’t just be talking about jobs – it’s too late by then.

If your marketing and attraction strategies – whether you’re a consultant at a desk or the leader of a business – still centre on job boards and pushing out job-related posts via social media, you will only be fishing in the same pond as everyone else – fighting over the same prized people.

Add value

If you want the best clients and candidates, your marketing strategies must change and evolve. This process doesn’t have to be complicated. Think back to the last post from a well-known brand that you engaged with. It’s likely that it wasn’t a direct email/advert selling a product. It was probably a ‘how to’ video or a free report or a competition or a video guide. It was something that added value, that made you spend time with the brand and build rapport and trust. And guess what? We all like doing business with people we know, like and trust.

So my challenge to you is this: go window-shopping around your business, team or desk. Look at what you do through the eyes of a candidate or client. Look online, on Google, look at your Facebook or Instagram page, and your LinkedIn company page. Are you talking to your audience on a personal level? Are you offering solutions to their pain or just talking about how great you are? How does your marketing make you feel as the candidate or client? What are you inspired to do? Does it make you like the brand? Do you trust the brand based on what you see? Does it feel personal to you?

Now go and review the same places for a consumer brand that you know and like – can you see the difference? Its marketing focuses on you as a consumer, not the company; it’s rarely a direct advert to buy something. It inspires a feeling, it builds trust and rapport, and it adds value – which buys loyalty.

So decide who your ideal clients and candidates are. Talk to them on a personal level, show you understand their pain, and give immediate value by offering solutions that help them while you build trust and rapport.

Very soon, you will no longer be fishing in the same pool as everyone else. You’ll be fishing in your own private lake. Happy fishing.

Tara Lescott, managing director of rec-to-rec agency Recruiter Republic

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