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RECRUITER IMPRINT Practical, real-world insights that enable Recruiters and Employers to make a mark on their sector, as the providers and employers of choice.

RECRUITMENT'S MARKETING CHAMPIONS: Three agencies talk about how PR has boosted their brands as agencies-of-choice and added to their bottom line

Also in this issue: WINNERS AND LOSERS: Why recruitment awards can be seriously good for your agency even if you don't win SOCIAL RECRUITING: What impact will Facebook's Workplace have on agencies? BRING THEM BACK: The key to agency growth is not winning new customers, it's winning back old ones

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RECRUITER IMPRINT WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? Huge thanks to all our contributors for this issue. They include: Louise Triance - UKRecruiter Katrina Collier - The Searchologist Chloe Whitelock - PIE Recruitment Natalie Spearing - BPS World Airswift Recruitment Bethan Jones-Arthur Liz Brookes - Grapevine Events Do you have a positive recruitment marketing experience that you would like to share with your peers? If so, write about it. Recruiter imPRint is a magazine and website dedicated to sharing best recruitment marketing practice. So, if you have a story to tell and would like to appear in the next edition of the magazine, email Paul MacKenzie-Cummins.

CONTACT US Published by ClearlyPR Limited CONTACT London: 49 Greek Street, London W1D 4EG 0203 856 8000 Cardiff: 2nd Floor, Unit 5 Stangate House, Stanwell Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan CF64 2AA 0333 207 9477 Web: 2016 ClearlyPR

EDITOR'S NOTE By Paul MacKenzie-Cummins,

Welcome to the fourth edition of Recruiter imPRint. We launched Recruiter imPRint at the start of 2016 with the sole intention of sharing information and insights that will help those responsible for the marketing and PR of the agencies they represent become better at what they do. But we didn’t set out to only share insights from our own experiences of working with almost 100 recruitment businesses over the last 10 years, such as Hays, Reed, Monster and a plethora of other names you will be familiar with. Rather, we wanted to encourage recruiters – those we have had no business relationship with – to share their experiences of how PR and marketing has helped build their personal and agency brands. That’s precisely what this issue has achieved. In this issue we feature three examples of recruitment agencies that have generated some incredible results through a savvy use of media relations, social media and content marketing (blogging etc.). We also hear from someone who many of you will be all too familiar with, Louise Triance from UKRecruiter. Louise shares with us her top tips on how to write an award-winning award entry (if that makes sense). And we hear from Katrina Collier (aka The Searchologist), who was recently recognised as one of the top 9 most influential people in recruitment today...quite right too. Enjoy!










How to win back lost customers...

...through savvy marketing and PR. by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins | Editor

instead. Leading the research was V. Kumar, a marketing professor at Georgia State University in the US. His findings were published in the Harvard Business Review and turn the notion of what makes a successful marketing campaign on its head. Kumar has identified three key reasons for companies to prioritorise lapsed customers over new ones: That was certainly the mantra preached to me when I worked in sales, although I didn’t quite agree with it – focus on quality pitches rather than scattergun approaches will always win the day in my book. I started my sales career in 1995, selling advertising and recruitment advertising for the likes of The Daily Mirror, Prospects, Yell (that was tough) and latterly Monster. It was a career that I loved and having reached and enjoyed various management roles it was my time at Monster that led to me move sideways into PR and Marketing for the recruitment sector, with said company being my first clients and one I would continue to work with for five years. Throughout my sales career the companies I sold for continued to spend vast sums of money on TV and online marketing in an attempt to stem the rate of churn and replace some of the clients they lost. However, new research suggests this is the wrong approach to take. Contrary to widely held belief, the research has found that the most effective marketing strategies are not focused on winning new customers. Rather, the smart strategy is to concentrate on winning back lapsed customers

1. They have done business with you before and as such have already demonstrated a need for your services. This makes them a far better - and an easier - sell than one who is simply a name on your cold-call list. 2. As well as demonstrating a prior need for your services they are already familiar with you – a factor that enables you to instantly get your voice heard above the noise as there is no need to ‘sell’ your brand or educate them on what you can do for them. This means that the cost of marketing to lapsed customers is lower as it saves your consultants significant time at the pitch stage. 3. Finally, there is big data. Technological advancements and CRM’s have far superior capabilities than they once did. As such they enable recruiters to draw upon information about each former client and target what Kumar describes as “the most profitable defectors”. For their research, Kumar and his team studied data on 53,000 customers who had left America’s third largest telecoms company over a seven-year period. They analysed the reasons why customers left in the first place and how responsive they were to

so-called “win-back” offers. To do this they posed four key questions - the responses were rather surprising, even to someone who has worked in the media industry for over 20 years. How likely is a given customer to come back? In response to Question 1, the researchers found that former clients who have referred others, have never had cause to complain or they have had an issue but that issue was satisfactorily resolved, ranked highest in terms of those lapsed customers most likely to return. Those who quibbled over price were the least likely to do business with the same company again. How long will a reacquired customer stay, and how much will they spend? In response to Question 2, it was found that returning customers tend to come back on board for a longer period than when they last worked with that company. And they spent more too. According to the research, the average spend was around 11% higher the second time around. Which people should get which offers? In response to Question 3, it was made clear that the one-size-fits-all marketing incentives simply do not work. 40,000 former customer were offered one of four different options: 1) a discount; 2) a service upgrade; 3) a discount and an upgrade; or 4) a tailored package. Option 3 generated the highest win-back rate (47%) followed by the ilored option (45%). The single stand-alone offer, option 1, yielded a 41% win-back rate. Which win-back strategy is the most effective? In response to Question 4, the researchers pointed out that although option 1 was less appealing, it was the cheapest to implement and presents the highest ROI. By contrast, while the bundled offer, option 3, has the highest conversion rate it is actually the most expensive and therefore has the lowest ROI. In other words, option 1 is the best because it is the most profitable. Kumar warns against companies whose focus is on selling to the largest number of customers – something he argues comes at the expense of profit. As he told Harvard Business Review: “Wall Street rewards the acquisition rate – how many customers did you add this quarter? – rather than how much money did you make from these customers?” Kumar’s research has found that the very act of identifying those lapsed customers who are most likely to come back on board, rather than trying to appeal to every man and his dog, often results in an eight-fold win-back rate. So, when seeking to appeal to former customers, don’t use a scattergun marketing approach in the hope that one of them will bite. Think about what offer will yield the highest ROI and will be more enticing to them. RI

"[Correctly] identifying those lapsed customers who are most likely to come back on board, rather than trying to appeal to every man and his dog, often results in an eight-fold win-back rate."

10 POWERFUL WAYS TO GET YOUR MESSAGE ‘OUT THERE’ (and none involve press releases)

Mention ‘public relations’ to pretty much anyone and the words most commonly associated with this critically important part of the marketing mix are ‘press releases’, ‘journalists’, ‘spin’, and a ‘shower of bastards’. Hey, we know that PRs often sit on the same bench as our estate agent-lawyers-recruiters brethren.

OK perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but what can never be over emphasised is the fact that public relations (PR) is so much more than dishing out a load of press releases to a bunch of unsuspecting journalists.

In 2013 the executive director of the UK Government’s

communications team declared at a national PR conference that the press release was dead. A year later, Coca-Cola announced it would no longer use press releases to communicate its message. The press release is not dead, not by a long way. However, its role as the primary method of communication between an organisation and its public is no longer what it once was. Rather, the age of social media and the availability of news in real-time has seen the traditional press release, with its somewhat lengthy timeframe between drafting the release and obtaining final sign off from the client before being distributed to the relevant media,

become rather redundant. Against this backdrop, those responsible for the marketing of their recruitment agencies need to ensure they adapt and evolve to the ‘new way’ of getting their agency’s message ‘out there’. Here we take a look at the 10 most impactful ways of connecting with your audience. 1. Social media We’re not going to reel off a load of stats about how many people use which social media platforms – Google can provide you with the figures you want. The simple truth is this: Social media is not a fad, it has been with us since 2005 and its importance as a core communications channel will only increase. Understand the language your audience expects across each social channel and tailor your message accordingly. 2. Blogs According to HubSpot, companies that

have blog content have a 97% higher volume of traffic than those who don’t. Make your headline eye-catching: advertising legend David Ogilvy stated that five times as many people read the headline as read the actual article itself. Give people a reason to want to read more. 3. Thought leadership articles Got an opinion on the impact Heathrow’s third runway will have on the employment prospects on that region, or how Theresa May’s dithering and backtracking over Brexit could weaken her credentials as a long term leader? If so, stick your neck out a little and write about it on your company blog, your personal LinkedIn profile (click ‘Write an article’) or contribute as a guest blogger on sites that have influence in your sector. 4. Media articles If what you have to say adds a new perspective to a trending story, speak to the relevant media. The recruitment and trade press as well as the nationals and regionals are always

"Whilst you cannot approach a competitor publication, you can re-purpose that content and tailor it to the media in question."

hungry for a different take on hotly debated

8. Newsletters

subject. So pitch them your ideas, and once

Simple, frequent and highly impactful…if

you are published you can share the

done right of course. Newsletters are a great

coverage across all your external

way of engaging with your audience on a

communication channels (social media,

regular basis. But be mindful of the

newsletters etc.).

messages you put out there – if all your communications are sales-led they will

5. Speaking opportunities

counterproductive. Instead, strike a balance

On the back of any publicity you generate for

between sharing information that your

yourself and your agency, you can begin to

audience will be interested in reading and

think about speaking at key events, whether

having a call to action. As Gary Vaynerchuk

they be local business networks or national

puts it - Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. In other

trade conferences and expos. Event

words, offer three or four pieces of valuable

organisers love a ‘name’ – someone who has

content before going in for the sale.

already appeared in the media talking about the subject they will present at their event.

9. Networking To maximise your audience reach and

6. Roundtables

publicise your personal brand, you will need

Simple yet equally brilliant way to raise your

to relevant attend events and engage key

personal brand and that of the agency you

‘influencers’ via social media – influencers

represent. Invite local businesses from the

such as colleagues (past and present) and

sector and a business journalist to a

sector groups.

breakfast roundtable and then discuss three or four of the most pertinent issues facing

10. Be visual

that sector right now. This provides you with

Using an image on social media makes your

content for a blog, social media, great

posts 94% more likely to be read and acted

imagery that will boost traction of your

upon (HubSpot). So when posting any form

posts, coverage in your local (and possibly

of content across each of your social

trade) media, and videos that will boost your

channels, think of how to maximise the

SEO and online branding. And it hardly costs

impact of the message being sent.

a thing to produce!

Customisable image creation platforms such Canva, Picmonkey and Buffer are great ways

7. Market research

to add visuals to your posts, whether as

Speak to any editor and journalist and they

straight forward pictures or something a

love, love LOVE stats. There are over 30,000

little more creative such as an infographic.

recruitment businesses in the UK and one of


the most effective ways to be heard above the noise and communicate with your audience is to share information that shines a light on something that is pertinent to them. Survey your market to garner real-time insights into a topical issue affecting your audience, and use those findings to help position your agency as having your finger on the pulse of what is happening in their sector; thereby positioning you as an agency of choice.

WHEN IT ALL GOES WRONG: Situations like these don’t just affect sales, although that certainly is an issue. They also have an incredibly negative effect on your brand reputation – the public’s


faith in your company wanes, and you lose their trust and loyalty. No business can handle a hit to their reputation

Lately, there seems to have been a ludicrous number of

without clawing back that trust and loyalty in a way that

major names causing havoc for their PR people by royally

is quick and effective.

screwing up. Whether it’s the exposure of Sports Direct’s zero hours scheme, TalkTalk’s cyber hacking scandal, or

That’s why in the modern world we live in, companies

Merlin Entertainment’s awful handling of the horrific

cannot afford to not have a crisis plan – anything can go

Alton Towers tragedy, we have recently seen that even

awry, and news travels fast. You’ll want to be prepared for

the most recognisable names can do what seems to be

the worst whilst you hope for the best. Here are the top

irreparable damage to their brands.

three most important things to remember in a reputation

“Don’t ignore that you’ve screwed up... apologise and make it clear that you plan to move on in a way that is new and improved.”

crisis. 1. Act fast Do not let this negative situation fester for any longer than it already has. Kick your crisis management plan into action as quickly as possible – by the time the first negative news story has been publicised, you need to have at least drafted a statement and agreed on your next course of action. Responding slowly to a crisis will only give your critics more ammunition, and at the minute that is the last thing you need.

2. Accept the damage Don’t ignore that you’ve screwed up. The best thing to do is apologise and make it clear that you plan to move on in a way that is new and improved. Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, says that being humble and honest is the best way forward: “It comes down to authenticity, being a real person, and taking responsibility… At the root, people identify with people who are genuine, open, and come from good intentions.” Ensure that your employees, clients and potential customers know that you’re focused and willing to take on the challenge of recovering from this situation. If they believe you can do it, you will too. 3. Focus on the positive Get to work on relaying your brand’s key messages and previous positive actions. Then, make it crystal clear that your future actions will be even better. Don’t be afraid to still position yourself as an industry leader – you’ve made a mistake, but are stronger by learning from it. Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, Managing Director of Clearly PR & Marketing Communications, states that in looking to the future, brands can pick themselves up and dust themselves off: “By being clear on the corporate position and key messaging, [a company is] able to minimise the damage that has been caused, and ultimately re-position itself as a company that may have made errors in the past but is now leading the way in improving standards”. A reputation crisis is never a walk in the park. It is stressful, time-consuming and very hard work. Let’s hope it never happens to you – but if it does, we hope these tips make it that little bit easier. RI



Have you noticed how the ‘Have you had an accident?’ callers now use a mobile so you’ll be more inclined to answer your phone? Irritating right? You’re deceived from the outset so you hang up, block the number and, if you’re like me, curse at the time you just wasted. Yet recruiters use similar tactics. They just have to reach HR or a hiring manager or that elusive candidate, and then they are trying to establish a relationship under a wave of deceit. Why do it when social media gives you a platform to establish credibility and make true connections? Of course I don’t mean LinkedIn. Sadly, LinkedIn has removed all of the features which kept people active on the site - did you know only 106 million people log in each month? For too

.long, recruiters on both sides of the hiring fence have been using it to post jobs or send impersonal InMails, and the result is a disinterested user base and the need to move beyond. Sure, use LinkedIn as your marketing flyer; after all it ranks high on Google, but go and form connections on the platforms where the people you are looking to recruit are actually active.

Brexit or not, it’s a candidate driven market. People with highly sought-after skills can be as picky as they like. They can apply directly to companies. They can choose which consultant they’d like to work with. They definitely don’t have to engage with you.


Would you walk into a pub and yell, ‘Want a job?’ or even at a conference full of your ideal candidates do the same? No? Why? Because people would look at you oddly and not want to talk to you! A social media feed full of jobs is exactly the same thing: pointless. However, social media can be used to build your reputation as a true expert in your field. I have had countless clients benefit by learning how to share their knowledge and expertise appropriately. They have easily created relationships with new companies and made placements. It’s about treating people as people, it’s about becoming known and trusted. As a judge for the National Online Recruitment Awards (NORAs) I looked for the agencies that actively demonstrate they care. It wasn’t enough for me to hear you say that you’re a specialist in a certain industry, I wanted to see it. The finalists I chose provide regular and valuable information to both clients and candidates, in the form of video, blogs, and updates. They stand out.

FACEBOOK’S WORKPLACE: Colleague Connection or Desktop Distraction? by BETHAN JONES-ARTHUR

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

How do you run your internal communications? Do you use email, a chat system or good old fashioned face-to-face meetings? Now, you may have to introduce an entirely new concept to your business, as this one has the world talking already. In October, Facebook announced that its internal app, formerly known as Facebook at Work, would become available to everyone. Now named Workplace, its aim is to connect co-workers in the same way it now connects friends and family. Having been tested by a thousand organisations across the globe over the past year, the app is optimised for mobile and can be a network for several companies, not just employees within the same business. So will it take off? Possibly. Used by over a billion

people, Facebook is familiar to everyone, and Workplace is based around all the same facets. It has a newsfeed, a chat feature and groups. It’s easy to use and is simpler than a number of internal communication options, not to mention exceptionally more modern. Additionally, Workplace could open up a whole new avenue for employee bonding, which ultimately creates stronger working relationships and boosts morale. There is a cost to the app, which Facebook works out by only charging for users who ‘actively use the product’. As they frame it, Workplace would be a paid benefit for workers that could enable them to communicate quickly and effectively, whilst creating a much more ‘social’ employee network. However, in a world where we’re ever more stuck to our phones, could Workplace end up being more of a hindrance than a help?

Admittedly, the app has potential to encourage workplace distraction and provide employees with an excuse to shirk their responsibilities. In fact, author Cal Newport went as far as to say that “using Facebook Workplace is not working. It’s talking about work… The single biggest impact Facebook could have on workplace productivity would be to go out of business”. Facebook claims that this will not happen, and Workplace will have, essentially, the complete opposite effect. They said:

We all use Facebook. For many of us, it’s the first port of call for getting news, for sharing our own news and for discussing any hot topics. Could this thirst for information and conversation translate into our jobs? In the U.K, we seem to think so – we ranked in the top 5 when it came to testing out the app. For now, it’s a waiting game. Here’s hoping if it does take off, it brings companies together instead of causing a productivity breakdown. RI



With over 300 million users you’d have to be a moron to say Twitter’s days are numbered

Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey

Yet that is precisely what some people are saying. Flat user numbers, falling revenues and the re-appointment of co-founder Jack Dorsey as CEO to slow down the perceived decline in the face of growing competition from the likes of Snapchat and Instagram et al have all conspired to lead many in the marketing world to much life is left in the old bird yet? While the above may be undeniable, my own view is that Twitter’s role is actually becoming more relevant. One of its biggest challenges is that it is always being likened to Facebook – one whose stock market valuation stands at $350 billion, while Twitter’s value is around $10 billion and less than many of those other unicorns Pinterest ($11 billion) and Snapchat ($16 billion). However, to compare one against the other is akin to comparing a tank with a Jeep – one is a

behemoth that is on a quest to be the undisputed social media of the world, the other has a real time agenda that is focused on influence. For instance, journalists turn to Twitter to source story ideas and to connect with their network when they need help for an article or news story they are writing, whether in the form of securing quotes or someone to be interviewed. They would never do this via Facebook and to be fair, as a PR business, we would never expect them to either. Quality versus quantity Too often the discussion over the impending demise of a social media is focused purely on one thing – the number of users. But this is a false economy, as the recent shut down of short-form video platform, Vine demonstrated. Does The Economist give a hoot (no pun intended) that its readership is a fraction that of The

“Twitter’s place in the social media landscape does not lie in mass-market reach. Its strength is in its influential user base.”

Daily Mail? Of course not, because it serves a different audience. Twitter’s place in the social media landscape does not lie in mass-market reach. Its strength is in its influential user base. Twitter’s demographic is one of followers who are by and large well-educated professionals that make informed purchasing decisions. Facebook users for their part will often update their profiles with seemingly uninteresting and trivial comments, such as “Just had a brew, ready for another instalment of Richard & Judy”. Admittedly Twitterers will sometimes write silly tweets, but the difference is that these are deliberately done to add some personality to a company’s profile and make the relationship between company and follower more personable, more human. Recruiters don’t always get it right It is the sharing of content that enables recruiters to effectively communicate and engage with clients and candidates - providing this is done in the right way. Indeed, too many recruiters abuse Twitter is such a way that they not only fail to generate any form of ROI from it, they are killing their brand at the same time. They seem to think that Twitter is a free tool to post all their jobs, and that the more followers they have the more successful their social media will be. Recruiters who think like this are idiots – vain and very, very stupid. If all you do is scattergun your job postings, you are simply saying to your audience We have sod all of value to say or offer to you and all we are interested

in doing is selling to you. As such, what followers you have will begin to disappear and you will a) never get them back, and b) never get these clients or candidates to work with you. Put another way, if you are advertising for a job and you receive 1,000 applications, are you happy that your recruitment advert generated such a huge response? Or are you frustrated because you have wasted so much of what little time you have in the day to weed out all the irrelevant applications (which probably account for 990 of all CVs received!)? Twitter is a matter of relevance, not numbers. Marketing agencies don’t always get it right either! Tweeting is a two-way communication and anytime the user fails to deliver relevant “What’s in it for me?” content, followers can simply decide to opt-out of following that user anytime they choose to do so. This is what Seth Godin describes as permission-based marketing – it is like having an inbuilt anti-spam filter. We continue to see and hear of other PR and Marketing agencies telling their clients they can “boost” their followers and get them to those magical landmark figures of 1,500, 5,000 or 10,000 followers. These people have no understanding about social media - it is NOT a competition to see who can collate the most number of followers and if your agency acts like this, fire them. They’re idiots too! 300 millions users is not to be sniffed at In Q1 of 2010, just 30 million Twitter accounts were in existence. Fast forward

to Q2 of 2016 and that number has grown to an incredible 313 million. While tech investors may be conspiring behind the scenes to manipulate its share price, Twitter’s role as a pre-eminent medium is set to continue – would you sniff at a customer base of over 300 million? The idea of using 140 characters to communicate and stay connected with your stakeholders is a simple yet equally brilliant one. It appeals to both technophobes and technophiles alike and sees Twitter more closely aligned with LinkedIn than Facebook. It is not a popularity contest; it is about engagement and most of the clients you want to work with and journalists you want to reach still frequent the site each day. RI

“Does The Economist give a hoot that its readership is a fraction that of The Daily Mail? Of course not, because it serves a different audience.”



Natalie Spearing, Managing Director, BPS World

The recruitment industry is a highly competitive one (I probably don’t need to tell you that!). Our target customers are looking for partnership; someone to help them attract, recruit and retain the best and brightest. Candidates want someone to find them their ‘perfect’ job as quickly as possible and advise them on their career choices. Arguably, this is what every agency is looking to achieve - so how do you make your recruitment business stand out from the competition? How do you ensure that both employers and candidates understand the

value you bring to the recruitment process? BPS World have tried and been successful in using most marketing tools; but the one I argue most vociferously for at our board meeting every year, is PR. Over the last four years, the results delivered with the support of our agency Onyx Media and Communications, have persuaded the Board of the wisdom of this approach. Before you engage in any marketing activity, you first need to understand who you’re targeting and what influences them to come to you. One of the key measures of success is the impact on relevant traffic

coming to your website and how much that increase costs you. However, if you want your clients and candidates to understand the value of your services before they use them, then reputation enhancement will be as important as immediate conversion. You should then consider how the different marketing tools would work work for you. • SEO (search engine optimisation) and PPC: To achieve a top of the page ranking in relevant words through PPC, in a marketplace as competitive as recruitment, is expensive. Google are continually

changing the rules so that businesses that don’t pay for PPC will now only score highly if other sites, with authority rankings, are talking about them or refer to them.

• Advertising (online or print): This is great for controlling the message that goes out; but a sophisticated target audience, such as the one we have, are cynical.

This is because they want the searches to turn up more genuine results. Getting others to refer to you on relevant and authoritative sites is best achieved through PR, particularly if you work to ensure that key words are included in articles.

BPS World saying that BPS World is a GOOD company (which is what we’re doing when we’re advertising) is never as effective as getting someone else to say that BPS World is GOOD (which is PR). Which would you believe more? Advertising can also be very expensive.

• Social media: BPS World were recently ranked number 19 in LinkedIn’s Top 25 Most Socially Engaged Companies in the EMEA recruitment industry, out of 65,000 other companies, so it would be fair to say that we recognise the importance of social media. In practice this means that LinkedIn themselves have judged us to be one of the most effective users of the platform in the world. However our best performing posts are those that refer to articles featured on respected trade media. Which link are you most likely to click on: a promotional one that advertises the business, a personal blog or an article written by a respected journalist, in a respected publication? The statistics say the last, and of course placing that article is the job of PR.

• Direct Mail: I’m sure you get flooded with sales e-mails every day, we all do. Which ones are you more likely to open? Those from companies you’ve heard of (even if you don’t remember where from) or from complete strangers? Once again PR is a great way of ensuring that your target customers have already heard about you. I would argue that it is PR which makes you stand out from the crowd and gives you authority and credibility plus a platform to showcase the brand values of your business. If you want to be considered a thought leader, be seen to drive the agenda for the industry, or simply want people to have heard of you in a credible context, then PR is the vehicle for you. I know that in the digital age we can all post our thoughts for all to view, but it

Natalie Spearing

"If you want your clients and candidates to understand the value of your services, before they use them, then reputation enhancement will be as important as immediate conversion." NATALIE SPEARING

remains true that being quoted on a credible media platform, by a journalist, impresses clients and candidates and enhances your reputation with them. A shift in marketing methodology over the past few years has driven a need for the creation of compelling content as well as speed, agility and high levels of targeting to the desired audience. PR can help us with each step of this journey from directing content based on what journalists want through to amplification which cuts through the high level of noise in our industry! Securing good, brandenhancing PR is not easy. It takes time and it takes expertise. Journalists are flooded with businesses wanting to be quoted. I’m told that one business journalist recently

confessed to having three thousand un-opened e-mails in his inbox. We’ve worked with Onyx Media and Communications now for four years and over that time they have worked hard to build a reputation with our target journalists, so that their approaches on our behalf are noticed; we cut through all that noise. Being quoted by the media as much as BPS World now is, means we have to have something to say, we have to be well briefed on innovations in the industry and we have to be able to say something new, and that means carrying out detailed authoritative research into key issues, which we then publish in the form of white papers. Onyx’s team includes a journalist who still writes special reports for the national broadsheets, as well as researching and

writing white papers with us. That way we know that the research will be robust and will interest the media. PR is not something that can be ‘done’ to a business. It takes teamwork between the agency and the business, and I believe that this is one of the reasons we have achieved so much. On our part that means being reliable and setting aside time to respond quickly to requests. It also means living our brand values. If you say something publicly, you have to make sure it’s true! But that in itself can be a good thing for a business. A good piece of PR, particularly in the nationals, will have benefits beyond your expectations in terms of staff morale. We all want to work for a business that is held up as an exemplar of best practice. RI

CASE STUDY: AIRSWIFT Airswift is a global workforce services partner for the energy, process and infrastructure sectors. The company, which has over 800 employees in 52 offices worldwide, 6,000 contractors and a candidate database of 500,000, employed Aspectus PR agency following the $1 billion merger between Air Energi and Swift Worldwide Resources. The overall communications objective was a simple one: To use social media, blogs, visual content, thought leadership articles and media relations to enhance its global brand. The brief Create a cohesive brand identity to reflect the size and opportunity of the merger. Generate an instant industry buzz across Europe,

the US and Asia to engage candidates, investors, media and staff. Up the profile of the leadership team and establish a solid platform for future communications work. The approach We started with brand new messaging to make Airswift known for the things it's great at. We ran a proactive media relations campaign supported by highly sharable visual content. The news played out over multiple channels including social. We reached the global business, energy, investor and recruitment media in the Europe, the US and Asia. The result A unified brand. Concise messaging to help employees to stay on message. Stacks of coverage

including Houston Business Journal, Rigzone and Upstream. Upped the profile of the leadership team by brokering relationships with influential media and securing interviews with EnergyWire, Recruiter and Recruitment International. Key stats: In 30 days we achieved: - 55 pieces of tier ‘A’ coverage - 2300 Twitter followers in the first three weeks of launch - 10 interview and commentary opportunities


Asia Biz Increase in number of established businesses in SEA

The Perfect Mix The method of choosing the right people for the workplace.

Issue No. 5 | June 2017

IT'S A CROWDED MARKETPLACE 12,000 new recruitment businesses have registered with Companies House since 2014. DOES YOUR AGENCY BRAND GET YOU SEEN, HEARD AND READ above the noise? Tel: 0333 207 9477

BANGING ON ABOUT BLOGS AND FANNYING AROUND WITH PHOTOS…BUT IT DOES PAY TO BE SOCIAL Chloe Whitelock, PIE Recruitment I’ve gone through a career evolution. Two years ago, I was a recruiter. After 15 years, and with all of the highs and lows that a fast-paced sales career brings, I still loved it. I was a seller, driven by smashing targets, seeing my carefully nurtured team do the same and delighting customers and candidates alike. As a marketing recruiter, a lot of the marketing language I use today was then my day-to-day conversation and assessment subject matter,

but that’s where my involvement ended. Then, if someone were to ask me to take time out of my prime selling time to write some blogs, plan my social media profiles or pay attention to my personal branding I might have been interested, but it would have been one of those jobs that only ever existed as a footnote on the bottom of my to do list. There was always something much more important or that was going to contribute to the

bottom line more instantly. Now I find myself chanting the virtues of blogging, content marketing, social sharing and value added personality branding…what? I’m the nagging voice of doom to a captive audience of my recruiter colleagues, but I love it, and maybe they’re starting to realise that all this banging on about blogging does PAY… You may have noticed that if you do see any of our posts on LinkedIn, Facebook,

Twitter or anywhere we can stick ‘em, PIE have just been ranked inLinkedin’s Top 25 Most Socially Engaged 2016. Quite an accolade really, not just that this is out of 60,000 recruiting companies globally but also that we are not even two years old yet. So what does this mean? And more importantly, exactly how does it deliver any form of ROI? Being socially engaged means that clients and candidates alike have a view on not only the personality of the recruitment business they are engaging with, but also the views and nature of people they’ll be working with.

you work for them? In a world where recruiter USPs are increasingly hard to define, traditional mediums of websites, printed materials and all too sporadic email marketing campaigns can make even the hardest thought-out selling strategies sink into the pale. But the marketing department can’t do it alone, or take the credit. It takes collaboration and team contribution.

It’s all about standing out. We do things differently.

Communicating directly to “tribes”, being part of their digital diet and being truly socially engaged is giving us a platform to evangelise exactly what it is we believe in and highlight our latest and greatest products on a daily basis.

But how does a client, candidate or – crucially - a new potential employee pick you out from the myriad of recruiters out there in your space?

Doing this by making some noise via our greatest assets, our people, their voices and their social/ professional networks is paying.

Why should somebody work with/for you? Why should

With site traffic increasing by incredible percentages

Chloe Whitelock

"With site traffic increasing by incredible percentages, visibility of our brand is rocketing...All of a sudden, some of the selling has been done for us." CHLOE WHITELOCK

month on month, quarter on quarter, visibility of our brand in traditional and social media profiles, both as members and as an organisation, is rocketing. All of a sudden, some of the selling has been done for us. In some circumstances, justification on what makes us who we are has already been pre-qualified. Hopefully some of the material we put out there can add value, whether the audience is looking for jobs and enjoy some of new formats we display them, whether it’s the process support information, whether they’re happy at work but some of our insights into markets or it’s our in job effectiveness tips that helps, LinkedIn have confirmed that people ARE reading it.

We’re getting noticed.

And it’s a feel good factor all round. So, fortunate enough to have had the opportunity and moment to do so, I’ve switched careers: Marketing Recruiter turned Marketer in Recruitment. Poacher turned Gamekeeper if you like. Still working in the industry I love, with people I respect and genuinely enjoy spending time with but now working on the strategy of making sure we stand out and what makes PIE an obvious choice for sales & marketing recruitment. I’m sorry PIE recruitment team, I’m going to keep banging on about blogs. Thanks for not making it the bottom of your priority list. You’ve all done a fantastic job, keep it up. Proud to be PIE. RI

That’s the point.




According to a survey conducted by MarketingProfs and

their busy lives?

the Content Marketing Institute, 93% of businesses now

• What do they need?

use content marketing as part of their overall promotion

Writing content that is aimed at ‘everyone’ will be

strategy, and 73% say they now produce more content

attractive to no one and demonstrates a lack of

than they did two or three years ago.

understanding on your part about your audience and what they are interested in.

Content is what makes your potential customers become just that – customers. If they are able to gain access to


content that is relevant to them whether as a client or

Identify why they are coming to you in the first place:

candidate, their experience of interacting, engaging and doing business with you will be all the greater.

• Why should they choose you over other agencies? • What makes you unique over your competitors?


• Why should they care about you – what’s in it for them

Know who you are talking to and understand your

by choosing you?

audience’s goals and interests: Align your content according to your customer’s needs • Who is viewing your website?

and satisfy their concerns, resolve their objections, and

• What do they already know about you – nothing,

overcome any other potential barriers preventing them

something, do they know you better than their own

from taking the next step in the buying cycle.

mother? • Is your audience ready to buy in the here and now, or


are they simply looking for some form of distraction from

Develop your content:

“If clients gain access to relevant content, their experience of doing business with you will be all the greater.”

• What research/information do you already have on the topics you are considering providing content on? • How will this content be aligned with the core business objectives? • Where does this content fit in the buying process? • What will be the impact on this business if this content is not produced – is it simply a nice-to-have or will it critically affect a campaign? There is no point loading your site with a plethora of content that does little to support the overriding aim of the agency. Rather, decide what the purpose

is behind each piece of content. For instance, it may be to: • Inform • Entertain • Start a conversation • Inspire • Persuade • Prompt action • Share knowledge and information STEP 4 Decide how to present your content: • What resources do you have available, who will produce the content, and how much time do they have to make this happen? • What budget do you have and what are your time frames? • What format will work best and do you have the skill set within your agency to deliver these? Your customers will engage with you in varying ways, such as looking for something worth sharing (blog, infographic) or information that addresses a specific need (report, white paper). By understanding the point at which they interact with you, you can enhance their experience of dealing with your business. To ensure that your messages remain meaningful and relevant, you need to present information in a format that befits the way in which your target audience expects to access it. Presentation formats could include: • Blogs • Infographics • White papers • Articles • eBooks • Case studies

• Testimonials • eNewsletters • Webinars • Videos • Animation/SlideShare. STEP 5 Decide the frequency of your communications: • How often do you want to produce these deliverables? • Do you have the resources to react and respond to immediate requests for information? The delivery of your content marketing plan is just that – it is planned and deliberate both in its content and its timing. STEP 6 Get it out there: • How can you promote your new content? • How can you maximise the return you have made on your content investment? Once your content is produced, think above and beyond the obvious delivery mechanisms for sharing this information. For instance, if you have produced a new white paper, extract two or three of the most salient points and use these as the foundation for other forms of communication, such as a series of new blog posts, an infographic, a press release or a featured article for the trade press. Similarly, perhaps you are organising a roundtable discussion – again, thinking laterally, turn this into an opportunity for a new video, a series of thought-leader Q&As or engage your audience in real-time via a webinar. Communicating your content works best when communicated across several platforms. By cross-linking your content across a variety of social media and online platforms (such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Vimeo, blogs, microsites, newsletters), it gains a wider reach, increases SEO and provides you with a greater opportunity to introduce your customers to other areas of your business (such as related services) in a non-intrusive yet engaging way. Finally review, revise and refresh – keep your content relevant to your audience. At a time when competition between organisations is at its most intense, irrespective of which industry you operate, customers will always be attracted to and remain loyal to the businesses that speak to them in the right way and at the right time. They want businesses to address their pain-points and save them time by ensuring that the content they are looking for is easily accessible which in turn will pay dividends for businesses. RI


What’s the point for recruitment businesses? Most organisations will have a mission statement which succinctly explains why you do what you do, and who you do it for – your raison d'être, if you like. Yet when it comes to planning their content marketing strategy, sadly too many recruitment businesses adopt a scattergun, all-encompassing approach. So before your marketing director tells you that you 'must have' a blog, Pinterest page, Facebook profile,

bespoke series of white papers, articles, blogs, etc., consider this one simple premise – the why you need a new content strategy must always precede the how your content strategy will be manifested. In other words, what is the overriding goal that you are seeking to achieve with the content that you will be providing? This is why you need a mission statement for your content marketing

“You need to make sure that the content you provide is relevant to your audience.”

plan - one that is in sync with the broader aims of the organisation. Take the BBC as an example. Their content mission statement is:

Similarly, US-based magazine Inc. goes with:

Whilst Mashable, states:

We have one for Recruiter imPRint too:

Each example focuses on its core audience (e.g. general public, entrepreneurs, business owners, connected generation), what it will do for that audience (inform, educate, inspire), and the reaction/desired outcome this content seeks to stimulate (empower, grow their businesses). Regardless if you are a recruitment agency, job board or supplier to the industry you need to make sure that the content you provide is relevant to your audience. If in doubt whether a piece of content should be included or not, simply benchmark it against your content marketing mission statement. RI


how to make your own video content. Proven by the popularity of such channels as Buzzfeed’s Tasty and The Dodo, short and simple videos are a fast, cheap way to broadcast easily consumable, shareable content to your potential

by Bethan Jones-Arthur In a world where more of us are using social media than ever before, businesses need to finally realise its power. With potential to grab the attention of several new customers, Facebook is a valuable marketing tool that can both increase brand awareness and improve brand identity. Here are five tips you can use to improve your content marketing on the world’s most popular social network: 1. Make it visual According to Kissmetrics, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. Even using sources such as Shutterstock, you can find images which will match the tone of your content and encourage those clicks and shares. To expand on this, invest some time into learning

client base.

Visual content should be integral to your brand and the story you are trying to tell. It’s modern, it’s easy and the resources are out there – use them! 2. Be emotive We’re not talking overdoing it here – don’t try too hard to pull on the heartstrings. However, don’t be scared of sharing a story. Utilise your existing contacts as case studies and share their experiences as a way to demonstrate what you can do for new leads, capitalising on any humorous, emotional or relatable facets of their stories to draw new clients in.

3. Shareability Social media is the new word of mouth. Make your content relatable and encourage your followers to share it with their friends. Ensure what you’re posting creates positive conversation around your brand.

"Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content at peak times to get into the consciousness of employees whilst they’re at work. "

4. Here, There and Everywhere Making your content suitable for multiple social media platforms is a sure-fire way to increase viewership and keep it. However, take precautions to ensure your messages match the network you’re sharing them on – Facebook’s tone is different to Twitter’s, which is different to LinkedIn’s, and so on and so forth. 5. Time is of the essence It’s not only important to constantly create new content – you also need to take into account the times it

goes out. Ensure your content hits your audience at peak times; post it at lunchtimes and popular break times to push it into the consciousness of employees whilst they’re at work. Also, don’t forget to repost your content every now and then. Quality content doesn’t lose its credibility!

By following these tips, your content marketing on Facebook should take on a brand new lease of life. Keep it fresh and engaging and you’ll be building up interest in no time! RI



Asia Biz Increase in number of established businesses in SEA

The Perfect Mix The method of choosing the right people for the workplace.

Issue No. 5 | June 2017

IT'S A CROWDED MARKETPLACE 12,000 new recruitment businesses have registered with Companies House since 2014. DOES YOUR AGENCY BRAND GET YOU SEEN, HEARD AND READ above the noise? Tel: 0333 207 9477

We take a look at why winning and even missing out on the top prize can change the way your recruitment business is viewed by your clients, prospects, clients and the media. 1. They get you seen and heard above the noise


There are an estimated 30,000 recruitment

We Brits love awards and when it comes to business, it seems

least expensive ways of building your brand and

we can’t quite get enough of them. No matter what sector, product or service there is an award to celebrate the great and

businesses in the UK and one of the easiest and standing out is by entering industry awards.

the good of all who work in it. And recruitment is no different.

Liz Brookes said: "Peer recognition helps

From the Recruiter, The Global Recruiter and OnRec awards to

rest of the pack. It elevates you to an enviable

the UK Recruiter Blog of the Year, Recruitment International and the National Online Recruitment Awards (NORAs), and many

distinguish your recruitment business from the position as an agency that sets the benchmark that inspires and shapes the sector in which you

more in between, the sector is strongly represented.


But what do businesses entering these awards actually get out

"Even if you don’t win, to be recognised as a

of them? Are they worth the time and energy of entering in the first place?

finalist and one of the top three or four agencies in your category has significant kudos."

2. They boost your agency’s credibility Existing clients will be glad that their agency of choice is an awardwinning one as it reaffirms they made the right decision to use you in the first place. Prospective clients probably care even more.

"Awards elevate you to an enviable position as an agency that sets the benchmark that should inspire and shape the sector in which you operate."

"If you are up against other agencies for a clients pitch," says Brookes, "having an award on your agency CV could tip the balance in your favour." "Being able to show off your awardwinning work will provide added value to what you are offering a potential new client."

how much awards can benefit your agency, but they also shine the spotlight on the clients you already work with. According to Liz Brookes, "When submitting your entry, most awards will require you to use examples of work you have done for certain clients. The temptation is always there to talk about the work ‘we’ did and the results that ‘we’ achieved, but this is a missed PR opportunity for you.

3. They boost your clients’ profile too

"By turning the focus onto the client and highlighting the challenges they faced and the positive outcome achieved as a result of their partnership with you, the employer’s profile both internally and externally is also raised."

It is all too easy to bang on about

For example, a client that Clearly

works with recently placed the CEO of a leading hospitality company. A joint press release was issued announcing the new appointment. This served two major purposes: Firstly, the employer wanted to demonstrate the extent to which they search and secure the best talent for that business’s most important role; thereby raising their profile as an employer of choice externally and internally. Secondly, for Clearly’s client, it was an opportunity to highlight the type of clients they work with and the roles they place in a bid to position themselves as a search firm of choice for new prospects. This is the type of assignment you may look to include in an award entry, and by switching to the focus away from ‘we’ to ‘the client’ you then become perceived as an agency that is exceptionally customer-focused.

4. They boost team morale "We've run a number of awards ceremonies over the last two years," said Liz Brookes. "And there are two things that every single winner says when asked, 'What does winning an award mean to you?' "The first is increased reputation, and the second is the positive impact on their teams." People want to work for winning teams and to be surrounded by colleagues who are part of a winning team. This spurs them to want to be better and to achieve more both personally and for the business,. This by default leads to better staff retention, reduced absenteeism and workplace stress, improved performance and a positive impact on the bottom line. In other words, they make good business sense.

5. They are great for attracting new consultants to work for you Recruitment is an ultra-competitive environment and having an award tagged onto what you are already offering could be the incentive needed to persuade a top consultant to want to work for you over your competition. To be an employer of choice in your own right means showing your agency off as something different to what is already out there. Employees will naturally gravitate to those agencies that are seen to be successful because they want to share their success and add it to their own CVs. Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, Clearly PR & Marketing Communictions, said: “In my advertising sales days I remember joining Monster after spending four years at Yell. Monster in those days was the Number 1 job board in the world with countless awards to their credit and the teams I worked with in Chancery Lane, Birmingham and Bristol were highly successful - I wanted to be a part of that." 6. They help you win new clients! Liz Brookes stated: "Your consultants want to offer clients another reason why they should partner with your agency - that’s what awards can do. "Imagine how much more compelling ‘We’re ZXY Recruitment, winners of the XXX of the Year Award’ is over ‘We’re ZXY Recruitment, we do…’!" She added: "Winning an award is a stamp of approval from an unbiased source. Too many recruiters describe themselves as ‘the leading’ or ‘the best’ – it’s nonsense, but boasting an award adds credence to what you say." Speak to most industry award winners and they will agree that awards can often lead to calls from clients they have never dealt with before. You only have to take a look at the businesses entering these awards to see the value they place on them. After all, no one would invest the time they need to complete the award entries in the first place if they didn’t generate some form of ROI from them! RI

1. READ THE QUESTION! This is my number one tip and you might think it's really rather obvious. Let me tell you it's the biggest mistake entrants make. You can write paragraphs of beautiful prose on why your company is so amazing BUT if you were asked to talk about your use of social media or employee engagement then you score nil points! 2. STICK TO THE WORD COUNT You may think you have so much relevant stuff to say that 500 words just won't do. However, when a judge has 25 different entries to read they do not want some of them going way over the word limit. Additionally, once you’ve answered the question... please stop talking.


I've been lucky enough to have been a judge on a fair few industry award panels over the years. Whilst it's a real honour to be involved, it can also be massively depressing. Some awards attract dozens of nominations per category, and when many of these are actually very low quality it does rather put a dampener on things! So, don't be that damp squid - here are my top tips on how to write an award- winning awards entry.

3. GIVE EXAMPLES AND STATS The number of times I’ve read a gushing narrative about the amazingness of a companies reward structure or revenue achievements without a single example or stat. You don’t have to give away your trade secrets but please bear in mind that judges treat information shared in award entries with the utmost confidence. 4. AVOID JARGON I’ve been in the recruitment industry for well over 20 years but still see strange acronyms and jargon on awards entries which means absolutely nothing to me. It's hard for me to get excited about your entry when that’s the case. 5. SHOW YOUR PASSION I love an award entry where you can feel the company is a winner. Help bring that out in your entry by showing passion and the use of persuasive language. FINALLY...ONLY ENTER AN AWARD YOU CAN TRULY WIN I’ve seen nominations for social media awards from companies who, frankly, my six year old has a bigger online presence than and “Manager” awards from bosses who could give Lord Sugar a run for his money.

SO YOU’VE WON AN AWARD. NOW TO LET THE WORLD KNOW HOW GREAT YOU ARE! HERE ARE 5 QUICK AND EASY WAYS TO DO JUST THAT: 1. Write about it: Publicise your win on your agency blog or News page. 2. Email your database: Include a link to the above news piece in your next newsletter. 3. Update your email and website: Include the Winners or Finalist logo in all your email signatures and on the home page of your website – let all visitors to your site and recipients of your emails see your achievement.

4. Contact the media: Most recruitment awards are run by one of the recruitment media, so don’t send any press releases to the other recruitment publications because they won’t publish it. Instead focus on your local press or even the trade press that covers the sectors in which you operate. 5. Celebrate on social media: You’ve won, so flaunt it across your social media channels! Make sure you include images from the awards night and pictures of those who received the award itself.

DIGITAL ONLINE PRINT RECRUITER IMPRINT Enjoy reading Recruiter imPRint in the way that suits you best.





November December 2016