We’re the secret marketing force you didn’t know you had

You’ve recognized that you need a recruiter. You don’t have the bandwidth to headhunt thousands of candidates or the database built up in a niche area to uncover your unicorn. Whatever your reasons, you need your recruiting partner to manage the search with the goal of landing your ‘A’ candidate as quickly as possibly. When you consider your recruiters, your mind is all about recruiting and landing the big fish.  

If I were a betting a gal (my preference is rock, paper, scissors) I’d guess you and your organization also care a whole lot about marketing too. Whether you are building brand recognition, nurturing leads or conceiving of new business development campaigns, you are hyper aware that everybody who touches your company could be a potential customer.  

Are you making sure you’re including your recruiter when you consider your marketing tactics? 

Once you’ve given your recruiter a role or multiple roles to work at, they are rolling up their sleeves and getting ready to undertake several tactics: 

  • Reach out to their existing database and network comprised of thousands of people 
  • Headhunting hundreds to thousands of net new contacts through referrals, LinkedIn and other sourcing avenues 
  • Posting the role and interacting with hundreds of applicants  

The key theme here is that they are about to approach hundreds if not thousands of candidates ON BEHALF OF YOUR BRAND.  

This includes an initial pitch – a quick introduction to your company and why the candidate could be a great fit. Then for interested candidates, this is followed up with a deeper dive on the opportunity – an introduction to the company’s values and mission and how this role fits in.  

In both instances the recruiter is telling your story, positioning your brand and likely getting candidates extremely excited about what you stand for and what you have to offer. These are people who may be hearing about your organization/product for the first time or are developing recognition for something they’ve seen before. The only difference is that instead of hearing it from your marketing team, they are hearing it from your recruiter.  

This exposure to potential candidates/customers/referral base is why it is SO IMPORTANT to make sure that you’ve taken all of the steps you possibly can to equip your recruiter to be the perfect brand ambassador for you.  

Here are 5 ways to effectively ensure that your recruiter is doing double duty as a marketing provider: 

1: Story Telling 

Get the back-story in place. Ensure that you’ve done a proper needs analysis with your recruiter. It’s not enough to send a job description and press go. You need to sit down with you recruitment partner so that they can go deep on learning about your organziation. Your recruiter needs to understand why the company exists, how it came to be, what the culture is like, what the values and mission are and what the business wants to achieve overall. Once you’ve established the company ‘Why’ go deep into the role. What challenges does this particular role solve for the organization. How does the role interact with the rest of the company? Why does the role exist? Your recruiter should have a list of great questions to get deeper into the position and how it affects the bottom line; answer them as though they were part of your in-house crew.  

What You Get In Return  

The work you do at the beginning will ensure that your recruiter has a solid understanding about who you are and how you position yourself in the marketplace. This will allow them to pitch effectively to the thousands of candidates who could turn into customers, referrals or dream candidates.  

2. Riding In the Elevator 

Equip your recruiter with an elevator pitch so that their first point of contact works double duty by getting people interested not only in working for the company but in what the company is selling. Work with your recruiter to design an exceptional elevator pitch. Go over the key, high level points that you want to convey about your company, what it stands for and the culture. This sound bite is introducing or re-enforcing your brand. You want to give it the same attention that you would to a marketing exercise.  

What You Get In Return  

While not everybody your recruiter interacts with is interested in or suitable for your particular role, they will be receiving the message. Like a well-conceived marketing campaign, the first reach out will leave an impact regardless of the candidate trajectory. The first story that people hear about your brand gives them a good taste of what you are all about and leaves them excited. Whether they want to work for you or purchase from you or both, you want the first exposure to be clear and memorable.  

3. Candidate Experience Equals Brand Experience  

When you commit to using a recruiter commit to being clear and consistent with your communications. Recruiters run a busy desk and totally get that you too are busy and that you’re juggling multiple projects. We also know that business priorities change and that open roles can change, be put on hold or even cancelled. But while we are speaking to engaged candidates, we have to be kept in the loop as to what’s going on so that we can ensure a seamless candidate experience because – and repeat this mantra every day that you are hiring: CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE = BRAND EXPERIENCE.  

What You Get In Return  

If you ghost your recruiter, don’t follow up on a key piece of information or take weeks to get back to them, this gets passed directly onto the candidate. Yes, recruiters are well skilled in the art of expert tap dancing (or break-dancing in some instances) but our relationships are based on gaining immediate trust through authenticity and we can’t lie on your behalf – nor do you want us to. The communication or lack of communication that happens between you and your one recruiter is multiplied by thousands when you consider the candidates that they have in play.  

Ensure that you commit to at least weekly updates with your recruiter. Stick it in the calendar. Make it a 10-minute call. It does not have to suck the life out of you. And make sure that any changes or pivots are communicated immediately. We are diplomatic and we’re never going to throw you under the bus (we sure as heck don’t want to make you look bad) so if the role is on hold or has changed or has been cancelled – we can take it. Our eye is on ensuring an exceptional candidate experience on behalf of your brand so help us to make sure we can carry through on that mandate.  

4. You Get What You Pay For 

Consider a retainer or a partial retainer over a contingency agreement. To survive, contingency recruiters chase the quickest, easiest deals. If you are working in a contingency relationship and a more fill-able role comes along, don’t expect your contingency recruiter to stick around – not because they are bad people but because they too need to put food on their table and fill roles.  

Additionally, if you are entering into a transactional agreement with a recruiter and only paying when the ‘head is placed’ you are missing out on the consultative side of the relationship that provides rich, market insights and data that your recruiter collects. What sectors are the most relevant? Why are people objecting to the role – compensation? Poor reputation? Your recruiter is your ‘eyes on the street’ and when you empower them by retaining their consulting abilities they can provide you with intelligence that can inform the role, your marketing efforts and the company in general. Retained or partially retained recruiters don’t need to chase heads and can commit to the engagement from the beginning to the end knowing that both partners have skin in the game. When the going gets tough – that’s exactly when you want your recruiter to stick around, not leave you for an easier role to fill because they have to. Learn more about the difference between contingency and retained recruiters here. 

What You Get In Return 

When you enter into a consultative engagement with a recruiter they go far beyond the transactional model of contingency recruiter. They provide information that can help strengthen your employer brand, introduce you to deal makers or potential partners and strengthen your marketing position. Find a great recruiter who you trust and you will find a loyal partner who operates like they are a trusted member of your internal team.  

Bonus Tip 

5. Connect with a Recruiter 

You may not be looking for an open role but your recruiter is a connector down to their DNA. For reasons out of your control you might find yourself in the position of a candidate one day, or you may need advice around a talent pool they specialize in. A recruiter might find an amazing contact for you that could result in a deal or an investment. Beyond searching for candidates, recruiters are trained on keeping an eye out for opportunities,  have a good idea of what’s going on in the street and know lots and lots of people. You never know when you might need a good one for advice, subject matter expertise or just a helping hand.