Starting your own recruitment agency: marketing on a budget


Creating a buzz is vital to getting new businesses off the ground, but putting an effective marketing strategy in place may feel like it needs resources than your start-up recruitment agency has available.

Although an unlimited promotional budget would be nice, there is still a lot you can do to raise your company’s profile with a modest amount of time and money to spend. Here are some marketing essentials to consider when you’re launching your own recruitment agency…

Make sure your website sets you apart

A website is much more than the window to your business; it’s an opportunity to engage and influence potential clients – so it needs to stand out from the competition.

Websites don’t need to be complex to do their job effectively, so long as they are user-friendly and clearly show your agency’s unique value points. Make sure you position your business as the go-to expert in your field or region, creating a persuasive argument why prospective clients should work with you above other recruiters.

Think about your website in practical terms as well: how can you use it to generate leads? Make sure there are contact details on display, and that every page has a clear call to action – whether that’s downloading a digital brochure or getting in touch.

You may also want to consider integrating inbound marketing software with your website, to install sign-up forms that capture potential clients’ contact details if they are interested in finding out more information.

Get some quick-win advertising in place

Paid advertising doesn’t necessarily equate to an expensive full-page promotion in a national paper or industry magazine. There are lots of digital ad opportunities that your agency can explore at a fraction of the budget.

Many online advertising opportunities operate a ‘pay per click’ (PPC) cost model, which means you’re only charged when an interested party clicks on your advert. This way, you can be sure that your investment is generating relevant leads.

Some effective PPC advertising techniques to consider include:

Google Ads – choose some keywords that prospective clients are likely to search for when looking for a recruitment agency like yours, and your ad will appear in the results page when someone types that phrase into Google

Facebook advertising – create an advert for your agency and target who can view it based on their location, job history, interest and online behaviours

LinkedIn advertising – launch adverts among the business community, segmenting your audience by options including job title, function and industry

With all of these advertising platforms, you can set a daily budget limit that will mean you are removed from search results once it has been spent. This way, you can be in total control of your advertising spend.

Reignite existing relationships – and make your message interesting

It’s much easier to market to someone you’ve met before than to generate cold leads, so reach for your little black book!

Just because you’ve made a previous connection, however, doesn’t mean they will automatically be receptive to new recruitment opportunities. Think carefully about the message you want to convey – how are you going to capture the attention of busy decision makers? Being bold, clear and concise is essential if you want to stand out from the crowd.

Also consider the medium through which you contact old business associates. GDPR data protection legislation that came into force last year has tightened up who you can market to, so do your homework before you start developing any communications.

Build a defined viewpoint for longer-term opportunities

We’ve already touched on the importance of a compelling marketing message when you launch your first campaigns, but it’s not just what you stand for that matters. Having a viewpoint is a great way to nurture interest among new business, especially if you build a programme of content – such as blogs, opinion articles and infographics – that you can promote through your PPC advertising and social media channels.

Content marketing demonstrates your expertise in recruitment, including any particular sectors or business types you specialise in. It’s designed to support and inform potential clients, rather than repeatedly hammer them with sales messages. And it can also help your website performance, if you make sure to feature the keywords you identified for PPC campaigns in the blogs and other digital copy that you write.

Even though it’s more of a ‘soft touch’ marketing technique, content can still support your business-building activities. For example, you can launch high value assets such as digital eBooks, which prospects have to register to receive, so you can capture their contact details.

Equally, you can put together a promotion strategy that drives interest in the collateral you create. Ideal channels include email newsletters, social media messages, guest articles on external websites, and printing copies to share at industry events. The more mileage you can get from each piece of content, the better value it provides for your business.

You can find more helpful hints in our 8 marketing essentials for recruiters whitepaper.

Making marketing your focus

All the activities we have covered are affordable to start-up business, but not every recruitment agency has enough time to dedicate to new business marketing. All too often, operational demands get in the way.

ETZ helps new agencies to grow your business, by providing cost-effective recruitment back office software that can take care of everyday administration. From timesheets to invoicing, we automate the key process your business needs to carry out each week, so you can concentrate on value-added activities like marketing that expanding your client base.

Book your free demonstration of Startup 20/20, ETZ’s low cost recruitment software for start-up agencies. It’s the same, great solution we offer big businesses, at a fraction of the price.

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