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Staffing Industry Exec Forum (my notes)

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7 Rapid Fire Marketing Ideas

At the 2018 Staffing Industry Executive Forum, Jon Osborne asked me to be part of a panel discussion where to present 28 tactical ideas a staffing company could implement to improve sales, recruiting or operations.

Since this was a one-hour break-out session, each of us had just 90-seconds per idea. So if you’re looking for some very quick, tactical tips for your business, here are the seven ideas I presented:

Idea #1: Segmentation and Positioning.

Pick a spot in the market, any spot, you can dominate.  Too often staffing leaders are afraid to give up a potential revenue opportunity, so they define their niche too broadly.

Ideally, you want to be the big fish in the small pond. Segmentation is about taking the entire staffing pie and dividing it into segments. Most commonly it’s done by location, industry and skill discipline. But it can also be by company size, cultural fit, specific problems you can solve or solutions you offer.

Positioning is about picking a segment where you can be the best in the world. You want a segment that is large enough to fulfill your growth goals, and small enough so you can be the dominant player.

Idea #2: Design your website around information architecture and user experience…not pretty pictures and clever copy.

Too often staffing executives design websites based on the personal tastes of the owner or management team responsible for the site. Pretty pictures and clever copy are great, but that’s the end of the process, not the beginning.

The best staffing websites start with specific goals, and then they are engineered to simplify information flow and make the user experience as fast, easy and enjoyable as possible. It’s about creating a great user experience that drives response faster.

Idea #3: Better leverage your ATS to fill open jobs.

A candidate who visits your website a 2nd time is 2x more likely to apply to a job than a first-time visitor. How effectively are you getting candidates BACK to your website to apply to your jobs?

When a job order comes in, are recruiters required to run a search before they can post a job? You might even create a support team to pull candidates from the ATS for recruiters then use multiple channels of communication to market the job.

Of course, if your ATS is filled with junk data, recruiters won’t trust or use it. Automate availability updates to ensure ATS data is reliable.

Re-engage candidates with email marketing, texting, calling, and paid advertising on social media. Here are two specific tactics to bring candidates back:

  • Remarketing – tag candidates who visit your website with a tracking cookie (Google and Facebook are the ones we use most), and then target these people with ads to remind them about your jobs.
  • Matched audiences – upload your ATS list into Google and Facebook, target them with reasons to find a new job.

Idea #4: For social media, get more involved with personal sharing than brand sharing.

Company pages and shares get far less engagement than shares from individuals. And with the recent changes to the Facebook news feed, that difference has become even more pronounced.

To get your social content to the right people, have individuals share it with their networks. Make social sharing an activity that sales people, recruiters and branch managers spend time on every day.

You can use a mix of automation to make sharing easy, and manual posting from your website. With sharing, the goal is to drive people back to the jobs and content on your site.

Idea #5: Recruit for free.

Here are five free (or almost free) what to get more active and passive candidates to see…and respond to your jobs:

  • SEO – make sure the jobs on your website are actually on your company’s website domain and optimized for search engines (and specifically optimized with structured data markup for Google for Jobs).
  • Free distribution – Ensure your ATS or career portal provider provides free distribution to Indeed, ZipRecruiter, GlassDoor and other job aggregators. Have a strategy to test Facebook jobs (okay, to really get results you need to promote your job content, so this is not completely free, but it is low cost).
  • Social – Get your team involved with social sharing of individual jobs and recruiters to share a feed of their jobs to their social pages.
  • Referral systems – Build referral reminders and incentives into every job post and the email reminders your system sends. Find ways to re-engineer your referral program to make the incentives you offer more compelling and participation easier.
  • Redeployment – Keep existing talent engaged, and skill market people coming off assignment, so you increase re-deployment rates.

Idea #6: Kill the ATS application form.

Let me tell you a story…

Last Fall, a client of ours came to us very concerned because they were only getting 3 to 5 complete job applications a week from their website. They were sure their website had a problem.

We looked at the analytics, and based on our analysis, we recommended that they turn off their ATS supplied application form and switch to a “submit resume form.”
So what happened? In the first month, they received 8,000 resumes!

Take a look at your own online application form. How many questions do you ask? How long does it take to complete? And is it truly usable on mobile?

With web forms, anything over three questions is a barrier to response.  If you want to maximize inbound job applications, minimize the data you collect. Consider breaking your application process into 2 parts:

  • Part 1 – collect essential contact info & resume.
  • Part 2 – the full application.

Idea #7: Redesign your blog page and blog post to drive response.

To many visitors, your staffing company’s blog is the home page of your website.

If you’re actively sharing great content via email and social media, people are entering your site via a blog post. As an example, we just reviewed Google Analytics for one of our IT staffing clients, and 8 of the top 10 entry pages were blog posts!

But is your blog specifically designed to drive response?  Do you have inline, sidebar and bottom of page calls to action (CTAs)?  Do you use a variety of CTA formats – text links, buttons and images? Just adding CTA images can increase the number of people contacting your firm by 19%.






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