As a recruiter, you wear a lot of hats. You attract and nurture candidate leads, “sell” to those leads the idea of working with you as well as taking different job opportunities, coordinate and manage interviews and the list goes on.
The bottom line is, it’s a lot to keep track of, and even the best recruiters need some help to keep the process running smoothly and efficiently. For many recruiters, that help comes in the form of developing a lead generation strategy in order to maintain a strong pipeline full of quality candidates.
Lead Generation Lays the Foundation for Solid Recruiting
For recruiters, a strong pipeline of candidates is the holy grail. It means there’s a qualified pool from which the hiring organization can pick, which leaves room to filter out candidates based on any number of factors and gives the hiring company multiple options. It also means that your firm has a large base of candidates for similar roles, which can help you fill those roles faster and help you attract new companies that need help hiring for those types of roles.
But filling that pipeline with the right candidates—those that match the hiring company’s needs in terms of skills, experience, personality, career goals, etc. isn’t easy. It’s why recruiters spend so much time sourcing candidates and building relationships over time. That said, having a strong lead generation strategy can make keeping that pipeline full of quality candidates easier.
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Strategic Thinking: How Recruiters Can Master Lead Generation
Given how important lead generation is for recruiting, how can you develop a lead generation strategy to keep your recruiting pipeline full of high quality leads at all times? Here are our top tips:
- Determine your best channels: There are numerous ways to approach lead generation, whether it’s through inbound activities like blogging and social media, outbound activities like cold calls and LinkedIn messages, networking events or referrals. It’s important to try on each of these channels and measure the success of your efforts, for example by using a marketing automation platform, to see what works and what doesn’t. From there, you can determine the best channels on which to focus your resources and iterate on your efforts to drive even more success from those channels.
- Identify your target candidates: What is your “recruiting specialty?” Do you focus on only certain types of roles or companies or have a strong track record in a specific area? Take the time to understand where your specialty lies and create personas that match your target candidates, that way you know exactly who it is you want to attract to fill your candidate pipeline. Ideally, this identification should help you attract stronger candidates and do so faster since it can help you determine the best channels on which to attract your target leads and help you cut down on screening activities to weed out completely unqualified leads.
- Understand (and then hammer home) your value-add: Why should candidates work with you to find their next job? What value do you add that they can’t get on their own or from other recruiters? How do you understand your candidates’ problems and goals and meet those needs better than anyone else? It’s essential to understand and then hammer home that value-add, as it’s that messaging that will help you attract your target candidates and keep them engaged so that they convert into full-fledged leads.
- Nurture, nurture, nurture: A new job is a big deal. It’s a life event that many candidates view as a risk. As a result, trust is one of the most important ingredients in the recruiting process. That means you need to build trust to attract and convert new leads. To do so, you must develop a strong nurturing strategy. This strategy might include using a marketing automation platform and CRM system to keep track of each candidate’s interactions with your firm and their career stage (e.g. are they actively looking or did they just take a new job?) so that you can personalize outreach accordingly with information that matches their unique needs at any given point in time. This type of nurturing will not only help you attract leads but will also help you build a long term, trusting relationship that can prove fruitful again and again as people cycle through jobs over the years.
Putting it All Together: Top Tactics to Bring Your Lead Generation Strategy to Life
Finally, let’s take a look at the types of activities you can undertake to bring this lead generation strategy to life in your recruiting. For example, you might:
- Build awareness and trust through content: Offer “free” advice around topics like job-seeking, career mapping and networking through generally available content. Whether it’s on your blog, a contributed article on someone else’s site or social media, this content should help attract new leads by introducing them to your firm and helping you build trust with them.
- Create opt-in opportunities: Once candidates are familiar with your recruiting firm and have some level of trust, they may be ready to engage more and become a true lead. You can grease the wheels by creating opt-in opportunities that allow these leads to make themselves known to you by providing their email address. It pays to use a mix of “soft offers” like newsletter sign-ups so people can receive more advice (bonus tip: try offering personalized newsletters, such as one for job seekers and one for general career advice) and “hard offers” so people can start the job search process right away.
- Master the cold call: There’s a lot of lead generation that you can do with inbound activities like creating a blog and social media content, but inbound activities alone won’t always cut it. Try taking on some outbound activities like cold calling, both in the traditional sense and through cold outreach on LinkedIn.
- Have a regular presence at events: Events often prove another fruitful outbound lead generation activity for recruiters. Between industry networking events and job fairs, there are numerous opportunities to attract new leads and develop relationships in an old-fashioned way—in person.
As a recruiter, having a pipeline full of high-quality leads is a win all around. It helps your firm cull better candidates and fill roles faster and gives the hiring managers with which you work more choices. In turn, these benefits can help you attract new companies that need your help hiring, giving you more job opportunities to offer those high-quality leads in your pipeline. Of course, getting to this point starts with developing a strong lead generation strategy that you can use to find, attract and convert current and future job seekers.
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