Is there any business across industries, global or local, in the denial yet about the power of Social Media? No, I don’t think so and none should. The whole world, which consists of consumers and customers, is on Social Space, no wonder why Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter and the likes are worth millions and billions of dollars! Business leaders who are late adopters need to understand the two important aspects of the market that Social Media offers
- size of the population and
- frequency at which this population uses Social media, or in other words, how engaged is this crowd.
PEW Research studied these two aspects about top five social platforms:
Two and half years back, when I joined the staffing industry as a marketer, I had my own doubts about whether or not the multi Billion dollars Staffing Industry realizes the importance and power of Social Media. Having done my initial research, I realized that the staffing industry is lagging behind. Forget about having great Online presence (other than LinkedIn) most of them did not have mobile optimized website (most still don’t have it). Business leaders in the staffing world needed to take a good stock of the situation and adopt to the change before its too late.
I wanted to make sure if its just me or there are others in the staffing world who feel the same about the industry being struggling to cope up with digital change. Considering Social Media is mostly part of Marketing Function in any business set-up, I asked a very basic question to some experts – “Is the marketing function obsolete for staffing and recruitment companies? The reason why Staffing and Recruitment industry is lagging is because its more Sales and Delivery driven than Marketing. Consider the top 5 Global Staffing Firms – Addeco, Randstad, Manpower, Allegis, Recruit – How do they differentiate among themselves?” Here are the excerpts of some of the answers I got from the industry experts:
- David Searns, CEO, Haley Marketing says – “Another reason there is such a lack of emphasis on marketing is, as you note, there is truly very little differentiation in the product, pricing and service models used by the staffing industry. But that is changing. With the advent of online staffing, the concept of “total workforce solutions” (vertical integration) and increasingly difficult market for direct sales, the role and importance of marketing is increasing in the staffing industry”.
- Pradeep Chauhan, Founder, Oncontracting says – “Marketing is what gets a staffing agency on a client’s preferred vendor list. Marketing is what gets a client manager to trust and pick a certain staffing agency’s candidate. Marketing is what gets a candidate to call back your recruiter. So until you replace the client managers and workers with robots (and some may debate even then), you will need Marketing.”
- Lucas Hamon, Founder & CEO of Orange Pegs Media (previously into recruitment) says – marketing is underutilized, but by no means unnecessary. “The problem with the sales-only model is that you tie all of your relationships to your account executives and recruiters, and when turnover inevitably occurs, you have a difficult time transitioning old accounts to new reps. Marketing solves this problem. Good marketing solves it and boosts everything else you’re doing. But marketing as we know it is changing, and staffing is lightyears behind. Robert Half only recently adopted more of an inbound approach to their outreach within the last few months, but inbound has been around for nearly a decade.”
- Chris Hotzak, Manager of Online Recruitment and Marketing for Horizon Healthcare Staffing stresses on the importance of Digital – “Social media, blogging, whitepapers, and infographics are allowing companies to create their own voice and expand their brand.” He added, “Having a great website and a big social following will help staffing firms differentiate themselves. Companies can get their message out to thousands of people instantaneously.”
You can read the whole conversation here – Is the marketing function obsolete for staffing and recruitment companies?
Looks like everyone agrees that Marketing is something that you can’t afford to avoid if you want to remain in the game and Social Media for sure is something that needs to be given imperative importance to. Experts emphasize that Social Media is beyond the purview of marketing for branding and should be part of every function in a business setup:
- Employer Branding (mostly comes under the purview of HR department managed with the help of Marketing team) – Employer Brand is not a new term, it was coined 24 years ago, in 1989. The 2020 Outlook involves top two goals of creating an employer brand, and that are “Recognition as an employer of choice” and “Ease in attracting candidates”, followed by “Improving retention” and “outmanoeuvre the competition.” A very important term associated with Employer Branding is called Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to attain the short and long term goals important for overall HR Strategy, that business owners can’t afford to ignore. SHRM says – Online Employer Reviews by candidates, has intensified the War for Talent, Glassdoor and similar websites force firms to strengthen their employer brand.
- Social Selling (part of Sales, to keep the Business growth graph moving upwards with the help of Marketing team, generating new business leads) – IBM increased their sales by 400%, thanks to their Inbound social selling program. Some insightful stats by The Sales Management Association – 77% of B2B buyers said, they won’t even speak to a sales rep until they had done their research (Corporate Executive Board) which means almost 2/3rd of the buying process is over without sellers even knowing that > 55% of all buyers do their research using Social Networks (IBM).
- Social Media Recruitment (part of delivery for Staffing firms and must be the most important part for most of the readers, can double the figure of $$ by working in tandem with Marketing team) – Currently 7-out-of-10 job seekers have reported to having found their previous job through social media. And, nearly half of all employee referrals come in through social media. Can a staffing firm deny not knowing the phrase “War of Talents”? 25% of all job seekers use social media as their primary tool for searching next job opportunity and guess what, every year, a new wave of hyper-connected digital natives enter the workforce, recruiters will naturally go where great candidates are. Being less antisocial will put the leaders miles ahead from the late adopters.
All of the above has gained huge prominence in the way a business has to run in the e-age.
Staffing firms are into the business of talent management, basically deal with people and their career. And if all this audience is hooked on to Social Media, it made me have a look at how the biggest brands in the staffing world are doing in the social space. I used Klout, an independent tool that gives a score between 1 and 100, to individuals or brands, uses social media analytics to rank its users per the online social influence/engagement they create. In determining the user’s/brand’s score, Klout measures the exact two parameters that the PEW Research showed above –
- size of a user’s (/brand’s) social media network and
- how the content created is engaging the people in the network
and this measure gives a Social Influence score of a user / brand.
Social Influence (Klout) Score* of Brands in the IT Staffing Space
|TekSystems (Allegis Group)||57|
Further study of each of these brands’ social pages gave insights on what kind of key content buckets that are being focused upon to create engagement with the audience they cater to.
Today, businesses understand the importance of Social Media, which is going to stay here for years to come and with big data analytics, Social influence is going to be the game changer for Brands. For businesses in the staffing world who are primarily targeting these three audiences:
- Candidates – looking for career options
- Clients – looking for talented resources
- Recruitment professionals
Focus is not only going to be gaining the followers/fans in their network but also to keep them engaged by creating relevant content and making sure the content is reaching the eyeballs it is created for. Companies are upping the ante by getting creative in engaging the target audience which eventually will not only make a brand, a partner of choice but add $$ to the bottom line.
Please feel free to leave your views/opinions/agreement/disagreement! Love to learn more!
Reach out to Talent Management experts at Aditi Staffing to know how we can add value to your hiring strategy by –
- Helping you lower COST per hire – (by providing resources on contract / contract-to-hire / permanent / project staffing / SoW)
- Helping you make the hire at the SPEED your important projects need
- Last but the most important – delivering QUALITY of resources – who’ll not only be performance driven but going to be a cultural fit for your organization.
And all of the above are not self-promotional chest thumping statements, we talk numbers – do check it out – http://www.aditistaffing.com/msp-channel-partners/
Rakesh Singh, Director, Marketing, Aditi Staffing –
You can drop a word here – Email: rakeshs AT aditistaffing DOT com