Last year, we wrote about helping clients to use social media, particularly LinkedIn, as a recruitment tool for their professional services business. It’s not just as simple as posting a job vacancy from time to time – social media is an often overlooked way to engage with potential recruits through showcasing the benefits of working at your firm, highlighting its technical expertise, culture and values, as well as reassuring your existing team that they’re in the right place.
Based on our experience of working with professional services clients, we explore why a review of your online recruitment marketing strategy is important and invite you to check out our best practice tips to help you get it right.
Struggling to attract the best talent?
Many professional services businesses are reporting how difficult it is to fill vacancies with the next generation of talent and the related negative effect on business growth, employee morale and productivity. According to Reed, what potential recruits really want from a job advert is reassurance that:
- Your business is a reputable brand, somewhere they would like to work, with a management style and corporate social responsibility (CSR) they align with.
- There are opportunities to progress, long-term, within the company, training and development are encouraged, and achievements are recognised.
- The salary and employee benefits being offered are competitive.
- As an employer, you value a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible working hours or location and respect an employee’s time away from the job.
Review your online presence regularly to keep ahead of the competition
Your online presence is often the first point of contact a potential employee has with your business. It is, therefore, vital to ensure that you make a strong first impression! When was the last time you took a step back and really looked at what is out there? Are you accurately portraying your business to people actively looking for work?
- Is your website technically up to scratch? Is it fast, easy to navigate and responsive across different devices, particularly mobile?
- Is your website up to date? Are you regularly adding new content, such as articles, blogs, case studies, webinars, testimonials and reviewing staff profiles, as well as retiring out-of-date or irrelevant services or news articles? Potential talent will want to see evidence of a vibrant, active business that is up-to-date and ahead of its competition.
- Do you carry out search engine optimisation (SEO) and keyword research on a regular basis to ensure you know what job seekers are searching for and to improve your chances of being found? In turn, are you seen online as an industry leader by being at the top of searches for your sector specialisms, as well as geographically?
- Are your social media posts and imagery aligned with the website content? Is your messaging and branding consistent across all platforms?
- Do you demonstrate the specific services you offer, how you solve problems for your clients, and your industry expertise? Potential recruits will want to understand what your business does and why it is different from your competitors.
- Are there opportunities to highlight online any academic relationships with the likes of Universities or Colleges, for example, offering scholarships, prizes and awards? These can be promoted through social media and as news items on the website.
- Are online reviews and testimonials an accurate reflection of your workplace and employer brand? Research demonstrates that people who see positive reviews are more likely to apply for a job and recommend the company to others, whereas those who see negative reviews would demand the largest pay increase to move to that company if they were offered the job. We recently covered how to look after your business reviews and make them work for you. Would you want to work in a business with very few or negative client reviews?
Use social media to help demonstrate what sets you apart from other firms in your sector
Are you still using the right social media channels? You may have started out with LinkedIn and Twitter/X because that’s where your clients hang out, but are potential recruits more likely to be using Instagram or TikTok for career tips, job searches, or to find out what it’s really like to work in your business?
- Devise a social media strategy for recruitment. This will likely differ from the strategy aimed at existing or new clients.
- Could you provide potential new colleagues with a video office tour, a ‘day in the life of’ blog or video, or interviews with other team members so they get a feel for your working environment?
- Don’t be afraid to share charity fundraising events, wellness initiatives and team-building sessions to demonstrate the business’ values and CSR focus.
- Employee-focused content – and, of course, job vacancies – can be reposted by colleagues to increase a post’s reach as well as reinforce a generally collegiate approach in the business.
- Mix up your social media content with blogs, videos, podcasts and infographics to make your feeds more engaging and visually appealing.
Make the most of your employee brand ambassadors
Social media is definitely easier when you have a network of brand ambassadors – people who love shouting about all the good things in your business. Endorsement of your services by happy clients is great but when it comes to recruitment, you want employees to talk authentically about their own experience of working in the business, something that can easily be done through short-form video or brief written testimonials.
This type of social sharing requires buy-in from management, as there is a time commitment required from the team, but it can be very successful and considerably cheaper than running paid advertising. Many businesses find that employee referrals generate much higher calibre and more relevant candidates, too.
Don’t rule out paid advertising
Social media advertising is available across all the main channels, with LinkedIn being one of the most popular for recruitment. By choosing to place a paid advert, an employer can not only reach people outside of the company or employees’ own networks but also laser target particular candidates by industry, geographic location or qualifications.
Outsourcing recruitment marketing if you need some support
It is easy to forget that effective marketing doesn’t just help with retaining and attracting clients and work, it can also be deployed to get and keep the right people to actually deliver that work and keep clients happy. Any professional service business is only as good as its team.
Having a strategic review of your website, social media, and online recruitment process might highlight that you need some additional support from industry experts.
We work exclusively with professional services clients and can help with strategic review, website overhaul, digital marketing strategy and recruitment marketing.
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