A brand apart: 5 things that will help your agency retain its competitive edge

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Starting and building a recruitment business is hard work. But gaining and retaining that all-important edge over the competition is very much in the hands of agency owners themselves. It’s simply a matter of getting your agency brand ‘out there’ to the right people, in the right way and at the right time. Sounds easy enough to do, but is it?

Actually, yes.

In the last 15 years spent helping start-up and established recruitment business leaders to build their agencies, here are the top five things we have seen the most successful do time and again to raise their profile as the go-to provider of choice:

Get digital

No one is ever too old (or too young) to get onboard with social media – your target candidates certainly don’t shy away from it. In fact, various studies have found that around 90% of all UK jobseekers now use social media as part of their job hunt. Tap into this pool of potential talent by sharing content that is interesting and relevant to them. The latest industry news or links to a recent blog that you have written could help boost their chances of job success or recruit their next hire faster and smarter.

Create brand ambassadors

Your consultants are the most under-utilised resource within the business, from a marketing perspective that is. Every time they email, call or meet a client or candidate they are representing your business, creating and altering the perception people have of your agency. So, tap into their expertise. Make it easy for them to share the company’s content on their own social media profiles, encourage them to attend key networking events and let them contribute to your agency’s blog.

Build trust

According to a recent report, 1 in 4 (26%) clients who have used an agency this year felt the consultants were only interested in the ££’s. Focus more on how to communicate that you care more about finding the right candidates than you do about how much you’ll earn by placing them. In doing so, your profile as an agency of choice is raised. This in turn will attract more new clients further down the line.

Stop selling, start telling

There are around 40,000 recruitment agencies currently operating in the UK and to grab the attention of the clients they want to attract many agencies fall into the trap of constantly claiming to be the ‘leading’ agency in their field and one that only deals with the ‘best’ candidates. The most successful agencies steer away from selling to people at every opportunity and focus instead on showing what makes them so good. Case studies and testimonials are great ways to do this, as is creating articles for your agency website that tap into your expertise and experience of addressing the pain points and challenges your clients and candidates are facing in the here and now.

Seek out support

One of the greatest barriers to agency growth is time – or lack of it. We’ve seen it so many times – an agency owner trying to be a Jack-of-all-trade but in reality, being a master of none. This can negatively impact your agency brand because the more time spent performing non-billable tasks (payroll, HR, credit control) the less of it there is to focus on those activities that will drive growth – notably marketing and client/candidate management. So, delegate the things that can be done faster and more efficiently by others and concentrate your time and energies into the actions that will positively impact your bottom line and boost your brand appeal.

Not everyone is looking to hire or be hired in the here and now, but by undertaking the actions outlined above on a consistent basis you will position your agency as front of mind for those clients and candidates you really want to work with. When they are ready, they’ll know who to turn to.

 

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