Brad Smith - a social media guru from Haley Marketing Group talked about what Staffing Companies need to focus on when it comes to Social Media. Identifying your audience, platform they engage in, and consistent content strategy and posting are just a few of the important points Brad made on this video.Continue reading
Mergers and Acquisitions with Staffing Firms
Matt Lyon, Corporate Development Officer of TalentLaunch, with a unique strategy of acquiring companies, shared a couple of things he learned about doing mergers and acquisitions with staffing firms. He emphasized that the financials don’t always tell the story.Continue reading
3 Important Things to Focus on from a Marketing Perspective
In our conversation with Adam Bleibtreu, CMO of Creative Circle, we learned that there are three important things we need to focus on from a Marketing Perspective- First, as a Staffing Company, you need to have a differentiator; Second, be authentic and honest with your candidate; Third, fail as quickly as you can.Continue reading
What Fastest Growing Firms Do Differently
Also listen on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Castbox.
A Look Back at 2021 and Looking Forward to 2022
Could Marketing be More Important Than Sales? Welcome to the New World.
Let’s face it. Over the past few years, the Marketing function has become more critical to the success of a staffing company than sales. This is a bold statement, I know. A staffing company is, essentially, a sales organization so how is it that marketing has become more critical to the growth plan? Well, we’ve been hearing buzzwords like “digital transformation”, “automation”, and “social recruiting” for years now. Plus, more marketing technologies are emerging and the need to both understand and manage these platforms is becoming more important as people want to be communicated to on their terms. Throw in the pandemic accelerating all of this and now the entire selling and recruiting landscape has completely changed, not just for the staffing industry, but for all the clients as well.
The entire sales methodology has shifted. When we look at the outbound sales function, it is a state of the art website that is being recognized by the search engines that must be aligned with the sales efforts. Remember, “sales” is outbound or push-orientated and “marketing” is inbound or rather pull-orientated. It’s no doubt you have your salespeople making phone calls not really to get anyone on the phone that minute, but rather to leave a compelling commercial that will intrigue a hiring authority to explore the company further, most often driving them to their website. Once that is reviewed and the value proposition is clearly communicated, then and only then will the hiring authority reach back out to the salesperson (hopefully!). A good majority of a salesperson’s activities are now social media-related tasks whether it’s direct outreach on platforms like LinkedIn or it’s keeping in front of them via a posting schedule. And should be responsible for the execution of this sales work? The marketing leader, namely the VP of Marketing or CMO.
When we look at the recruiting function, where do I start? A marketing leader should play a huge role in the recruitment strategy in their staffing company. The marketing leader should be working with Recruiters to have a certain persona on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Marketing should be assisting recruiters with writing job board ads to make the ads more attractive, thus acquiring a higher percentage of candidates. Marketing leaders should be working Operational leaders and IT to ensure the quality of the information in the ATS is high and work with Recruiters to more fully utilize the database for more efficient sourcing. Most importantly, marketing leadership should be managing the marketing campaigns, including candidate engagement platforms, like Sense and Herefish, and texting programs to ensure that staffing firms are getting the utilization and conversion rates from their investments.
I am just touching the surface here with the responsibilities of this VP of Marketing or CMO. I have not even addressed all the senior level executive responsibilities. Think through the sales & recruiting functions and work tasks. This marketing leader should be touching all of those responsibilities. We are even seeing our clients, who are small owner-operator businesses, hiring full-time marketing leaders to lead and manage a bulk of this work.
Guess who is managing and advising the entire company on job boards and job board usage? You guessed it, the CMO. Specific to job boards, all bets are off. First, the job board metrics are way off due to all the craziness that has been going on in the economy and the job market. Any when I say “the job board metrics are way off”, I mean that the price keeps going up and up and up and the results continue to go down and down and down. A staffing firm cannot solve this issue by thinking about and utilizing job boards the way job boards were utilized pre-pandemic. The smarter staffing firms are using programmatic advertising. And guess who on the team is figuring that all out? Again, it’s the CMO.
I have been blogging here about the Chief Marketing Officer. This title is going to be different depending upon the size of your staffing organization. It may be a Direct of Marketing or a Vice President of Marketing or a Marketing Manager. Regardless of the title, I really believe this role has become more critical to the success of a staffing firm than the Vice President of Sales. At the Visus Group, we help staffing firms figure out these functions and roles and responsibilities and work tasks to adequately respond to the rapidly changing world of selling and recruiting. Marketing has rapidly become a very critical function in most firms, but finding the right leader to take the helm can be a challenge. We can help. The last thing you want to do is find yourself behind the competition. If you’re thinking about this role or hiring a marketing leader, contact us.
All Lead Generation Tactics Are Not Equal
by Visus Group Partner Jay Mattern, CEO of TerraFirma Marketing
All Lead Generation Tactics Are Not Equal
If you are utilizing outbound marketing to generate leads, how can you stand out from the crowd and generate optimal results? And by results, I mean getting readers/subscribers to do more than just open an email. Here are seven tips that will help you convert more leads into sales.
1.Stay True to Your Brand
Too often, email campaigns are generic and fail to convey the solicitor’s branded message. While it’s important to tailor your message to the reader and address their needs, your brand still needs to come through loud and clear. Even if your email is short and to the point, it should always be created in your brand voice and reflect your messaging strategy.
2. Learn how to get and direct attention.
The email’s subject line is certainly important but getting them to go beyond that will require a purposeful design and compelling content. How can you use design to direct the reader’s attention? By using the elements of motion, size, color, and positioning, you can subtly yell at the reader — “HEY, LOOK AT ME!” Here are some specific ideas:
- Placing an element higher in the email is more recognizable than a lower one.
- An element that is in contrast with its surroundings is more recognizable than one which blends in.
- A larger element is more recognizable than one that is smaller.
- Bold and/or italicized font stands out when used sparingly.
3. Never forget that conversion is the primary goal.
You should always be asking yourself “what do I want the audience to do?” Ideally, you want them to respond to your Call to Action – to click on the CTA button. That’s what we mean by conversion. The ultimate end of your sales and recruiting process is undoubtedly more involved, but the immediate objective of an email or ad is always to motivate the reader to want to learn more. You need to open that door.
4. Triple-check everything.
Have you ever clicked on a CTA (converted!) and actually wound up on an “Error 404 – the requested URL was not found?” Or the click actually did nothing. It is imperative that you check all of your links to make sure they all work as promised. This is your first opportunity to deliver on something you promised, and a poor impression here takes you out of the running.
5. Make use of urgency.
It’s well known that we tend to want what we can’t have. When something is rare, exclusive, or limited, it immediately makes it more desirable and more in demand. Use this same approach in your email marketing efforts. Limit your offer. Make it clear that immediate action is necessary, whether it’s due to a timeline you set or a seasonal/business cycle. Convey a sense of urgency.
6. Get to the point.
The best lead generation emails are written understanding that the reader’s time is scarce and you’re competing for their attention. No one will take the time to search for your message. It’s your job to package and present it.
- Use bullet points to highlight key ideas. This will help the important takeaways easily stand out from the rest of the text.
- Strategically utilize imagery (a picture is still worth 1,000 words).
- Most important is a clear and inviting Call to Action. It should be just that – a “call” to the reader to do something.
7. Use landing pages.
To get the most from leads you generate, you should use a unique landing page designed specifically to convert the lead to the next step and move them into the lead funnel. A well-designed landing page will prevent the lead from being distracted by other messages or information that reside on your website and will focus them specifically on what the next step is.
Given the significant shift towards digital marketing and automated marketing solutions, getting a message through to a prospect or candidate is becoming increasingly more difficult. Your message must truly stand out and present itself uniquely in order to successfully engage the prospect. With deliberate focus and attention, you can optimize your email marketing results and more easily turn leads into results. And that is the ultimate goal.
The Value of Professional Marketing
How to Identify the Right Lawyer for Your Staffing Firm
Confused about identifying the right lawyer for you? Use the following guideposts to help with your search. Contributed by Visus Group Partner Jody McLeod, Founder & Principal at McLeod Legal Solutions.Continue reading
How to find the right legal partner for your staffing or recruitment firm
As a business owner, it is common practice to eventually need to seek outside legal counsel or hire a law firm to represent your organization. The staffing and recruitment industry is no different. In fact, I might argue based on my nearly 30 years in the industry, that finding the right legal fit for your business is even more important given all the nuances with regards to employment law…after all, we are in the ‘people’ business. After a couple of recent experiences with my clients, I thought it would be timely to offer some advice to avoid common pitfalls when hiring legal representation.
Let’s start with a few examples where my clients were given legal advice from attorneys that did not have experience in the staffing industry.
Case Study #1
An owner of a staffing business had a solid B player that took a job with a competitor. The business owner’s attorney advised to take legal action against the employee and the competitor. I suggested going to the competitor and asking for a fee to buyout the non-compete. The non-solicitation could remain but make some money on a buyout. The pursuant owner of the staffing business spent more than $100k and lost on all counts. I don’t know if this is true, but I heard that 9 out 10 non-compete litigations go in favor of the employee. Very difficult to stop someone from making a living as a recruiter or sales executive.
Case Study #2
An owner of a staffing firm generating $8 million in annual revenue was selling the firm. The owner had a very solid offer from a very ethical staffing business that was north of $100 million in annual revenue. The structure of the deal was 70% cash at closing and 30% in an earnout. The person that was selling had an attorney that had never assisted in the sale of a staffing firm. The attorney was adamant about a “personal guarantee” from the owner of the buying firm, a staffing firm north of $100 million in annual revenue, let me remind you. There are so many other ways to guarantee such a transaction. The deal went sideways. (and then what)? Perhaps we come up with it went sideways and the buyers pulled their offer?
Paying for outside support is not usually the top choice for any business owner, however, the cost avoidance when hiring an expert, is worth it in the long run and can actually save you money in many cases. I have seen many smaller firms where they will have their CFO or HR resource review legal matters, however you have to ask yourself depending on the matter, is the risk worth it? When matters get more serious and with ever changing laws in the employment world, it is smart to engage legal support. When hiring an attorney or contracting for legal services here are a few things to consider in order to find the right fit for your business.
- Find an attorney and/or law firm that has staffing industry experience. An attorney and/or law firm that has staffing industry experience is extremely valuable. This is likely the most important criteria to use when choosing an attorney. Businesspeople not from the staffing industry look at the staffing industry as a “simple” business. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There are contracts and liabilities with buyers of staffing services. Be aware of the liability buyers attempt to push down to staffing firms. There are contracts between contractors and temporary employees as well as many legal requirements that need to be honored. Then there are internal employees with non-competes and non-solicitation agreements and compensation programs for senior level employees.
- Trust your intuition. Years ago, a client of mine taught me that you must sense that your attorney is acting in your best interest. My client told me that it is not anything logical, but rather it was more of an intuitive sense otherwise known as gut instinct. He said, “The first time you start thinking your attorney is padding the hours, then that is a sign that something is not right.” Your attorney and/or law firm needs to be a trusted advisor in which you have total and complete trust.
- One size does not fit all. Attorneys will specialize in areas of expertise such as workers compensation, mergers and acquisitions, human resources, general business, property, etc. Many small staffing firms will hire an attorney that is a “friend of a friend”. This is potentially a big mistake. Even a small staffing firm will likely need access to a handful of attorneys that specialize in various areas of specialty. One size does not fit all when it comes to legal advice. And reliably, high quality and professional legal advice is worth its weight in gold.
- The American Staffing Association (ASA) has your back. For all those that own and operate staffing firms in the United States, a quick question or inquiry to the attorneys at ASA can go a long way in getting proper guidance. I am a long-time member of the ASA and the attorneys on their staff have provided tons of high-quality advice to the Visus Group clients over the years. In addition, when I reach out to the ASA attorneys, I consistently get a professional and prompt response. Don’t forget the great resources available to you at your fingertips.
At the Visus Group we have a few alliance relationships with attorneys that have multiple years of staffing industry experience. If this is an area of concern for you or your staffing firm, feel free to reach out to us. We work with many staffing firms through our RoundTable programs who spend time addressing and discussing legal issues they are facing as well as use our program to share their networks with our members.