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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.

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