You might have even reduced investment in your marketing function during the pandemic in favour of keeping your sales team intact. We get that. You had no idea what your ROI was, so lack of performance data means it's an easy decision to make.
The problem is, you may have just overlooked a few simple things that could propel your business moving forward.
Cold-calling the database is stupid. The old days are gone.
The recruitment industry has championed picking up the phone, approaching new business directly, and getting in front of potential clients, candidates and colleagues as quickly as possible for far too long.
Marketing offers an alternative and more sustainable way to develop your sales pipelines.
Let marketing write you a new Rolodex
Once seen as the go-to department for a PDF, presentation, piece of collateral, or spot of colouring in, Marketing functions in recruitment agencies should now be positioned as the sales enablement team.
With the knowledge and skills to attract, engage, convert and nurture people that are ready to engage with your sales and business development teams, it's time to start treating the ‘marketing girl/guy’ with the respect they deserve.
CRM = Customer Relationship Marketing?
Recruitment companies love “CRMs”. The humble database. Repositories of gold dust - a.k.a the CV that isn’t available on any other recruitment database or job board.
A database to store information about clients and candidates makes sense. The term ‘CRM’ or Customer Relationship Management, however, is not a reference to a database or system but a methodology.
A Recruitment Database - which is a more accurate name for what many “CRMs” at recruitment agencies is - should ideally enable and empower all functions of the organisation to do their jobs well.
It makes sense for the CRM system to sit at the centre of an organisation's operations - acting as the hub to the spokes of Sales, Finance, Customer Service, Administration and even Marketing. Or, primarily Marketing.
The big CRM problem in recruitment
Databases are undoubtedly significant drivers for sales in recruitment companies - but that doesn’t mean that these platforms are equipped to support marketing.
Whilst your CRM system fires off the sales headlines you need to know now, they can be a huge melting pot of unactionable and outdated information under the surface.
An effective CRM system should let you know who your audiences are, what they’re interested in, and provide a historic overview of their activity. Ask any marketer, and they’ll say that these three things are invaluable for campaign planning - but can your marketers access and action this data?
The data in recruitment CRM systems are notoriously difficult to segment in ways that marketers want to. If historic data entry processes have been, lets say, sloppy, then the chances of being able to execute successful marketing campaigns using this data are slim. Being able to do it from within the CRM system is even less likely.
At an investment level, Marketing has not only been overlooked by recruitment companies, it has also been overlooked by CRM system evolution and development.
Within the recruitment industry, huge investments have been made by companies on bespoke build databases, in-house IT development teams and major SaaS purchases to create the best database possible. It might be big (the database), but is it clever?
Do these databases enable marketing strategies to be delivered in a way that empowers sales teams or do they simply allow them to send CVs and jobs in a high volume transactional approach?
Empowering your Marketing function to properly support sales will improve your processes, internal collaboration, whilst also engaging your target audiences effectively.
Rebalancing the recruitment tech stack
It isn’t just CRM systems or recruitment databases - the investments in other technologies by recruitment companies in the last decade have focused on driving sales. This has resulted in short-termism and a typical high volume/low quality return on the use of tech.
Whilst your current systems and platforms help deliver sales, they don’t have to prohibit marketing success - this isn’t a trade-off.