And again, an important employee has quit his job—where can you find another qualified person as quickly as possible? At some point, every company faces the challenge of finding highly-skilled employees. One particular industry even focuses on finding the right people for companies: So-called Recruiting as a Service businesses help companies find the perfect match for their vacancies.
If you are working in recruiting as a service, you know: Specializing in recruiting services is not easy. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks to make your lead generation as well as your new customer acquisition as a recruiting service a success.
One tip in advance: Watch and learn from marketing.
What’s There to Know About the Recruiting Industry?
Where many companies lack time or know-how, recruiting companies come into play and look for the right employees for vacant positions. But first: It’s all about lead generation and how to get customers to lay their recruiting in your hands!
When marketing talks about leads, you as a recruiter mean companies with open job positions as well as candidates looking for a job. Ideally, you’ve got two well-filled pools—one with companies, one with candidates—which you can match with each other when needed.
The recruiting business differs fundamentally into three categories: Perm Placement which helps to find permanent employees, Interim Management which seeks suitable personnel for temporary projects, and Headhunting. Headhunting is often looking for very specialized professionals who would not apply for the advertised position on their own. Some recruiting business focus on one category, some on various categories.
What Are the Challenges in Recruiting?
Ultimately, you will face the same challenges in HR consulting as any other company looking for capable employees. Plus you need to find companies aka. leads that have open positions to fill.
Finding Companies that Need Recruiting Services
What do lead generation and new customer acquisition look like for you in recruiting? Recruiting services usually have one target audience above all: companies that are looking for skilled workers. In most cases, these are SMEs to large companies that have several vacancies to fill.
It's simple mathematics: more customers, more revenue. Therefore, you need to constantly generate new leads to keep your sales funnel in terms of companies needing your services filled.
You shouldn't just rely on companies approaching you when they need support. It's better to proactively approach companies that have a need for your field of expertise. If they recognize your expertise and their lack of skilled personnel, they’ll be willing to give the opportunity. What is the best way to do that? We'll get to that later.
Finding Skilled Candidates
The second pool you should keep well filled is the one with candidates. Like any recruiter, you will face many challenges in this regard. The biggest ones are:
- You don’t find skilled candidates
- Skilled candidates are not available
- Their qualifications are unclear
Despite the many opportunities the internet provides, many professionals are still hard to find. This may be due to the fact that in certain industries many things still happen offline and business networks not really used there. Examples include mechanical engineering, where there often is not much digitization going on or retail, where jobs are often still advertised locally. Most employees therefore don’t have the need to register in digital business networks.
Then again, there are those professionals who are very easy to find on social media or company websites, but who are almost impossible to reach because they don't respond to messages or their business phone number is hidden behind a general company number.
Last but not least: There are professionals who you can find easily online, but for whom there is insufficient information as to whether they really fit the advertised position and the company.
Attentive readers will notice that usually this blog is about how marketing and sales can improve their customer acquisition—which is exactly the input you need! Apply their strategies in recruiting and you will find skilled workers with ease
First Step in Lead Gen for Recruiting Businesses: Let’s Talk Targeting & ICP
However, before you start looking for potential customers, think carefully about the best way to approach them. Watch and learn how marketing does it: Define your ICP and design your targeting. Let’s see what that’s supposed to mean.
Before marketing does anything, they need to know everything there is to know about the target customer. You should do this, too! Analyze exactly who you are looking for in the first place. Define an ICP (=Ideal Customer Profile) for the companies you are looking for and repeat this process for the employees. Based on these criteria, you’ll have to find ways to reach the exact target audience you have previously defined.
To give you a better idea of how you can define your ICPs for companies and applicants in recruiting, here are a few examples of criteria:
Regional Criteria for Your ICP
Unless a position is open as a remote job, the search for candidates is usually limited to a certain radius around a company. The more specialized the position, the more likely it is to find applicants outside the radius who are willing to relocate for a new position.
Therefore, search for talent in a specific radius or zip code area!
Industry as a Criterion for Your ICP
In recruiting services, many have a certain field expertise or certain focus like the IT sector or medicine. This makes it easier to find both target companies and talents. Plus, it allows you to dive deeper into subject-specific circumstances and requirements.
Recruiters who have broadened their focus a bit also sometimes place people in jobs that are not industry-specific. Good examples are jobs in marketing, accounting or even human resources. In most cases, candidates do not necessarily have to experienced in a specific industry.
Qualification as a Criterion for Your ICP
At the end of the day, qualifications are the deciding factor in how well professionals match open positions. So, as a recruiter, you need to make sure that qualifications are adequately defined.
While the first two criteria are still quite easy to recognize and select, the qualifications of the talents are already a bit more difficult to track down if there is not exactly a very detailed social media profile.
Job Titles as a Criterion for Your ICP
Are you aware of how many job titles there are for sales?
- Sales Representative
- Sales Manager
- Field Sales Representative
- Account Manager
- Sales Consultant
- Sales Specialist
- Sales Assistant
- Account Executive
And that's not all. This example alone shows that job titles can be diverse. If you are looking for professionals for a specific job profile, collect all the job titles that fit the profile, then you’ve got a solid basis for your search.
Extra Tip: Also check out business platforms such as LinkedIn and Xing! Many talented people are also looking for suitable jobs there.
The Best Way to Generate Leads in Recruiting?
Think outside the box! And take a look at how others do it.
It's not a secret that job postings alone are no longer enough to find applicants. Surely you already know the possibilities via LinkedIn, online events or trade fairs. Nevertheless, we would like to talk about the best methods for lead gen in recruiting.
Again: Marketing has got your back with 9 tips on how to handle lead generation.
Lead Generation on LinkedIn
As a recruiting service provider, you're probably already on LinkedIn and at least as familiar with lead generation there as some sales professionals. LinkedIn offers you numerous opportunities for social selling. If you create exciting content and share your knowledge, people will recognize you in the platform.
For example, you can include tips on how to apply for a job, which creates awareness and credibility for both candidates and companies. Over the time, you will be perceived as an expert in recruiting and you can start building relationships.
Oh, we almost forgot! There is also the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This is a pretty handy tool with which you can select your target audience according to personal selected criteria. Criteria can be, for example, skills, job title, position and more. However, the possibilities with the Sales Navigator are limited.
If you want to know more, you can find a small LinkedIn guide for the area of recruiting services here from LinkedIn.
Lead Generation via Company Websites
If you have enough time, you can of course scan the Internet for company websites that might have suitable specialists on their team. To make this even more efficient, try larger companies from which you can then generate entire "lists" of employees.
Ideally, you will also find contact details on the website, such as telephone numbers. Use these numbers to hire suitable candidates straight away or at least ask them if they’re interested in being included in your pool.
Lead Generation with Third-Party Providers Such as Databases and Digital Tools
Save yourself time and energy with investing in a software that helps you with lead generation. Don't be confused if these lead generation tools are not developed and advertised specifically for recruiting—they can be just as helpful for you as they are for marketing and sales.
In the end, it is important that you have access to an intelligence company and/or employee database as well as good filter options to select your target companies. Check in advance whether you can get contact details for employees or what other information is important to you.
Note: Make sure that the tool of your choice is compliant with the GDPR! Providers based in the EU are therefore often safer.
Especially exciting for you as a Recruiting as a Service provider: With just a few clicks, you can filter companies that currently have job openings, that are growing quickly and more. Furthermore, you’ll be able to find the responsible person in recruiting and contact them right away to place your offer.
Identify talents from specific industries using the GDPR-compliant employee database. Search within a radius of a specific location, for selected job titles, and much more. Contact details and social links are also provided.
Tip: A big advantage of lead generation tools is that you can usually also use them to enrich leads and add important information such as contact details, social media profiles or company data to leads that you have generated in other ways.
Lead generation via Networking Events and Referrals
Never to be underestimated in recruiting—but unfortunately also very time-consuming and hardly planable during pandemic times—are networking events or trade/ job fairs. Meeting people face-to-face is always a great way to fill your talent pool.
However, please note that you should select and plan such events in advance! If you want to fill up your pool, then you will certainly find many applicants at job fairs who are currently looking for a job. However, if you are specifically looking for specialists in a certain field, industry networking events can be even more helpful.
Lead Generation with a Whitepaper
Last but not least, let's take another look into marketing’s trick box and find: A whitepaper!
How does that work exactly? Let’s say you’re a company that is desperately looking for skilled workers. Ask yourself: What questions and challenges am I facing and what is keeping me busy in this situation?
Be creative! Collect the questions and answers and create an informative white paper with a compelling title, such as "Finding Talents in IT: A Guide". Now, you don’t offer your knowledge for free! Make the whitepaper a download and receive names and email addresses in return, when you make readers will out a lead form. Et voilà.
In addition to the leads you’ll generate, you naturally also prove your expertise with such content. It helps you create trust and show readers that you know how to help them with their recruiting pains. Who knows? In some cases, this paves the way for them to approach you directly!
Hands-On Tips for Lead Generation & Talent Acquisition—Examples and Use Cases of the German Recruiting Service Agency TALENTLOTSEN
TALENTLOTSEN is a Hamburg-based agency for recruiting services. Their clientele consists mainly of large companies and SMEs; their specialization is the direct approach of suitable candidates.
In our joint success story, they show you how recruiting services can easily generate leads with the help of a suitable tool. We would like to show you a few examples.
Searching for Companies with Keywords
TALENTLOTSEN uses the keyword search to find companies that match their ICP. In this case, these are companies that have published job postings in a certain area. Echobot's numerous filters help narrow down the search. This is useful if the talent pool contains many professionals from a certain area (like here: the SaaS area). Afterwards, these candidates can be matched with suitable companies.
Search for Companies by Industry
Echobot’s WZ code search enables TALENTLOTEN to search for certain sectors of the economy.
Further filters provide support in order to find relevant companies that match their ICP. By using the sales trigger event filter, for example, TALENTLOTSEN includes only companies that have just published job offers on the internet.
Search for Talents by Job Title
The talent search with Echobot works very similarly to the company search for the recruiting agency from: If very specific talents are sought for a company or a position, TALENTLOTSEN uses the search by job title and can narrow down the list of search results with additional criteria. Plus, they get contact information, such as phone numbers and social media accounts. They can start recruiting straight away!
Extra tip: With Echobot, TALENTLOTSEN identifies "similar companies". Thanks to artificial intelligence, they can find companies that are similar to their target audience and best customers. This way, TALENTLOTSEN not only get to know their ICP better, but were also able to find many new target companies.
Summary: Make Lead Generation in Recruiting as Easy and Effective as Possible
Searching for talents in today's world requires an enormous amount of creativity and effort. When it comes to lead generation in recruiting, you can use appropriate digital tools to save a lot of time compared to other methods. With the right tool, you can certainly find many new companies that need your recruiting advice. And if you can also find one or the other talent with your favorite software—all the better!