Gordon Borrell: Recruitment Spending, Online Services, & Niche

As we related in a previous article, Gordon Borrell of Borrell Associates recently presented a revealing webinar entitled “Where the Recruitment Dollars Went (and how to get them back).” This webinar focused on the increasing shift toward digital media as the central player in the recruitment advertising arena, complete with some telling numbers on how employers were allocating their recruitment advertising budgets and which forms of digital advertising are showing the most dramatic growth.

Making Quality Your “Niche”

As Borrell points out, there’s plenty of money being spent on recruiting, even if traditional recruiting publishers are seeing less and less of it. Where is the lion’s share of that spending going? Toward niche recruiting websites. These industry-specific sites have proliferated in recent years, stealing revenue away from the big recruitment agencies in the process. Employers are attracted to the notion of more precise targeting of their ideal prospects. But specificity does not necessarily equal quality. Many smaller job-board sites offer more noise than signal, without the structure, expertise or experience to provide comprehensive services to their clients. Some career coaches even recommend that job seekers use these sites more for preliminary research on who’s hiring than for serious applications.

This implies that there’s an opportunity to buck the trend by offering your advertisers that great balance tipper, quality. By aligning yourself with the right recruitment experts, you can run a niche job board or site that offers the specificity advertisers love while also offering that extra level of customer care, advice and support.

Providing Service and Value

Borrell talks about the need for recruiters to move to a service-oriented approach if they want to grab their piece of the advertising pie. But what kinds of service might this include? Well, for starters a recruiting site might want to offer a self-service option. Automated e-commerce solutions that let recruiters place their online ads whenever they wish can attract a slew of ad dollars — as in fact they have for RealMatch clients such as the LNP Media Group.

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A successful recruitment site must also offer value to its advertisers, and few things indicate value in the advertising world better than sheer reach. Social media is a critical aspect of modern niche marketing, including recruitment advertising, because it is so shareable. Recruiting sites that can upsell a social media push as part of their feature set are bound to benefit, just as their clients benefit from riding the tidal wave of likes, shares, and interactivity available through social networking.

Traditional Advertising Can Still Sell

While Borrell emphasizes the rise of digital ad buying and the resulting eclipse of traditional media ad buying, it’s worth noting that even traditional recruitment advertising can sell if it’s tied to the lure of digital media. Again, it’s about offering value. It’s possible, for instance, to bundle print ads and online ads into a “value package” that boosts your per-client revenues almost effortlessly and with minimal pushback. True, print may no longer be the spine of your profit machine, but if you push it as part of a bigger, more attractive deal, you’ll have lots of buyers — not to mention lots of income.

Gordon Borrell’s webinar is fascinating stuff, and highly recommended. Take it as a springboard for inspiration and ideas on how to mold your recruitment enterprise into a state-of-the-art employment juggernaut for your clients!

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