Why Marketing Automation should be on your roadmap

06 Jan 2020   |   by Una McGuinness

Are you paying high costs to attract the very candidates that sit on your CRM? Do your Consultants go to job boards and Linked In as their first port of call?

Are paying for expensive RPS licenses, to identify, attract and register relevant candidates to your database?  My guess is these Linked In licenses maybe even under-utilised and will only increase in price substantially as you grow your headcount

Are you seeing traditional acquisition tools, i.e your job boards giving diminishing returns?

If the answer to any or all of these is yes – then you should be considering Recruitment marketing automation.

There are a plethora of different tech solutions that automate part of the Recruiters role, many are even suggesting they will replace the Recruiter as we know it.  In my opinion, technology should be an enabler for growth, it should be used to do the “heavy lifting” in the process of today’s modern recruiter.

So what is recruitment marketing automation – it seems to be a buzz word of the marketer… It’s using software to automate communications, normally through email to segmented groups of individuals – either candidates or clients, to build strong talent pipelines, getting them ultimately to a place where you can influence on a 1 to 1 basis.  This is what your recruiters doing, spending time talking to candidates where they can add real value, as they are at the “interest” stage in the acquisition funnel.

So automation is doing the time-consuming tasks – either getting previously unknown Candidates to the awareness stage and moving them along, or known candidates to of the interest section, so Recruiters can then practice their skills of matching, understanding briefs, and culture, selling opportunities, overcoming objections, influencing outcomes -  the complex combination of which no technology can perform.

Successful outcomes are many and varied depending on your automation objectives.

Massive uplifts in placements from your CRM as much as 100% per quarter you should aim, for, of course, depends on where you are currently tracking.  Remember these candidates you have previously paid to attract, however not only paid to attract but paid to get onto your CRM, paid for your consultants to screen, update details, code, understand minimum salary expectations etc. – you get the picture.

With this, your brand recognition is heightened, through regular valued content, as is candidate experience.

The real winner is your Recruiters being able to talk directly to engaged candidates ready to take the call, rather than spending time ploughing through inactive lists, ultimately leading them to be more successful and more impactful.

So let’s make it happen I hear you say…  well having run automation projects previously, there are some core things you must you get right with your recruitment business before you do otherwise, you will not reap the rewards.


  1. Brand - You have to have the basics right have a strong brand – that covers logo, consistency, imagery, the tone of voice – if you are going to be more present – with your audiences – you want them to recognise it's you, every time.
  1. Website – a good clear narrative about what you do, what specialisms you recruit into. Ensure job adverts, Consultants profiles (photos are great) are well written and engaging, application processes slick and smart and quick.  Also, ensure all landing pages have clear CTA's.
  1. Existing Marketing plan - know which sources work well for you – ensure you are calculating your ROI from any candidate acquisition activity. Cut any spending that isn't giving you a decent ROI.  I would set mine at a minimum of £10 return.  Ensure you are utilising any resources or technology you currently have in your business, before adding any technology and future investment.
  1. Your CRM - Should be the centre of what you do, are you confident in the usage, the data you can pull from it – if the answer is no, the strategy must be to change this, however, you don't need to do it all – maybe start in one area, or on candidates/clients you have had business within a relatively short time period, to make this manageable.  Behaviours can be changed, however, need to be lead from the top.
  1. You need to be legally compliant, you need to segment candidates segmented into relevant buckets – to be able to add value to them. Are all personal email addresses uploaded, is the latest activity from any recruiter updated? Automation may be triggered on events from the CRM, so if they are inaccurate or not recorded – your messaging won’t do you any favours, imagine, it’s been a while since we spoke or a keep in touch email, if a Recruiter spoke to the candidate yesterday.
  1. Candidate personas – work with your recruiters – who are your different candidates, what are they likely to value, read, be interested in, where do they hang out online, what will they respond well to, tone, design information etc. – there is so much opportunity to be creative.
  1. Map out your candidate journey & review touchpoints to application & beyond. Are there opportunities to ensure you are more on brand, is each touchpoint you control a positive experience?  You don’t have to do every channel, but what you do, do it well.

Lastly but by no means least, your Content.

Content – you must have a plan to give your candidates value; passive candidates don't just want to see jobs and internal how-to guides.  Although you don’t need to be rolling out several pieces of content – less is more.  Do it really well and in different formats.

Use blogs, influencer marketing, case studies, testimonials, data (we have so much of it – but don’t use it to form a narrative), external sources to help you pull a content plan together.

Ask your candidates what they are interested in hearing about – give them options of content.  I read somewhere personalised CTA’s gave 200% uplifts… so think about how you can create content and CTA that is unique to your audiences.

So finally, to summarize;

  • Start simply, easy to add complexity in terms of triggers and communications to your automation project.
  • Ensure you have a specific objective – is it candidates or clients?
  • Get your house in order – brand, current acquisition tools, CRM, your audiences.
  • Have well thought through content plan, it doesn’t need to be too complex, as you might tweak it as you go along, depending on the engagement.
  • Execute and evaluate, tweak where necessary – use the fabulous data which is available to inform decisions.

Good luck and I hope I have given you a flavour for why marketing automation should be on your road map.  The benefits & returns in getting this right are enormous in today’s recruitment world, a clear differentiator and brilliant for Candidate Engagement.

We had loads of great ideas last year, why didn't they happen?

Business Planning - how to ensure those ideas happen!
Una McGuinness

Una has a huge passion for the industry, substantiated by over 20 years’ experience as a leader. Currently working with an array of clients across various sectors and projects, Una can offer you objectivity, smart thinking, with a constant eye on what and how companies are adapting to the world of recruitment plus inspiration to make the changes you require to take your business to the next level.

More About Una
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