(This is part of a series of articles on becoming a Recruitment Entrepreneur. These articles are meant for first-time recruitment entrepreneurs and the more experienced recruiters may find some parts elementary. I shall start dwelling deeper into each aspect once we get done with the basics. If you wish to contribute to this topic please write to email@example.com I will be happy to incorporate your ideas as well. You may also mail me if you wish me to write on any specific topic.)
This article covers the bare minimum necessity of a startup recruitment agency to build presence on the internet. This is just a precursor to to the limitless possibilities of enhancing internet presence and building an inbound leads pipeline for getting clients and candidates.
Once you have set up a recruitment business, it goes without saying that a digital presence is a must. By digital presence, I mean that your organization and information about jobs that you are working on must be discoverable online. This a bare minimum. As a startup or a small company, not very many clients nor candidates are going to visit your office.
Getting the basics right
So the very first impression they will have of you is when they visit your website. Your office may not be grand (you cannot afford it!), but surely your website can be. As mentioned in my earlier article a website can be created nowadays with free tools online, or can even be outsourced at a couple of hundred dollars.
You will also need to buy a domain to host your website. As far as possible look for a simple domain name (that reflects your organization name) and has a top level domain extension like .com or .io or your country specific extension (like .uk for the United Kingdom)
Essentials of your website
Keep the website simple and keep the following in mind-
- Choose a theme that suits a typical services business (there are thousands of free/paid website themes/templates to choose from).
- Keep a max of 5-7 categories in your navigation bar. As the organization grows there may be a lot to put on the website. However, in the beginning, the following may suffice –
- Home (describing what the organization does)
- Page for Employers (Includes services provided, the area of expertise, etc)
- Page for Candidates (This could also be the ‘Jobs’ page)
- Blog Page (Ensure you write something periodically at least once in two weeks if not more. At a later stage professional content writers may be engaged)
- Contact Us
- The jobs/careers page must list all your jobs. It must also have the following-
- Integration with your ATS/CRM so that any job you add or close in your ATS automatically reflects on your jobs page. For this, you will need to select an ATS/CRM that meets this requirement. I will dedicate a separate article later to the choice and use of technologies by a recruitment agency.
- Candidates must be able to apply to jobs through your jobs page, and the application must directly be added to the candidate database.
- You should be able to choose whether you display the name of your client on your jobs page or not (depending on your agreement with the client). Some positions may be confidential and the client may not want you to advertise the same.
- The contact us page must have your office address ( with google map showing exact location) and contact number. There should also be a ‘Write to Us’ or ‘Message Us ‘form that comes straight to your inbox, with an automated ‘thank you’ message and mentioning how quickly you will get back to them ( one or two working days at best). Ideally, you must respond to the very same day as far as possible.
- Make your page hierarchy logical and ideally keep the navigation structure shallow. This will not only make your website simple to navigate but will also help in SEO (search engine optimization), making it easier for your site to rank higher on search engines. For this purpose it’s important to use a good rank tracking tool like Linkio which will help you gain higher rankings and more organic traffic pointing to your website.
- Ensure that you host your site on a reliable server ( like AWS or Azure or Google or any other) so that it does not go down and is always up and running.
- Update your site with new information as you progress in your business. You may add a list of clients, some client/candidate testimonials, any new service you provide (like resume writing, temp staffing, consulting), etc
Let your presence be known
Now that you have a website, it is a virtual address/presence. Though, you have barely got started. The next big step is to let candidates and clients know of your presence.
To begin this process it is important to create company page/account in the three of the most popular social media platforms, namely LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter. It is important to start writing on your company blog page regularly and then sharing the blog link as posts on your various social media accounts.
There are various digital tools available which can do an automatic posting on all accounts by posting on just one account. So if you post on LinkedIn, the same will be posted on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Deploying a Chatbot
Nowadays it is also useful to deploy a chatbot on your home page (or all your pages) that can interact with visitors to your website. Much as ‘Chatbot’ sounds very technical, there are many service providers which allow to simply add a few lines of code to your webpage. You can then configure the chatbot using a simple interface. a typical chat would be like –
- Chatbot- Hi! Welcome to ‘XYX Recruiters’. How can I help you? Are you an employer or a candidate seeking a job?
- Visitor – I’m a candidate.
(If this happens during working hours, you can take over the chat, else the bot continues).
- Chatbot – So which sector would you like to explore job opportunity with?
(This would help you direct this query to a specific recruiter if you have a larger team)
- Visitor – Health Sector
- Chatbot – Ok, Kindly leave your name and contact details with us and we shall get in touch with you shortly.
(A small form could pop up which is filled by the visitor)
The above example is just to give you a drift of what is possible, the more intelligently you configure the bot the lessor your time & efforts at handling the query/lead. These bots can be very customized to give a personal touch with your picture & name in the frame as though you are chatting live with the visitor.
You can also integrate your calendar with some both showing available timeslots so that the visitor can even schedule an appointment or a call. This way you do not miss on any visitor (client or candidate) who visit your website. It takes huge effort to get them to your website in the first place and then losing them would be disastrous.
Joining online communities
The next this to do would be to create an account in various community forums and join various related groups on various platforms. There would be innumerable groups/forums like recruiters, temp staffing, assessment, recruitment software, job opportunities, industry-specific groups (eg Pharma Industry), Human Resource, labor laws & compliance, Payroll, etc.
Most of these groups will have members who you are typically targeting, employers, candidates, service providers (software/assessments), or even potential employees (for your own startup). Just joining these groups is not enough. You will need to participate by posting your articles/blogs, or by answering queries by members or by commenting on other articles/view.
Building a wide and meaningful digital presence is a work which is laborious and requires a large amount of patience. However, the results can be really rewarding in the long run. Nearly six years ago when I had first ventured into building a security staffing startup, I had built a website which mentioned that we also provided sniffer dogs for security.
Long after I shut the business and even pulled down my site, I still get calls from random people asking whether we provide sniffer dogs. I guess some search engines or directories have stored the webpages/ service details and those still appear in search results. Such is the power of a good digital presence. At recruitcrm.io we today attract visitors from more than 80 countries without spending a penny on advertisements. So roll up your sleeves & go for it…