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So, you've made the decision you want to hire an internal marketeer to work full-time in your recruitment business.
I want to give you my insight into whether it's going to be the right decision for you, thinking about the pros and cons, and my advice as to whether or not it is the right decision for your business.
Pros of hiring an internal marketeer
I believe, are very clear. Firstly, you get someone full-time, so they're going to be there every single day. By nature of that, they're going to get to know your business really well, so they'll understand the people, the culture, the brand, and they can start building that connection between marketing and sales. They can get to know the consultants and educate them on why marketing is important in their day job, which can be a bit harder from an outsourcing perspective.
They can also be very reactive, which is great because if you've got a business where you're either getting lots of requests for tenders off new clients, you've got potential job board problems, or you've got things going on with your website, you've now got a resource there that can be dedicated to dealing with stuff on the fly, every single day.
An internal person can be that point of contact to think about everything across your business.
They can build a strategy based on the whole business. It is important to remember is that recruitment agencies have so many audiences. You've got your candidates, your clients, your employer brand, but within that, you've got potentially hundreds of different types of people you need to focus on. If the marketeer is in-house and they're thinking about the whole company, they can build a strategy that includes every area and prioritises every area, so you know someone's thinking about everything from SEO, website, job boards, PPC, social strategy, etc.
Cons of hiring an internal marketeer
Firstly, one person rarely has the range of skills across marketing to execute in every area. So they could put a strategy together, but will one person really be able to write, design, film, understand social media, and have all the processes mapped out? It’s unrealistic.
Taking this into consideration, in order to execute on their strategy they will need an additional budget. This budget will allow them to go out deal with other vendors to outsource whats required get the work done.
Alongside budget, a good marketeer will want:
- career path
At least 99% of recruitment owners are salespeople, so if you as hire internally and don't understand marketing yourself, are you going to be able to give the time and investment they require and know the best tactics to even get started?
The time and cost of hire is important to consider. Finding a great marketeer can also be difficult. Finding someone who is available now, that can come in and execute on your strategy straight away isn’t always realistic, so you're going to have a period of time looking for and interviewing people. If you're using an external agency then you're probably going to pay a fee.
You've then got to onboard them and help them settle in which will take time. It might be six months by the time you’re even seeing content going out the door, therefore it can take a lot of time, money and investment to get things started.
Where they come from is really important too, do you want someone with previous recruitment agency experience?
Why I say that is, often we bring people from other sectors - and that's great because they bring in fresh ideas and new eyes to the industry. However when working in certain sectors, like e-commerce for example, it's definitely more straightforward in driving ROI. These businesses can create clear funnels that show visitors to the website, they convert on the site - buying products and subsequently money is generated,
Whereas, if you don't know the recruitment agency model, it can be quite a daunting and complex environment. You've got multiple audiences, candidates and clients in different regions, different divisions and to impact all of that takes time. It can be very frustrating, so expect a steep learning curve for them.
So my conclusion for this blog is, if you're a slightly bigger agency and you're at the point where you may have multiple teams, multiple divisions, multiple offices, and have a headcount of 30 upwards, then you should probably start to think about having someone internal because you're going to have lots happening on a daily basis. You're going to have bids to write, you're going to have social posts to create, you're going to have website problems, job board integration, so what you should do is look at supplementing what you're doing with external vendors, partners or marketing agencies. Having someone in, on the ground, will help to drive your brand strategy.
Whereas, if you're a smaller agency with a 1-20 headcount and you're in that growth mode, do you need that person the entire time? Do you need the extra headcount? Do you need that desk to be taken up when it could be consumed by a biller? Obviously, when considering a hire you have to think about tax, National Insurance, you've got hiring fees, training fees, systems, processes, budgets, on-boarding time... It's a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut for small recruitment businesses.
This is where you should look at external marketing agencies and external consultants. They will hit the ground running. They're going to be a budget you can see and forecast. They're going to provide you with a team, equipment, knowledge and can bridge that gap to get you to the point where you go, "Yeah, we now need to bring it in-house."
So, hopefully that's added some value for you. In the next blog, I'm going to talk about the pros and cons of actually hiring an external marketing agency or consultant.