Strategies and Tips for Effective Lead Generation for Your Staffing Firm

When work in the staffing industry gets busy, business development – important, but less urgent than open reqs – can be the first thing to get shuffled to the back burner. If this continues, however, you risk having an empty pipeline when all your current projects are wrapped up.

What if you could put large parts of your business development plan on autopilot? You could focus your efforts on managing and responding to high-quality inbound leads – a ‘dream scenario’ for recruiters, according to Zack Gallinger, president of Talent Hero Media.

To that end, Zack suggests employing two strategies in tandem:

  • »Effective search engine optimization (SEO) for your website, and
  • »Automated email marketing campaigns

A solid SEO strategy brings people who are looking for your service to your website and converts them to potential clients. Email marketing campaigns automate your outreach, resulting in inbound leads from qualified prospects when executed well. George Santos, Director of Talent, Delivery, and Head of Marketing with 180 Engineering, has implemented these strategies with Talent Hero’s support. George says he has seen concrete results: increases in web traffic and inbound leads.

SEO for Staffing Companies

Never underestimate the importance of high-quality website design, says Zack. Attracting traffic to your website is the goal, but if visitors to your website don’t like what they see, those visits could do more harm than good. “If someone looking for staffing support comes to your site, and it doesn’t look very professional, doesn’t have the polish that people have come to expect from business websites, they’re not going to stay very long,” Zack warns. “That means you’ve lost an opportunity.” The excellent design provides a strong first impression of quality, which translates to confidence in your service.

When your website is ready for the traffic you want, the next step is making sure people can find you. Enter SEO: strategies that lead to your site ranking higher in search results when people are looking for companies like yours.

According to Zack, the two most important elements of a solid SEO plan for staffing companies are content and backlinks.

Content Strategy

Zack recommends incorporating the following elements on your website, to attract the most traffic from search engines, and to provide the best experience for visitors – leading to more business for you.

  • »Search terms specific to your business. Think about the words and phrases your potential clients would be searching for to find you, and make sure those phrases are found throughout your website. A free trial account on Ahrefs can be a good source for additional search terms – particularly those with lower demand, where you can quickly rank higher. These can be incorporated in several ways:
    • Practice Areas: Zack recommends individual pages for each area of specialty. “Recruiters often just mention their specialties on their home page, or list them
      on an ‘about’ page,” he says. “What you really need is an individual page for each specialty you’re trying to rank for.”
    • Specific job titles: People want to see the exact title of the position they’re recruiting for on your site.
    • FAQs: Answers to frequently asked questions can be an effective way of including more common search terms.
    • Sample job post templates: A helpful resource for clients, and another way to include search terms.
  • »Social Proof. Prospective clients want evidence that you can do what you claim, and the best evidence of that is proof that you’ve done it for other companies like theirs. Social proof elements include:
    • Logos: A gallery of logos of your past and current clients demonstrates to potential clients that you can assist companies like theirs.
    • Testimonials: Well-written testimonials, complete with the person’s name and their company, tell a great story about your work.
    • Case studies: In depth case studies – where it doesn’t violate client confidentiality, of course – can tell a more detailed story about your success.
  • »Subject Matter Expertise. Potential clients want to see that you know what you’re talking about.
    • Blogs: Zack recommends in-depth blogs – unique and high-value content that demonstrates insight, rather than the all-too-common and simplistic short blogs and ‘listicles’ (e.g. ‘5 Questions to Ask in an Interview’).
    • Guides and Whitepapers. Downloadable documents – salary guides, for example – are a valuable resource for clients, and can also feed into your email marketing efforts. “A guide is a really great lead magnet,” says Zack. “Something you offer on your website in exchange for an email address, which you can use for future marketing efforts.”

Backlinks are links on other websites that link back to pages on your site. They’re an important element of SEO because to search engines, they indicate that other people find your website useful and authoritative. In turn, the site will be placed higher in search results. Zack acknowledges that it’s difficult in the B2B space to get backlinks. “There’s probably nothing too ‘sexy’ about your business. 99% of B2B businesses aren’t very sexy,” he says. “You won’t be able to use strategies that some other businesses might use to get people to link to your site.” There are two methods, however, that have proved successful for companies in the staffing sector.

  • »Help a Reporter Out. HARO is a platform where journalists and other writers find expert sources for stories they’re working on. Signing up for an account as a source (which is free, with premium options) gives you access to daily lists of writers looking for sources to quote. Submit comments in response to queries related to your expertise; if they’re published, the writer will typically link to your site.
  • »Guest Posts. There are numerous content sites that publish guest posts from subject matter experts, including those in the staffing sector. Seek out these opportunities; if your content is published, the site will typically link back to yours.
Email Marketing Campaigns in Staffing

Staffing companies are increasingly using email marketing campaigns – powered by the numerous platforms available – to connect with potential clients and generate inbound business leads.

If you’ve tried email marketing and haven’t achieved the results you were hoping for, you’re not alone. In Zack’s experience, there are three common points on which email marketing campaigns fail.

  • »Timeliness
    • An email may be perfectly crafted, but if it’s not received at the right time, it won’t produce the result you want. Zack recommends focusing your efforts on contacting companies with open positions, preferably ones that have been posted for 30 days or more. Doing so, you’ll stand a better chance of reaching people who have an active need for the services you offer.
  • »Volume
    • According to the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, B2B email open rates average 15%, but sales conversion rates are only 2%. This means that to generate leads, you’ve got to send a significant number of emails. Zack suggests delegating contact research to an administrative staff person, to increase the volume of contacts on your list, and therefore the number of emails you can send.
  • »Personalization
    • Zack recommends using high quality email templates, and variables to personalize them by inserting details like the name and company of the recipient, and the position you’re emailing about. Emails like this are less likely to be flagged as spam, and more likely to generate a response.

Once you’ve addressed these three points, there are several other ways to improve the performance of your email marketing campaigns. You can improve your ROI by filtering by company size. Small to midsize companies are more likely to need your service than the tech giants. Acknowledging that this point may be controversial, Zack recommends not including an unsubscribe link. “Unsubscribe links are a dead giveaway that it’s not a personal email that you wrote to them,” Zack says. He underscores the importance of respecting unsubscribe requests, however. “If people ask to be removed, of course you should have a way to remove them quickly.”. To minimize the risk that your primary domain could face deliverability issues as a result of being flagged, he suggests using a secondary domain for your campaigns. Finally, Zack suggests developing a long-term strategy with follow up emails, providing regular touchpoints with your prospects, and providing the foundation for prospect nurturing like ‘Most Placeable Candidate’ campaigns.

Real Results

Santos, who has implemented these strategies in his company, 180 Engineering,  has seen real results. “Before making the changes, we were on page six or seven with Google, pretty far back there,” George notes. “Now we’re on the first or second page for some of these terms.”

Web traffic is only part of their success – that traffic is turning into business. “We’ve seen real leads,” George says. “We’re getting inbound inquiries from engineering firms in Chicago, looking for the positions we specialize in.”

Improving your website’s SEO and investing in email marketing can significantly reduce the time and effort you and your staff spend on lead generation, while also improving your results. Want to know more? TechServe Alliance members can view that recording here.

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