Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct
Recruitment agencies are a good case study to examine for successful keyword use. When they receive a new job description (and a good recruitment agency will ‘obtain’ one), the first stage is to find suitable candidates. Important to that is a good keyword search on your firm’s database of registered candidates, on LinkedIn via a Premium membership, job sites or even from social media. Identify the keywords that describe those skills, qualities or experiences which the client states are required for the job. The more accurate the keyword search, the less time you spend placing each candidate. The quicker you place the candidate the higher the ROI for your agency.
Once you have your list of candidates, the recruitment consultant must then begin to find a suitable match for the employer. The keyword search is necessary to find a ‘probable’ match, but to find a ‘suitable’ match the recruitment consultant now needs to assess the personality. The candidate’s personality must fit with the company’s culture. To begin, scan the CV’s for any pattern of regular job changing. Someone who changes jobs regularly may take longer to place, or simply make your agency look like they do not propose high quality candidates.
Scan also for candidates who have gaps in employment history to make a note to ask them the reason why (if they cannot provide a sufficient reason, the recruitment consultant must be prepared to move on the next candidate in the quickest way possible whilst observing minimum politeness). If the candidate’s address or location is known, then the recruitment consultant must also make a decision whether or not the job will be too far for them to travel to (this will increase probability of a quick placement). This is another instance where keyword searches increase profitability (speed of placing a candidate).
When the recruitment consultant is ready to speak to the candidates on their list, they must ‘listen’ to the candidates as they explain their salary expectations (if expectations are not met, it will be very hard to place them). Ask the candidates questions about why they left their previous employment, try to encourage them to be honest about their past (it will help you know what challenges you may face with the interviewer). Ask them about their hobbies and interests to assess culture fit with the client’s company.
When the recruitment consultant has an understanding of the candidates they will be proposing, it is time to call the client. A good technique is to first write out keywords for each candidate that match various key qualities desired and preferred by the client’s job description (JD). In your call, you can then succinctly say the candidate name, a short bio and your keywords. For instance, “I have a great candidate, John Smith, he has a half hour commute to your offices, 3 years’ experience. [and now the keywords] He is analytical, has good social skills, enjoys project planning and looking for flexible working”. The keywords will form the ‘desire’ part of the AIDA marketing model.
The recruitment consultant then arranges the interviews, preps the candidates, reminds the candidates (remember, when they fail to get out of bed on time, it is not just their future they’re blowing but also your agency fee) and follows up after interview. This dedication is typical in any agency and focusing on the client’s goals is just the same in directory advertising. Post-interview, the recruitment consultant makes their after-interview phone call where they could be dealing with a dejected interviewee or an elated one. Both situations will make it difficult to glean information. So, have a list of questions that will ensure you get what you need for your call to the client later.
Depending on how their interview went, for every negative answer the candidate provides, have a positive keyword to match it, ready to volunteer to the client. For example, if the candidate tells you “The interview went badly, I got caught up in the analysis and forgot how to present” match it with the positive keyword: Analytical: “sometimes he does such a great job in the analysis he forgets his presentation skills under pressure. Is this something you could work on with him in the role?”
Keywords clearly are vital to quick placement of the right candidates with a client’s role. Quick placement is key to increased ROI and profitability. Good directory advertising focuses on keywords in the same way as recruitment. Many brands (and their agencies) focus on the same description for each store, when in reality each store has different content to contribute and different keywords that will help it display in the first results page. The more accurate the results (in either candidates or a store wishing to be found by customers on Google), the more profit you will make in the year.
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JD – Job Description
ROI – Return on Investment
A.I.D.A. – Awareness; Interest; Desire; Action
YouCom Direct News Article, Nov 2018, London, Keyword Recruitment.