When Was Your Last Staffing Firm Referral Campaign?
Lead generation is an essential part of every staffing firm’s marketing. How does your firm secure new leads? Email marketing campaigns, print advertising, trade shows, social media campaigns and referral campaigns are all great ways to generate new sources of candidates for your staffing firm, but which type of approach is the best for marketing your staffing firm? In order to remain competitive, staffing firms must periodically evaluate their approaches to lead generation and revise their strategy accordingly. Marketing your staffing firm is an essential part of securing qualified leads for your sales pipeline and referral campaigns are a great way to build your talent pool and increase brand loyalty. When was the last time you did a staffing firm referral campaign and would you consider it a success?
To Campaign or Not to Campaign?
Do you think that referral campaigns are a waste of time and resources? Have you attempted campaigns in the past, but were frustrated by the lack of results? The bottom line is that your employees and current candidates are excellent sources of referrals. Candidates are great brand ambassadors, as they are able to testify to the quality of your recruiting services and the caliber of your clients. The referring candidate receives a reward for bringing a new hire to the attention of your recruiting team, and your staffing firm benefits by bringing in new candidates. Does this sound like a win-win proposition to you? Most would say yes, but some still do not see the value in a referral campaign because they have yet to realize a ROI for their past efforts. A staffing firm referral campaign does not need to be expensive and in the grand scheme of things, bringing in new candidates more than offsets the small initial expenditures involved. Before beginning any referral campaign, it is imperative that you re-evaluate your target audience, set goals for the campaign, and develop a strategic plan that includes a comprehensive timeline.
Focus on Communication
Many staffing firms struggle with the concept of referral campaigns. When is the right time? How do we get the word out? How do we design the compensation plan for the campaign? Your overall strategy must include a communication plan that addresses how the campaign information is going to be disseminated to your employees and candidates. Successful referral campaigns rely on soliciting referrals in exchange for a reward to the referrer, and effectively communicating your program to others is going to result in success for your campaign. Social media is a great vehicle for not only getting the word out, but also for encouraging open dialogs with your target audience. Open the lines of communication and structure your campaign so that people have a compelling reason to make a referral to your staffing firm.
Referral Campaign Fails
Frustration with subpar results often leads to the assumption that referral campaigns do not work for staffing firms. The truth is that a referral campaign deemed as ineffective was most likely unsuccessful due to the way the campaign was designed and the messaging that was used. Campaigns that require referrers to jump through hoops and wait months to receive their reward are doomed to fail. Referral campaigns also fail due to a lack of prompt follow-up by your team, so make sure your recruiters are prepared to handle the influx of additional work. Take some time to evaluate how you are communicating your campaign. Are you sending out the wrong message? The monetary reward is definitely a great incentive for the referrer; however, you must remember to not make that the primary focus of your message. People ultimately want to help their friends and if they truly believe in your firm, they are not going to hesitate in referring a friend or former co-worker. In order to appeal to our basic human desire to do good things for others, the message must be structured correctly to reinforce the idea that their participation is ultimately going to benefit their friends and the staffing service. The monetary reward that the referrer receives must be a secondary benefit; the positive feeling they get by helping someone successfully transition to a new consulting role is the true reward.
Increase Your Effectiveness
In order to increase the effectiveness of your staffing firm referral campaign, it is imperative that you begin by cutting out the unnecessary rules. Create a clear offer, complete with easy-to-follow steps. Instead of asking someone to supply the full resume for the person they are referring, simply ask for relevant data such as their name, basic contact information, and current job position (if known). You employ recruiters for a reason. Let your recruiting team follow up with these new leads and establish a personal point of contact. Another way to increase the effectiveness of your referral campaign is to focus your efforts. Instead of sending out a blanket request and asking people to refer anyone who might be interested in consulting with your firm, include specific parameters in your message that detail the type of talent you are seeking.
Track Your Results
If you have not embarked on a referral campaign in the past year, now is the time to start planning one. In order to build your talent pool and keep your clients supplied with highly qualified candidates, you must actively solicit referrals; but how are you going to gauge whether your efforts have been successful? Every campaign must be designed with the ability to collect analytical data and monitor its results. In hindsight, it is easy to lose track of how successful a campaign was without the benefit of hard facts. Use these results to track dips and spikes in your lead generation efforts and to plan the timing of future campaigns.
- Develop a comprehensive plan before embarking on your referral campaign
- Open up the lines of communication with your candidates and employees
- Ensure you are structuring your offer correctly to avoid a major campaign fail
- Increase the effectiveness of your referral campaign by eliminating unnecessary steps and clearly communicating your message
- Collect analytical data to monitor the success of your campaign efforts
About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.