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An Interview with Recruitment Marketer

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…… Daniel Evans

Current Position: Head of Marketing

Company: Roc Search

Years in recruitment marketing: 13

Briefly describe your recruitment marketing career to date?
I started at Hays in 2006. I learnt loads (how to use apostrophes was high on that list!), did my CIM qualification and experienced how marketing had to adapt when the recession hit. After 6 years I moved on to GCS Recruitment to establish their marketing function. Pretty much a dream job at the time because I had such freedom compared to the corporate environment. If Hays taught me marketing, GCS taught me recruitment. A superb 6 years where marketing started as the colouring in department and became an integral part of the business and delivering ROI.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Like every young boy I wanted to be a footballer. Unlike every young boy I also wanted to be a tap dancer! My mum took me to a lesson but I refused to go in when the room was full of girls! I then wanted to be a lawyer but someone told me it was a lot of hard work. It was when doing a GNVQ business studies course in sixth form that I discovered marketing. It seemed like the only interesting module and from there it was a marketing degree.

So I am living the dream of 17 year old me, just not 7 year old me…

Who inspires you (both in recruitment and outside)?
Firstly, my wife is also a marketer and I steal all her ideas. That helps…

But I couldn’t start any section on marketing inspirations without mentioning Philip Kotler. The pioneer of marketing and someone I always looked up to. I have loads of his books at home, and admire him so much that some of the books are as good as new…

Seth Godin’s podcast always provides a wonderful perspective on things, and there are lots of people out there that just talk sense, Ryan Wallman and Tom Goodwin to name a few. There are brands in and outside recruitment I admire and take inspiration from. I have taken inspiration from all sorts. QPR, Las Iguanas, Phaidon and Austin Fraser to name a few. Inspiration is everywhere.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your recruitment marketing job?
The challenges constantly change! Right now, we are at an incredibly exciting phase at Roc where we have agreed the marketing strategy and currently at implementation stage so for me right now it’s about connecting every single dot. Understanding every single work flow and ensuring there and no data gaps in everything we are tracking. So the big picture stuff is agreed, it’s now time to pull up the sleeves and get stuck into tech, spreadhseets and a lot of whiteboards… In all honesty, I’m lucky to be in a business that ‘gets’ marketing and the value and role it can play in the sales process.

What is your proudest recruitment marketing achievement?
I’m not very good at looking back at being proud of achievements. It’s just my nature to always look back and see what wasn’t done and how it could be done better. That’s what gives me my drive I think. I’m definitely proud of the people I have managed. Taking on junior marketing professionals and seeing them develop their careers and grow their passion for marketing is incredibly rewarding.

If I had to pick 1 thing I would say it was the transition of marketing at GCS. I was literally hired to be the colouring in department. To create flyers and brochures and make things look pretty. There was no real relation to helping sales in the job spec. But over my time there marketing became a department that was involved in business strategy, and delivered tangible/trackable ROI. I like to see it as moving from just a business output to a strategic input. I suppose that whole journey is something that involved in can be very proud of.

What do you think the future holds for recruitment marketing?
Clearly so much has changed since I started in 2006 but what excites me is that the more businesses are embracing marketing technology than ever before. The future is incredibly exciting for today’s recruitment marketers and it’s part of the reason I still love working in this sector. Whether automation, chatbots or end to end marketing attribution, there is so much for marketers to embrace. But for me I think the future of recruitment marketing is about marketing being closer to sales. And closer to customers. With all the tech, data and knowledge that marketing can and will deliver, there shouldn’t be any more colouring in departments!

robinson medical recruitment

The art of the one-man team

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Surely a ‘team’ can’t be only one person? Can you call one person a ‘function’? Does any of this even matter??

I found myself questioning this on my morning commute earlier this week. Now normally my commute (30-40 minutes door-to-door) is spent catching up on TV boxsets rather than profound thinking. I realise that people reading this style of post will most likely be seeking intuitive answers and cutting-edge thinking. I’m the wrong ‘author’, ‘contributor’, whatever, for that sort of enlightenment.

What I am is a marketer who occasionally over-analyses menial things when he has time on his hands. Or when procrastinating to avoid something far more important…I’m a great fan of that!

I’m currently the sole marketing resource for a forward-thinking healthcare recruitment firm with operations across the UK and Australia. This is a greenfield role with a tremendous mixture of “roll your sleeves up and get stuck in” and blue sky strategic thinking…apologies for the cringe-inducing jargon.

Personally I don’t enjoy referring to myself by job title e.g. “I’m the Executive Vice President of Thought Process Analysis for the recruitment vertical at Company XYZ”. So how should I introduce myself, either face-to-face or over the phone?

Am I responsible for the marketing function? Do I led the marketing team? Do I provide marketing support? (Again, I refer you to the 3rd paragraph description of my history of over-analysing menial things).

My thoughts wander to a comment from a previous Managing Director “People don’t care about your title, they only want to know what you can do for them”, or words to that effect.

Your personal branding

Likewise a recent conference keynote speaker explained his thoughts on personal brand positioning highlighting that an introduction should follow a basic set up of:

My name is…

I help companies/individuals to…

In order to….

 

Your personal branding is never more important than when working as a team of one, both internally and outside of your organisation. A sole operator needs to elevate their role. Be seen. Be heard. Be approachable. You don’t need to be the most knowledgeable person in the room, but you do need to instill confidence in those around you.

They claim that there’s no ‘I’ in team, but there is an ‘M’ and ‘E’. And in this case, only ME in this team!

alexa bradbury guidant

An interview with recruitment marketer……

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…… Alexa Bradbury

Current Position: Global Marketing Director

Company: Guidant Global

Years in recruitment marketing: 14 (+6 years in commercial property marketing)

Briefly describe your recruitment marketing career to date?
I began my career in the marketing team at Michael Page (now Page Group) in 2000 where I started as an Account Executive and worked my way up to Marketing Manager. I was there for 6 years and loved it. Most of my time was spent managing high volumes of print ads and offline campaigns but digital was also starting to come to the fore. It was a fast paced, hectic environment and a steep learning curve. The company gave me a great understanding of recruitment and a strong work ethic. I then moved on to the SR Group before leaving the recruitment sector to work in commercial property marketing for 6 years for a Morgan Stanley Real Estate company. I was tempted back to recruitment marketing by the role at Guidant, a Global MSP / RPO which is also part of Impellam.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I think like most kids, I didn’t really know! I enjoyed English and Politics at school and had notions of being a journalist. Things only became clearer when I went to uni to study business and chose marketing as part of my first year course. I loved it and went on to do a marketing degree. As for recruitment – like most people I had never even considered it. That changed when I was invited for an interview at Michael Page and they offered me an internal marketing position.

Who inspires you (both in recruitment and outside)?
I am inspired by anyone that’s overcome adversity to achieve great things and those that focus not on just on themselves but on influencing and leading others. I am very lucky to have worked with many inspirational leaders, mentors and colleagues in my career. Also to be involved with RIDI, the recruitment industry disability initiative and to have met so many inspirational people through that is a real privilege.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your recruitment marketing job?
Historically, talent acquisition, employer branding and recruitment marketing have struggled to get senior stakeholder attention and buy-in for appropriate budgets to drive quality talent pipelines. However, in such a candidate driven market, that is changing and employers are more open to new strategies instead of relying on reactive, tactical approaches to their recruitment. Our MSP and RPO clients are now very open to discussing their long term workforce planning strategies with us and enabling us to help drive their strategic employer branding and recruitment marketing activities. This applies not just to attracting and engaging permanent workforces but to the recruitment of contractors and consultants as well. I think we’ll see that proactive approach continue to grow as employers and recruiters combine great marketing, technology and people to attract and engage top talent, whatever form it takes.

What is your proudest recruitment marketing achievement?
Last year my team won Recruitment Marketing Campaign of the year at the 2018 recruiter awards for a campaign we produced on behalf of our client Shop Direct. It was a real coup as we were up against some seriously strong competition from employer brand agencies who have much bigger budgets and resources compared to our small internal team. So it felt a bit David vs Goliath.

What do you think the future holds for recruitment marketing?
It’s continually evolving and as candidates and consumers become ever more discerning, recruitment is moving from a sales led industry to a sales and marketing led industry. Marketing already has a huge role to play in delivering the talent pipelines our clients rely on. That means our marketing teams are becoming ever more client facing. We are also working closely with our tech colleagues to implement the latest disruptive and emerging tech into our client programs. It’s an exiting time to work in recruitment marketing!

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