Lessons recruitment companies can learn from the retail industry

Published by Bjorn on

Recruitment as an industry is archaic

We haven’t moved on since the olden days. Pre-internet we wrote ads for newspapers, relying on people to read them and write in, post-internet we do the same only via job boards and email.

When comparing ourselves to the more snazzy retail industry it is clear we are worlds apart. But we’re two very different industries that don’t work in the same way, right?


As an industry, the majority of us do a really great job but why are we so slow to catch on? We focus on old hat techniques, typical recruitment and many of us are not using analytics or technology to make our lives easier. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, ey?

In both recruitment and retail there are multiple technologies to improve performance, to reduce admin, to track behaviours and streamline the process. All aimed at improving sales. I’d recommend any recruitment business to go out there and find one or more that will do the same for you- lots of them are free (some links are below).

The Recruitment industry as a whole is massive, some 600 billion pound industry, and yes that is only a fraction of retail, but people will move jobs and they will buy ‘stuff’. Whether they go for one company over another is up to them. Or is it? There is a lot of money that goes into influencing a buyers decision and it’s the same tactics we in the recruitment industry should be using. You need to make sure they pick you but make it look like they made the choice. Be savvy.

This is a company problem, a marketing issue and a sales conundrum. All departments need to work in harmony and data is the driver behind this. Luckily as a result of GDPR most recruitment databases have been reduced to the size of a pea, but a mighty pea at that. These people are engaged with your brand and you have a reason to contact them, providing your content is relevant, they’ll enjoy a read.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a great book by Gary Vaynerchuk, Gary V is a legend if you haven’t heard his podcasts yet, do! Some of the best advice is to stick to the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time talk to your audience. What do they want to read? What life hacks can you give to them? What can you offer them that will add value? Then right hook, 20% of the time you can sell your services.

Do you know who your customer is? Find out what they like and how can you use this to your benefit. Retail companies have so many different routes to encourage us to buy their products including win-back campaigns, engagement and retention schemes. All using technology to dictate when a customer is at what stage of their lifecycle.

Tech is going to be a massive differentiator, the bog boys have started developing this for themselves and soon it will be standard across the industry. Early adopters will beat their competition and reap the benefits.

How can your recruitment company transform?

Links to FREE technology:

  1. Talent Ticker
  2. Hootsuite
  3. Mahiba
  4. Hubspot
  5. Grammarly
  6. IFTTT
  7. Gender decoder
  8. Sales Navigator for Gmail
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