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brand your way out of the summer slowdown_Parqa blog

Brand Credibility Part 3 of 6: Brand Your Way Out of the Summer Slowdown

Branding – it’s largely about staying top-of-mind with your audience. Even though hiring has been roaring back from COVID shutdown levels, we’ll soon be heading into summer: the season most staffing and recruiting agencies back off their advertising campaigns.

But keeping your brand top-of-mind means staying current with broadcasting your brand consistently, even during the downtime – especially during the downtime.

Part 3 of our 6-part series on branding is all about staying top-of-mind. Since summer is nearly upon us, and many of your competitors are checking out for the next 2-3 months as the staffing and recruiting industry typically sees a downtick in activity, this could be your chance to make an essential investment in your brand that will pay off throughout the rest of the year.

Should Staffing and Recruiting Firms Double Down on Branding During the “Off-Season”?

There are many reasons to keep up with your company messaging through the summer. However, two reasons stand above the rest:

  1. Think of staffing and recruiting agencies like track and field athletes. Long-distance runners are made during the off-season. They’re not training for the marathon on the day of the marathon. For this same reason, many companies who spend the off-season laying the groundwork for their brand, and investing in its message, won’t have to spend the rest of the year building the brand. If you invested in your brand during the summer, you could spend the rest of the year running great campaigns that support your brand strategy.
  2. Summer is the season that everyone, especially your competitors, is most likely to take a break. The traffic for messaging, especially for staffing and recruiting agencies, gets quieter. Taking advantage of this downtime could be a critical step in coming out ahead of the game. Those businesses and job seekers who’ve become more familiar with your brand and its message are more likely to partner with your recruiting firm later.

This can be especially advantageous for Q3 when many businesses begin to “panic hire” in preparation for the holiday rush of Q4. When they need to hire talent, they’ll know your name.

Choosing the Correct Brand Strategy for Your Staffing or Recruiting Firm

How much is enough? Should your firm ramp up your content cadence? Or should you maintain your current pace? 

Every staffing and recruiting firm is different and has different goals as a result. Many are trying to focus on keeping current with a very specific target market, while other firms want to broadcast their message to a much larger audience

A good rule of thumb is: the more you invest in your brand now, the more strength it will have later. And this is especially true if that investment is made when there’s less competition.

When considering your marketing budget for Q2/Q3, keep in mind the potential for increased market access. Even a campaign that reaches two or three extra businesses could be just the push a business needs to tip them into establishing a long-term, mutually beneficial employment partnership.

Building Trust: Projecting Reliability When Nobody Else Is

The very best staffing and recruiting firms know how they are not in the business of just filling jobs. They’re in the business of building relationships.

Businesses who take the summer off may not be saying anything explicitly wrong, but their message is clear: “We’re only here for you when it’s convenient for us.” In the world of staffing and recruiting, this can be especially harmful to a brand.

Recruiting firms work so hard to convey reliability and trust, and rightly so. Above all, they want to assure their clients, candidates and stakeholders they can be depended on to solve complex staffing problems and provide custom solutions at a moment’s notice. It’d be a shame to undo all that hard work with a message that is at odds with successful and dependable recruitment.

The Actual Cost of Building a Strong Brand?

We get it. Many staffing and recruiting firms believe building a brand can be expensive. They’re hesitant to spend the extra budget to increase their summertime advertising spend. But this rarely holds water when compared to several much more common business decisions that aren’t guaranteed to pay off. 

For example, why do businesses advertise on billboards? It might seem like an odd question. Billboards are so ubiquitous many businesses don’t actually stop to think about their usefulness. 

Why then would recruiting firms not allocate a similar budget on increasing their online presence? Especially when there are so many ways to measure the ROI of your digital spend. 

Still, many firms may believe they don’t have the budget to increase spending during the summer months. However, at the very least, staffing and recruiting firms should be working hard to maintain their current digital spending to support their values of dependability and reliability.

Brand Your Way Out of the Summer Slowdown

For more information on branding, check out our eBook on Brand strategy, and stay tuned to the next installments in our six-part series on branding. 

You can find the first two installments in brand strategy for staffing and recruiting firms here:

We can help! We believe in lifting up businesses by their brand. If you could use creative solutions to help you brand your way through the summer slowdown, contact Parqa today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Your Brand Values: Authenticity

Nobody has all the answers. In fact, any company who says they’ve got it all figured out is, by their nature, suspect. So it’s not only okay to be open with your struggles; it’s beneficial. Being open about the obstacles your staffing agency faces is just one of the many ways to model the authenticity of your brand. 

Of course, it’s not all struggle that other businesses can identify with. Sharing company milestones, reflecting on interesting articles and industry news – there are so many ways to be genuine and offer a breath of fresh air in the highly commercialized marketplace of staffing and recruiting.

The Follow-Through Living Into Your Company Values

Brand Credibility Part 2 of 6: The Follow-Through: Living Into Your Company Values

In our first blog on brand strategy, we examined why investing in your brand is so critical to staffing and recruiting firms. In this blog, we hope to illustrate how to build credibility and support your brand promise by following through on your company values.

Building Credibility By Living Out Your Values

Imagine a business that needs to fill a position quickly. Out of the several agencies that put forward a candidate, your company’s values could be the main differentiator between you and the competition.

The specific qualities a business would be looking for may vary. But it’s safe to say that every business is looking to work with an agency that reflects the very same values they’re looking for in their employees.

Your Brand Values: Professionalism

Just as businesses are looking for employees who act professionally, they would expect the same from their staffing/recruiting agencies. But that does not mean your agency has to be boring or that you should sterilize your marketing content.

On the contrary – people love a company whose content has a rich voice and personality. Rather, keep a keen eye on how your business is interacting with people on social media.

Some key identifiers for brands that demonstrate professionalism could include following up with questions from job seekers and Glassdoor reviews. Even responding to unfavorable reviews can have an incredibly positive impact on your brand, especially when you’re taking reviews seriously and demonstrating commitment to resolving issues.

Your Brand Values: Honesty

The high level of trust and the importance of lasting, deep relationships in staffing and recruiting illustrates how, for agencies and their talent, honesty is of the utmost importance.

Businesses are counting on you to help them find the perfect candidates. They’re relying on you to be honest about what is best for their company – that should not be taken lightly. Sometimes candidates can exaggerate their skills and experiences. It is up to recruitment consultants to catch those inconsistencies to ensure your candidates aren’t embellishing on their skills or experience. 

Your Brand Values: Adaptability

As staffers and recruiters, you know the unpredictable employment challenges your partners are dealing with. Often their needs for talent can come at a moment’s notice. They need fast, dynamic solutions. If your agency isn’t up to date on the latest technologies or has a rigid way of doing things, what does that say about your ability to quickly provide solutions for an unpredictable and rapidly changing workforce?

The importance of quick communication, fast solutions, high-touch service cannot be overstated. When your agency models adaptability and proficiency with overcoming new challenges, whether that’s in day-to-day communications or your social content, the same can be assumed for your staffing solutions.

Be open with how your company understands and is working with new developments in your industry. It’s even okay to be open about the learning curve for new technologies. It’s the agency that is not only willing but eager to discover new ways of working and providing solutions that are best prepared to offer the same adaptability to their business partners.

Your Brand Values: Reliability

On a macro level, your agency provides employment solutions. But in the larger picture, your agency provides peace of mind. Where once was uncertainty, your service provides order and predictability.

Every staffing and recruiting agency works in different ways and serves different industries. How are you demonstrating reliability? How is your agency demonstrating that you can resolve short-term needs for a long-term partnership?

Again, content is crucial in demonstrating reliability. Regularly publishing content that goes deep to unravel the persistent challenges your clients face is the most effective way to model reliability – coming full circle to reinforcing your brand credibility.

Your Brand Values: Authenticity

Nobody has all the answers. In fact, any company who says they’ve got it all figured out is, by their nature, suspect. So it’s not only okay to be open with your struggles; it’s beneficial. Being open about the obstacles your staffing agency faces is just one of the many ways to model the authenticity of your brand. 

Of course, it’s not all struggle that other businesses can identify with. Sharing company milestones, reflecting on interesting articles and industry news – there are so many ways to be genuine and offer a breath of fresh air in the highly commercialized marketplace of staffing and recruiting.

How Can We Help?

At Parqa, we are big believers in the power of branding. Because we were born in staffing and recruiting, we’ve seen firsthand how a solid investment in branding can have compounding effects that last.

Establishing your brand and building credibility by broadcasting how you’re living into your brand values is a lot of work. We can help! If you’d like to learn more about why we’re so fond of branding and its many benefits for staffing and recruiting firms, contact Parqa today.

Discover the world of branding for staffing and recruiting agencies. Download Parqa’s eBook on brand strategy to learn more.

The Crucial Combination_Brand + Strategy Cover

Brand Messaging

Brand Credibility Part 1 of 6: The Set-Up – Brand Messaging for Staffing and Recruiting Agencies

Want to know the fastest, most sure-fire way to build brand credibility for your staffing/recruiting firm? The formula is simple: 

  1. Invest in your brand identity
  2. Create credibility with follow-through

In this blog, we’ll discuss why building your brand should be seen as an investment. In the next installation in our series, we examine how to create brand credibility by living out the same values your business partners are looking for in their job-seekers and recruits:

  • Professionalism
  • Authenticity
  • Honesty
  • Adaptability
  • Expertise
  • Reliability

By following through on your company values you will then be able to reap the many benefits of solid brand credibility. 

Why Brand Credibility for Staffing and Recruiting is so Important

If your staffing or recruiting agency isn’t building brand credibility that projects the same qualities you’re committed to nurturing in your clients and in your talent, you are missing out.

Brand credibility – especially for staffing and recruiting agencies – is the best way to turn potential clients into actual clients. What’s even better, companies that go all-in on their brand strategy are best positioned to realize the rewards of a fully credible brand for the long term.

Broken brand credibility for a company could be ruinous. At Parqa, we like to compare it to attending a client meeting in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Not only can bad branding repel valuable leads, but in the highly competitive market of staffing and recruiting, where so many other agencies are constantly jostling for a leg-up, an inconsistent brand could relegate your business to obscurity in short order.

Not to mention, the damage caused by an inconsistent brand message can have lasting effects that are very difficult to overcome.

How Inconsistent Branding Can Compromise Credibility

Inconsistent branding might not be something that is clear right away – but sometimes, it’s plain and simple. Here are a few ways you can diagnose whether your staffing or recruiting firm is suffering from an inconsistent brand.

The obvious indicators are things like:

  • Misuse of your company logo
  • Inconsistent color schemes or font hierarchy
  • Different taglines used on your website than in social media content
  • Discrepancies in the tone, voice and personality of your content marketing efforts
  • Inconsistency in the language each of your internal teams uses when talking to clients and candidates

However, in many cases, it’s more a gut feeling or a broken experience. That’s the feeling or question that arises when, for example, a marketing agency that specializes in social media management has no social media presence for itself. Or a search company that focuses in recruiting technology leadership roles, but has a clunky, outdated website.

It might seem like a small thing, but a broken brand experience can carry enough weight to completely dismantle the brand’s credibility. If the agency’s messaging is inconsistent, it would be reasonable to assume that the quality of the agency’s talent would also be lacking.

Do The Work and Brand Credibility Will Follow

Think of building your brand as an investment. Credibility is the payoff.

This is modeled every day in staffing and recruiting. With every job placement, there is a period of investing time and resources to train a new hire and get them up to speed. The idea being, eventually the new hire will catch on and get to work and accomplish great things. The same goes for your brand.

When you put the time and effort into building your brand – intentionally and strategically – eventually your brand will build and retain credibility. It will take a lot less effort to maintain solid brand credibility than to repair the damage caused by a broken brand promise.

The Connection Between Your Brand Promise and Company Values

It’s important to differentiate your brand promise from your company values. A brand promise is more of a statement of who you are, and the services or product you offer. Some good examples of well-known brand promises: 

  • Mcdonald’s: “To provide simple easy enjoyment to every customer visit.”
  • Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
  • Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”

Your company values, on the other hand, are critical to your brand credibility. Your values and the length to which you follow through on those values can either give your brand legs or undercut its credibility. 

Following Through on Your Company Values

If branding is all about telling the world who you are and what you stand for, then following through on your company values completes the message and builds credibility. We believe this is the most effective way to create buy-in among your potential clients, stakeholders and job seekers.

Stay tuned for part two of our series, where we go more in-depth on how to build credibility by investing in your brand and doing the work so that later, your business can enjoy the benefits (and all the leads) of a unique and outstanding brand. 

Discover the world of branding for staffing and recruiting agencies. Download Parqa’s eBook on brand strategy to learn more.

The Crucial Combination_Brand + Strategy Cover

The Importance of Content in Your Staffing Firm’s Marketing Automation Programs

The Importance of Content in Your Staffing Firm’s Marketing Automation Programs

Content is oxygen. Content is the force that breathes life and authenticity into a staffing firm’s marketing strategy. But like any business, streamlining our marketing drumbeat with automated programs can lead to a dependency on a call-to-action. It can be easy to overlook our most powerful tool – content.

We Help Staffing Firms Develop Genuine Content. What’s Yours?

It all begins with content. Come to think of it, it ends with content as well. Here at Parqa, our team of demand-generating experts focus on four rules of developing authentic content:

  1. Avoid being overly promotional
  2. Get vulnerable
  3. Remember your audience
  4. Don’t be afraid to be a maverick

Keeping these four simple steps in mind we focus on developing stories from our industry, and of our candidates that are compelling. We’ve discovered what makes us passionate about our work, whether it’s the people we serve, how our partnerships can empower other staffing firms to achieve great things. This is what motivates us.

We’re not alone. Many staffing firms are also seeing the value in maximizing storytelling to gain leads. But content alone, isn’t going to move the needle. That is why we believe to make content truly effective it should be paired with a savvy automation strategy.

An Effective Equation: Content + Marketing Automation = Deals

Marketing automation is an extremely effective way for staffing firms to show up regularly for their potential audience. Automation can be a great way to plan, build, and maintain vital campaigns. It can reduce unnecessary time wasted on busywork, and maximize the time a sales team could otherwise spend winning clients and closing deals.

The basics of marketing automation can be simplified to 5 quick steps:

  1. Creating great content (see above).
  2. Build your marketing funnel.
  3. Create a clear call-to-action (preferably one that helps your prospects to solve a problem).
  4. Broadcast relevant messages on a timely schedule targeted to your prospects at their various stages of the sales funnel.
  5. Empower your sales team to create a delightful sales experience for your prospects and customers and help them every step of the way.

Once your firm has settled on a content strategy and automation, check your work. Is it working? Are the leads coming in? Just like making pancakes, the first efforts may be a flop. You may need to tweak your technique. (It helps to think of automation as an ongoing, constantly evolving process.)

How Can Parqa Help Your Staffing Firm Build an Effective Content + Automation Program?

At Parqa, we were born in staffing and recruiting, and we’re proud to give back to an industry that has given us so much. It is our goal to create the very best connections that last.

If you like what you hear, we’d love to tell you more. Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you create an automated marketing program with heart.

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