Pick the Right Recruitment Ad Agency and Get the Most From It

External recruitment marketing companies are not one-size-fits-all. The key to a successful collaboration with an outside agency is finding the right fit for your company and needs. Consider the following three questions when determining whether an agency is the right fit for your company:

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  1. Is it asking you questions? A good agency should seek a firm understanding of your objective and mission. Successfully integrated recruitment efforts don’t just place job descriptions on a job board; they identify methods to reach a target audience where candidates self-select for your position. You possess the corporate knowledge of previous successes and failures, so the agency should reap the benefits of that knowledge. An agency selling you a cookie-cutter approach and not considering your company’s unique benefits is not a worthwhile partner.
  2. Does it really hear you? Relationships truly do matter, and the way the agency listens to you should matter. Can it reiterate your main points after you’ve discussed them and your goals? You want the relationship to be two-sided, so ensure both parties remain open.
  3. Does the proposed strategy accomplish your goals? In today’s environment, efforts must focus on outcomes, not outputs. Simply creating an ad doesn’t guarantee your audience will take action. If an agency doesn’t explain how to evaluate the return on your investment, run in the other direction. Metrics matter — and they’ll matter to your boss.

Six Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Collaboration

  1. Ensure that team members on both sides understand the organizational structure, roles, and processes being used to develop and generate the recommended solutions. Many companies don’t focus on educating the recruitment agency, but an agency should understand what sets you apart so it can educate potential recruits on what makes you the employer of choice.
  2. Let your team (agency and internal) know you’re not outsourcing because someone failed to fulfill his duties. Clearly communicate and ensure expectations are understood. Assure your internal HR and marketing team that by collaborating, they’re not endangering their jobs, but are instead making themselves more valuable to the organization. Having a true partnership requires participation on both sides.
  3. As a team, clearly define the expectations and goals of each project. Always return to those — and the relevant KPIs — to accurately measure progress and program success. Tactics should be secondary to a measurable strategy.
  4. Let your partnership challenge you and your thinking. Always share your industry and corporate knowledge, but listen to their recommendations. What you think you need may not solve the problem.
  5. Remember that design must be a communication tool with a message that creates conversation, not just something that’s attractive or cutting-edge. Aim to reach your audience and call them to action, not to one-up your competition.
  6. Don’t expect immediate results. There needs to be patience from both parties. You may not see a customized strategy immediately.

Jennifer Umali is the CEO of MediaCross, a strategic marketing firm based in St. Louis, Missouri. She has a passion for recruitment marketing and has worked with major federal and local government agencies and corporations to help them craft their messaging to find and retain the best talent. Reach out to her on Twitter @umalijen.


3 Comments on “Pick the Right Recruitment Ad Agency and Get the Most From It

  1. Great article Jennifer, and so true that it’s not one-size-fits-all relationship. My view from the agency side has taught me that clients have differing needs from an agency partner- some may want strategy and collaboration, some may want execution and adherence to a plan already laid out. It helps for both the agency and the client to know thy-selves- what are they really looking for from a partner and how best to get the win-win.

  2. Good stuff, Jennifer. Your three points are spot on (particularly with the ‘run if they don’t have an ROI plan’ idea). With things like mobile and social receiving such huge buzz, advertisers – and agencies for that matter – tend to want to plow into these things without having the expectations and metrics framed correctly. We’ve talked to a lot of companies who’ve ultimately ended up jaded in those efforts. Clear strategy, driven from questions and ROI expectations, is needed now more than ever across every component of a client-agency relationship in order to really drive results.

  3. Jennifer, Great article, timely and very pertinent. Now if we can just get the residents of the HR Ivory Towers to read and absorb perhaps we we do a little to chip away at the resistance to accepting performance and suitability vs our 3 year old (to much work to update!!!!)vendor list.

    Gary Steeds

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