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Recruitment is black and white

Neal Rawlinson, head of marketing at Novo UK


Having often been quoted down the local referring to marketing within the recruitment industry being about as spicy as a Jacobs Cream Cracker, it begs the question why do I bother marketing in this space?  Recruitment as a concept is pretty straightforward. Speak with the client. Speak with a candidate. Match one with the other. It is fairly black and white in that respect. 


Therefore, the only thing that can separate one recruitment business from another is the way that recruitment is delivered. Specifically speaking, through the ethos of the business and how they believe the work should be carried out. This encompasses the way in which consultants interact/engage with both clients and candidates, and ultimately the quality of service that is then delivered.


Herein lies the answer as to why I want to be marketing within the recruitment industry.


In recruitment we have a business process that truthfully has a minimal separation between every company in the industry and therefore it is the ethos, the culture and the people that are the differentiator. We have a level playing field and it’s the brand/culture that is the variance. If you didn’t just get excited, then you’re not a true marketer. Sorry to break that news to you.


This knowledge from our research already helped us define a brand message that wasn’t being echoed within the industry. When it came to representing this through Novo, we wanted to highlight the very distinct approach they have to recruitment, using the concept of recruitment being black and white with the suggestion that when Novo are involved, they add a bit of colour.


Sadly, honesty and humility are concepts not often associated with recruitment agencies. So, we also wanted to demonstrate these attributes held within Novo through our tone of voice. Odd to tell a client we might not fill the job, but unfortunately it is more common to overpromise and under deliver when reading the content blemished across recruitment websites. Prime time for me to address the recruiters reading this. If you have the terminology bespoke, tailored and/or unique slapped across the website, please do us all the favour of writing some creative content to replace it as weirdly you’re none of the above (trust me, our research confirmed this).  


So, if personality is, in essence, the colour we are adding to a mundane industry, we needed to introduce the transparency with our market. Now for those unaware, agencies can be slightly reluctant to open the doors too much for a number of reasons. Be it the chance of competition stealing a staff member, the market seeing the truth about the employees in the company, the reality that the staff may not last longer than a month so it’s too much effort to put the time into building a profile, the list goes on. 


We built the most personable profile page aimed to be more informative than the Facebook pages the employees set up years ago. Luckily for me, Novo weren't afraid to have everyone on show! Having worked with a few recruitment agencies I won’t sugar coat it, that took some balls from the directors. The reality is every person in the world of Novo reflects the same values in their own weird but wonderful way. Not so ballsy when you know that. (sorry guys)


Gary, one of the directors of Novo, recently said in an article that ‘Recruitment needs to recognise the fact that service levels and customer relationships should be the primary barometer of success’. In an industry where relationships are literally the backbone of the business, is it time we demanded more from other recruitment agencies in terms of service level, openness and clarity to what they stand for? I mean, it’s the people behind the logo that brings life to what could actually be an industry as dull as a wet weekend in Wigan. 


Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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