It may come as a surprise to people outside of the recruitment industry that when I am asked the question, what is the most challenging part of your job, the answer is recruiting great recruiters to work for Aquent, Firebrand and Vitamin T. And I know that for all those leading recruitment businesses — you feel my pain!
It’s often assumed that because we are a recruitment company, we are experts at recruiting anyone and everyone. And that is simply not true. We specialise in placing Digital Talent across Marketing, Creative and Development. So we invest our resources and build our brands in the digital industry, meaning we can access the best people in that space. That’s all we do, and we do it very, very well.
Comparatively, we have historically invested very little in resources to attract the best people in the recruitment industry — the people I need to work for us and provide the high level of service we provide to our clients.
To be blunt, it’s been a constant struggle. Don’t get me wrong, we have made some fantastic hires, and have an exceptional team, but to get here has been far from easy.
I know that for Digital Talent, the days of placing an ad online or in print are gone. To find the right talent — the best talent — we need to be proactive. We need to invest time and we need to invest money to reach them. This is what I tell my clients. And this is what we spend much of our time doing — matching the best people with the best jobs — on behalf of our clients.
Given that hiring people into our business is without doubt our biggest challenge to further success, we realised recently that perhaps it was time, to practise what we preach.
As every good recruiter knows, they could hop jobs at almost any time. They’re approached by competitors or rec-to-recs on an almost daily basis. I know this because my current team, which is brimming with talent, tell me!
So to help us attract the best recruiters in Australia, we decided to take the lead and put our money where our mouth is.
How did we find great recruiters?
We realised we needed a story to tell. We needed to do something different and get cut through. If nothing else, we needed to stand out from the 1,487 and 882 recruitment jobs (at time of publishing) listed on SEEK and LinkedIn respectively.
We needed to create content about us that we could share with the recruitment industry and content that potential recruiters would find interesting and valuable.
To do this, we lifted the lid on what we do, how we do it, our vision, our values, the challenges recruiters face, career opportunities for recruiters and why we are different. And the majority of it we communicated via the people who know it best — our awesome team of recruiters.
We also needed somewhere to house this information for people in the industry to access and that’s how our standalone website Aquent Careers was born.
Since we launched our Aquent Careers website
The uptake of our internal staff sharing our internal recruitment content has increased 10-fold. Our staff feel much more comfortable sharing varied and interesting content about us, compared to just sharing our internal job ads. This in turn has driven a huge amount of traffic to our Aquent Careers website from people who are interested in careers in recruitment — not our usual audience.
Visits to the website have exceeded our wildest expectations and the content is sticky with people visiting over 4 pages per visit and spending an average four minutes on the site — so they are interested. And the ultimate measure — we have already made three new hires into key roles in our business.
Furthermore, an unexpected, and very positive side effect is that having opened the doors to our business; publicly declared our values, our purpose, why we are different, and why we like working here, it has built a sense of pride within our company that further reinforces those values and purpose.To summarise, our Aquent Careers website was a big investment, both financial and in time, but the early signs are nothing but positive. The challenge now comes to keep the content fresh, keep it relevant and maintain a culture of success and reward that retains the great people have now, and hire in the future!