Archive for May, 2010

Recruitment Marketing – what’s in a name?


As an agency, we straddle both sides of marketing communications – brand/product and recruitment. From this viewpoint, it’s interesting to see how one side gets all caught up in what it wants to be, while the other simply does what it needs to do.

Brand/Product marketing does just that – be it online, in print, on TV, around social media. One simple ‘definition’ to describe how it promotes the services/business/product to capture the audience/market.

Pretty much what Recruitment marketing should do really. But somehow the Recruitment comms industry seems more concerned on trying to label itself to be different for difference’s sake. To give itself an importance. A USP.

Recruitment Advertising begat Recruitment Marketing begat Employer Branding (at which point we even fell into the trap with Employer Personality) begat many more terms today – Employee Engagement (more suited to describe Internal Comms but being bandied around, confusingly, to encompass recruitment now), Employer Brand Engagement, Social Recruiting, Employer Reputation and no doubt a couple more in the time it took to write, and read, this.

After (what is it now over 15 years?) since the term Employer Branding came into the world – there are still debates now about what it means and stands for. Not forgetting those forever raging over how, what and why you need to to create and embrace it. This itch to keep ‘re-badging’ doesn’t help. It might seem like it needs to evolve but it’s never settled for what it is. The buzz-words don’t really create any USP for a Recruitment Comms agency because half the clients don’t understand what they mean. All it does create is confusion.

Is that why many in HR (and some so-called experts in the recruitment field) still can’t agree on what it takes to make a great employer brand or how much value it adds to the business (and the recruitment process)?

We are 12 (and how Recruitment Comms have changed)

rocking-panda 2

Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday dear andsome (nee and advertising), Happy Birthday to you.

Yes, it’s been 12 years since the two of us (Manda and Mark) set up the business in a small, serviced office overlooking the Thames with a PC, a Mac, a scanner, a printer and one recruitment consultancy as a client.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed working with some wonderful people (and some not so great), won the odd 60+ awards or so and, most importantly, produced some very nice (as Manda would say) work that’s…worked.

So here in honour of our becoming 12, are twelve factors that have changed in Recruitment over those years (in no particular order):

Social Media

Nuff said. (To quote Marvel Comics.)


First it was just digital departments in Recruitment Ad agencies. Now it is the agency in many cases. Slightly blinkered outlook in our opinion.


Proving  to be more of an influence on the business – but only by those brave enough to be counted and champion recruitment creativity in all its forms (and not just by its agencies).

Employer Branding

Came and went. Came again. And is still struggling to be understood in some quarters it seems. (Another blog to come on that later.)


The borderstyle job ad. Ubiquitous in 98 now dead in 2010 (finally). Struggling due to below.


Made everyone (clients and agencies) rethink what should have been re-thought years ago.


See above. Not everyone liked the affects. See below.


Many have gone. A few have been born. Unfortunately Dinosaur-thinking still leads the many.


A dying art. Many bemoan the first on this list as the main reason. We see all aspects as part of the challenge.

Candidate Experience

Increased in importance. For clients it always was. For agencies it’s a valuable income area. We’ve always seen it as common sense.


Having introduced this category into the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards a few years ago, we blame ourselves. Now every industry-first is seen as innovation – whether it’s relevant or not, effective or not. That’s not quite what we had in mind.


The world now moves faster. But creating effective strategies and campaigns hasn’t. They still need the time to be developed fully in our opinion.

Feel free to add more below.