Are you an Employment Services marketer, BDM, JPO? Here are my tips on how to find new employers and vacancies

“The Marketing Mix”. This is a term university students study. I have my own application to employment services which has helped me build a large network of employers. I share below some avenues that I constantly interchange to pick up new clients specific to making DES or JobActive placements and outcomes.

The Cold Call. It is inevitable at some point in your career you will do a cold call. As terrified as I was for the first 6 months of doing this activity, it has been an amazing professional development growth area for me personally to get out there and undertake these. The first one of each “cold call episode” is always the hardest, but it gets easier whilst you build momentum. We love meeting people, right? This a quick and fantastic way to start new relationships.

Drop in to businesses with a quick introduction on what your value proposition is. Mention “I’m looking for new business”. Keep your spiel to about 15 seconds, leave a business card, and pick up one from them. Move on to the next one if it goes bad, or just laugh it off – this is business and we need to spend our precious time with good employers. I like to do this alone, or with one colleague. I’ve known some fantastic people that have had great results taking one job seeker out with them to promote that particular individual. I’ve seen people do it successfully – whatever works for you, as the idea here is “getting out there face-to-face” and engaging with the business community. Personally, I have found that businesses will be less inclined to open up about their “pains” of recruitment or past use of a provider if a participant of that program is standing there. They will most likely be polite but ultimately dismissive and you may lose an opportunity. Some of the longest employer relationships I have built, and most successful outcomes, started from a genuine conversation about “how bad you mob are”.

Always follow up with a personalised email no more than 24 hours after. Mix it up with phone cold calls and in person, but the latter has been much more successful for me as it is important to read your audience and their non-verbal communication to adjust your approach and finding common ground.

Network locally. There is good and bad networking. From my experience good networking is structured, requires discipline and you are the only one of you in the room. Don’t get stuck with the person sitting next to you, move about the room and have a unique conversation with multiple people, trying always to obtain business cards to you can follow up with an invite to have a coffee later to learn about their business. Key message: I want to learn about your business.

Industry Groups. What is an industry group? I remember when I started out as a marketer I was told to connect myself with industry groups. I never really knew what it meant. Think about where you’ve made placements – e.g. at a waste disposal and recycling yard. Ask that employer if he and a group of other businesses (maybe customers or other recyclers/government?) meet regularly to discuss “recycling issues”. Ask if you can come along some time and maybe give a 10 minute presentation. I have a client that manufactures plastic pots and supplies to the nursery industry. I spoke to him about where he engages with his customers, and he told me a monthly nursery industry meeting. He invited me to be a guest speaker on how I can help other businesses like his.

Use social media to your advantage. This can drive attention your way and give you an avenue to communicate your message to key people, who hopefully can be your unofficial sales staff or referral partners.

Keep an eye out for job advertisements. The idea here is not just to refer your candidates in amongst the 100 others. You should only refer to job ads after you called the advertiser up and ask to meet with them in person, and seen their business. This way you can do your due diligence on their business (with subtlety) and also explain your point of difference to standard job advertisements (e.g. wage subsidies, ongoing support etc). PS the person will find it a lot harder to “go MIA” if they’ve build a relationship in person with you.

Had a successful placement and happy employer? Ask them for some trusted people in their network who may be interested – ask for names of neighbours. And, as mentioned, check for any networking or industries groups that you may be able to present at as a guest speaker.

So with all that said, it seems like a lot of work to find a new employer and placement. Some occasions you may pick up a job and new client on the first cold call, other times it may take a week of pipeline activity as outlined above. However, an important point to note is that in the lifecycle as a marketer, the easiest way to pick up vacancies is through repeat business. Look after your employers, give them an efficient service, refer only suitably matched candidates, provide timely administrative support and of course ongoing post placement support. We will look at promoting repeat business in our next article.

Thanks for reading!

“Find staff for free!”

The old employment services catch line designed to appeal to businesses looking at hiring employees. This line is repeated nationwide by individuals from various organisations promoting the Disability Employment Services and JobActive federal government programs that assist unemployed persons to find jobs. Depending on the organisations, such personnel may have titles like Business Development Managers, Marketers, Job Placement Officers, or Employment Advisors.

With multiple organisations operating under the same contract, how does one person ” ͞finding staff for free͟” stand out from the next and get that repeat business?

There are a number of ways which come down to different stages of the overall process of listening to your client’s needs, finding the appropriate staff member, providing the administrative support to set up the employment, providing support during the employment, and allowing access to incentives for the employer. Lets break it down;

– Understanding business

Make it your mission to get in the head of a business owner and invest your time (but not at your employer’s expense) learning about what is involved with starting, managing, and succeeding in a company. Starting in the industry after coming from a government job I had absolutely no idea what business was all about, so every day I made it my interest to learn something (which 5 years later continues to this day). Helping a business find staff requires you to understand that employer’s business, which in turn helps you learn so this is a fantastic method of gathering business knowledge. Moreover, to understand what it is like to own a business means you will be able to talk on the same level as your client and genuinely understand the nuances, pains, gains and ͞utopia͟ that is strived for in business which finding the right staff is a core ingredient. This will guide you in finding a solution but will also build goodwill with your employer.

– Listening to your client’s needs

What does the employer need of their new staff? I still remember the first vacancy I ever received from now one of my oldest and best yielding clients. We all know how exciting it is to receive a vacancy from a new employer that has a lot of potential for future ongoing business – so I posted this job out excitedly. I was referred a stream 4 jobseeker that had recently fallen out of work because, to put it lightly, they were not “job-ready”. I understood for star-ratings I was being pushed to refer this person, and only this person, to my vacancy. Putting this person forward was not listening to my client’s needs. Referring this jobseeker may get a short-term and one-off only result. Better still, the longer-term benefits of keeping that employer relationship alive would bring a far greater yield of placements/outcomes for the agency and more importantly, jobs for people who need them! The point I’m trying to make is that you need to deliver according to your brief otherwise it will cost your jobseekers opportunities for jobs. Take a bigger-picture view!

– Providing administrative support

This comes back to simple, clean and structured assistance with paperwork. Sending up-to-date resumes to the employer is where it starts. Upon commencement on the same day the employer should have a wage subsidy agreement signed, co-signed by the provider, and confirmation that it has been lodged on the system. They should also be advised that every couple of weeks payment summaries will be required as evidence of employment. Finally, send them calendar invites for the date their subsidy is due. Simple? Absolutely. Don’t get whisked away by your next placement without tidying up the one you just made. If you miss the subsidy agreement you’re in trouble – either by the employer or by your manager paying off bottom line. Not doing this properly again could cost you repeat business, and your jobseekers future jobs.

– Providing support during the employment

Take a real interest that your placement is working out and do everything you can to make it work. If things go wrong, the result will be less important than the employer seeing that you do your bit and trying. Upon start date is a prime-time to introduce support workers/employment consultants to the employer. The more eyes, ears, and arms supporting this role the better chance of a great outcome.

– Allowing access to incentives for the employer

Putting on staff comes down to profit and loss. A staff member that does not work out is a big blow to take for an employer, but it hurts less if there is some kickback available to assist with all the start up costs like training. Employment Services is about helping people that need a bit of extra help. A wage subsidy is something that is a point of difference in our niche recruitment industry so use it to your advantage. Some people have a more conservative view on using wage subsidies so I thought I’d mention that of 400 plus employers I’ve recruited for, not one is “just after the wage subsidy”. Employers want superstar employees, not wage subsidies, but if they’re available that is a bonus!

– Delivering on expectation

This comes down to being sharp on doing what you say you do. Turn up on time, get subsidies paid, don’t say you’ll pay for a forklift ticket when you can’t, send resumes like you said you would, help if things go messy, and only offer what you can definitely offer!

And remember, sometimes when you’re dealing with people you may get a poor result but if you do all the other parts well you will hopefully have enough goodwill to come out squeaky clean!

Josh Smith