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!