You would think a recruitment agency knows everything there is to know about building relationships with people and establishing a rapport with potential clients.
Many of them do. I’ve seen a few great sites with engaging content and text. They entice the reader to explore further and make it easy to get them to the next stage. You feel good just reading them.
But I’m amazed at the majority of agency sites out there. They virtually push potential clients away with some basic errors in approach to their copy. It’s almost as if they don’t really want to relate to the people they need to work with.
Here are just a few of the clangers I encountered recently:
1. So much ‘Me copy’
Very rarely do you see it on a website these days, so this was why it took me by surprise. A never-ending procession of ‘We…’ this and ‘Our…’ that, without a ‘You’ in sight. A long self-centred list of the company’s features and efficiencies, and not one mention of how a client’s life could be changed, or business’ problems solved. Mystifying.
Showing potential clients how you can help them and solve their problems is one of the key ways to connect with people and attract more business. We all know that – don’t we?
2. Irrelevant profile info
Ten out of ten for adding a personal touch with photos for us to relate to. But do we care about how they spend their free time with football and/or family, enjoy the delights of baking, or work long hours into the night? No.
Potential clients just want to know that staff are expert professionals that can be trusted to do a good job. Give us more about how they many people they have placed into key positions. Or how they helped a company successfully expand its technical staff. Think about positive, pro-active work, not leisure time. We already know all about that ourselves.
3. Complicated options
These people could learn a lot from sites like Autotrader and Gumtree. Every tab on the home page has a drop-down with more options than you could shake a stick at. And on those pages, more options. Visiting the site is the on-line equivalent of exploring the Amazon jungle. The deeper you go, more lost you feel.
They would be doing everyone a favour by finding ways to streamline and simplify the user experience. Use less layers and menu branches, use forms to quickly identify what the user wants and group services under more general headings. Anything to untangle the web, so to speak.
4. Photos of buildings, not people
Talk about being anonymous, or hiding behind a brick frontage with white plastic frames. These are people who don’t want to be approached personally. In fact, it would be a massive pain if someone with a simple question got past the receptionist or answerphone.
I am sure we would all be more efficient if we were robots, but in the end a successful company is as good as its people. Show them off, make a human connection. A great business is not a building, not even one with mirrored glass.
Are these agencies are not being deliberately obtuse?
I hope not. I hope they don’t view people applying for jobs as so desperate that they needn’t bother trying to seem supportive, nor those companies they help with recruitment as simple cash-cows.
Maybe they simply don’t see what they’re doing. Or maybe they are doing so well financially that they feel no need to raise their audience relationship game – in which case, fair enough, that’s their call.
But remember, being nice costs nothing. And if you’re in the business of recruitment – working with people and finding people work – even if you’re already doing well, drawing more people in will only improve your longevity and bottom line.