Launching a recruitment enterprise isn’t always easy, so we’ve put together a selection of top tips for promoting your college’s new staffing service.
Recruitment has the potential to be a highly competitive industry sector; research from REC’s latest Recruitment Industry Trends report emphasises that there has been a 10% increase in the number of recruitment enterprises1, so it’s even more important to position your services effectively and stand out in a crowded market.
As a college-owned staffing agency, there are a number of desirable attributes already associated with your brand and ethos. Colleges maintain responsibility for upskilling current employees and training new entrants to the workforce. In the last year alone, more than two million people were educated by colleges2, highlighting the importance of their role in the community and status as a trusted supplier in workforce development.
Furthermore, the surplus generated from your staffing agency will be invested back into the college, supporting the provision of education for both today’s workforce and the next generation. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and ethical spending are front of mind for many organisations; a recent study revealed that customers are even willing to spend more to support organisations with a commitment to CSR3, which is a key aspect of your service.
Another unique selling point of your agency is its proximity to the candidate pool and unassailable expertise in education and training. With an onsite office, it’s much easier to access and profile a high volume of eligible candidates for internships, work-based placements and entry-level roles. As a major provider of Further Education, the college will have unrivalled subject knowledge, combined with links to industry, policy makers and assessment boards.
Colleges can be found at the centre of local communities, as such, they harbour contacts for a wide range of organisations for many different purposes. An article published in Harvard Business Review advocates the importance of strengthening existing relationships to increase sales4, which can be expanded to include cross-promotion of other services provided by the college, including those available through your agency.
In the same vein, colleges have an extensive network of employees in faculty and professional services positions who keep in touch with industry professionals and local employers. Through an employee advocacy programme, you can promote your recruitment service to a considerably larger audience, using a freely available and trusted source – your college’s staff5.
Promoting your agency through existing networks doesn’t need to stop there, as your students may also be able to help. Placement advice from Prospects highlights that some students will arrange their own work-based placements, rather than going through a careers department6. In this scenario, your agency can streamline the process by managing the employment contract, payrolling and invoicing. In addition to supporting the placement, you will also have an opportunity to build a relationship with new contacts, who may use your staffing services again in the future.
In summary, there are many benefits for employers who make the decision to use a college-owned staffing service. The main takeaway for recruiters is to remember why their service is different, embed this message into employer communications and amplify their business development efforts with the additional marketing channels and existing relationships FE colleges have to offer.
1REC Recruitment Industry Trends 2017/18
2AOC College Key Facts 2018/19
3Spend Matters: CSR Update: Corporate Social Responsibility Can Lead Customers to Spend More
4Harvard Business Review: To Sell More, Focus on Existing Customers
5Bambu: What Is Employee Advocacy and How Does It Really Work?
6Prospects: Work placements