The state of Social Media & Search Marketing in the Recruitment Industry
Over the past 12 months the market has been plagued by stories in the media about rising unemployment figures and a lack of jobs to accommodate. Different industries are feeling the hit of the recession in different areas as they begin to develop budget and growth plans for the year ahead.
An area that has come through with no problems at all is SEO; the demand for natural and paid traffic via search engines has increased dramatically as above-the-line advertising continues to be the prime focus. Companies are starting to realise that for a small amount of money the commercial value of online can be more cost effective overall than using the traditional methods of marketing.
So what was 2010 like from a recruitment perspective?
2010 was a good year but this year is forecast to be better. During the first half of 2010 the market saw a rise in junior roles, as agencies acquired a steady increase in business from their clients. As a result they began to grow their teams in order to accommodate their client’s needs as SEO and PPC marketing expanded. Meanwhile, client side roles are increasing across all levels as companies set up their own in-house digital teams in order to develop their online presence.
What will 2011 hold for recruitment?
The start of 2011 has seen search marketing roles taking a back seat to social media. Many of my clients have been asking for more candidates with a social media background as they want to expand their digital and social teams. Everyone wants to be building their social media presence and with the rise in mobile this year, a few are starting to ask for mobile experience as well. The market is fast becoming increasingly competitive as client side and agencies begin the war to find the few experienced people available. Whilst social media demand is increasing I’ve also seen a demand for social media people with analytical backgrounds to identify the ROI from their social media campaigns, as well as community managers. So, with this in mind if you’re not already on the ladder the chances are you’ll fall behind.
What’s happening with all the candidates?
As the industry changes with the demand for candidates with social media and SEO experience and roles being on an all time high, most firms are worried of losing their employees to the next firm and instead are keeping them with competitive salaries, benefits and bonus packages. The salaries of last year compared to now have changed, whilst some firms will pay a generous salary for Natural Search Specialist for £35k with 2-4 years experience the salary will be different over the next 12 months. Agencies are paying different salaries to that of in-house teams where salaries for the same experience are paying up to £40k sometimes higher. A candidate with social media experience is a different matter entirely. If you have little experience in the social media field but know the sector exceptionally well, can blog, tweet the tweet, use online community channels and demonstrate evidence of ROI impact, then salaries differ and firms will pay a good salary whether in-house or agency side.
Where to find these candidates?
It’s a funny question that many are asking at the moment – I find the majority of my candidates through social media channels rather than through job search engines. Most job search engines have been squeezed through to the last drop and normally the best candidates aren’t using those channels to find a new job within the industry. I get more response through tweeting than I do through other more traditional channels. Word-of-mouth seems to attract new candidates from all over; the majority of the people I reach out to interact with the conversation, engage and stay in touch for future opportunities.
If you’re a recruiter what kind are problems have you been facing? In which fields? It would be interesting to see what other recruiters and firms are experiencing not just in the social and digital space but also in other industries too.