If you run a legal placement firm devising an accurate recruitment budget plan is one of the most stressful and important responsibilities that you have. As an essential part of your overall operation a recruitment marketing budget must support various recruitment strategies throughout the year that ultimately impact your bottom line.
In today’s challenging business climate coming up with a targeted recruitment plan while recruiting on a budget isn’t easy. Here are five things to consider when budgeting your legal recruiting marketing dollars so that you will enjoy a higher return on investment.
What is a Good Recruiting Marketing Budget for My Business?
In order to continue bringing in new clients while cultivating existing ones, you’ll need to find creative ways to market your business. But how much should you spend in the process? If you aren’t sure maybe it’s time to do a recruitment cost analysis.
According to a recent article at Small Business Trends, the average small business in the US invests a little over 1.0% of their annual revenues in advertising and marketing. Using that one percent figure, for a business with sales of $2 million their marketing spend would be around $20,000.
Furniture stores and other retailers, which rely heavily on foot traffic, top the SBT list at 4.4%. The average death care service provider (i.e. funeral homes and cemeteries) spends just under 2.0% of their annual sales on marketing activities.
If you believe that legal recruiting is more, or less, competitive than selling couches and caskets, you’ll need to adjust your marketing budget accordingly. These are some of the budgetary considerations that should influence your decision:
- Past experiences. What recruitment advertising methods have worked, or haven’t worked, for your agency before?
- Your marketing objectives. What are the preferred forms of media and places to advertise that meet your objectives? What will it cost to drive results there?
- Size and scope of your business. If your agency is a startup with just one recruiter and $200,000 in revenue, you may want to spend 10% of your revenue over the next six months on marketing. Consider it an investment to acquire more business.
- Competitive landscape. Where and how do your competitors advertise and how much will it take to stand out against the competition?
What Should My Marketing Budget Accomplish?
The goal of developing any good marketing strategy is increasing brand awareness so that your team can engage and convert new clients. Sometimes that means coming up with new marketing ideas for recruitment purposes.
To resonate with your intended audience, your targeted recruitment plan must be accompanied by enough market spend to equip your recruiters with the tools they need. As more guaranteed payments from clients filter into your agency, you will sleep better at night.
Here are some of the recruiting aspects that your marketing budget should address:
- Improving your cold call to interview ratios
- Improving your client conversion rates
- Reaching higher level key decision makers (KDMs)
- Increasing the number of inbound client and candidate leads
- Providing your recruiting team with the resources for making more effective calls
- Increasing your candidate placement rates
- Reducing overall recruiting costs as a percentage of total revenues
Common Recruitment Marketing Categories & Expenses
Regardless of how and when you start working on your marketing budget it will help clarify the process by separating your marketing expenses into “one time” and “recurring” categories. For example, you may have one-time expenses like purchasing new equipment or sending your top recruiters to a trade show in Las Vegas.
On the other hand, paying someone to manage your website or leasing a company vehicle are two examples of recurring expenses that will also need to be included in your budget.
When deciding whether or not to infuse more hard-earned cash into your marketing campaign it’s also important to consider these common recruitment marketing expense subcategories:
This may include traditional forms of advertising like professional journal ads, direct mail advertising, TV and radio ads. Examples of online, or “digital”, advertising would be social media, emails, pay-per-click (PPC) ads and more. In 2019, digital ad spending exceeded traditional ad spending for the very first time.
You will also incur printing costs for banners, business cards, brochures, flyers or any other kind of printed materials.
In today’s digital age most of your marketing efforts probably rely on laptops, smartphones, tablets, printers and PCs.
Design and development
This category includes expenses for Web designers, copywriters, digital marketers, graphic artists, video production assistants and other outsourced creative services.
Other Expenses Associated with Recruiting
Unless you’re new to the recruiting game you are fully aware that the cost of running a placement firm fluctuates throughout the year. Your marketing budget needs to also be flexible in order to keep up with those oftentimes unanticipated expenditures.
In addition to those listed above here are some recruiting expenses that also need to be considered when planning your marketing budget:
Paying for access to industry reports, journal articles, and online data bases costs money, especially when you are hiring freelancers to compile or analyze the information for you.
Participating in recruiting activities like trade shows, conferences and on-campus events costs money in the form of registration fees, travel expenses, supplies for your booth, meals, overnight accommodations, etc.
You can’t show up empty-handed at the next trade show or conference, right? To make a lasting impression you’ll need to invest in some promotional “swag” items like pens, T-shirts, USB drives, bags, sunglasses and more.
In addition to paying your own full-time staff you may be asked to pay contract fees to outside suppliers, vendors or staffing temp agencies.
How to Maximize Your Recruitment Marketing Budget
Looking at all these marketing expenses let’s use advertising as an example. So why is digital advertising taking off as spending on traditional media ads drops? The answer lies in three of the most important words any small business – return on investment (ROI).
Digital marketing allows your agency to specifically tailor and target your audience in ways that traditional ads can’t, empowering your brand to reach more people for less money in a shorter amount of time. If your agency recruits nationwide or even globally digital media also gives you the ability to reach broader audiences far and wide for a fraction of the cost of traditional media.
As a recruiting business, here are some of the online marketing tools that will help you maximize your marketing budget and enjoy a higher ROI even as market forces change:
- Content ad marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media advertising
- Display ad marketing
- Search engine marketing (pay-per-click ads)
- SEO optimization
- Preferred/priority placement within web directories such as the Legal Recruiter Directory
As a small business it’s also important to monitor ad campaign performance and key metrics every month. That way you can more quickly identify trends that will help you optimize your marketing budget even further.
Maximize Your Marketing Budget Through the Legal Recruiter Directory
Staying competitive in today’s fast-paced digital world isn’t easy. At Deep Footprint, the agency behind the Legal Recruiter Directory, we specialize in results-driven digital marketing solutions for legal headhunters, law firms and legal placement firms.
Helping those we serve realize higher client engagement and conversion rates is something we excel at every day. The Legal Recruiter Directory also provides online support that helps legal recruiters place talented active or passive attorney candidates with prestigious law firms and corporations so that all parties win. If you’re interested in learning more, contact the experts at the Legal Recruiter today.