Having partnered with hundreds of recruiting firms representing a broad spectrum of industries and services, we understand that each firm has its own unique blend of expertise and audience. We have also found, however, that firms that share a similar focus or service often develop similar misconceptions regarding their web presence. One recurring question we field is from staffing firms dealing exclusively in retained services. “We’re not candidate focused, so do we really need a retained search website?” The thinking behind this particular question does reach a larger portion of our clientele who see recruiting websites as simply a place for candidates to search jobs and submit résumés. While such a misplaced notion can be held by a variety of companies, we’d like to focus on those firms focusing on retained search and remind them why a retained search website can be vital to their business.
Our clients dealing exclusively in retained searches are often partnered with strong, established companies who are in need of executive-level talent. They understand the value of recruiting services, so much so in fact that they are willing to invest in acquiring said services. What they want to know is that their investment is a sound decision, and a lackluster recruiting search website can give the impression to potential clients that you lack the professionalism needed to attract the talent they need. Professionals attract professionals, and everything from the way we speak to the clothes we wear serve as an embodiment of our professionalism. Your website is no different. It is the façade of your professionalism, and it could very well reflect on the candidates you present, if you’re even given the opportunity to do so.
To go back to our introduction, some firms fail to see the value in a retained search website because they believe a recruiting website only exists to serve candidates, and they are solely client focused. This is a fallacious perspective. The primary function of a majority of the recruiting websites we design is to engage clientele, or at the least, supplement your engagement. If a client finds you via online, your website is your first (and quite possibly last) opportunity to interact with them. But even if you engage clients through your own efforts, it is highly likely they will turn to your website to conduct a more thorough research of your firm and its services. If they are conducting this site on a mobile device, is your website mobile responsive? Is it professional and inviting, or is it difficult to navigate? A quality retained search website will not only encourage engagement, but it will make it easy so that your potential clients will no longer see the need to conduct further research with competing staffing firms.
Look at the websites of the companies with whom you partner or would like to partner. Your site should be on par with the best site you see. Clients often measure their success by their own metrics but also by the companies with whom they do business. Your retained search website should reflect the quality and professionalism your clients see in themselves. Being reflective also encompasses all the things we’ve already discussed. Your website reflects the professionalism with which you approach searches. Your retained search website also reflects the level of engagement clients can expect from your firm.
The most successful retained search firms offer unparalleled attention and service, as well as unique expertise and specialization. The recruiting search website should be indicative of all these things. In an industry where many clients may rarely if ever see your brick-and-mortar office or even your face, your retained search website often serves as the emblem of your professional identity. Ultimately, the level of attention you give to your website could very well send the message to potential clients about the level of attention you are prepared to give them.