PIE Recruitment recently won an award for Best Recruitment Agency Blog. I couldn't resist asking Chloe Whitelock, Marketing Manager at PIE, 5 questions about recruitment and marketing (and the grey area between). Our chat was recorded as a podcast here, and you can read the transcript below.

1. First of all congratulations to you and the rest of the PIE team for recently winning the Best Recruitment Agency Blog. Must feel amazing! Do you have tips for other businesses, on how to create award-winning content?

Thanks, we’re incredibly proud of the whole team here who create this blog & the content, none of whom have had any previous experience in writing blogs or opinion material.  To have this recognised, amongst strong competition & so soon after its inception, is something we’re incredibly chuffed about. 

We’ve found that, particularly with contributors from a recruiting / sales professions, communication of results and visible levels of achievement works well.  It takes commitment, and buy in from all stakeholders, that content marketing is not for it’s own sake, or just a tick on a list from a marketing perspective.  All  need to understand the benefits of having a well written, fully stocked blog, how it can give competitive edge for the company, as well as for their own personal brand.  Numbers and percentages really help if you can invest the time in producing the stats.

2. You’re in a really interesting position as someone who has both been a recruiter, and is now the marketing manager for PIE recruitment – do you think it’s important for marketers to experience first hand what they are marketing?

I had a short stint in very junior marketing at the beginning of my career, and for most of my recruiting career I recruited specialist exec level marketers, so I was used to talking the lingo, but it’s an unusual move to make.

I’m lucky enough to have had the moment & opportunity to do so at a time where things needed to change from a personal perspective.  But I’d obviously be the first one to advise other business owners or Team managers in recruitment, or any other sales led business, to look at this career option for sales people needing a change. 

I’m no expert in marketing yet, I’ve still got a sales / numbers led mind but being allowed the luxury of combining that with some creative flair.

Being in this unusual position, I’m totally aware of, & able to try and solve some of the frustrations I had when consulting. I’m not alone, & have total support & Help from our Operations director and MD.  We’re coming at this from two perspectives of developing a brand that everyone is proud to shout about, and then helping to create vehicles for them to showcase that brand to clients & candidates, and of course prospective employees for PIE, and very importantly, showing the consultants the results.

3. Leading on from that, do you think it’s important for modern recruiters today to be marketers too? 

I’ve always taught my teams that as a 360 recruiter you should be thinking of your desk as your own business, you need to think about all aspects of running that business, think of it like a boutique shop.  Not only are you selling your goods & services & prioritising customer experience, but you need to think about stock, quality, constantly appealing to your market, the finance aspects and of course the marketing. 

As well as the company you represent, It’s as much up to you to you as a recruiter to think about how your business brand is represented, how you shout about what you do and to who, and in today’s market, it’s the digital journey of how people find or recognise your business too.

4.What are your favourite tools of the trade for creating content and/or using social media?

Obviously Passle has made the content blog possible for us.  At the outset of thinking about content marketing, we felt like we had a mountain to climb.  Passle helped us navigate and facilitate this in a much easier way.  They introduced us to several things but google alerts has been a great tool for me that I use every day, delivering the best of the web to my inbox.  Linkedin is clearly one of the runaway winners for many recruiters, it’s a great medium for sharing for us but also for creating Hero content in the form of Pulse when we have something big to say.  We also use Facebook & twitter to make sure we reach as much of an audience as possible.

5. And finally, our theme at Passle this month is ‘Good Habits’, which good habit would you say is absolutely essential for a modern recruiter?

So for this, I’d probably say just make sure you really keep your audience in mind. I think for a recruiter who is used to being led by sales targets on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis, it’s important to think about your wider audience as well, not only the people who are in your market (your current clients, and your current candidates…), but those who may be passing through, and how you can communicate an  awareness of your brand to them on a much wider scale."