Every week, I spend at least a day or two out of the office going to see accountants around the country.

In among all of the coffee, cake and conversations, a common theme is recruitment. More specifically, that finding good people is one of the biggest challenges holding back practice growth.

Why?

Breaking it down, it’s about reaching the right people with your message, articulating your point of difference – why working with you will be good for them, good for their career – and then making sure there is no friction in the process that might prevent them getting in touch.

Reading that back, this is exactly the same set of steps that any good marketing campaign is built on. You can find more of those pearls of wisdom in our complete guide to content marketing for accountants.

PracticeWeb now has 50 sites live on our new Horizon platform with another 20 being built. With that volume of sites in use, we’re beginning to gather a huge amount of data that is already informing future development of the platform.

While trawling through the analytics this week (yes, I am a really fun person to be around) I noticed a standout item: good recruitment pages are driving overall conversion of organic traffic.

That is, they’re more often seeing non-paid, inbound traffic converting to filling out a form, uploading a CV or clicking to send an email.

We have consistently seen figures of conversion up to 4% across these pages. To have four in every hundred visitors getting in touch would be a reasonable response for a paid campaign to dedicated landing page but for organic traffic coming to the site via search, referral or social, it’s astounding.

Case study: TC Group

Leading the charge among our clients is TC Group who went live on the Horizon platform at the start of this year. We’re consistently seeing high levels of conversion across their recruitment pages.

To find out exactly what’s working so well for them, earlier this week, I caught up with Wendy McGarvey who is Head of HR and Recruitment at TC Group.

In the last 12 months, TC group has hired more than 20 new starters at various levels of seniority. Wendy has put in place a cross-channel digital strategy with outreach over both LinkedIn and the major job boards. Job ads are driving people back to the full details on the website which are accompanied by suitable calls to action to apply for the role. We’ve made sure it’s easy for the team to administer the ads and pick up any new applications.

Wendy has put in the hard yards of building up a following on LinkedIn and joining the right groups. This means that when a job is posted, it gets seen. Wendy has found the LinkedIn Recruiter direct message function particularly good for approaching potential senior hires:

“In the last 12 months, we have completed every hire via our website, LinkedIn and job boards and have not paid a single penny in fees to recruiters”

It’s not been an overnight success. The road to cutting out recruiter fees has come from taking the time to build up a network, measuring the performance of each channel in drawing interest towards the site and making sure that once the visitor is there they have every encouragement to take the final step and apply.

A recent survey by human resources body the CIPD found that the median cost for hiring a senior manager/director is £6,000 and for an employee £2,000.

If you’re weighing up the cost-benefit of a new digital platform, we recommend you add recruitment into the mix.

Your website might just pay for itself even before the first new client win has come your way.

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