The Difference Between Success Or Failure In Recruitment Marketing

By Rick Maré, Founder & CEO, JXT    Connect with Rick on LinkedIn >>>

I love high-performance motor cars. There’s just something irresistible about the rev of the engine, the feel of turning a tight corner and the thrill of all of that power under the hood. If you ever get a chance to drive a high-performance automobile on a race-track, I encourage you to try it. It’s exhilarating.

In fact, I have come to see high-performance automobiles as the best combination of science, art and vision. It takes a team of experts with a lot of passion and innovative thinking to design and build a motor car that thrills drivers.

The science involves the engine, the brakes, the suspension and steering systems. The art involves the aesthetics of the exterior and the ergonomics of the interior. Even if a car is fast and agile, if it doesn’t look good, it is diminished.

But the vision, the vision my friends, is a whole other thing altogether. The vision is where the scientist and the artist dream together of the possibilities of what they could create. It is in that dreaming, that envisioning, where something new and wonderful comes to life.

In case you were wondering what this has to do with digital marketing, let me explain. Every day, thousands of recruitment professionals around the globe wake up, go to work and get behind the wheel of their digital marketing platform.

They probably don’t call it a digital marketing platform or think of it that way. But any set of systems and technologies you use to accomplish the goal of attracting clients and candidates in the digital space is, in fact, your digital marketing platform.

Herein lies the problem. Most of those platforms are not high-performance. Most platforms do not thrill and do not inspire. The source of the under-performance is a lack of visioning – not understanding that all of the necessary components must work together to achieve high-performance. The science and the art of these disjointed digital marketing platforms have not come together around a vision, a clear picture, of what digital marketing can and must achieve.

The root cause of these issues is a lack of understanding about one key concept – digital is now an ecosystem. Until you get this right, you will always be at a disadvantage. Your position in the race will always be less than it could be. Let me show you how to change this.







What would you think of a race car driver who showed up at the track with an automobile that has no steering wheel? Is that driver likely to win or crash? What would you think if that automobile had no brakes or a suspension system that was not strong enough to hold the weight of the car? This seems almost silly, doesn’t it?

Yet, every day, recruiters try to win with digital marketing platforms that are missing key components. It’s like they’re trying to drive a car that wasn’t built right in the first place. Why does this happen? It happens because recruiters don’t know what their digital marketing platform should include. Don’t worry. You’re not the only one who is learning these lessons.

We all know the basic systems that are supposed to be included in an automobile. We all know, for instance, that a car will not move without tires. We know this because the internal combustion engine and cars have been around for over 100 years now. We’ve seen how they’re supposed to work. We are familiar with them. We’ve driven them. We’ve even maintained them.

But when it comes to digital marketing, we face two challenges. First, digital marketing is new. We haven’t driven many of these platforms and it’s not entirely intuitive what they should include. We have a sense of what the aesthetics should look like. But it is very vague to most of us what should be under the hood, so to speak.

The second issue is even more challenging. Digital technologies, and thus digital marketing, are changing at a rate of speed that is unlike any other technological innovation in human history. It’s nearly mind-boggling. This innovation is being spurred on by an ecosystem of new ideas, start-ups, products and providers who are making break-throughs on a regular basis.

So don’t feel bad if you’re not up to speed on the latest innovations. After all, you’re a recruiter, not a technologist. Let me share an analogy with you that is pertinent to my point.

When the automobile was first invented, a car company would try to build everything – the motor and all of its components, the braking systems, steering wheels and columns, transmissions with their thousands of moving parts and even all of the features of the interior: seats, dashboards, knobs and handles. But over time, this became too much for them and they began to buy parts from specialists. These specialists were really good at doing one or two things. They didn’t try to do everything.

This led to the automobile ecosystem. Most cars built today get their components and parts from a large number of providers. The car manufacturer puts all of these parts together and then markets the car under their brand name. But car manufacturers could not produce their cars without the components from the automobile ecosystem. That ecosystem is critical to their success.

The exact same thing is true today in the digital space. There is an ecosystem of providers and inventors who are building products that are designed to do one or two things. They are best-in-class. But alone, they are incomplete.

One of the biggest mistakes recruiters make today is to buy a component or two from one of these digital providers and then try to go to market with an incomplete system. We see this all the time. This is almost like buying a nice leather seat for a performance car without the car itself. You’ll have a great seat, but you won’t go anywhere. You won’t win.

For you to succeed in digital, you need a digital marketing platform that includes all of the best-in-class components integrated into one system. You need the best of what the digital ecosystem can offer.


I want to get really practical for a moment. When you think of digital marketing, what comes to mind? I’ll bet it’s your website – right? This is what most recruiters picture when thinking of digital marketing. But this may not be as straightforward as it first appears.

I have said for many years that it is no longer adequate to think of your website as simply your face to the industry. This is how most recruiters picture their website. When they think about what they want from their website, they are concerned about the image they project, about their brand identity. That’s a legitimate concern. But that concern is easily addressed.

There are thousands of WordPress templates you can buy today for less than $100 and they look great. Add some images and some text to these templates and you can have a very attractive website in just a few days. Sounds great right? But guess what?

That website will do absolutely nothing to help you pull candidates and clients into a business relationship with your firm. That website will not help you earn revenue. That website is like one of the specialist providers in the automobile ecosystem. It was designed for one purpose only – to look good. In today’s competitive digital landscape that is not nearly enough.

More to the point, a website that merely looks good will miss out on the single greatest opportunity that I believe has ever existed in the recruitment space. At JXT we track the results of companies who engage our digital marketing platform and those who do not engage our platform.

Over time, this is what we’ve seen. Those recruitment organizations who embrace the digital ecosystem and put a digital marketing platform in place to manage that ecosystem realize exponential growth. Recruiters who simply have a good looking website grow very little.

Here’s they key point I want you to understand. Your website is not the totality of the digital ecosystem you need to manage. It’s one very important part of the whole – the most important part. But for you to win in today’s competitive landscape, you need a digital marketing platform that incorporates best-in-class components from key providers in the digital ecosystem.

So how should you think about your website? Here is my answer. Your website is the very heartbeat of your digital ecosystem. It is like the high-performance engine in a race car – if you use it the right way. Your website is what powers everything forward toward the finish line.

If you are using digital marketing effectively, then all roads will lead to your website. It sits at the very centre of your digital universe.


Many recruiters get confused by this question, so I want to address it here. The digital ecosystem is the environment in which digital marketing takes place. A digital marketing platform is the set of tools that you use to manipulate that environment to achieve your business goals. Let me give you some examples.

The digital ecosystem is often comprised of these components:

  1. Your website
  2. Back-end databases, particularly Applicant Tracking Systems
  3. Social media
  4. Mobile computing
  5. Search marketing
  6. Content marketing

Each one of these components will likely include multiple providers and innovation trends. For instance, most recruiters use more than one type of social media platform. The most popular social media platform is LinkedIn. However, LinkedIn is continually upgrading and changing the way their property operates. LinkedIn is constantly innovating.

To be successful in digital marketing, you need a digital marketing platform – a set of tools – that keep up with the changes on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and other channels. But your digital marketing platform also has to stay ahead of trends in each of the other six key areas.


I stated at the outset of this article that to build something amazing, science and art must come together around a vision for what can be created. Nowhere is this more necessary than in a digital marketing platform for recruiters.

The most important part of a digital marketing platform is the vision for what it was designed to do. A great platform melds together the best art and science from the ecosystem of providers to accomplish the two things that matter most to recruiters: attract clients and candidates and give them a great digital experience.

When you go looking for a digital marketing platform, I believe you should be looking for:

  • A single tool that provides features to manage all 6 areas of the digital ecosystem. This improves the productivity of small teams.
  • A system that is flexible enough to incorporate the latest innovations from digital ecosystem providers. This ensures you don’t fall behind the curve and miss opportunities.
  • A tool-set that was designed specifically with recruiters in mind. This ensures your business processes are easily completed with no need for complex coding.
  • A platform that is relatively easy to learn and manage. This ensures that everyone on your team can be a contributor to success.

Based on my 20+ years in the recruitment space, this is what I believe will help recruiters the most.


I covered a lot of ground in this article and I know some of these concepts might still be confusing for you. This is one major reason that I’ve developed an online resource that is designed to help. It’s called 6 Steps To Becoming A Digital Marketing Ninja.

Across these six videos and downloadable tools, I explain a great deal more about the digital ecosystem and how you can manage it much more effectively to accomplish your business goals. If you want to become a digital marketing ninja, I know this free resource will really help.

About the author

Rick Maré is the founder and CEO of JXT, the number one provider of cloud-based digital marketing solutions for recruiters and corporate recruiters. Rick has coached thousands of recruiters, empowering them to take their businesses and careers to the next level. Connect with Rick on LinkedIn.

Share with your friends