Lead generation for recruiters was once such a straight forward thing that one needs not ask too much questions.

It was as obvious and simple as picking up the phone and placing a call to one or two close networks.

With the emergence of networking communities like LinkedIn, things changed a bit, as it was a bit closer to connect with ideal clients and also clients. Such tools as the sales navigator made it (and still does) a little easier to narrow down on the target audience profile.

But things have changed and so have humans too. People are getting fed up with series of unsolicited messages from those hunting for clients.

A huge database of phone numbers, and well edited sales scripts are no longer as magical as they use to be.

Though I am not totally trying to discredit the efficacy of the old methods of getting new businesses such as cold calling, email blasts (which I sometimes call email spam), and face-to-face networking, they appear to be waning out, and people are in search of new ways.

Even at that, recruiters are still bombarded with 100+ messages a week, by people offering B2B sales leads help.

B2B leads for recruiters

So is there no lead generation strategy for recruiters that could yield better leads, so they could make more of only those appointments they like?

Surprisingly, there are.

And in this article, it is my purpose to share with you, some of the best strategies for lead generation, that all staffing and recruiting agencies will find not just profitable at the end, but will allow them the peace of mind, as many of these can be automated.

Sounds good?


I will classify the tools into paid advertising, SEO, email and social marketing. By paid advertising, I don’t mean that the other tools and/or strategies are free, so to say, the simplest explanation is that some of them do not require you to pay any third party platform to have your message displayed.

We will discuss all these in detail. If you are ready, let’s get started.

Lead Generation for Recruiters Through Paid Advertising

If you are looking to attract “Ready to Call” clients, Google Ads is your best bet. With this particular tool, you are sure of getting not just those who are already considering buying the services of a recruiting firm, but you will pay only when they click on the link to your website.

Google Ads for recruiters work

Those these people are directly interested in hiring a recruiter, your success rate will be dependent on how detailed you were able to go with your targeting.

Ad space for recruitment agencies can be pretty competitive most times, sometimes resulting to $10 per link click or even $15, depending on how much your competitors are ready to pour into acquiring leads from the same key phrases.

To make it profitable for you, you need more than just your ad copy, as you, if you are buying an ad space on a newspaper or industry magazine for instance.

To run a profitable campaign that generate leads, you need to have a well researched and highly optimized set of keywords, a well written and copies and good landing pages.

What I see some staffing agencies (or maybe agencies in charge of their online advertisements) do sometimes is to drive traffic to a very poor web pages.

It’s very wrong. There are two things you could do. My very best is to design a separate landing page for every campaign you are running. The second option is to do some work on the web page you intend to send people to before sending them to it.

Google Ads is very fast in yielding results, and Google itself sometimes encourage people to set up a campaign on their own, but I seriously recommend you get a professional when you are ready to run a campaign, as the beauty is in the details.

It has some pros and cons.


  • With Google Ads one can target people based on the very moment they are in search modeBe assured that you only display ads to people that have a high buying intent.
  • You can also customize your ad to the exact thing someone is searching for. This will not only increase the odd of your link being clicked, by will save you a good sum of dollars. If for instance someone searches for “New York IT Recruiter”, you can swap their search query into an ad headline so that the ad reads something like “New York IT recruiter – Recruit African Talents.”
  • You can further use the geo-targeting feature to select countries or cities where you want clients to find you from.


  • In the wrong hands, Google Ads will become the rat that is biting your feet and blowing air on it at the same time. Be careful of the Google’s default settings, as it will cause you to blow through hundreds or thousands of dollars before you figure out what you’re doing wrong.
  • The CPC may sometimes be very high depending on industry and how much others are willing to spend for same space.

In the hands of a good craftsman, banner ads is an effective means to reach the decision-makers for those firms for whom you want to recruit. When used judiciously, they can be a highly effective means of targeting the decision-makers at firms for which you want to recruit.

Banner ads is great for lead generation for recruiters

However, much like other forms of paid advertisings, they have their drawbacks.

Banners ads are some forms of advertising, and people treat them as they do other advertising. So people have developed ad blindness, a term referring to the state where people ignore ads prior to even focusing their attention on them.

It is not also very easy to go deep in targeting the desired demographic, during a banner ad campaign.

To succeed with it, you have to think very deep about the people you are trying to reach to come up with the targeting metrics to deploy. It’s a banner ad, so the more creative you get, they better chance of people taking note of it, and taking the next step.

Banner ad has its own pros and cons. Let’s look at them.


  • Done well, it can be a cheap way to try your hands on paid advertising, if you a first-timer.
  • They good thing with it is that you don’t have to waste resources pursuing people that may not even need you or your services. With banner ad, you can target people in a specific industry by placing ads in industry-specific magazines and blogs. For example, an IT recruiter that wants to get in touch with decision-makers could advertise in publications such as the San Franciso/New York based Wired Magazine, the Boston Ars Technica, the San Francisco Techmeme, among a host of others.


  • Your ad will end up being shown to irrelevant audiences if you are using a display network such as the Google Display Network, if you fail to get your targeting criteria right.
  • Ad blockers such as AdBlock are an enemy you would have to conquer or endure. They are so prevalent that some people will never see your ads, regardless of the ad platform you use.

Social Media Advertising

There is a good reason why facebook advertising is as popular as we see it these days. The reason cannot be very far fetched.

A channel such as facebook remains the biggest network of people in the whole world. Facebook houses [number of users] and records [number of visits] a day.

LinkedIn is what it is – a professional network. So when it’s time for serious business, it’s time for LinkedIn.

In addition, the ability to target your audience directly in their feed based on precise demographic criteria is a handy tool in the advertiser’s arsenal.

While each platform offers slightly different targeting preferences based on the demographic data they have available, LinkedIn is the obvious choice for recruiters trying to find new clients or candidates.

IMages of New York and LinkedIn Ads

Image of LinkedIn ad targeting IT decision makers

In the example above, we can see how we can successful target IT Decision makers within New York and reach 26, ooo – 150, 000 of them with an ad that is personalized to them.

Facebook too has a very awesome targeting feature that can be leverage. We can drill the targeting down to the very location where the target audience populate. It can further be narrowed down within miles.

Facebook ad targeting IT audience in New York

However, much like AdWords, social media advertising for recruitment lead generation has its challenges.

Nothing good comes easy, same targeting features can make it difficult to get in front of a potential new client or candidate at the exact moment when they actually care about the recruiting service you’re offering.

Some of the success factors here are creating an ad campaign that is so compelling that they can’t be ignored, getting very deep on the targeting, and setting up a funnel system that will first warm up the leads before the actual offer is given to them.

That could be easier said than done…

Like Google Ads above, this too has its own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at few.


  • Its detailed targeting through demographic and interest allows you to hone in on your specific audience with relative ease. You can even use retargeting to get the people who expressed some interest in your brand to come back to your site. This is done by simply planting a code, to track their activities. This ensures no resources is wasted along the line.
  • With Facebook data, you can dig really deep than you might have imagined. You can target people down to the last details they never knew they left on Facebook, if you get creative enough.


  • One challenge with facebook is not being able to deliver those ads in front of the people in charge of hiring, at the exact moment they have the need to hire talents.
  • A successful facebook campaign does not just happen. It needing some refining and constant touch here and there. That means if you don’t have much to spend, it could be difficult a decision to make, to spend $25-$100 per day on an ad campaign.

Lead Generation for Recruiters Through Non-Paid Advertising

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of optimising a web site so as to achieve preferred ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs). It has to do with making your website as fully perfect and functional so that when someone search for what you offer, you will appear on the search engine pages.

If you can achieve your objectives, which should include appearing high on page 1 for major keywords, with this lead generation tactic, you are pretty much set as you watch Google funnel free traffic to your site on a daily basis.

Guess who gets a lot of search traffic in the African developers recruiting market?

Image for hire developers in Africa
So what’s the catch?

Getting your site ranked for the important keywords doesn’t happen over night or even weeks.
You would have to make a definitely large upfront commitment in time or money and most times, both.

If you are ready to embark on this journey proven to generate leads for recruiters, there are two aspects you should pay attention to:

On-page SEO

The short explanation to this key aspect is that it has to do with optimizing the structure and content of each pages of your website maximize search traffic.
There’s great news here. You can execute on-page SEO on your own as part of a recruitment lead generation strategy.

To help you get started, you should checkout Backlinko’s on-page SEO guide. It’s a great resource.

Off-page SEO

Simply put, off-page SEO means getting other sites to link to your site. Another name for it is link-building.
Even while you wait for people to give you a natural link for such good content that you might have, you can take it a bit further by engaging on some deliberate link-building activites.

These can include guest posting on other sites, asking influencers to share your content and even paying bloggers to write about your agency.

Like others, it has its own pros and cons too. Let’s look at them.

• It’s a way to achieve a timeless success on bringing traffic to your website. Once you start getting rankings, traffic will keep coming to your site naturally.

• When a potential client finds you via search, it says a lot about how serious you take your business. If you pay attention to your business, you will pay attention to theirs.

• If you have a WordPress site (which I encourage you do), the Yoast SEO plugin provides a handy on-page SEO checklist for every page and post on your site.

It can take quite a lot of time to begin to see success with search engine optimization. If you have some old blog posts that you wrote without a clear search traffic intent in mind, you would still need to go back to them to put them in shape.

Getting good natural link to your site is costly, either in time or money.

If you want to write guest posts for other sites that link back to you, you will need to come up with many blog posts ideas and then either write the posts yourself or pay someone to do it.

If you want to generate content that is so good that a large number of other sites will link directly to it, you can expect to spend at least 50 hours or $1000 per piece of content.

Email Marketing

With a large database of email list, email marketing is one of the recruitment lead generation tactic that I recommend as it is guaranteed to get your message in front of your audience.

However, you must remember two facts:

One, when I talk about email marketing, I am not referring to email blasting. They are two different things. I don’t buy into the idea of buying a huge list from a vendor and spamming the last breath out of the recipients.

Build your own fresh lists, and nurture them to a loving audience who would always look forward to receiving your emails.

That leads us to the second point. People delete most emails they subscribe to without opening them, so eye-catching subject and engaging content is what investing on if you expect your subscribers to get excited when they receive notifications of your emails.

This too has its own pros and cons.

• People value free things when valuable, and email marketing is one of those when done right.
• It doesn’t require much time once you find what works for your audience and have built your list to a good number of subscribers. Within an hour, you can send your newsletter to thousands.

• If you have a large list, free email marketing is a bit more tricky. Mailchimp allows up to 2000 free subscribers, and some other tools like Active Campaign and Getresponse would require some financial investment to build same number of subscribers.
• With a large list in your database, it may become more time-consuming to send out more personalized emails through segmentation. And when you try to save time by sending out a single email to the entire list, you may not see the same level of positive results.

Social Media

Social media marketing is the process of publishing content on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and sometimes Instagram to reach your target audience.

It can be significantly challenging to turn social media into a legitimate lead generation tool.

Some of these challenges may include a declining organic reach, the difficulty of finding an audience that cares about what you’re posting and the time-consuming nature of sharing content.

Though there’s not much you can do about the organic reach problem, you can save yourself a good bunch of time by automating your social media activity.

This too has its own pros and cons. Let’s look at them.

• If you can figure out how to build a large following, you have a free source of traffic on your hand.
• LinkedIn is a natural social media platform for recruiters so it makes sense to spend some time on the site regardless of your primary marketing approach.

• Publishing content to the 1000 people who have liked your page on Facebook but knowing that it will only be seen by 50 of them can be discouraging – and the problem is only likely to get worse as organic reach continues to decline.
• Many people don’t like to mix work and leisure and won’t read content that relates to their job while they are browsing social media for pleasure.

The Takeaway

There’s high chance that as a recruiter, you are probably not used to marketing your business online as you’ve been relying much on direct sales tactics like cold calling and face to face networking. But there is definitely room to expand your horizons and try out various lead generation tactics for recruiters.

I also highly recommend that just before you invest much into any of these alternatives, you should endeavour to choose the channel that makes the most sense for your business, as all businesses are not the same.

If you need help with making a better decision, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call me on 08126569950 or send a message online.