How to Generate Leads in Recruitment – 12 Effective Methods

Lead generation is a massive part of the recruitment industry. Whether you’re building out your candidate base or finding more clients to work with, nurturing enquiries and outreaching potential business partners is an essential aspect of success for an agency. 

Growth Recruits

Lead generation is a massive part of the recruitment industry. Whether you’re building out your candidate base or finding more clients to work with, nurturing enquiries and outreaching potential business partners is an essential aspect of success for an agency. 

This is the third post in the series by our partner Growth Recruits, who share their specialist insight into marketing in the recruitment industry. In this guide, we share advice on many of the best techniques to generate leads in recruitment, helping you to establish your agency and grow your business.

Create Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are one of the best-known methods of lead generation. They involve creating a valuable piece of content or organising an event like a webinar that you know potential clients or candidates are going to be interested in joining.

In order to access this lead magnet, a web user will have to share their contact details. You can then use these contact details to target the user with marketing material, knowing that they will be more likely to convert as they have already expressed interest in what you offer.

We go into more detail about lead magnets such as career guides and webinars in the sections below.

Create Career Guides

When it comes down to content marketing in recruitment, creating career guides is one of the best ways to generate candidate leads. Some of the warmest leads are web users who are actively searching for career information about certain roles or industries, as they’re most likely to be interested in the offer of working with a recruitment agency that can get them into that field.

If your recruitment agency has a blog (and it really should) then you can publish posts focusing on the kinds of roles you usually advertise for, sharing insight into the kind of skills looked for in potential candidates, useful qualifications and experience and the kind of career progression that the reader can expect. Or you can develop this content further and create downloadable guides in PDF form that act as a lead magnet and provide a more comprehensive look into certain career paths.

Make sure that you include a call to action at the end of each piece of career-focused content, encouraging the reader to get in touch to find out more about similar job opportunities.

Engage your Target Audience on Social Media

Social media marketing is a well-established marketing method in the recruitment industry and can be an effective method of generating leads with both clients and candidates. At the very least, your agency should have profiles on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, with platforms such as Instagram and Twitter also being suited to certain businesses in certain industries.

Lead generation through social media is all about starting conversations, increasing engagement and targeting the right kinds of people with specific posts that highlight pain points or showcase the kinds of services that you know your target audience is looking for. Every post should direct the viewer to your website or a contact form, either explicitly or by encouraging them to read more on another platform.

You can also use PPC advertising to generate leads on social media, but we’ll get to this in a moment.

Re-Target Previous Clients and Candidates

One of the biggest tools in your arsenal when it comes to lead generation is your existing bank of previous clients and candidates. Maybe your agency just wasn’t what they were looking for at the time you reached out, or maybe you provided recruitment services for a set time and then paused because of an external reason. Either way, there’s a lot of potential in re-establishing relationships with potential or previous clients and candidates.

Every good recruiter knows that playing the long game is the most effective tactic when it comes to new business. So don’t go in all guns blazing, immediately offering to pick up where you left off. 

Instead, reach out to your list of previous contacts after a month or so of silence, and just ask them how they are doing. Establish whether they might benefit from the help of a recruitment agency, and then suggest how you could help again if they came on as a client or a candidate.

Effective lead generation, with zero new outreach necessary.

Invest in Paid Advertising

If your recruitment agency has the budget for it, investing in paid advertising can be one of the best ways to generate new leads. Instead of having to actively go and get your brand’s name out in front of your target audience, this marketing approach pays a platform to do it for you, whether that’s on a social media platform or through ads that appear on search engines like Google.

You create advertisements that are likely to catch a potential client or candidate’s attention, and they receive targeted messages that increase their likelihood of reaching out and working with your agency.

The great thing about paid advertising is that the platforms that offer it also often provide a lot of data about the success of these advertising campaigns. This means that you can refine your approaches based on what is and isn’t working, increasing your chances of successfully generating and converting new leads.

Host Online Webinars

This approach to recruitment agency lead generation works well for both clients and candidates. If your company offers online webinars sharing valuable advice or insight about a topic that you know your target customers are interested in, it gives you a great opportunity to locate warm leads, establish yourself as an expert and then follow up in a way that leads to organic relationship building.

If you’re trying to grow your candidate pool, consider hosting a webinar sharing advice about writing CVs or cover letters, performing well in job interviews or how to succeed in roles in your target industry. For clients, sharing general insight into recruitment in your specialist industry can be a great way to begin relationships with relevant businesses, as is advising on retaining staff or efficiently conducting interviews.

As well as engaging with webinar participants directly, you can also use the contact information you get from these sessions to follow up with all attendees and share additional lead generation content, knowing that they’re already interested in what you have to offer.

Network in Your Circles

Sometimes, one of the best methods of lead generation is just to network in the circles you already belong to, whether this is through your work in recruitment or outside of it in a social setting. Most recruiters have a variety of contacts in the industry who might know of opportunities that your agency would be perfect for, or you might end up in conversation with someone who belongs to a company that has been looking for an agency to partner with. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know!

Attend Local and Global Events

Large scale recruitment events are known as being a hub of lead generation in the industry. Whether they’re designed to connect agencies with candidates or clients, these kinds of meetups are ideal for making connections with people who are interested in the kinds of services you offer and setting up business relationships to nurture into leads you can convert.

Local events can also be just as useful for recruitment agencies looking for new leads, especially if you work in an industry that has plenty of businesses in the area your agency is based. Some companies see working with a local agency as a key benefit over larger, more general recruitment companies, so this can be a particularly successful approach if your agency is small or has a niche target audience.

Join a Recruitment Network

Joining a recruitment network can be an incredibly beneficial move for agencies, particularly if you’re new to the industry and are looking to make connections with other recruiters as well as generate new leads.

Most recruitment networks involve a variety of different businesses in the industry who can all draw on each other’s knowledge and experience, as well as getting access to exclusive events and insights. From a lead generation perspective, having more connections in the recruitment industry means that others are more likely to pass on opportunities that are particularly relevant to the services you offer, as well as generally increasing the visibility of your agency and helping to establish a strong reputation.

Ask for Referrals

There’s no better lead than one that has come through a recommendation. If an existing client or candidate has already recommended you to someone else, they will already be much more convinced that working with your agency is the right move, which will make converting them to a customer a much simpler process.

Ideally you want your clients and candidates to refer you without any prompting, but there is no harm in asking for recommendations, particularly from people you have built strong relationships with. You can always incentivise referrals by offering existing clients a discount if another company they send your way becomes a new client, for example.

Backfill Positions

Backfilling positions is a very effective way for recruiters to create multiple opportunities out of a single job change. If you place a candidate in a role with a new company, a great way to generate a new lead is to then approach their old employer and offer to fill the role that you have just vacated.

This approach to lead generation does need careful navigation, but when you figure out an effective method it’s a fantastic way to get the most out of every business opportunity and grow your client base with examples of effective recruitment.

Optimise Your Recruitment Website

Our final piece of advice for generating leads for your recruitment agency is to ensure your website has been optimised so that as many relevant potential candidates and clients are finding you and the content on your site is maximising the likelihood that they will get in touch with you.

This starts with search engine optimisation, which means that your website appears high up on search engine results pages when web users search for phrases related to your agency offering, increasing the number of visitors you get and also improving the quality of the traffic that arrives at your website.

There are a variety of different SEO approaches that can all help with this, some of which are easy to do on your own, others which may be more effective when done by an SEO marketing professional.

Then, make sure that the content on your site has been optimised so that it is clear what your agency is offering, and that there are effective calls to action on each page. Any blog content should link to relevant service pages and encourage the reader to get in touch, and there should be clear buttons and contact forms where relevant to ensure that potential clients and candidates aren’t arriving at your site and then immediately leaving.


Lead generation can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle, but there are plenty of different ways to approach the challenge and maximise your chances of success. Having a strategy that utilizes multiple techniques increases the likelihood of successfully converting new leads, and any of the above suggestions can be used in tandem with an overall marketing strategy to boost business and grow your client or customer base.

If you’d like to learn more about lead generation approaches for your recruitment business, and how things like content marketing and SEO can help to increase the number of leads you convert, then be sure to get in touch with our partners Growth Recruits and find out more about the services they offer.

Growth Recruits are the ‘go to’ marketing partner for recruitment companies. Their vast industry experience enables recruitment companies to become more visible, attracting & engaging with candidates and clients through various marketing channels. Whether it’s driving traffic to your website through Website Design, SEO and Content Marketing, or converting your traffic into leads through best practice Email Marketing and Paid Social Media, their campaigns are proven to increase lead generation.

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