How Advocacy Helps RecruitLoop Disrupt The Recruitment Industry

michael_overell_advocamp_recruitloopDisrupting a well-established industry with a new marketplace is never easy. Not only do you risk failure, you’re also likely to upset everyone who is happy with the status quo.

Michael Overell, CEO of RecruitLoop, knew this when he and his fellow co-founders launched their marketplace for employers to automate and outsource the recruitment process.

“Online marketplaces get a lot of criticism. You often hear that they drive prices down and make life unfair for freelancers,” says Michael. Ouch.

RecruitLoop had two options:

1) Take a bull-in-a-china-shop approach, smashing through old recruitment norms with heavy-handed sales and marketing messages.

Or 2) harness the enthusiasm of their biggest fans – the employers and recruiters who actually benefit from using RecruitLoop – and use it to spread the word about this new way of approaching the recruitment process.

For Michael and his team, the answer was clear: advocates were the best way to disrupt the market and make RecruitLoop a success.

As the CEO, he’s made it a priority to foster a culture of advocacy at the growing company, and support his team in creating, identifying and mobilizing their advocates. But they didn’t want to leave it to chance so they created a formal advocate marketing program to fuel the company’s growth.

“We wanted to build a community that empowers the members of our marketplace and makes them more successful, productive and happier,” he says.

Michael’s visionary approach to building his business through advocacy is the reason he was invited to speak at our 2015 Advocamp event, the first-ever gathering focused on mobilizing advocates to fuel business growth. (Click here to watch Michael’s Advocamp AmpTalk presentation.)

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Here are some of Michael’s thoughts on the benefits of organizing business growth around advocacy:

Benefit #1: Bootstrap brand building

Harnessing the power of happy customers to build a stronger brand and faster-growing business has been more valuable to RecruitLoop than traditional (and more expensive) means of brand building, Michael says. “We’re an early stage company, so we’re doing whatever we can to be a strong brand using methods that have the most powerful effects and channels for growing and acquiring new customers through word-of-mouth.”

When a happy customer wears a RecruitLoop t-shirt to the gym, or tells another recruiter about them at a BBQ, it’s one of the most powerful ways to build brand when you don’t have a lot of money. “A positive referral or mention coming from a member of the community has credibility,” he says.

Benefit #2: Capturing customer love

If you delight your customers with a program or product they love, when you need help or support around a campaign, your advocates will be there.

“We’ve seen some interesting results through the advocate program when we’ve needed to rally around an investment campaign. We asked all of our community members to write a glowing review on our Angelist profile. Within two days we had about a dozen positive reviews from recruiters about how great they found working with our platform, and how it changed their professional life,” says Michael. “It built up our profile with genuine reviews.”

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Benefit #3: Creating better measures of success

RecruitLoop’s advocate marketing program originally focused on referrals as a measure of success, but that has evolved into deeper measures of engagement. “As our advocacy program has matured, it’s been more about giving the members of the community a platform where they can engage with each other and engage with our brand,” explains Michael.

The community has helped customers share their content, solve each other’s problems and plan meet ups in real life. “We want to make our users more loyal. The more we can do for the recruiters using our product, the stronger we feel our business is.”

By giving recruiters what they craved most, RecruitLoop garnered even more brand loyalty and enthusiasm. “Recruiters are independent, and often run their own small businesses out of a home office. One of the downsides of this is professional isolation,” he says. “Giving them a formal platform and community where they can communicate and engage with other people like them, and our brand, has been a big value add for us.”

To join in the 2015 Advocamp conversation, check out our VIP community.

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