Download now

The Psychology of Relationship Marketing 

Written by: Haydn Morgans | Apr 17, 2023

Relationships are an essential part of marketing. As we’ve said before, people want to buy from people, so presenting your company as a human presence will create a far more engaged audience than stale, corporate branding. But how does that apply to the recruitment industry? On Episode 7 of the Skill Point Podcast we spoke to Clair Bush about how she’s translated the psychology of sales into recruitment. 

What is Relationship marketing?

The term ‘relationship marketing’ existed before the onset of social media and the digitalization of relationships. It’s the psychology behind human connections, and the reason that reaching out to someone through a letter that explains your offer and the opportunity, then enables them to come back and say, ‘Yes, I’m interested’ on their own terms is more effective than cold calling. 

What does this look like in a modern day setting in the market?

In order to successfully use relationship marketing, you need a total end to end knowledge and understanding of your ideal client profile. It’s about being able to create impactful outbound marketing for a group of people that have the same characteristics and needs, and enabling them to come to you. 

When it comes to relational marketing in recruitment, these relationships have slightly different dynamics. You can get to know your clients by asking questions like:

  • How’s your company structured? 
  • Who are your hiring managers? 
  • What’s your projected growth? 
  • When’s your year-end? 

Having that kind of information will allow you to create groups of similar people and communicate with them around related topics. If you take an agency with 50 recruiters, there’s bound to be commonalities between their conversations. If all of those people reach out to around 20-30% of their contacts and say ‘We’ve got this topic, we’re going to tell you what we know about it’, that will put them top of mind for those clients, which means they can pick up open roles. It’s all about giving value to your audience so that they immediately think of you as the expert to go to when they need something. 

From a marketing perspective, you can use that information to reverse engineer a campaign. Clair said that these campaigns allow you to “collect insights and data, then also funnel it back into the greater content machine within the business.” The heart of marketing is understanding what industry conversations are being had. Relationships allow you to see where that information is coming from and where it’s going.

How can employer brands tap into the psychology of relationship marketing?

Clair’s view on employer branding is that it’s similar to ‘conscious parenting’. She said that “as a parent, I know what worked for me, and I know what really didn’t work for me. I don’t want to make those same mistakes for my child.” Employer branding is a similar space, because a fundamental part of any organisation is having an employee value proposition that is aligned with your business strategy. You’re paving the way for the people below you to have a better experience than you did. Having an understanding of what drives people to turn up for you every day (beyond their pay packet) is essential to building a successful employer brand. It’s more than letting people work from home three days a week. 

For anybody who hasn’t figured out their employee value proposition, think about this: 

  • What are you doing that would be an exciting project to work on? 
  • What are the pillars that you want to be able to talk about in a job advert? 
  • What are the real reasons why someone would love and thrive in your environment? 

Marketing in recruitment needs to be less of a “spray and pray mentality” and more of a targeted, demand generated mentality. We should be moving towards a world where the people who apply are right for the role. The personalization makes filtering easier, which then makes shortlisting quicker, which then makes the decision faster. Using relationships and understanding your target demographic’s psychology to underpin your marketing strategy will level-up your workflow and bring incredible results.

To find out more about recruitment marketing, tune into The Skill Point Podcast or reach out to us on