How to Get Ahead as the Recruitment Market Picks Up

So there’s been some super exciting whisperings going around the recruitment industry lately - looks like the market is in recovery and we’re all really busy again. Hurrah! Time to sit back and breathe a massive sigh of relief, right? Wrong.

Now is the most crucial turning point that the recruitment industry has seen in a really long time. And if you don’t prepare now, getting left behind won’t be optional.

What is changing and why?

So how can you ensure that your business stays ahead?Employers are doing it for themselves In other words; corporate recruiters are How to get ahead of the competition.stepping on your recruitment agency’s toes. They are becoming more and more switched on to the value of sites like LinkedIn and the use of well optimised career pages to generate their own candidates directly.
• Candidate behaviour is a million miles away from what it once was. They’re busier, less tolerant to being interrupted and pros at dodging unwanted recruiter calls and messages.

1. Accentuate what you have that corporate recruiters don’t

Sure your clients have access to some nifty technology, but we also know that professional recruiters sit day in day out with access to loads of different candidates that employers just don’t. For example, the value of engaging and nurturing passive candidates is immense - you can build up a picture of a candidate’s career aspirations and preferences year after year. 
Think Amazon. Every time they see me logging in, doing a search, viewing a book, and buying something the amount of data being processed to ‘help me next time with my purchasing preferences’ is hugely powerful. As a recruiter, you can have all this data working for you in the same way. A corporate will never be able to access this sort of understanding about a candidate.

2. Embrace the power of your website to support changing candidate behaviour

If candidates want something, the days of waiting for a call are over. They’ll find it online and look at it. So needless to say, your brand and website have never been more important. When was the last time you made a big decision or a new purchase without checking it out online first? Because this is effectively what candidates are doing when they put their future career in your hands. So are you ready to get found? Have you embraced inbound marketing to drive traffic back to your website? If not, the best candidates aren’t going to find their way to you. And trust me, they’re looking.

Plan B3. Boost your authority in the market

Prepare to have to do a lot more than you’re used to win clients over. There will be no longer be any quick decisions made when it comes to spending. Clients want to check you out first, and not just to look at your vacancies. Fundamentally, they’re looking for ways to make a decision on whether or not they can trust you. They want to know what positions you’ve filled and if you have authority and capability in the marketplace to be their niche expert. So you have to find new ways to demonstrate this to them. For example, a blog would be a great start to both exhibit your values and inspire trust. So would a regular insight report on the jobs and skills demand in your specialised market. 

Long and short, you have to find new ways to demonstrate the value of your business. Your understanding of client, candidate and corporate behaviour has to be top priority in reviewing your business plan. Embracing these changes right now, while they’re happening, is the key to success for the future of your recruitment business.

Follow up actions

When was the last time you tried to find your agency or one of your vacancies online? This will help you judge how easy it is for your candidates and (potential) clients.

• Pretend you’re a candidate looking for the type of jobs you recruit for and in your location. Put the key words into Google and see if your agency is even listed
• Pretend you’re a client looking for an agency to help them with their next hire. Would they find you?

Look out for more on this on Stephen O'Donnell's upcoming blogs.

By Wendy McDougall

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Wendy McDougall

Wendy McDougall is Chief Fish of Firefish Software. In her spare time, you'll find her playing squash or feeding her inner geek with the latest technology!

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