For the first time in a long time, we’re seeing a shift from a candidate-short market to a job-short market. This means we’ll have less jobs to recruit for in the coming months and a lot more candidates on the market – and if you’ve been recruiting for less than ten years, this will be a totally new environment for you.
We don't know how long the market will stay like this, but if you want to keep billing right now – you do need to adapt your process to suit this new environment.
So, let’s take a look at what a job-short market means for your recruitment process and how to adapt to it so you can keep billing.
Prepare for a high volume of applications
As unemployment numbers rise, you’ll start to see a lot of applications any time you advertise a new opportunity.
Coming from a candidate-short market, you might think an influx of applications is a good thing, but in reality this presents a whole new challenge: sifting through piles of applications to find the right fit for your shortlist.
Managing large numbers of applications efficiently will be key to working this new market, and you’ll need use technology to smarten up your process. For example, build talent pools for your roles that will automatically flag candidates who fit your job profile without you having to dig them out and use video screening to save time at the initial interview stage. This will free up hours you need to focus on canvassing for new business.
Focus on winning business from existing clients
Having less jobs to work means more competition from other recruiters, and this makes winning new clients a hell of a lot harder than it was before.
But the good news is, you’ll have a history of placing candidates successfully in the past, so circle back and capitalise on the good relationships you built before the market changed.
Targeting your current clients will give you the best chance of a quick win. These prospects already know who you are and that you can provide a good service, so you don’t need to spend time warming them up before you call them. You already have a good relationship and clients will prefer to work with recruiters they’ve worked well with before, so you’re in the perfect position to push for repeat business from them.
If some of your clients don’t have jobs for you to work at the moment, just stay visible, keep providing value and help them visualise the future. This will help you strengthen these relationships and in return, they’ll come to you first when they start recruiting again.
Don’t reduce your rates
When recruitment gets competitive, it can be tempting to push down your price. But the moment you reduce your fees, you’re stuck at that lower rate forever. So no matter how bad a situation gets, know your value and your worth!
You need to stay firm on your price, without seeming stubborn. A great way to do this is to productise your services to clearly show your client the value of your different offerings.
And keep reminding your clients (and the rest of the industry!) that you’re the best recruiter on the market. Shout about the quality of your services online and stand out against your competitors – people are generally willing to spend a little more if they’re confident they’re getting the best on the market.
Don’t cold call
In a sales-driven market, it’s tempting to go after prospects aggressively, but if you’re too pushy and swamp the market with unsolicited calls, you’ll tarnish your reputation and lose any chance of winning business.
Every time a business has a vacancy, they’re going to get inundated with cold calls from recruiters, so if they didn’t like getting cold calls before, they’re going to hate them now!
And remember, less than 2% of cold calls actually result in winning business anyway – so it’s a total waste of time.
Instead, warm your clients up before calling so every prospects you call already knows who you are. A smart BD strategy like this will always take you further as your prospects will actually be happy to hear from you!
Sell in your candidates like a pro
When you were prospecting in a candidate-short market, your candidates essentially sold themselves. But in a job market, you need to work harder and do a lot of the selling.
You can no longer guarantee that your best candidate is going to be a shoo-in in your client’s eyes. So, when you put a candidate forward to a job, get sell, sell, sell-ing!
Instead of just speccing out CVs with a short recruiter summary, call your client and tell them why your candidate is the perfect fit for the role.
And to really stand out, back up what you’re saying with proof. Call up your candidate’s previous employer (get your candidate's permission first, of course) and get an informal reference that you can include in your candidate’s application. (As a bonus: You can find out about the referee’s recruitment needs while you take the reference and potentially win a new client!)
Extra touches like this can tip the scales in this market and push your candidate forward as the front runner for the job.
Building strong client relationships is essential in a job-short market. The eBook below will teach you how to do that from your very first interaction with a new client...