5 Best Strategies for Recruitment Agency Owners in a Softening Job Market

In today’s softening job market, it’s crucial that you and your recruiters are more strategic about your relationships with clients. In order to keep the relationships you currently have and build new ones, your approach as an agency owner needs to pivot from simply providing the recruitment services your clients ask you for to becoming the experienced advisor and expert in your field. With over 65% of recruiters and business owners valuing the ability to quickly shift and adapt to change these days, it’s crucial that you prove to your clients that your agency is exactly that.

Knowing not only the ins and outs of recruitment, but also the general economic landscape is key to positioning yourself on the market. Here are our 5 main tips for adjusting your services to the current market:

Take charge

Times where you could be a simple order-taker and provide your clients with exactly what they asked for are over. In the current landscape, strategic thinking and leadership abilities are as much – if not more – important as the knowledge of the recruitment industry itself. Your biggest focus should be to get ahead of the game and provide input others can’t. It is crucial to continue to build lasting relationships with clients and potential clients as an expert, so you are the first they think of when the market turns. Be adaptable and flexible - in today’s market, this can help to unearth any opportunities available.

Utilise technology and data

With the increasing use of technology in the recruitment process, such as AI, you need to be proficient in using tools like applicant tracking systems, social media, and other digital platforms to reach a wider pool of clients and candidates. It is crucial that you have a strong online presence, too. This includes having a user-friendly website and active company and personal social media accounts. By automating as much of your typical work as possible, you’ll be able to increase your and your team’s efficiency, spot mistakes faster, and adjust your strategy on the spot, accelerating the growth of your agency.

You should also leverage data to gain insights into trends in the job market to support the points that you’re making with clients. It’s also important from a business perspective that you can see the data that is going to help navigate the current market changes and help you adapt.

Focus on niche industries

In a softening job market, it can be tempting to cast your net wide and try to appeal to as many industries and companies as possible. However, this approach is not always the most successful - it does not allow you to be the expert that companies are looking for. If you claim to know everything about every market, chances are, you aren’t a real expert in either of them. Instead, focus more on your niche. Diving deeper into your area of expertise to see what new opportunities are there or starting to look at verticals in relation to your niche is the way to go. For example, you may recruit sales professionals into a certain industry such as construction - and if this market starts softening, you should look into related industries that would still accept your candidate base.

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Diversify your offerings

One of the biggest mistakes recruitment agencies make in a softening market is sticking to their usual recruiting methods. This can be a dangerous game, as industries and companies that were previously hiring may not be doing so at the same rate anymore. To combat this, it is important to diversify your offerings. Instead of focusing solely on permanent placements you may want to consider offering temporary or contract work as well. This will help you tap into a wider pool of potential clients or offer more services to your clients that you already work with – and continue growing as a result!

Know the general economic landscape

Adding value by providing insight into the current economic situation and the fluctuations of the market will become crucial in showcasing your expertise and proving to your client that you’re not only recruiting for them, but you can advise them on how to go about recruitment and what steps are realistic.

By positioning your agency as a trusted advisor to your clients on all things recruitment and the marketplace you can become the go-to agency when things do start to take a turn for the better again. It also allows you to give them confidence in the current marketplace – there may be a bigger talent pool to work in just now, which would allow your clients to get ahead of the curve before the market for candidates tightens.

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Paul Briman

Growth Specialist Paul was a Principle Consultant in the tech sector before joining Firefish. He loves changing the way agencies recruit with software.

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