According to the American Staffing Association, the staffing industry generated approximately $122 billion in sales in 2013: 109.2 billion from Temp/Contract Staffing, and 13.1 billion in search/permanent placement services. Based on this data alone, we know there is a lot of opportunity in the recruitment field; but it's also a profession in which you can expect fierce competition.
How can your firm catapult itself ahead of your competitors, to gain a larger slice of the revenue pie? What steps should you take, to become the preferred agency in your vertical?
Here are 5 proven techniques to ensure your talent acquisition business stays a cutting-edge above the rest:
1. Choose a niche, and choose it wisely. Working as a search professional requires that you focus. What industries are hiring today, and more specifically, what specialties within those areas are employers struggling to hire? Do your research and determine what makes the most sense, based on current needs and your understanding of the space. It's important to look at the average fees within your chosen field, too. If fees are declining in your current target, look at other areas that are emerging and increasing. Be strategic, perform due dilligence, and select a niche that offers growth potential.
2. Create, implement, and utilize a marketing strategy for your recruiting business. As the old saying goes, "Recruiters don't plan to fail, they fail to plan!" Do you have a marketing plan you're following on a day to day, week to week, and month to month basis? Are you regularly measuring the success of your marketing activities, and are you realigning those activities as necessary to ensure business increases? In order to move ahead of the competition, you have to focus on marketing as a daily activity. Some areas to analyze for marketing include social media sites, LinkedIn Groups, the company blog, Google Adwords, etc.
3. Take the consultative approach with clients and candidates. Many recruiters treat the talent acquisition process as a transactional activity. Do what your competitor's are not, and serve as a trusted advisor and their 'go-to' professional. Not only does this set you apart from others, but it builds strong, loyal business relationships that will continue to work for you, in the future.
4. Focus on the candidate experience. Have you ever encountered a candidate who refused to work with a head hunter? They'd rather fill out a web application and wait an extended time to hear back from HR (if ever) than work with you - all because of a bad experience. Treat your candidates the way you would expect and want to be treated. It's simple and powerful. When candidates have a positive experience, they share that information with their friends and colleagues - giving you a steady source of referrals and essentially separating you from other agencies.
5. Become a one-stop shop. Does your firm offer additional services besides perm placement? When a client asks if you can provide a candidate for a temp assignment, do you turn them away? In today's market, it's important to determine what services your current and potential clients need, and then deliver them. Otherwise, you open youself up to losing that client to someone else. Forward-thinking staffing and search firms provide additional services such as temporary and contract placements, talent community management, consulting services, video candidate interviewing, and more.
Notice we've not addressed fees as part of this conversation. When you differentiate yourself from other companies, you set the standard and increase the value of the services you provide. You can gain access to full-fee jobs with some of the top Fortune 500 companies, with no additional business development required. Learn more.
Competition in the talent acquisition arena continues to grow, and economic indicators show that isn't likely to change in the near future. Recruiters and search professionals who want to outshine the competition must stop doing what everyone else is, and implement positive changes to differentiate themselves to increase and exceed their revenue goals.