Archive for September, 2014

Recruiters and LinkedIn: Maximizing Results and Connections

Comments Off on Recruiters and LinkedIn: Maximizing Results and ConnectionsWritten on September 24th, 2014 by
Categories: Third-Party Recruiters

For many staffing and recruiting specialists, LinkedIn is their social network of choice, for a variety of reasons. It can literally serve as a directory of both passive and active candidates across all industries, the number of members increases daily, and it's geared to professional networking audiences.

How can recruiting agencies, independent recruiters, and search consultant's set themselves up for success on LinkedIn, and optimize their use of this popular social channel?

Let's explore the top five ways you can take control of your LinkedIn account, to ensure you develop more meaningful business relationships.

1. Open a dialogue immediately upon notification a connection request has been accepted. Whether you sent the invitation or accepted one, it's always a good idea to send your new contact a quick message letting them know a little more about what you do, and offering to assist them in their networking efforts. This small effort will open the door to future communication, and will help differentiate you from other connections on LinkedIn.

2. Focus on inviting and accepting only strategic connections. If you exclusively recruit director-level and above professionals in the engineering space, you want to focus on building a strong network that includes your clients and candidates. It doesn't make sense for you to accept random connection requests, and networking efforts with professionals other than your focus will not result in future placements.

3. Leverage an automated drip-campaign, to turn-on the flow of communication. Each time a new user is added to your network, add them to your email list. There are a variety of email marketing companies who offer customized services to assist recruiters in keeping the discussion moving. If you choose not to utilize a paid service, you can set up a spreadsheet, and manually email your list on a consistent basis.

4. InMails - give them a reason to respond. One of the benefits of purchasing a premium membership with LinkedIn, is the ability to contact 2nd and 3rd level connections through LinkedIn's messaging system, called InMail. Just like sending any other communication, you must have a compelling subject line, and engage your reader by writing from the viewpoint of "what's in it for them." Remember, if they are a passive candidate, a great job opportunity is not something they are even considering at this point. In many cases, finding another reason (other than a job) is an excellent reason for them to contact you.

5. Groups - a quick way to extend your reach and connections. Currently, on LinkedIn you may belong to up to 50 groups. In each group, you have the ability to send private messages to all of the members. The only exception is when a member opts out of receiving group messages (which is far less prevalent). Groups are an excellent way to connect with candidates in your recruitment space, or hiring clients.

LinkedIn continues to be the recruiters' social network of choice, because it provides multiple ways to enhance communication with candidates, clients and prospective clients.

Other than LinkedIn, what is your favorite social media venue for connecting and working with new prospects?

5 Steps to Differentiate Your Recruiting Agency from the Competition

Comments Off on 5 Steps to Differentiate Your Recruiting Agency from the CompetitionWritten on September 16th, 2014 by
Categories: Third-Party Recruiters

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.

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