Some would say we are currently in a candidate driven market. While true, it’s always a candidate driven market. The perceived shift from a buyers’ market to a job seekers’ market is a myth often spoken of in the staffing and recruiting business. Even the very best of firms won’t fill every job, yet, they can find assignments or jobs for quality candidates regardless of market conditions. Candidate acquisition and retention always rules the day.

While building a strong business development capacity is important for success, even more attention must be paid to strengthening and expanding the capacity of recruiting. This includes three important rules, from the Ten Rules of 21st Century Staffing, that my best clients, who are also the most profitable, have incorporated into their strategies:

1. They sell who they recruit instead of recruit for what was sold.

While sales may be highly effective at acquiring a variety of orders, closing those orders requires the ability to actually fill them quickly and efficiently. The strategic failing of many companies is in allowing the sales organization to drive the business. We may never know if the chicken or egg came first, but effective leaders know that the candidate always comes first if they are to sustain growth and profits.

2. They treat recruiting like the sales job it is.

HR knowledge, especially employment law, makes a recruiter more valuable in their role. However, this does not mean an individual with a personality and skill-set suited for HR will be an adequate recruiter. Recruiting is a sales job and is treated as such by leaders of the most profitable firms. Recruiters with sales acumen open minds of candidates as they open doors and close deals for the company.

3. They rarely chase purple squirrels; when they do it’s with a gold net.

While it may seem noble to prove your worth to buyers by vigorously working to fill their most difficult and labor intensive orders, it’s poor business. That is unless your ROI is equivalent to the effort it takes. Hard-to-fill deserves lots of hard cash.

While myths often perpetuate lies, trends do not. Companies following the Ten Rules of 21st Century Staffing are growing faster, reaping increasing margins, and acquiring wider and deeper swathes of the market. The rest are too busy to notice while they’re chasing squirrels.

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