Want fun and money from recruitment? Make these 4 changes

Agency recruiters are about to enter a new golden era. More fun. More money. It’s all about to open up.

But not everyone will rise on the tide. Just relying on a recovery will be your biggest mistake. The benefits will not flow to everyone evenly. We will have to provide something very different to what we provided before.

You have to act now. Especially in regard to candidates. We need to act before the well runs dry and our clients come to us for help, and we cannot deliver.

But, I hear you cry, what should we change? Good question. Most recruiters do feel the need evolve, but don’t know where to start.

There are four key areas of change that every recruitment company must focus on to thrive in the future. Every recruiter too, must refresh their skill-set and learn new tactics to ensure a brighter future.

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We must develop very new strategies for each arena. We cannot carry on the way we have always done.

1: Find unique talent our clients cannot.

That is going to need a total mindset change for almost all of us. And an investment in new technologies and different people skills. We have to develop specific, tailored plans to get access to these unique candidates. And what is a ‘unique candidate’?

Candidates not available to our clients, and candidates who have not yet started their job search, through a competitor, or themselves.

Job boards and LinkedIn are most certainly now ‘old school’ tools in my opinion. Yes, they have a place as long as they work, but increasingly, they won’t.

Your database you are so proud of? Mostly it’s a candidate graveyard. The candidate data is out of date, you don’t know who is in there anyway, no one has engaged with them for years for sure, and we can’t even search effectively in many cases, because our ATS/CRM is creaking at the seams.

You must now change your definition of a ‘candidate’.

A candidate is not only a person who ‘applies’ for a job. A candidate is anyone who is suitable for clients’ roles, looking or not.

Our brief is identification of the right skills, then seduction of the candidate.

We have to think about smart use of social, predictive recruitment through big data and CRM, and most certainly we have to take a longer view on developing candidate pipelines and building massive social communities.

2: Build new ways to engage with clients.

Most recruiters are still approaching client development 1999 style. Cold calling, mass mailings. Nothing innovative. In fact I find myself saying something that even I would have considered absurd a few years ago.

Our business is no longer ‘all about sales’. It’s about marketing.

The full gamut of marketing too, including branding, SEO, CRM, social, automated and digital engagement. Our individual recruiters should invest more in marketing, including branding, and social activity, than they do in old school, hard-core sales. It’s a digital world, driven by consumer marketing tactics, and we have to totally reinvent in this area. The idea is to reverse the paradigm. We are looking to build in-bound client enquiries, generated via digital engagement mostly. And then consummated with human interaction and relationship building, old school style.

3: Develop a new style of recruiter.

I have spoken of the dinosaur recruiter before. It’s at crises stage now. The job has changed. The candidate’s behavior has changed. Clients needs have changed. But most recruiters have NOT changed.

The modern recruiter is a digital researcher, a sourcing specialist, a branding expert, a networker, and a master component of the ‘craft’ of recruitment. (Watch for my upcoming blog where I am going spell out the new components of the modern recruiter in detail. Skills you need. People you should hire.)

4: The structure of most agencies has never changed.

Same roles. People doing the same things.

In fact many recruitment companies are getting better at things they no longer should actually be doing!

We need deeper expertise in key areas, instead of shallow threadbare skills across the entire recruitment spectrum. Expecting a graduate with two years experience in a bank, and a one-week agency induction, to suddenly be a ‘recruiter’ in what is now a highly sophisticated business has become ludicrous – notwithstanding it happens everywhere.

We need marketing expertise, branding ninjas, geeky digital ‘ethical hacking’ experts, as well as business winners and transactors. We need to divide the recruiter role and specialise. I propose a new agency structure, all to be spelt out in an upcoming blog.

In fact you need an individual, evolved plan for each key strategic area. And then you need to implement, fast.

If not, the new Golden Era of recruitment will be something you hear about, not participate in.

And that will not be very cool at all. For you I mean.

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This article first published on The Savage Truth

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