As England emerges from lockdown 2.0 into a stricter tier system and the rest of the UK is battling through its own restrictions, it continues to be tough for recruitment. Here we look at immediately actionable tips to not just ride out the storm but potentially grow your business, including investing time in candidates and clients, focusing on marketing in order to stand out, diversifying what you offer, and broadening your portfolio.
Get to really know your clients and their business
The burn and churn model of recruitment is dead. Instead, view your agency as a recruitment partner rather than simply a supplier. Get to know your clients, their business needs and their forecasts for the future and that investment will pay off. Having meaningful conversations about the state of the sector you recruit for with those working in it will also give you a better understanding of where to pivot if necessary. Show humility, leave your ego at the door and ask for advice as well as giving it.
Nurture candidate relationships
Make the most of any extra time you may have if business slows by investing it into building relationships with candidates and adding to your talent pool. Building a micro-community of specialist candidates is incredibly valuable. That way, you can ensure you have access to talent that will be a true asset to a client in a specific role. Added to that is the value of word-of-mouth advertising from candidates. Social media is full of the negative experiences candidates are having right now. A five minute telephone call to update your candidates and talk through options could be enough for them to post on LinkedIn about the great experience they’ve had with you.
Find your ‘why’ and help your consultants to stand out
Recruitment is a highly saturated market so to be able to stand out you must pinpoint what makes your agency unique. Marketing offers the differentiation, the story, what marks you out from your competitors. Publicise that, ensure everyone across the company is on board with it and then work to deliver it. Give your consultants a way to increase exposure by providing them with editable assets and ideas for content creation and they will use that to stand out and reach both candidates and clients.
Broaden your client portfolio
If you normally work with just one size of business, a limited role type, or a particular area of your sector, consider diversifying your client portfolio to open up the jobs available to you. Structure your marketing around your newly diverse client range and monitor the job boards to see what kinds of organisation in your sector are still hiring. If you usually work with large organisations who are currently have a hiring freeze you may find that smaller companies are still recruiting.
Diversify your product
Consider offering webinars or training if jobs are still slow in your sector. As well as generating publicity and strengthening your brand, you will be able to build up a fantastic database of both candidates and potential clients. Once your workflow is up again simply pivot back but be ready to turn to alternative avenues again if the situation changes. To survive and grow you have to be prepared to constantly adapt.
Hold your prices
Lowering your rates doesn’t just devalue your service but that of everyone in the industry. The more agencies that advertise a price cut, the more likely a price war will start and that isn’t good for anyone. Value your service and hold firm on rates.
There is much to be positive about. As the vaccination programme is rolled out across the UK, business confidence is slowly beginning to return. WaveTrackR data is showing jobs to be above the pre-Covid months of the year and applications to be decelerating to a more manageable rate. It will take time to recover from the fallout from the pandemic but these tips should help you to not only ride it out but emerge on the other side healthier than ever before.