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5 Ways to “Make Hay While the Sun Shines”

by | Jul 22, 2015 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

There is a familiar adage: “Make hay while the sun shines.”  And that day is upon us, my friends.

Recruiters everywhere have an opportunity to take advantage of an economy that is growing, because it’s also one that’s experiencing a significant skill and talent shortage.  In the next few paragraphs, I’ve laid out the essential steps to an exceptional recruiting process.

Below are five ways to “make hay while the sun shines”:

#1—Pick a niche and dominate it.

Take a market that you’re excited about, one that’s growing, and dominate it.  In this economy, being a generalist can work, but won’t pay huge dividends.  Why?  It’s going to be extremely difficult to find talent.  If every search requires you to start from scratch in a fresh market and for a new position, it will be very difficult to build momentum.  By selecting a recruiting niche within a market, you’ll have synergy in your searches.  With similar candidates and job orders, you’ll be much more productive because your efforts can be used again and again.  Synergy creates placements and puts money in your pocket.

Not sure how to pick a niche market?  It must be an industry you know and one about which you’re passionate.  Right now, thanks to emerging global markets, a smart choice may be companies and positions with international operations.  Research your markets, limiting your choices to those that will be hot for the next five years.  And then research more.

Learn everything you can about those potential markets.  Take a look at which positions within the industry are in high demand.  Decide on geographical boundaries based on the market size.  Your market should possess a solid 500 potential client companies.  Much more than 500, and you need to narrow your initial marketplace.  Any less, and your chosen market may not be big enough for you to get the financial results you want.  Many recruiters use DIG—Discipline, Industry, and Geography—when defining markets.

#2—Develop high and wide relationships with all clients.

When working with client companies, never be satisfied with one main point of contact in your recruiting CRM.  Things change, power shifts, and people come and go.  If your only contact leaves the organization for any reason, your business is in jeopardy.

Develop relationships that are high and wide, a broad spectrum of professional contacts at all levels within your client companies.  Salesperson, VP of Sales, CEO, VP of Engineering, they should all know your name and take your calls.  By working within every level and department of a company, you’ll not only get more business, but you’ll also gain a better understanding of its corporate goals and objectives, enabling you to help achieve them.  With the “high and wide approach,” you establish yourself as a trusted talent adviser versus a tactical recruiter.

The best recruiters will equip their clients to navigate the rapidly approaching talent-shortage maze.  You should educate them, showing them how to structure their hiring processes for this marketplace and helping them to be adaptable so they can meet top-talent demands.  Building multiple relationships within an organization gives you credibility and the power to deliver success in this tight market.

#3—Build and maintain a strong brand identity.

The only way to build a positive brand identity is to deliver.  Our clients’ perception of our professional worth is completely dependent on the talent we bring to them.  Recruiters who consistently deliver quality talent, the impact players who make a significant difference in their organizations, have a strong brand identity.  Your clients will want to partner with you again and again.  Those who regularly “schlep in” with poor to average candidates will also achieve poor to average results.  They’ll have a brand identity, though: that of a “resume pusher” who’s only interested in a fee.

Because talent is so difficult to come by in this market, some recruiters will be tempted to settle for less than perfect talent.  Don’t.  By lowering your standards, you also lower your brand identity in your clients’ eyes.  Remember, in this business, perception is reality.  Your brand must be that of an exceptional business adviser who brings great talent to the table.  Always!

#4—Develop partnerships in international emerging markets.

This is all about vision.  Don’t overlook the rest of the world.  A significant part of the growth of the world’s GDP is happening in four countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China.  Many corporate executives are doing whatever they can to take advantage of these emerging markets.  Chances are, many of the companies you do business with today are looking overseas to grow and prosper as these foreign markets heat up.  But whether they’re in China or Kansas, what do they need?  Talent.  It’s the one constant in all countries, across all industries.

Specifically here in our country, we need talented people who have the skills and experience to grow business internationally, as well as to attract talent in those markets.  As search consultants, we must anticipate some of these needs for our clients, working with the executive team to fulfill them.  Propose strategic or long-term planning meetings to gain a thorough understanding of a client’s direction internationally in order to be ready to present solutions to talent issues before they’re a problem.

Developing partnerships with other offices across the globe is a great way to add value to your current clients, and maintain a robust recruiting database.  Many recruiting organizations have international business offices or partners.  These people have feet on the street in the local markets across the globe.  MRI has an exceptional international business unit that provides talent worldwide.  If you don’t have access to a network of international business partners, get on Google and find them.

#5—Talk to more “impact players” in the market.

To succeed in this high-demand, low-supply talent market, it isn’t enough to fill jobs.  You must also go back to bringing the “impact player” to the market.  Your “time to fill” metric on positions will continue to increase as this talent shortfall trend grows stronger.  Although it’s a new era in the global marketplace, an old recruiting tool has never been more reliable.  The old MPC (“Most Place-able Candidate”) call, the presenting of a solid A-player, is delivering better results today than ever.

Companies are starved for great talent.  By feeding them a steady diet of A-players within their industry, you will build your brand identity and credibility.  You will prove you are the search consultant who is in contact daily with the top talent in their industry.  If you have an A-player, get on the phone.  Chances are good that you’ll make just as many placements with basic marketing calls with an MPC as by filling those needle-in-the-haystack searches you have piled on your desk.

Recruiting in this market environment does have its challenges.  With the demand for talent high worldwide and the supply low, our job won’t be easy.  The good news is that if you’re able to make a few changes in your focus, your client relationships, and your approach, you will have the opportunity of a lifetime.  Make the most of it!

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Jon Bartos, a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog, is a premier writer, speaker, and consultant on all aspects of personal performance, human capital, and the analytics behind them.  In 2010, Bartos founded Revenue Performance Management, LLC.  The RPM Dashboard System is a business intelligence tool used worldwide for metrics management for individual and team performance improvement.  In 2012, Bartos achieved national certification in Hypnotherapy, furthering his interest in learning the dynamics behind what motivates others to achieve higher levels of success.  Click here to visit Bartos’s website.

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