Recruitment agencies: how do YOU guarantee your supply & demand of your OWN future talent pool?!

So, I’m going to reveal a secret: everyone in recruitment is hiring.

And there are not enough candidates to supply the demand!

Ok so it’s not really a secret. Anyone in recruitment knows at the moment that there has never been a better time to:

  • become a recruiter and
  • be a recruiter.

Not since the heady days of pre “darkness” as I call it, (ie 2008/9) have recruitment companies seen a consistent perm return nor (mainly) such candidate short markets – good news for all! Or is it?

I run a R2R business that is based on trust and integrity in a very candidate-short market. I am not about to reveal my secrets about how I manage to make ANY money given:

  1. how saturated r2r is these days
  2. how much LinkedIn has affected direct approaches (i.e. my biggest competitor)
  3. given that if you are in recruitment, you are probably not going to move on if you are good and well looked after by your current employer!

So how does any recruitment agency (ie. you) ensure that you can maintain a good supply of talent from people like me as a R2R, or directly, or both?

This blog is therefore a synopsis to potential hiring clients in recruitment as a suggestions lists of how I prepare my carefully selected client portfolio in how to position their businesses versus their competitors and generally other hiring recruitment businesses:

  1. Meet your R2R frequently – If this isn’t always possible, an update call periodically to let them know of your plans, changes to that plan, big news, will bring you back into their mindset for their role as your ambassador and it may spark a match that they wouldn’t have necessarily thought of otherwise!
  2. Ensure your terms payable are attractive – No longer can hiring recruitment businesses (or SHOULD I mean to say) use a R2R on price. You know all the clichés and I am sorry but it is true, you DO get what you pay for. My average fee is 22.5% and there is a reason therefore that the retention rate of my placements made is above average. You pay a “bums on seats” rate, you get ….”bums on seats”.
  3. Don’t use absolutely everybody and be a R2R tart – I am not saying just use one or even pay a retained R2R (I genuinely worry about how impartial you can honestly be to that recruitment consultant if you are only focusing on ONE client?), but if you want us to be motivated to speak to you and for us to trust that YOU are discerning, then be selective in whom your partners are. I am happy to share but not if the client uses R2Rs I distrust or don’t rate. I advise them accordingly.
  4. Know your own USPs – Not generic ones. But specific ones, that maybe industry related, perhaps affiliations/accreditations with governing bodies. As well as obvious ones such as commission structures. Development programs all sound the same unless YOU tell US about testimony of actual staff you have in your business. Get passionate about the USPs. They are the reason someone will work for you…
  5. Give us feedback, let us give you feedback – Be constructive in the process, not a barrier. Allow us to be the experts on each candidate. If some candidates WANT to come back in and meet more people, see the office, meet their colleagues etc, even if this is not your normal process, LISTEN to a discerning career seeker and accept their request!
  6. Make your process transparent, please be open, not guarded in the interviews themselves – I always ask my candidates to just “ be themselves” so that YOU get to see the real (if slightly nervous) person. Well, the same goes for YOU. Let them know the warts and all but also why you work there/why they should! And no surprise tests or role plays please. If you insist on using these as part of your decision making, that is fine, but extend the courtesy by preparing the candidate beforehand.
  7. Don’t move the goal posts – On salary, role, the process. And if you need to, TELL us first. No shocks in the interview please.
  8. Listen to US about what the candidate wants, their motivators, reasons for moving in the first place – Not everyone has the same desires and buttons to push; you need to listen to what each person’s goals are. Then you can work your pitch to ensure you attract them individually.
  9. Above all, be HONEST with us – Don’t keep your real thoughts to yourself until the final stage and then flood us with negatives and concerns. What a waste of time for all concerned. Be frank, candid and honest from day 1 and we all gain from knowing exactly what everyone is thinking and where we stand at each point in the process.

I hope this helps YOU, as the hiring recruitment company. And if you are reading this as a recruiter thinking about a move (thanks for reading thus far!), what do you think? Have I missed anything off (I am bound to have done as I am writing this in between interviews!) that would affect YOU deciding on joining a new recruitment business? As ever, your thoughts, comments, shares and RT are gratefully and happily received.

About Lysha Holmes

Lysha Holmes is founding director of Qui Recruitment established in 2005 to completely challenge the traditionally poorly perceived service offered by other Rec 2 Rec providers. Lysha as Qui Recruitment is dedicated to representing the best talent to the best suited roles, focussing on placing recruiters of all levels in a candidate led service across the NW.

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