The traditional recruitment model is undergoing a transformation as internal recruiters take centre stage. Empowered by platforms like LinkedIn, internal recruiters can now efficiently identify and engage potential candidates. In the UK alone, there are over 30,000 internal recruiters, reshaping the recruitment landscape by bringing tasks in-house that were once outsourced to agencies. This shift presents agency recruiters with a choice: adapt by revising their pricing strategies or focus on specialized areas requiring expertise. In this competitive environment, standing out and understanding client needs are paramount.
So, what steps should recruiters take to distinguish themselves in this evolving landscape?
1. Showcase Expertise: Simply offering a high-quality service is insufficient. To command premium fees, recruiters must demonstrate expertise beyond service excellence. In a climate where businesses, both large and small, are adopting Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), showcasing market knowledge, competitive insights, salary trends, and regulatory expertise is essential.
2. Leverage Social Media: Harness the power of social media to expand your reach and establish yourself as an industry expert. While LinkedIn is ideal for professional networking, Twitter provides a platform to connect with new contacts. Encourage your existing network to follow you on Twitter and engage with a broader audience. Additionally, utilise Facebook to attract individuals from your extended network.
3. Utilize Buffer for Seamless Social Media Management: Manage your social media presence efficiently with tools like SocialBee. Schedule and synchronise posts across Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other platforms to engage with potential clients and candidates. To maintain a steady stream of content, identify 10-20 media outlets that consistently publish relevant content aligning with your audience’s interests.
4. Monitor Key Clients and Competitors: Stay informed about your key clients’ activities by monitoring their websites, including press releases. Keep an eye on their competitors as well. Use dedicated tools, whether free solutions that require more time or turnkey options, to track developments. Being well-informed positions you to engage in insightful discussions with clients, such as discussing the implications of key competitor appointments.
5. Transparent Pricing Linked to Service Levels: Shift from traditional variable fee structures based on factors like role type, salary, or organization size. Instead, outline your services at each step and specify corresponding fees. This transparent pricing approach helps clients better understand the challenges associated with securing niche candidates and enables flexibility when clients seek fee adjustments.
6. Align with Client Positioning: Understand your client’s preferred positioning with potential hires. Avoid overselling the job to candidates, which can lead to misaligned expectations. Research from Recruitment Process Outsourcers (RPOs) reveals that candidates sold heavily by agency consultants may face disappointment when expectations don’t align with reality. This can result in turnover and potential accountability issues for the external recruiter.
7. Invest in Your Candidates: Recognise that your candidates are your true clients. Cultivate a database of star candidates, even when they’re not actively job hunting. Provide them with free career counselling, including salary negotiation advice. This investment will yield dividends when they decide to make a career move.
In this evolving recruitment landscape, adapting to change, demonstrating expertise, and nurturing client relationships are pivotal to success. By following these strategies, recruiters can navigate the shift towards internal recruitment and remain competitive in the UK market.