UK Recruiting Trends 2016’ report key findings and how should these impact your strategy?Quality of hire is the most important performance metricsummarises ‘
Quality of hire continues to be the most valuable performance KPI. The most common way organisations are measuring this is through turnover or retention statistics, followed by hiring manager satisfaction and new hire performance evaluation. The report does highlight however that only 23% of UK-based organisations are confident about measuring quality of hire effectively – so when thinking about and planning your processes, consider the information that you need to be capturing and how to capture it in order to be making confident calculations.
Social networks are a key source of quality hires
Social professional networks continue to rise and be a major source of quality hires – not surprising when they also found that 56% of professionals say they turn to these networks when looking for new opportunities. It’s important that your strategy includes a focus on utilising social and professional networks; not just utilising them however, utilising them well. It’s important that your consultants know how they should be using these platforms – firing out connection requests and generic InMail’s blind isn’t the way forward. There’s lots of information online about best practice which you can use to help with this, or better still you could invest in a small amount of training to get everybody off on the right foot.
Elevating employer brands is a long-term focus
Aligning nicely with the previous point, the importance of the employer brand has re-emerged as a top priority with the company website, online social and professional networks and word of mouth listed as the most effective employer branding tools. This is something for which the responsibility largely falls to your marketing department as well as your consultants, so your marketing strategy needs to take this into account.
Employee retention is a top priority for recruitment businesses
The recruitment market has always been competitive. The director of a local recruitment firm however said to me recently that, while it has always been competitive things have certainly intensified over the last few years – having a direct impact on employee retention amongst other things. If your competitors hear about one of your consultants doing particularly well, they’ll make a bee line for them. This report’s findings fall completely in line with that, suggesting that both recruiting the right talent initially and retaining it are both big priorities. Giving your staff ample development and progression opportunities should be factored into your strategy, as well as encouraging them to give you feedback on what they feel would increase their overall job satisfaction. Once they have, it’s important to demonstrate that you have listened to this feedback and that where possible it’s been acted upon, so reporting back to your organisation on this should also be factored in to your plans.
The key theme that emerges from all of the above is an emphasis on relationships. Relationships with potential candidates, your employees, departments within the business and even with your own data. Considering how to strengthen and maintain these relationships, as part of your strategic planning is therefore crucial to succeed. Do this well, and you should find your organisation can much more effectively address the key issues outlined above, putting you on the right track and in a better position than your competitors. Just don’t forget to revisit your strategy and objectives once in a while to ensure that you are still on the right path.
A Client-Centric Approach
But what are the reasons behind this?
Marketing is always better when there’s a clear focus, which being client-centric and immersing yourself in their world will allow you to do. Messages can be tailored to the exact purpose/sector, highlighting your knowledge of that industry and how you can help clients address their key pains and activity will be consistent so there’s no risk of confusion. If trying to appeal to multiple sectors then you’ll either be always posting generic messages without as much impact, or conflicting messages that make it unclear exactly who it is that you are targeting and potentially limit your appeal.
Increased appeal to those sectors
Okay, so you’ve alienated yourselves from however many sectors but, to those that you’re targeting, your appeal is going to be much stronger giving you a huge competitive advantage. When given the choice who wouldn’t prefer to work with an expert in their field? The key when it comes to achieving this is using the right promotional messages and really highlighting your experience, not just the fact that that it’s them you’re targeting – experience will be what attracts people.
Clear focus for your consultants
By giving your consultants a clear focus, they can learn about that industry and all of the intricacies and position themselves as thought-leaders, both through their activity online and when having conversations with candidates and clients. It will also help them with placing candidates, as they’ll know the roles and businesses so well that the right people will more instantly spring to mind. It’s important to encourage your consultants to do this if you are going to take this approach, educating them as to the benefits of making this effort and allowing them time or incentivising them in some way to get to know their industries, and to be doing ongoing research on a regular basis.
Enhanced quality of relationships and more repeat business
If being client-centric allows you to take a more focused, qualitative approach to the business that you’re doing then your relationships with your clients will only improve. This should not only help your consultants when placing candidates but also positively impact whether you get repeat business, your ability to become official suppliers for organisations and your referenceability which can be important when promoting your experience in a sector. Having testimonials, case studies and references is a great way to back up any claims you make about your expertise, and clients you have a good working relationship with are far more likely to oblige.
The above doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful if you don’t take this approach, however it’s arguably easier in today’s market if done well and the benefits far outweigh the potential drawbacks. As I said at the start it isn’t a case of just targeting one vertical, it’s a case of focusing on a certain sector or closely connected sectors and the verticals within those and then giving your consultants a more particular focus within that. It also isn’t a case of just picking verticals out of thin air; to work you need to have the background knowledge both personally and within your team, so start with evaluating your skillsets first if you’re going down this route. It’s all about striking the balance, tailoring your approach, empowering your consultants, being client-centric and doing what you do well in order to make money and be successful as a business.