We all know the feeling, 100 vacancies but only one candidate and he didn’t turn up for the interview anyway. Yep, you’ve guessed it, you’re in a candidate-led market.
But what really is a candidate-led market?
In reality, this is a market where recruiters are fishing in a small pond, for the big fish. 100 of us, chasing 1 great candidate. “There are just too many vacancies” I hear you scream! You’ve got 1 Cristiano Ronaldo, but 60 games in one day – there’s just not enough Ronaldo to go around. And yes we all know the feeling…if you had 60 great candidates you’d make 60 great placements. Just like if Real Madrid had 60 Cristiano Ronaldo’s, they’d win 60 games every day! Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that – sorry to spoil the party.
So, it’s safe to say that these markets exist. & when you are looking to starting your own agency, this type of market can sometimes discourage a recruiter from making the leap to Entrepreneurship. So how can we overcome it? How can a “small start-up” overcome such a “big” problem?
Sector specific job boards
You’re in the veterinary recruitment market, as niche as they get and you’re trying tirelessly to find any candidates in Cornwall to fill a vacancy you’ve had, longer than that coffee mugs been on your desk. You feel like you’re hitting a brick wall, and the only things moving are your knuckles in your right hand! Here’s a thought…have you currently got any access to vet-specific job boards? In a candidate-led market, advertising on the “mainstream” job boards (for example Reed and Total Job) is just not enough.
Don’t be lazy
Look we’ve all been there…looking at the infamous “0” next to applicants on yet another advert you posted and thinking “what else can I do?!” The answer is partly to be more pro-active. Change the job title of your advert or the wording altogether – whatever makes that advert feel fresh and appealing to the candidates of the world. I mean does Mourinho change the Manchester United formation every game? Yes! I’m not sure whether that is smart or stupid, but it sure is pro-active. Be your own Jose!
U is for U!
In a market with just 1 high calibre candidate, can you afford to take your time? No! You work with speed, you set them up with as many interviews as you can or you risk losing the only “diamond in the rough” market of a candidate-led dilemma. The three U’s: urgency, urgency, urgency. Do I need to say it again?
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook ought to be a mainstay in the arsenal of us all. I’m sure the majority of you have social media accounts, and that doesn’t surprise me. But how many of you use them? Not a lot; I would bet my 5-bedroom tower house on it (well, my one-bedroom flat that I share with my sister & her boyfriend). You’re sitting on a goldmine of potential candidates, guys! It’s like saying Manchester City know they have one of the best players in the world, in Sergio Aguero, but put him on the bench and pay him £300k for the service. Where’s the return on that investment? I’m not saying social media will cost you £300k a week, but in terms of time spent – do you have a return on your investment?
In a Candidate-led market, candidates are not only hard to come by, but also hard to retain. Can you really afford to have no “recruitment to recruitment” relationships? One thing to consider is split-fee arrangements with some of the other leading recruitment firms in your particular sector. A 50/50 split on all candidates for example? Think how many SGS clients operate in a related field to yours. Surely, SSG could find you a playmate?
Think outside the box
Permanent vacancies can be filled with contract staff.
If your client has been looking a permanent nuclear physicist and all he’s got so far is my 4-year-old son, imagine the grief he must be getting from his boss about the delay! Why not be his Knight in shining armour, and offer him one of your hugely priced £100 an hour contractors as “temporary solutions”? That way you solve his urgent problem while making a fast easy fat fee for yourself.
Be an exhibitionist
You have to be out there! My favourite example of this very point is a glamourous SSG client who was very short of HGV drivers. Her response was not to give up, but instead to loiter around trailer parks with fliers and hot chocolate. Can you imagine how many drivers signed up? She ran out of paper before hot chocolate! Of course, I am not suggesting this strategy suits everyone (didn’t work for me – and I even had chocolate digestives!). Instead, I’m urging you to get yourself out there, you can’t grab the bull by the horns unless you’re in the fighting pit or the trailer park…
So – what are you waiting for?