If you have been reading all the latest recruitment industry and national press you will know that the economy is on the upturn. In fact, the recruitment sector is predicated to have its best year in 2014.
Pricewaterhousecoopers, in a recent survey reported that over 1200 CEO’s identified that recruiting key talent was a number one priority for their own business growth.
In theory then all is looking good and perhaps the challenging times of the last few years are over? Unfortunately not so. With growth comes competition and a need to become ‘distinctive’ in your own recruitment sector. To become the recruitment company of choice for candidates, clients and new employees a mindset shift will have to take place. Your company profile may need to change to stand out and a key driver for this will be your people and the culture you develop within your recruitment organisation.
Here in lies the challenge. Why? Because most recruitment organisations don’t realise this. Historically you only need to carry out some research on what company’s do that excel in a buoyant market. In fact look at the Sunday Times top 100 companies for the last couple of years and you will notice a number of recruitment companies. A significant percentage cites staff development as a key reason for their growth.
Where can you start and what do you need to pay attention to in 2014. Here are my top 5 that I predict will give you your biggest return.
1. Think big and have a vision
The truth is few people think big and surprisingly many companies don’t have a defined vision of where they want to go. I will apologise to Mac users in advance and many moons ago Bill Gates had a vision of a computer in every home. At the time people thought he was crazy and now many homes in the Western world have at least one computer; in the last year Dell one of a number of computer hardware suppliers made 13 billion dollars in just one year. Setting a vision works. Make sure your recruitment company has one so your people know where they are going and have something to aim for.
2. Company culture is a key part of your brand
I am a great advocate of marketing as a way to bring in clients candidates and talent. Your ‘brand’ needs to stand out amongst all the others out there and many people miss the connection that your employees and the culture within your organisation are also a key part of your brand.
Create the right culture (and communicate it) through developing your team and growth is almost guaranteed.
3. Candidate engagement
The current buzzword flying around LinkedIn and various recruiting blogs. Engaging clients through marketing and social media is key and then what? At some point candidates are going to speak to a real person.
If your recruitment consultants don’t know what to say to engage and influence you are in trouble. Having a desperate air and ‘bull in a china shop’ communication strategy won’t work. So train your staff what will work and watch what happens.
4. Develop your staff- consultants and leaders
A nice lead on from number 3. The last few years have seen many recruiters relying on their current skills or just working longer hours to generate the billings they want. Hard work is all well and good; however imagine the uplift in billings your team will produce with some honing of skills? One of the key ‘gripes’ employees have is that they don’t get ‘developed’ or that there isn’t a system for improvement.
Development is an investment not a cost. Many recruitment training organisations will even guarantee the increases you can expect in revenue.
5. Attract talent
Businesses grow through the right business strategy delivered by the best people. Read that again please! You can’t do it on your own. If you ‘try’ and do that you will put yourself in an early grave.
So recruit great people and develop them. If you are taking action on number 1-4 talent will want to work with you I guarantee it.
There you have it 5 key areas of focus for you to reflect over the next few weeks if you are serious about making 2014 spectacular.