By Steve Beckitt, Founder, SourceBreaker

Diversifying is not a new concept in recruitment. As an industry, we pride ourselves on our ability to perform a quick pivot so we can take advantage of a hot new market. 

As the pace of change in the world accelerates, markets fluctuate and different industries rise to prominence, your ability to diversify is going to be essential to ensuring your agency’s success far into the future. 

 I will be hosting a webinar with Dean Kelly on 23rd July at 2pm, providing real life insights into diversifying into new markets.

Before the webinar takes place, I have created three articles that cover the three core areas to consider when moving into a new market. From identifying your market through to winning new client and finding new candidates.

In the previous two articles we covered how to find clients in a new market and position yourself as an expert. Now we are going to key things to consider when looking for candidates in your new market.

So we’ve covered how to identify and win business in your new market. The next step now is filling these roles with top quality candidates. 

1 – Where to find them

Every recruiter has their sources for finding candidates, including job boards, LinkedIn, CRMs, networking events and more. 

You probably have your preferred tool for your current market. But when it comes to finding candidates in a new arena there’s a couple of things to bear in mind. 

Be prepared for your primary source to change

The best sources for finding candidates can vary depending on the space you’re entering so be prepared for your main source to change. This will also be affected by the level of seniority you are targeting and whether you are looking for contract or perm. 

Are you looking to engage active or passive candidates?

The speed of delivery needed will affect which sources your recruiters will use to find candidates. 

If you’re working in a mass market against other agencies, target active candidate sources first. Some of the most successful agencies still have most of their success from the job boards, often in markets where they’re supposedly less useful. 

With more niche requirements, both LinkedIn and head hunting of passive candidates are in many cases the most effective sources.

2 – The importance of speed

The difference between getting a candidate in front of the client and receiving a short, sharp, “We have filled this role.”

Competition is hotter than ever and being faster than your more established competitors is critical. 

Here’s a few things you could do to be consistently quicker than the competition: 

Automate as much of your business as you can

The primary value of your recruiters is their ability to engage with candidates and clients, so wherever possible you should automate everything else.  

Have your team configure their set-up so that information is automatically coming to them rather than them having to go and find it. 

Set up alerts to receive new candidates and vacancies daily.

Find the best candidates currently available and sell them effectively

As all great recruiters know, it’s more about getting the best candidate possible fast and then selling them effectively, rather than waiting for the perfect candidate. 

This makes it critical to cover all available sources as quickly and efficiently as possible. Using an aggregated search, or creating your own sourcing process ahead of time enables this.

3 – Learn the language of your market 

Every industry is full of its own unique set of specialist vocabulary. You’ll gain far greater traction by arming yourself with the information to speak knowledgeably about the market. If that’s not possible, it may be better to be upfront with the candidate and tell them that you’ve not placed their particular skill set before. 

Whatever you do, don’t trip yourself up pretending to be an expert without having the knowledge to pass it off. 

Get to grips with the terminology of your market

Put some time into understanding the key terminology in the new market. For example, markets such as IT and finance are full of abbreviations and acronyms. 

It doesn’t take much to learn the basics of any market, but will help to demonstrate you as an expert over a competitor who didn’t put in the time.

There are great tools out there to help you with this, however a basic start would be to look at any publication / magazines within that industry or reading blogs and articles from the companies you’re trying to break into.

Google is also your friend here. A quick copy and paste of the phrase or acronym will normally help give some basic information and also some alternative ways of searching for the skill or experience. This will increase your knowledge quickly and often find you candidates your competitors aren’t by giving you ways of expressing the skill that you hadn’t previously known of. 

CIMA in accounting is a great example – Google this acronym and it will tell you what the full expression is, and also for me poses the question ‘which is better ACCA or CIMA’. With a bit more research, I can see that either of these qualifications are typically acceptable for clients hiring qualified accountants. 

Learn your client’s own brand of jargon

Many businesses have their own in-house terminology — names for processes and ways of working.

Your client may have their own. Learning them will help you communicate better with both the client and the candidate, enabling you to talk the client’s language and translate their terminology into terms the candidate can understand. 

An easy trap to fall into is to run your search and include acronyms that are specific to your customer. As it’s a specific acronym to that hiring company, it’ll often cut out most of the relevant candidates and not be a prerequisite for the role. 

Much of this will develop from discussion with your client over time.  But as your relationship develops, make sure to take note of words and phrases that repeatedly crop up.  

Want to learn how to put these skills into practice? 

Sign up to our webinar where I will interview Dean Kelly and take you through our best practice guide on diversifying your recruitment market with real life examples.