Diversifying into new candidate markets is not a foreign concept to recruiters. As an industry, we pride ourselves on our ability to effectively pivot into new markets to take advantage of candidate opportunities as they arise.
As the pace of change in the world accelerates, markets fluctuate and different industries rise to prominence, your team’s ability to diversify is going to be essential to ensuring your agency’s success far into the future.
So what are some key things to consider when looking for candidates in a new market?
Where to Find Clients In a New Market
Depending on personal preference and the technology available, every recruiter has a preferred source for finding candidates — whether that’s sourcing through job boards, LinkedIn, Internal or External CRMs, or even networking events.
But when it comes to finding candidates in a new arena there’s a couple of things to bear in mind so be prepared for your primary tool to change depending on the shift in markets.
Additional factors to consider are also the level of seniority you’re hoping to target, whether you’re recruiting for contracted or permanent roles and if you’re looking to engage active or passive candidates.
Targeting Active or Passive Clients
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.
The Importance of Speed When Diversifying
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.
Maintaining A Competitive Edge In New Markets
Speed might not always equal efficiency but if you get your strategies right, you’ll be beating out the competition at every turn and improving productivity.
Here are a few strategies you can use to ensure and maintain a competitive edge.
Automate Recruitment Workflows
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.
Source & Sell Top Talent
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.
Learn The Language of New Markets
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.
In New Markets, Terminology Is Key
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.
Informed Candidate Conversations are Powerful
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.
Use Your Client’s Vocabulary
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 if it’s an acronym specific to that 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 relationships develop, make sure to take note of words and phrases that repeatedly crop up.
TL;DR Key Takeaways
- When diversifying into new markets, it’s important to consider where to find clients, whether to target active or passive candidates, and the importance of speed in filling roles.
- Automating recruitment workflows, sourcing and selling top talent, and learning the language of new markets can help maintain a competitive edge.
- Understanding the key terminology in the new market and using the client’s vocabulary can help communicate better with clients and candidates.