Talent access of the past was transactional. Search professionals would receive job orders, then respond with individuals well-suited to the role. But today’s talent strategies are incredibly complex, and call for a more nuanced and collaborative approach. The World of Work is changing — as organizations evolve along with it, they need support to grow teams that will help them reach their goals.
The best recruiters have risen to the occasion, shifting into consultative partnerships that expand far beyond just filling job orders. It’s an exciting time for the industry — but it’s also a time of growth and competition, as recruiters look for ways to bring more and more value to their clients and partners.
To stand out from the competition and provide your clients with added value, try out these approaches and tactics.
Understand Client Needs
Despite the advances in our industry, there’s a lingering misconception that recruiters are stuck in an outdated, transactional model. Too many clients feel that recruiters don’t do the deep listening required to truly understand the roles they are searching for, and that they prioritize the highest-earning talent to increase their fees, whether or not they are the best fit for the role.
That’s why conscientious listening is an important — and often undervalued — first step to providing added value and standing out as a search professional. An intimate understanding of your clients’ needs, goals, and culture helps you recruit talent that will thrive in their new roles and have an immediate positive impact on the business.
Tell Your Client’s Story
That brings us to my next point. Don’t just search, tell a story! Your client’s story is their employer brand — it’s what shows potential candidates who they could become as part of the team. Whether or not your client has already put effort into their employer brand, it’s your responsibility to share their story and foster goodwill about their company in the marketplace.
Mindful messaging will build and improve your client’s hiring brand, promoting their unique strengths and communicating their workplace culture. This is how you attract talented individuals who connect with your client’s mission and become integral to their company. Your client may have already put in the work to define brand story and key messaging; in that case, your job is to make sure you’re sharing it effectively with your network while staying on brand. If they haven’t, you can offer to workshop some potential narratives with their team. This language can be used when you’re speaking about the company and role to keep things consistent and build their brand.
Advise Through Consultation
The ability to advise partners on their talent access strategy sets the next generation of recruiters apart from those stuck in the antiquated, transactional model. Because change is still ongoing in this area of our industry, adapting to it provides a rare and urgent opportunity for recruiters to stand out.
Acting as a consultative partner is hard work. It requires professionals to do their research, attain deep understanding of their client and market, and go well beyond the needs of a single, isolated transaction. That could mean staying in touch with clients regularly, and listening to their goals and concerns around building the team they need. Share your expertise around where you see your clients’ industries going, and potential skills gaps or other shifts in their sector they should anticipate needing to hire and train for.
Consultation is never easy, but it does come more naturally to recruiters with a genuine passion for and engagement with their industry. If you are willing to broaden your relationship with your client by learning about their history, people, and culture, you will better represent them in the marketplace and attract individuals who set them apart from their competition.
Leverage Tech and Data
Data is ever-present in the new World of Work. In fact, we are drowning in it. The challenge is no longer just accruing data, but interpreting it so that it can be used to drive business decisions and maximize profits.
Talent professionals who can translate data into actionable insights are providing true value to their clients. Data on people and market performance can help clients decide everything from compensation grades at certain levels, to where to build a new plant or distribution center.
It goes beyond data — in this new landscape, technology will not replace recruiters but recruiters who make the most of technology will replace those who don’t. Use technology, like the solutions offered to MRI members, to increase efficiency, amplify your message, and fill more job orders than ever before. These tools make it possible for recruiters to take their business to an entirely new level. When you’re joining a new firm, ask them what tools and training you will gain access to, that will support you in your role.
Adapt With The Marketplace
If COVID-19 taught our sector anything, it’s that recruiters need to be agile enough to quickly respond to the market’s demands. This is a time of immense opportunity as well as great change — in the last five years alone, demand for talent has increased over 50%.
For example, in the aftermath of the pandemic, on-demand solutions have become even more popular than ever, with interim and contract staffing rising sharply to meet this demand. Upskilling of existing workers is another major employer concern in the current climate, and yet another challenge recruiters need to provide solutions for.
Develop a Voice and Presence
It may sound counterintuitive to develop your voice as a recruiter. Shouldn’t you be telling your client’s story, instead of your own? The short answer is: both. Establishing yourself as a respected presence in your niche enables you to start attracting talent before you even have a job order to fill.
Talented, motivated workers are always seeking out inspiration, guidance, and education. By providing it, you’ll become a destination they trust and recognize — and in turn, clients will go where they have access to the talent: you.
Onwards and Upwards
Talent access professionals’ roles are changing — but they’re broadening and expanding in incredibly exciting ways. Those who are prepared to go the extra mile for their clients will see themselves rise to the top of this industry by connecting talented individuals with work at companies they believe in.
Providing added value to clients is no longer optional. But look at this as an opportunity, rather than a challenge or obstacle. The industry belongs to recruiters with a passion for their niche and market. If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to say that you’re among those who want to keep growing, evolving, and mastering their craft.