Recruitment is a competitive business. No matter the sector, location or how niche your area of specialty there will be others doing the same as you. They will be bigger than your new start up agency, they are already established and recognised within the sector, and they hold a commanding share of the market that they have no intention of relinquishing.
So how can you create a level playing field and gain a competitive advantage as a start up recruitment business? It all comes down to what you offer and how you are different and better than what is already out there. But to get that message ‘out there’, you need to do a little work on your new image.
Here are some of the most effective and proven ways that recruitment start-ups can raise their profile quickly as an agency of choice.
Get to grips with Twitter
Follow the main accounts of the companies on your ‘hot’ list. ReTweet those posts that have greatest relevance, such as a new product launch or contract win. Find out if their MD or HRD is on Twitter and if so follow them too. This puts you on their radar when the next round of vacancies come.
Also follow the press that covers your industry sector. Post stories that your target market may find interesting and useful. This positions you as having your finger on the pulse of what is topical in your sector.
Aim to schedule at least six posts per day – anything less and your opportunities to be seen on Twitter are drastically reduced. This helps to raise your ‘discoverability’ levels not just on Twitter but on Google too, as the search engine now features your most recent Tweet in its search results.
Make LinkedIn your best friend
Most senior people who you will be dealing with use LinkedIn, so make sure you are seen as being at the forefront of your sector, both in terms of your industry knowledge and your understanding of HR issues themselves. Participate in and start group discussions that add value and shine light on a topical matter and are newsworthy.
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s self-publishing tool, imaginatively entitled ‘Publisher’. This blogging platform enables you to upload a blog post that is then seen across your network. If one of your key contacts ‘like’ or ‘share’ it, it will be seen across their network too; thereby, maximising your audience reach, which in turn raises your profile online. You can also post your blog across each relevant LinkedIn group – groups where your target clients and candidates may also be hanging out.
Show off your achievements
Put together a short case study of a key assignment you have worked, outline the challenge and the approach you took and then quantify the result in terms of deliverables, such as time saved, reduced hiring costs, etc. Clients want to know “what’s in it for me?” and by showing what you have done for others, they can get a better insight into what you can do for them.
But be careful about how you position yourself. Calling yourself a “leading provider” is all well and good but as a start up it’s not something you can claim just yet. Focus on what you are great at – maybe you have a different approach to search, perhaps you provide on-going support once an assignee has assumed their new role? With most agency’s guilty of describing themselves as a ‘leading’ provider, by not doing so you actually stand out!
Got an opinion? Talk about it
If you truly know your onions then write about it. As well as LinkedIn Publisher, write a weekly blog on your own website. Blogs that have the maximum effect in terms of attracting readers and raising your profile are those that offer a solution to a problem – the How-to’s that we are all familiar with.
Writing a blog is one thing, but if what you are saying is simply echoing what is already being said elsewhere it wouldn’t stand out. By offering a unique perspective on a topical story you can raise your profile as someone who truly ‘gets’ the sector.
Like any recruitment entrepreneur, you will be ambitious. But to achieve faster growth for your new agency, you need to be smart in your approach. That means focusing on making sure that your cash flow remains healthy, which enables you to focus more of your time on fee-generating activities. That’s where Simplicity can help you.