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Last week I blogged on why so many recruiters have a shallow understanding of what ‘competitive’ in our business actuall...
And so how do we thrive in a competitive world? What is the way to differentiate in 2010 and beyond?
Well it’s not cool to say it out loud, but as far as I am concerned it’s what technology cannot do that our clients will continue to pay for.
It’s a source of constant amazement to me how many of us in this industry have been completely seduced by the technology spin doctors. We are terrified that the Internet will wipe out our business. We agonise over social networking and how it will change the talent-sourcing model.We quake at the power of LinkedIn, and we are hypnotised by the thought our competitors will develop a piece of technology that somehow will make our service redundant.
Don’t get me wrong. Technology is reshaping our business and havingleading-edge technology is crucial, in as much as it allows your consultants to compete on an even playing field, and gives them the tools to give clients and talent what they really want.
But technology will not destroy our industry. At least not all of it – and definitely not the part we want!
This is important because it means that the real value provided by quality recruiters will still have a market. That is, screening, evaluating, persuading, assessing, negotiating, advising, consulting and
acting as an advocate for employers will still have tremendous value.
It is on these competencies that we need to compete.
But it’s also more than interpersonal recruiting skills (which by the way were largely lost during the decade-long hiring boom that preceded the GFC). Talent management is where the real battle for recruitment dominance will be fought. Building talent communities and managing effective communications channels with those communities is where theholy grail lies.
And we will need to compete in other ways too. Customers will increasingly call the tune. And by customers I mean talent as well as clients. The customer experience will build or tarnish your brand like never before. This is where social media will be able to destroy your business. Get it wrong and your brand will be brought downat viral speed. That’s where we have to compete. How we deal with
customers and manage their expectations and experience with us.
Lack of personal interaction is doing our industry no favours. In fact I consider it one of our deepest flaws. Many recruiters use technology to avoid connecting personally with talent, when in fact the real advantage of technology is to get much closer to many morequality candidates.
So social media and technology generally is a threat to you only if you fail to recognise this fact…
… there will continue to be a market for tailored, personalised, high quality business solutions based on an advisory, consultative model, where access to talent is the differentiator.
Don’t be sucked in to competing on the basis of who can commoditise what we do the best. Don’t play the low margin, process game.
As your competitors claim, “we are bigger, have cooler technology and therefore we can do it faster and cheaper” or technology-driven platforms push to cut out recruiters altogether, your premise for doingbusiness is…
“I can solve your problem because I understand your need and I know where the talent live”