Recruitment is marketing. Are you ready for that?

There is a new reality in recruitment, which Agency recruiters who want to thrive need to understand, and act on.

Clients are not going to pay you to screen candidates that they can get from job boards or other traditional sources.

In fact;

Any recruitment business model that relies on candidates making proactive applications for jobs is destined to fail.

If the only candidates you have are the ones that come to you when they are ready, you will only have candidates that other people have too.

Your job is to unearth unique candidates. That means candidates not available to your clients, and candidates who have not yet started their job search, through a competitor, or themselves.

We have to build long-term relationships with candidates who have not yet started to apply for jobs.

Candidate relationship is now a long game, which takes patience, communication and relationship building.

It’s a seduction. A romance.

Think about the ‘job applicant’, a person who makes the conscious decision to look for a job change, and then executes a strategy to achieve that. Examine the psychology, and the process they go through.

When an applicant responds to you from a job board, there is every chance that person is already registered with other agencies, responding to client ads direct, and engaging with employers on social media.

Which means that you are not likely to place them.

You understand that don’t you? It’s not only jobs that are ‘in competition’. It’s candidates too.

And in an increasingly tight candidate market, a good talent that you have exclusively, is a walk-in placement.

Lets look at the candidate ‘placeability’ life-cycle.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 12.09.52 pm

The big question is, at what point do you need to engage with a candidate to increase your chances of placing them?

75 % of candidates on LinkedIn are ‘not looking, but at the same time ‘open to an approach from a recruiter’. What tactics do you have to engage with those people? Remember they are not coming to you, not responding to ads…but they are placeable!

The least placeable candidate is using multiple channels. Yes, they have the in-demand skills, but they are with 5 other recruiters, they are applying to client jobs direct, they are flooding job boards with their resume. Clients will not pay you for those candidates.

Recruitment is not a resume race anymore. It’s a talent acquisition business.

The juiciest candidate is he or she who has made the decision to move, but has not acted yet. The skilled recruiter will have developed systems to engage with those candidates, and know they are at that stage, before they start applying.

It’s no longer your job to screen applicants. It’s your job to create candidates!

We have to re-think the very way we view our job function. We have to re-invent how we define a ‘candidate’. We have to adjust our skills and tactics accordingly.

The more skilled a candidate is, the more ‘in-demand’ her talent, the less likely she will use an (traditional) agency for her next move.

Recruiters have historically been a ‘necessary evil’ in the eyes of the best candidates. Sadly, now we have become an unnecessary evil!

We have to change the candidate view of us as body-shops. We must engage via technology, through social and CRM, and in in real life.

Give the best candidates a reason to view us as ‘their Agent’.

And so, to deal with this seismic shift, we must accept, indeed embrace, the fact that recruitment is merging with marketing.

Yes, we have to understand that we are now marketing to candidates. Not screening them. Not advertising for them.

And we have to use consumer-marketing techniques to amplify our positive brand with a wide pool of candidates.

Sure, you have your active candidates ‘in the pipe’ so to speak. Those that are out on interview for you. But you also have your ‘reservoir in reserve’, that you are building relationships with, and funneling into your pipe for the future.

That means marketing. That means targeting appropriate content at candidates so they are interested in what you have to say. Engaging.

We have to identify them, connect with them, engage with them and then seduce them.

We have always said ‘recruitment is all about sales’.

Sales will continue to be important, but maybe now, recruitment is all about marketing.

Are you ready for that?

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