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How to Win the War

How do Recruitment Businesses Win the War?
The war for recruitment talent started in earnest at the beginning of the year. With the vaccine rollout gathering pace, market confidence returning and economic recovery on the horizon recruitment businesses in the UK have seen business come flooding back as employers struggle to fill open roles.

But, like many businesses, the recruitment industry saw huge swathes of recruiters laid off or furloughed. With the recruitment industry now booming we need those recruiters back!

But, it’s not as easy as that, as published in a recent report by LinkedIn the share of recruiters who were hired away from a recruiting job increased by 33% between January 2019 and March 2020, and 59% between April 2020 and June 2021.
Consequently between June 2020 and June 2021, the number of recruiter job postings rose by a factor of nearly seven!

We’re now in a situation where the demand for recruiters has never been higher, the number of recruiters in the UK market has dropped considerably and recruiters are billing and earning commission in their current seats, often for the first time in over a year and therefore not looking to move.
It’s an overused term, but, the phrase war for talent has never been more applicable as it is now to the UK recruitment industry.

What can UK Recruitment Businesses do?
So many recruitment businesses are going off to war armed with little more than a pointy stick.
A complete review and upgrade to your arsenal may be needed.
We would recommend:

1. Adjust your proposition to make it more appealing.
Recruiters are looking for job security, a great culture, a purposeful mission, advancement opportunities, learning opportunities and flexibility of working.

2. Review your recruitment process.
Chances are if a recruitment professional is visiting your offices for an interview their next stop is to your competitors. How do you structure your interviews, do you sell your proposition? Do you demonstrate to the candidate that you are interested in progressing? Do you move quickly? Do you know their specific move motivators?
Regardless of whether you want to hire them or not, do they walk away from your offices desperate to join you?

3. Review your talent attraction strategy & employer brand.
Reviewing the funnels you use to capture recruitment talent is key. This is quality over quantity. If you work with suppliers are they there right ones, does your website, social media, staff and suppliers all communicate the right messages about your business?

4. Review your rewards structure.
Have you recently reviewed and benchmarked your basic salaries, commission structure and benefits package? It’ll always be a huge factor in attracting recruitment talent and the market is changing quickly.

5. Provide flexible & remote working.
The pandemic has made this a prerequisite for many. Having a remote/ flexible working policy that is in-line with the market has become as important as having a rewards structure that is competitive.

6. Retrain Recruiters.
Many recruitment business are now more open to re-training experienced recruitment consultants from other sectors. Whilst the cost of acquisition is higher than with a graduate/trainee programme, the chances of success are far higher and a return is likely to come faster because your new consultant only needs sector training having already learned recruitment fundamentals.

7. Be wary of the counter-offer.
You’ve had an offer accepted, great! But, counter-offers are abound, staying close to your inbound talent, growing the relationship and continually re-selling is essential. It’s highly likely that not only will they be counter offered by their current employer, they will be approached with other opportunities during their notice period as well.

8. Retain.
Your staff are being hunted regularly. Thankfully a lot of the best retention strategies can run in parallel to your employer brand proposition. Offering job security, a great culture, a purposeful mission, advancement opportunities, learning opportunities and flexibility of working is the start, the next phase is delivering it to your new and existing staff.

Pantheon Resourcing are a provider of retained Rec2Rec talent solutions for businesses looking to make multiple hires. 

Richard Clarke