The rise in job opportunities in the UK in 2013 is good news across the board, but it does have knock on effects for managers of recruitment agencies. With a reported increase in jobs posted across the UK in 2013 of 3%, you’d be forgiven for thinking that everything in the garden should be rosy for recruitment agencies in 2014. In reality what this means is that candidate competition has eased slightly, with a decrease in the average number of candidates going forward for each job from 18 to 16.5. As a result, candidates are enjoying an increased level of confidence and optimism that there are opportunities for them.
The key sectors that are seeking to fill placements right now are accountancy and construction as well as catering and hospitality. At the other end of the spectrum there’s financial services, which has for many a year been the backbone of the UK economy. This sector in fact saw an almost 10% decline in 2013. Other sectors to take a hit were manufacturing and media, reinforcing that unfortunately, a cloud accompanies pretty much every silver lining.
So what does all this mean for the recruitment horizon in 2014?
There’s no getting away from the fact that there will be winners and losers from these developments, but what are the 10 things that you can do to make sure your agency is a winner? One surefire way to be a winner is to make sure you maintain a consistently high quality pool of candidates and here’s how:
- Clearly identify your USPs. Your USPs (or Unique Selling Points) are one of the most important parts of your business philosophy and communication. Identifying your USPs mightn’t be easy, but it’s well worth the effort. If you’re struggling, ask some clients to get involved in the process. Once you’ve identified at least 3, make sure you communicate them clearly on all your sales and marketing material.
- Identify your strengths. Identifying your agency’s strengths as well as the strengths of each member of your team will allow you to seek out opportunities that you know you can convert and deliver on.
- Work to your strengths. Once you’ve identified your strengths, have the confidence to work to them. Chasing deals where you’re weak will reduce confidence and dilute your public profile.
- Identify your weaknesses. No agency or individual is good at everything and 2014 is the time to face that. If you have weaknesses that leave you exposed, you need to plug the gap (see below). If however the weaknesses you identify simply mean that you should avoid certain opportunities, take note.
- Plug the gaps. If you identify weaknesses that leave you exposed in today’s competitive marketplace, take action. This might mean investing in training or new people, either way, if you’ve done your homework, there’ll be a positive ROI.
- Motivate your recruitment team. Times have been tough of late and your team might need a boost. Make sure you keep them informed, keep them on their toes and keep them motivated.
- Take advantage of the social media. The social media is arguably one of the key drivers in the changes ahead in the recruitment world. If you’ve been ignoring it and hoping it’ll go away, 2014’s the time to stop. It’s not going away, so it’s time to use it to your advantage.
- Be selective. Only by putting forward the best possible candidates can you expect the results you’re hoping for. 2014 is the time to either only accept top-notch candidates or invest the time required to get your candidates to the top of their game.
- Ask for referrals. Asking for referrals isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us, but in the recruitment world, it certainly pays dividends. If you do a good job for a candidate (or indeed a client), don’t be afraid to ask if they know anyone else who might benefit from your service.
- Focus. If there’s one thing that is likely to run the length and breadth of 2014, it’s focus. This is not a time to take your eye off the ball, even for a second. Get your goals firmly in focus and keep them there.
If you’d like some outside input to help get your agency firing on all cylinders, why not get in touch? At Recruitment Accountants we have a team of experts who can help make your business even more successful in the year ahead.