- Recruiting with Dynamite
- The Big Shift
The Big Shift
Recruiters Need To Prepare
This week I sat down with David Rolls, and went over a host of topics related to BD and the state of recruiting. The interview was very fun and packed with some great insights. You should check out the full interview at the bottom of the page.
One of the topics that came up was how the market is changing and our need to embrace it vs fight it.
In the ever-evolving world of agency recruiting, there's no shortage of "gurus" advocating for a shift in marketing focus from candidates to services. While there's merit to this perspective, it's crucial to remember that the best placement-focused recruiting agencies continue to prioritize the candidate in their outbound efforts.
It's like a good meal - the main course (the candidates) always takes center stage. If not, you aren’t selling placements; you are selling something different… and that’s fine.
The Changing Landscape of Agency Recruiting
The standard contingency model is currently under strain. A seismic shift has been taking place in the industry since 2018, with recruiters increasingly being seen not as an administrative HR function, but as a revenue hub. In that time, companies dumped major dollars putting both agency and internal recruiters to work.
The tech market, specifically, led the charge in creating a layered business unit with talent coordinators, sourcers, recruiters, talent ops and ultimately a talent acquisition strategist at the helm.
So many layers led to bloat, muddied up processes, and created a massive influx of junior people in our space. Now, that the market has shifted and TA needs have dwindled, those secondary+ positions have been relieved, leaving an oversupply of TA professionals without a job.
Agencies aren’t much better. To meet demand, many agencies focus on putting butts in seats and saturating markets like tech, construction, and finance. Now that the market has shifted, those folks aren’t performing well, don’t know how to pivot, and are being released after PIP.
To combat this, many of these two categories of folks are entering into the world of self-employment, leading to your prospects having more than enough options to choose from and a lot of noise to get through.
Products VS Service
Lots of gurus (who haven’t been in a producing role in years, had a couple successful years during boom time, or never really billed at all) are telling folks to sell on service and stick to a single niche…
While this isn't terrible advice, it's essential to understand that if you choose this route, you are now selling service and not placement, a key distinction. Because of this, you shouldn't sell as a standard 20-30% recruiting offering.
Instead, you need to adjust your offering entirely based on the needs of your end client. If you don’t, it's like trying to sell a horse to a cowboy who needs riding lessons.
For example, does a VP of Finance at a Series B startup need a seasoned controller (the position that is open) or do they need a recruiter who can better their process? You might say both, but at the end of the day, they may not have a process issue. Therefore, the core pain you are helping with isn’t the process (service). The seasoned controller is actually filling the gap (product).
If there is a process issue and that’s what you want to sell on improving then…
Your customers look much different,
You identify & validate them differently
Your offering looks much different than a standard 20-30% placement fee.
Luckily, I do think this differentiation in service, products, and offerings is where the industry is going.
The Rise of Segmentation in Services
As the recruiting landscape continues to evolve, we're likely to see a rise in segmentation of services. This shift is a positive one, as it allows recruiters to specialize based on the unique value they bring to the table.
No longer will recruiters be expected to be a jack-of-all-trades. Instead, they can focus on areas where they excel, whether that's full desk placement, sourcing, talent acquisition strategy, copywriting, recruiting process operations, talent marketing, and so on.
This specialization not only allows recruiters to hone their skills in a specific area, but also leads to a more scalable and healthy business environment. That influx of self-employed TA’s and Recruiters I touched on earlier, can now differentiate build businesses that scale. Companies prefer this vs hiring folks full time for a position they may only need intermittently. Each member brings their unique expertise to the table, resulting in a more efficient/ effective process and an ability to genuinely productize your business.
Contrary to the doom and gloom, it's an exciting time to be in the recruiting industry, as we adapt to these changes.
Many of you are probably thinking, “That’s great Will, but where do I start?”
The Importance of Market Validation for Proper Segmentation
In order to segment effectively, it's crucial to validate your market. This involves thorough research on both the Total Addressable Market (TAM) and the individual decision-makers within it. It's like being a detective, gathering clues and piecing together a comprehensive picture of your target market.
Market validation allows you to understand the needs, pain points, and goals of your target audience. This knowledge is invaluable when it comes to crafting your messaging, content, and offerings. It ensures that what you're offering aligns with what your market needs and wants.
For instance, if you're a recruiter specializing in talent acquisition strategy, you'll want to understand the challenges companies face in this area. What are their pain points? What solutions are they currently using, and where do these solutions fall short? By answering these questions, you can tailor your services to address these specific issues, making your offering more attractive to potential clients.
Similarly, understanding the individual decision-makers within your target market allows you to personalize your outreach efforts at scale. What are their roles within the company? What are their professional interests and priorities? This information can help you craft messages that resonate on a personal level, increasing the likelihood of a positive response.
In essence, market validation is about making sure that your services meet a real need in the market. It's about aligning your offerings with the demands of your target audience, resulting in a win-win situation for both parties.
Embracing AI in Recruitment
In today's digital age, tools like Apollo and ChatGPT have made market validation and segmentation easier than ever. These tools leverage the power of AI to streamline and automate many of the tasks involved in market research and personalization.
The problem is that much of this can feel like you are spinning plates. You might have tons of tabs open and using various tools to validate, identify and engage your market. That’s where Clay comes in and supercharges the whole thing.
Think of it like a Classpass for data enrichment and personalization from over 50+ data providers. It integrates with tools like Apollo and ChatGPT, enhancing their capabilities and making your workflow even more efficient.
With Clay, you can automate repetitive tasks, manage your contacts, and keep track of your interactions, all in one place. It's like having a personal assistant who specializes in market research, personalization, and organization, helping you focus on what you do best.
In this season of Recruiting With Dynamite, I'll be showcasing how to use AI tools to be a tireless assistant in your BD game and help flip the switch from hard mode.
The future of agency recruiting is here, and it's time to adapt, innovate, and embrace the shift.
However, if you need a more catered approach to your BD strategy in 2023, be sure to reach out.