- Recruiting with Dynamite
- The Recruiter's Go To Market Plan
The Recruiter's Go To Market Plan
Part 2: Validating Demand
Hey there, folks!
This is probably the most jam packed value episode I’ve ever done. It’s a deep read and there is a lot here. If you make it to the end (or just skip there), there is a cool offer for my subscribers to get free access to the course that I’m dropping. If you are struggling to pick up leads, you don’t want to miss out on this.
If you've been following along, last episode we took a deep dive into identifying potential markets. We explored the ins and outs of market research, and I shared some of my favorite strategies for uncovering those hidden gems in the recruiting landscape.
But identifying a potential market is just the first step. Now, we're moving onto the next crucial phase: validating market demand. This is where we roll up our sleeves and get down to the nitty-gritty. We're going to dig into the data, have some real conversations, and really get to know our market. It’s not just about finding a market; it’s about finding the right market.
So, what exactly is market validation? In simple terms, it's the process of confirming that your product or service (in our case, candidates or recruiting solutions) meets the needs of a specific market. One that’s not just profitable, but sustainable and fulfilling. It’s about asking, “Is this a wave I can ride, or is it a fleeting ripple?” It's about ensuring that there's a real demand for what you're offering.
We are going to explore two go-to-market strategies: the candidate-led approach, this is your typical MPC led outreach, and the service-led approach, where we focus on offering unique recruiting solutions. Both strategies have their merits, and the best choice depends on your specific situation. Either way, the most important factor in this is thinking long term.
The leading indicator I’ve found on whether a recruiter will be able to make it in a downturn is how they think about their desk and their business.
If they respond to questions in terms of what they are going to extract out of the market this quarter or even this year, then they are often thinking short term and are likely to yo-yo.
However, ones who think in terms of 2-5+ years will have a greater likelihood of success in finding validated markets. Why? Well its very difficult for trendy markets and trendy type offers to last beyond a given period. You are forced to think about the viability of what you are going after and how you can serve the clients, candidates, and your staff.
For example, look at all the mortgage recruiters that jumped head first during the post pandemic boom. Most of them just offered the same products and services to a trendy volatile market. Where are they now?
I really wanted to poke fun at a certain agency here but I’ll not feed my intrusive thoughts… Anyway moving on!
Some of you are thinking “But Will, didn’t you just say follow hot markets?” Yes, but you have to see what is the best way to serve those markets and how that plan is going to add to your long term goal. If you are looking for more clarity on this, I promise if you stick with me through the series you will see what I’m talking about and how to find the balance. So with that, lets get into the demand validation process.
The Candidate-Led Approach
In a Candidate-Led approach, candidates are the product. It’s about finding the talent that companies are desperately seeking and connecting the dots. It’s about being the bridge between talent and opportunity.
Because of this we start with the basics and expand from there. Job boards are a goldmine of information and that’s why I typically start here. The data should reveal things like:
How many roles are open?
What’s the average time they’ve been posted?
How many applicants are they attracting?
What is the historical data on past roles?
How many candidates are on the market compared to the amount of jobs?
These numbers tell a story. If there are 1000s of roles open that have been open for months with few applicants, obviously there is a demand for that skill set. But why is it hard to fill? Are these roles typically undervalued/overworked? Or is it a recently discovered demand like AI Prompt Engineers.
Once you come up with a conclusion start looking into the what industries are generating the most demand.
Pinpoint the industries where candidates will be snapped up like hotcakes.
For example, are companies across various sectors all screaming for accountants? If so, identify which have the most demand starting with the industries you identified are getting the most funding.
You can also look at what other recruiting firms are posting.
Are companies like Jobot, Cybercoders and Motion posting a lot of these roles?
Are there boutique firms with 100s of positions open?
These are all great indicators.
If you become proficient with tools like Clay, then these tasks can be done in seconds vs hours.
Outside of job postings you can also look at influencers, publications, and corporate strategies to determine if there is a trend forming. For example, Forbes came out with this article about the shortage of accountants.
And you can find many more like it.
You need to also validate if these roles are open due to a short or long term cycle, then understand at what stage of the cycle you might be jumping in.
As mentioned in my last article, if you start seeing gurus, courses and experts coming out trying to sell to the general public and capitalize, you might be hitting this market too late. Look at drop-shipping, code academies, and web3 as an example. When did those industries start to get randos who shifted industries due to a course they found on a FB ad? Now this isn’t always the case but it can be an indicator. A modern parody on this is when Meta released Threads and influencers were poking fun at other gurus pitching how they could help you amass a million followers.
What if your market is over saturated? Well it’s not “bad” to be later in the game with oversaturation, you just need to change your approach and find opportunity. Because with that oversaturation you will likely find you can better serve the market based on a service. This is a prime opportunity to look at a service-led approach.
The Service-Led Approach
The Service-Led approach is about more than just filling roles; it’s about solving specific, often complex problems for a very specific Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
For example, you may want to offer a creative services suite like DesignPickle, a marketplace like Upwork (which in its core is a recruiting service) or something more traditional fractional talent acquisition for early stage funding AI startups.
Before diving into this approach, let’s introduce two critical concepts: oversaturation and underservicing. An oversaturated market is flooded with similar services or products, while an underserviced market lacks the depth of expertise needed to meet demand. The magic happens when you find an industry that exhibits both of these qualities.
Let's look at sales. As a profession, its a prime example of this dichotomy. It’s oversaturated; there are countless salespeople out there. But it’s also underserved in specific niches.
This is where Cole Gordon at Closer.io struck gold. Closer.io, one of the fastest-growing agencies in the US, skyrocketed from $0 to $32 million dollars in just two years. They did this by finding an industry with both oversaturation and underservicing. Here is the crazy part, he had no prior recruiting experience or concept of what the standards in the market were. What he did have is a marketing and sales background and a knack for generating great offers.
They didn’t just throw more salespeople into the mix; they offered a full solution suite, recruiting, training, and managing remote sales teams for high-ticket coaching and consulting clients (think Tony Robbins and Guy Kawasaki). He didn't even come in pitching, "I've got candidates for you." He goes straight into the real aspirations of his targets (more on this in article 4). It was a masterstroke, turning a crowded market into a lucrative opportunity. Take a look at his ad below.
To validate this type of Service-Led Approach, you can look at a lot of different factors depending on the service you want to provide.
Continuing using job boards you might see if there is a pattern of roles open in the last few weeks with extremely high applications.
You might find lots of movement in the space but also a high degree of quick turnover like the mortgage and construction industry.
Service-led offerings is a lot harder to validate with quantitative data. But in both cases you still need to get out of crunching numbers and just go ask the market what's happening.
Data you get online isn't going to cut it. It’s now time to listen and understanding. This is where the human touch comes in. Conversations with real people provide the context that numbers alone can’t offer. Data can misleading. It can tell you what is happening, but not why. That’s where human conversations are invaluable.
Ask your candidates and clients about their experiences.
How many recruiters have reached out?
What do they love and hate about the process?
What is the ultimate goal of someone who is in the position?
What are their frustrations with current recruiting options?
What do they wish was different?
What goals are they trying to achieve and how can talent fit into the mold?
These insights are your secret weapon in validating your market, creating offers, and crafting messages that convert..
I have a whole list of questions you can ask that I’ll be releasing with my course in the next few weeks. But those of you joining the BoomLab community can get early access.
We’ve navigated the complex landscape of market validation, emphasizing the dual pathways of Candidate-Led and Service-Led approaches.
The key takeaway? Validation is not a box-ticking exercise. It’s a dynamic, ongoing conversation with the market. It’s about being a detective, a psychologist, and a strategist, all rolled into one.
Once you have validated demand its time to validate the supply and your ability to meet that demand. This part is crucial but I'm going to stay focused on the BD side of things in this series.
Stay tuned for Part 3 where we are going into your positioning and driving that demand.
Did you find this helpful? Do you want a deeper dive? Well all of that is going to be available on our BoomLab Community that will be launching very soon. Honestly, I was hoping to get it out today, but there are a few tweaks I still need to make and I want to make sure you guys are getting a ton of value from it, day 1. “All good things come to those who wait” 🙂
There you'll get:
Product reviews & discounts
Webinars & trainings
Live interviews with top billers
And a community of recruiters looking to grow their skills together.
But wait there is more!
In the next few weeks I’m dropping my Precision Prospecting Course that I’m going to be giving away to my community members as a thank you to all of you amazing recruiters that have been with me from the beginning.
This course is a 5 module self-paced course that will change how you go to market, attract business and capture more leads.
It’s going to be free to my initial community members who are signed up on launch day.
If you are a subscriber, you should be getting an email within the next couple weeks asking you to sign up so be on the lookout.
Have a great week everybody!