Here at The Sales Manager, we know that without knowing our product, competitors and industry inside-out, we’re not going to close deals. It simply stands to reason that without an in-depth knowledge of the needs and positions of the prospective buyers, we cannot help them to solve their problems or grow their businesses.
This is especially true for Recruitment.
Let me introduce you to ‘Jenny’ (not based on a real person of that name!). Jenny is what many clients think of as a typical recruiter. Jenny will meet with a candidate, immediately pick up the phone and have a conversation which goes something like this:
“Hi, I’m just calling to see if you have any vacancies going?”
“Umm… well, what candidate are you trying to place?”
“He’s called Dave; he’s a lovely guy, I think you’ll like him.”
“I see, well we’re a digital technology company, does he have any experience in software design?”
“Yes, he’s been working at a printing company for three years”… and so it goes on.
Jenny hasn’t taken the time to research the company or learn enough about the tech industry to know whether her candidate is a good match, or even if he has the right skill set and qualifications.
I guarantee that some of your competitors are recruiting in this way.
The bad news is that many clients have a negative view of recruiters because of conversations like these. The good news is that it gives you an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
Knowing Your Marketplace
When you understand the industry you’re recruiting in to, you have the advantage of being able to speak to clients on a different level. You also know you’re presenting the right candidates to the right employers.
But, what do I mean by knowing your marketplace?
1. Knowing Job Roles & Responsibilities
Do you know the titles and positions of individuals within the industry? What are their job descriptions? To recruit a credit controller, for example, you first need to know what a credit controller does. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often recruiters don’t know the basics.
2. Matching Requirements & Expectations
Knowing the qualifications needed to perform specific roles ensures you’re placing the right people. Understanding average salaries within the industry is also important so the candidate knows what to expect and you can be realistic in what you ask for.
3. Using the Right Language
Do you know the lingo? Being able to communicate with people and use the right terminology avoids confusion and gives you credibility.
4. Knowing the Industry-Specific Challenges
(and offering a solution). Nothing gets clients chomping at the bit, ready to employ your candidate, more than providing a unique solution to their problems. If you don’t know the challenges they face as an industry, you can’t even begin to help fix them.
5. Keeping Up-to-Date
What’s new in their industry? Are there new regulations coming in? Has someone recently introduced a piece of machinery or software that’s likely to shake up how they operate? Like knowing the challenges, if you’re on top of recent developments, you’re able to adapt your recruiting to suit the changes quickly.
When I was working in finance recruitment, I would read The Financial Times every single day. I’ll let you in on a little secret, I didn’t ‘get’ much of it, but it gave me a basic understanding of the changing face of the industry and put me at an immediate advantage with clients.
That’s why knowing your marketplace is such an important aspect of recruitment. Without it, you’re just another ‘Jenny’. But, with knowledge comes credibility, and credibility is what makes you stand out from the crowd.
Contributor Julie Futcher of The Sales Manager.