I’ve been there.
Anyone who’s worked in agency recruitment has.
You think you’ve done the hard part – you’ve picked up the job from a client, possibly even got a retainer or exclusivity, all you need do now is find that perfect candidate. Simple.
Well, that’s usually where the problem starts. You’ve scoured LinkedIn, advertised, blitzed the CRM, asked for referrals, but nothing. You just can’t find what you’re looking for. Now there’s a possibility that the client either has unrealistic expectations, but let’s assume you’ve done your job and managed those expectations. You’ve got a brief that you think is fillable.
It could be just a dip in the market and access to talent that you thought was there just isn’t – hey it’s January they could still be at the beach and not checking their Linkedin. Possibly.
So, you’ve spent weeks and in some cases, even months searching. You’ve managed the client expectations and your competitors seem to be filling jobs and you can’t understand why you can’t find that gun candidate. There may be another reason you’re not filling the job….
You’re not the right recruiter for the job!
Please don’t take that the wrong way. It doesn’t mean you’re not a great recruiter, but it could be that you’re not the right person to be working this job. It may be simply that you don’t have the right network. The days of chucking an ad on SEEK and that magical candidate landing at your feet are long gone – your network is everything. There’s a good chance one of your competitors is sat there in exactly the same situation.
Some of you may have read my last post where I talked about my experience of knowing a competitor was working roles that I was better placed to support and I had roles that they were better placed to work. You can read more about it here
What if you got together with five of your competitors and you all laid your active jobs out on a table. If we looked within all your networks collectively, how much easier would it be to fill those jobs?
Focus on your fill rate
From a business development perspective, the key to your success this year lies not in your ability to pick up jobs, but to pick up the right ones.
Don’t be afraid to say no. Your client will respect you for it and you will save yourself countless hours/days/weeks of unproductive searching. Persevere to seek out and support roles in your niche!