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Why can I recruit for my client's business but not for my own?

Markus Winkler Af W1hht0 N Ss Unsplash

Article posted by Ryan Cleland-Bogle

​This is the most common area that we have had experience of recruitment business owners reaching out for some help with. The ability to attract talent will make or break the momentum and growth of your recruitment business. If you can't attract and retain the best talent for your own business then you can't grow, and if you can't do it for yourself how can you convince your clients you can do it for them?

It's not as easy as it seems because the war for talent is fierce and what makes it even more difficult is that the definition of a good recruiter is so open to interpretation? Good recruiters often have similar traits, but in my experience, they can come from any background, education or vocation, which makes it difficult to pin them down.

The best advice is that if you start recruiting when you have a requirement, due to job flow or someone leaving, then you are too late. Don't take an event-driven approach. Always be working on creating a pipeline of fantastic people to join your business.

This is an area that you need to be consistently working at, which can feel challenging. When you are running a business where a typical day consists of billing, managing, preparing cash flow or raising and chasing invoices– how do you find the time? The answer is you have to. This needs to be part of your daily list of things to do and needs to happen consistently if you want to generate the best talent.

Recruiters, experienced or trainee will take time to start. You need to devote time to do all of the following:-

  • Reaching out online

  • Having a consistent social media strategy

  • Writing adverts

  • Searching linked in

  • Meeting for coffees

  • Hunting down referrals

  • Networking

Whether you have an organic talent strategy or you only hire experienced recruiters, you will need to do all the above and more, because if you don't do it consistently, you won't have pipeline for people when you need them.

Another important factor to work on is that attracting talent is not a job that falls solely at your door. If every person in your organisation does it as a matter of course, your pipeline will mushroom very quickly. Are your recruiters asking their clients who else is delivering for them?

Once you and your team start to do this consistently, it is essential to have a proper sales process where every person is versed on what their part is to play. This doesn't mean it needs to be drawn out or slow, but every person that meets a potential hire in your interview process should be able to articulate the vision and goals of the business, and how they fit into them. The interviewee should feel that everyone is joined up, that they know where the business is going and how they will fit in when they join.

Who are your case studies? Who are the juniors who've joined and performed quickly, who are the seniors who left your competitors to join you and why? If you create a structured and exciting process where interviewees can envisage their role and the potential opportunity for them before you get to offer stage, it will increase your hit rate significantly. By the time you get to offer they should want the job and it's just a case of getting commercials to work for all.

Attracting talent for your business is the single most important area for a human capital business and your success with this will come down to the level of importance you place on it. As a business owner, talent attraction is the one area of your job description that will likely never change!