The one word that seems to be synonymous with our industry is ‘competition’. We are forever telling each other how ‘competitive’ it is and how many ‘competitors’ we have. And it’s all true.
But the areas most recruiters compete on are rarely the ones that truly differentiate us. Going forward, the recruitment industry is going to compete in totally new ways, and that’s going to leave many ill-prepared recruiters far, far behind.
In this, Part 1 of ‘How not to compete”, I cover two time-honoured, sacred cows of the industry. Recruitment is about speed and it’s about how much stuff you do.
Is this what we should be competing on?
Speed – which to most recruiters means how quickly we can respond to requests for help from clients. And it is true, urgency and focus are critical success factors in recruitment. But what does it mean when speed is all you have to offer? When speed is your primary competitive weapon? When we compete solely on speed, it of course leads to competition based on how fast we can work – not on the quality of what we do. It becomes a race. That’s it. And that leads to short cuts, and shoddy work and candidates being referred to jobs without permission being gained, and unseemly ‘resume races’ and squabbles over who represented candidates first, and a myriad of other ugly consequences, which serve only to weaken our image in the eyes of candidates and clients alike.
Volume – and I don’t refer here to ‘volume recruitment’ per se. Nothing wrong with professionally delivered, high volume recruitment. What I am talking about is recruiters and recruitment companies whose only competitive tactic is to churn out volumes of calls, mailings and reverse marketed resumes. Again don’t misunderstand me. All these tactics have their place. But when its all you have, it results in recruiters being exhorted by desperate managers, totally bereft of new ideas, to do more cold calls, send out more bumff, make more unwelcome visits. Which ultimately means we end up essentially competing on who can annoy our clients the most!
The fact is, clients’ expectations are rising, candidates are becoming far more sophisticated in what they expect from our industry.
Competing on speed or volume alone is not enough.
Tune into to next weeks blog for ‘Competition in Recruitment. This is what it is NOT (Part 2)’
- Posted by Greg Savage
- On November 8, 2010
- 1 Comment