Aaron McIntosh, General Manager at Bullhorn gives an insight into building a growth-focussed recruitment business.

Aiming High.

The Australian recruitment industry has seen consistent growth over the past year. According to Bullhorn’s Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID), 81 per cent of recruiters expect a revenue increase for their firms this year. 

While this figure is hugely promising, numbers don’t always give the full picture. A large proportion of the Australian recruitment industry consists of small businesses (80 per cent have ten staff members or fewer). Several of these businesses are not truly geared for growth because they still use outdated technical systems and are not keeping up to speed with the latest recruitment skills and requirements. 

In order to continue growing and remain relevant, these recruitment companies need to make sure they are working with the right technology and upskilling in the right areas. Here are a few strategies that recruitment companies can adopt right away.

Upskill staff members on the latest technology

Just like many other industries, recruitment and staffing professionals must reskill and upskill so that they can continue to deliver relevant services for clients and candidates. It’s reasonable to expect clients will start to look for more strategic ‘workforce solutions’ rather than just recruitment assistance, so it’s worth scrubbing up on skills that will keep them relevant.

One area that’s worth recruiters training up in is data analytics. It’s increasingly being used in the process of sourcing and placing candidates, so the ability to analyse and action the potential data that emerges from it will be highly useful. Data-driven recruitment automation tools can also improve agencies’ competitive position in familiar and new markets. 

We also recommend taking advantage of marketing automation software. Many of these programs allow you to segment and streamline your search. You can use their analytics to determine if your approach is effective and engaging, then employ and fine tune those strategies for future recruitment campaigns.

Develop scalable systems and processes 

Technology-buying decisions need to match up with forecasted business growth. You need technology that’s scalable so its usage can easily grow alongside the business. This is where software that is “true cloud” comes in. This software should have minimal installation requirements, be updated to bring out new features in real time at no additional costs, be reliable, secure, and easily configurable with open APIs for customisation. 

In the age of GDPR, your roadmap also needs to have a comprehensive data management strategy built into it. Regulations aside, poor data management can be a real roadblock for growing recruitment businesses as it can throw teams out of sync, causing client work to be processed slowly and inefficiently.

Create strategies to get the best candidates

Our research found almost half of recruitment companies do not have a marketing budget or strategy in place. What’s more, 87 per cent do not have a chief marketing officer and 74 per cent do not have a VP of marketing either. 

In today’s candidate-driven job market, top-tier talent will most likely conduct their own research first – acquiring as much information as possible – before selecting a recruitment company that is the right fit for them. To gain their trust and inspire them to choose you over your competitors, you need to ensure that your marketing and recruitment efforts work together. Carefully-planned marketing campaigns will increase your chances of reaching desirable candidates, and there’s plenty of marketing automation software to help you segment and streamline your search. 

A more positive finding from our research is nearly two thirds (60 per cent) of recruiters plan to put more money into social media this year, while others will spend more of their budget on email marketing and job boards. All recruiters should be tapping into these platforms and ensuring that all communications are personalised, too. Unique, targeted content will increase your chances of reaching desirable candidates.

Reduce costs and be more efficient

Many recruiters believe that individual consultants should be exclusively responsible for candidate experience, but technology can action mundane tasks that take up time. Technology can screen CVs, schedule appointments, and rule out time-wasting candidates. There is significant value in having one centralised system to manage the recruitment process from start to finish. 

Plus, more efficient processes mean client work is turned over faster, and therefore the business can enjoy more revenue. In terms of core tasks (sourcing and placing candidates) CRM and ATS systems are effective tools that can manage the process from beginning to end. 

If Australian recruiters want to future-proof their businesses and become more efficient, they need to be willing to adopt and embrace new technology. The most competitive firms will be the ones who stay aware of trends and integrate them into their daily activities. Rather than distance themselves from automation in favour of a hands-on approach, they should incorporate such technology to bolster the human element of their role.

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