It’s not about the talent pool but your research

While I do think ‘value creation’ is slowly becoming a throw-away word, clarifying or conveying the value proposition is still a matter of perspective. You can draft up the most compelling values statement for your clients to see and still may not be able to move the needle.

The decision makers don’t give a hoot about the value you’re creating, but results. It’s a numbers-game for them. They just want to fill the seats. Fast. What’s a recruitment agency got to do in this case? Take the job description and run with it! And I think reacting to the situation to get the project delivered is where an agency’s entire value proposition begins to crumble. [Unfortunately, this is exactly what 95% of almost all agencies do. The rest are the prestigious firms that most organisations cannot even afford to hire (or can but they’ve got better things to do than shell out a fortune). That means most agencies are doing a shoddy job of finding and hiring candidates.]

The alternative is to respond by creating just the right time and space to clarify objectives, create the ideal candidates profiles, and button down on the key skillsets that are a must have. Yeah, I know that’s the basics but it’s surprisingly not all too common. And here’s what truly adds value to a ‘search’ mission — research.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to hire someone from the C-suite or an associate at the lowest rung of the production pipeline, research is essential. Particularly when you’re committed to hire A-players. And let me tell you, most companies want to hire them.

Of course, this will be expensive but it’s worth the premium the client would pay. If you find yourself amidst whiny prospects who can’t ‘afford’ your services, there are two possibilities:

  1. You haven’t done a great job unleashing the pain of not hiring A-players and how it’s bleeding money off of the budgets and impacting the bottom line.
  2. You’re talking to the wrong people. Speak with someone who understands the value of hiring A-players and acknowledges the work that goes into finding them. If you can’t find anyone who gets it, shelve this company in your CRM and move on. You’re better off serving an audience that understands the value you’re bringing otherwise your wasting time.

Going back to my main point, most agencies show off their talent pool and I believe that’s a bad strategy. Not that you don’t need a pool of readily available talent, you do, but you also ought to have the resources and processes to research above and beyond what you already have. That’s how you can truly add value to a search project, irrespective of the scale and magnitude.

To put things into perspective, recruitment agencies (big or small) are essentially search firms. And you can’t just randomly search for the right people, you’ve got to have context to the whole lot details than just the job description.

By Sunil Nair

Nurturing leaders of tomorrow.

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