4 Ways to Stay Ahead Of Competition in the Recruiting Game

by Liz Carey

It’s hockey playoff time, and it got me thinking about how hockey can draw comparisons to the recruiting world.

In a huge upset, the record-setting Tampa Bay Lightning (who were the best team all season) were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round. How did they fail to win a single playoff game and get swept by the eighth-seeded Columbus Blue Jackets?

Easy, they were too good. When you are used to dominating, you can end up taking it for granted, and it becomes almost expected. That’s when you let your guard down and become vulnerable.

Similarly in recruiting, it’s not always the best man that wins. You might have a longstanding relationship with a client, but suddenly get undercut by a competitor and lose that business.

Just because something has been working for you for a long time, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t constantly be trying to grow, progress and learn. If you put yourself on cruise control, you’re going to get edged out by someone battling for your business.

Here’s 4 ways to stay ahead of the competition in the recruiting game:

1. Constantly grow your network:

  • Identify one new resource for finding candidates. Ask your candidates where they go when they are seeking a new opportunity. Get recommendations on trade publications and blogs they read and join in the discussion. Join professional associations in your candidates’ niche. Ramp up networking efforts on social media sites like LinkedIn. Implement a candidate referral program. Attracting candidates that your clients can’t find on their own through job board ads or website postings will ensure that you’re a resource that they can’t eliminate.

2. Be aware of competition:

  • Whether it’s other recruiters or your client’s internal recruiters, know who your competitors are and what they are up to. Check their websites, social media and job postings. Knowing what they offer will help you understand your offerings and where you can differentiate yourself. For example, you could offer your candidates resume writing, coaching, or interview prep.

3. Promote your brand and be visible:

  • Even if you are a longstanding firm, it’s important to stay on top of marketing. Stay active on social media and within industry-related groups. Engage in discussions in groups and forums related to your industry. Attend job fairs, networking events, and industry conferences. Hand out your business card.

4. Stay up-to-date on trends:

  • Clients and candidates may find benefit in new advances in technology, whether it’s mobile apps, live and editable documents with real-time updates on job postings and candidates, or video interviewing. Operating more efficiently and flexibly with automated and mobile solutions will make your firm stand out to clients and candidates.

How do you stay competitive in the cut-throat world of recruiting?