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How to Switch Desk Specialties
If you're recruiting in an industry that's at death's door and you've done everything to revive it, a change in desk specialties may be in order.
To begin the process, look for a niche that draws on your existing assets, such as your database of candidates and companies, plus your industry knowledge and technical expertise. For example, if software developers are no longer in demand, there may be a market for software sales managers. If no linkage to your assets can be found, then you may be forced to rebuild your desk from scratch. To increase the odds of a successful transition, consider the following tips:
- Find a niche that's not only in demand now, but promises to be in the future. The last thing you want to do is reinvent yourself all over again in two or three years.
- Make sure you have some degree of affinity for the population you'll be mingling with, and at least a modicum of interest in the new field's technology, skill set or culture. It's hard to be an advocate on behalf of an industry--or a candidate population--you feel uncomfortable with.
- Don't expect instant success. It takes time to learn the nuances of a new desk specialty and reach the point when the pieces begin to fit together.
- Remember the basics. Your primary objective is to arrange sendouts, either by candidate marketing or by writing job orders. The more interviews you set up, the faster you'll get your production on track.
- Stay focused. If you wander in too many directions, you'll end up with a Balkanized desk, comprised of disparate candidate and company populations that have no common language.
The trick to desk specialty management is to keep your nose to the scent of new (and repeat) business, without taking too many forks in the road.
-Bill Radin, President
Innovative Consulting, Inc.
Books, Tapes & Training for Recruiters
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