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Using an Economic Downturn to Your Advantage
There are many job seekers out there and fewer jobs. This can be a very frustrating time for a recruiter to stay productive. Keeping your candidate database full of the best possible job seekers will help you stay ahead of the competition now and especially when the economy turns around.
- Continue to Search for the Crème of the Crop: At this time, all job seekers are eager and a lot of time is used looking at resumes, making and returning phone calls, as well as interviewing. Make sure you allocate time to source out some of the better job seekers, even the passive ones, to give you the best candidate to present to clients.
- Sorting through Resumes: As mentioned before, going through all the candidate resumes is very time-consuming. To free up some time for sourcing, consider using interns or administrative help to sort through them. It is still important to look at all the resumes, but having them sorted through can save some time.
- Candidate Boundaries: With the influx of all these new candidates, many of whom may never have used a recruiter before, won't know the 'rules' of working with a recruiter. Make sure they understand what is expected of them as well as actions they shouldn't take (like contacting the client directly).
- Perform Thorough Background Checks: As people who are out of work get more desperate, they may start falsifying information on their resume. Granted, everyone fibs a little bit, but you should make sure to check all their references, verify their credentials, as well as any diplomas and certifications.
Another important factor in keeping productive is keeping up with your clients. Stay in contact with current clients, as well as going out and landing new accounts. These relationships are important ones and should be upheld even if they aren't ready to use your services immediately. Letting them know you are available, as well as letting them know of any new services you offer, and when they are ready will keep you in the forefront of their mind.
- Have Clients in Multiple Industries and Locations: Every industry fluctuates. If you focus on just one area, then you'll fall prey to any downturns within that area. Try to get clients from many different industries as well as locations so you'll be less susceptible. Getting new clients will be difficult, but don't be afraid to toot your own horn. Mention any awards your firm has received, other clients you can use as references and what they've said about your services.
- Go the Extra Mile: Try to do as much as feasibly possible for your clients. Maybe add a new service to their contract. Offer to go above and beyond the call of duty. The more respect you get for getting the job done, the more valuable you are to the client. These things establish loyalty and this can help in the downturn.
- Evaluate: Review your time management while things are slow. How can you better use your time? Also, evaluate the costs your firm has. Are they all necessary? Should certain functions be combined? Keeping the office as efficient as possible helps with the profit margins.
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