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3 tips to stay competitive in an oversaturated market

Recruitment agencies operate in a crowded market, and it's crucial they take steps to stay ahead of their competitors. Here's how to succeed in a busy industry.

The recruitment business is overcrowded at the minute, with new firms springing up while older agencies remain relevant. This makes it harder for companies to secure clients, as they are competing with a greater field of potential rivals, which has been the cause of many a start-up's downfall.

When clients are hard to come by, revenue falls and recruitment agencies struggle to stay afloat. It is vital, therefore, to make sure you stay competitive. This is easier said than done, of course, but we've come up with our top three tips for making sure you stand out in this crowded industry.

1. Focus on hiring the best team

You can pile your budget into marketing or other aspects of your business if you like, but it is always worth remembering that your workforce is your biggest asset. If you can assemble a truly talented team of recruiters, you will find it much easier to stay ahead of the competition.

This will likely involve taking on experienced veterans, who know the ins and outs of the business, as well as young people fresh out of university who are full of exciting new ideas. A good combination of the right people will invigorate your agency and help you stand out in the industry.

Part of good hiring practice is to make sure your workforce is as diverse as possible. If you're only hiring the same type of person, you're limiting the perspectives and ideas you can bring into your business. Diverse teams are more creative and effective, and can be a real asset to your agency.

2. Know your audience

Think about the candidates you have found work for before. What do you know about the media they absorb, and how they conduct themselves online? This information may seem trivial, but it is important if you want to truly understand the audience you are trying to target, which is key to staying competitive.

If you know where your candidates congregate online, or what trade journals they read, you can start to target these with your marketing efforts. Rather than casting a wide net to find recruitable talent, you can zoom in to focus on the areas that are most likely to end in success.

Not only will this help you get to the best candidates first, it is also a good way to save resources by becoming more efficient. Your staff will have more time on their hands due to not having to search far and wide for the right people, giving them time to take on more paying clients.

3. Find a niche

Think about the clients that you have at the moment. Is there a theme among them, in terms of the industries they work in? You might find that once you work with one firm, you're able to use your experience with it to gain work from companies in the same sector, or at least something similar.

If this is the case, you might want to consider rebranding yourself as a specialist at recruiting for that industry. First of all, this will narrow your field of competition; there are fewer healthcare recruiters than there are general recruitment firms, for example. You will therefore have fewer rival agencies to deal with.

Secondly, it will allow you to narrow your focus and become more skilled at finding the right talent for your chosen industry. Each sector will need a different combination of skills in its candidates, and being able to focus on a single set allows you to improve rapidly.


Katie Duke - Marketing Manager

Tel: 01925 235748