Own the Talent… own the Market…

It’s a simple equation. If you have more quality talent working with you than your competitors, you will be a more successful recruiter…

Too few recruiters focus on building relationships with top talent. I’m serious… think about your day to day activity… what percentage revolves around client development and what percentage do you dedicate to candidates?

talent1At the recent RCSA Pearl Forum leading HR professionals bemoaned… I like that word bemoaned… kind of reminds me of a Jamaican mate of mine… he’s always saying things like… ‘Hey maan… you be moaned… you should be chillin’…’ Anyway, back on point… HR professionals bemoaned Agency Recruiters saying…

‘We get hounded by agencies daily so if I were to choose one over another, I would choose one that hasn’t hounded us and has taken more of a holistic approach in building a relationships with us…’

No sh&t Sherlock!

Recruiters… good recruiters… smart recruiters don’t want to be on the phones all day long trying to talk to HR people who don’t want to talk to them. It’s what drives most people from our industry.

It may surprise the wider world, but Recruiters are interested in developing meaningful relationships with clients & HR departments! Question is… how do you do it? How do you create a co-dependent, mutually exclusive and beneficial relationship with people who basically hate us?

The answer is threefold:

  1. Own the talent
  2. Understand the client, their needs & their strategy
  3. Sell… that’s right sell… the solution

But today I’m focusing on the talent. Why? Well if you don’t have the talent… you have nothing.

We’ve all heard about active and passive candidates right? Depending on who you talk to and what time of day it is we are reliably informed that about 13% of the workforce is actively seeking their next opportunity, another 70 odd per cent are open to hearing about new opportunities, and the remainder are happy in their role.

talent2Most recruiters play in that 13% of Active candidates. Stupid… stupid… stupid.

Why would you fish in a small pond where every angler in town is wetting a line? Sure you know that there are fish in there, you know they are hungry, but it comes down to blind luck, whether or not you land the big one.

Other recruiters identify talent through mapping and research, they make direct approaches and woo potential candidates with the promise of a career defining move. That works great if you already have the role on, or relationship with your client, but it kind of falls over if you don’t….

So here’s the thing

Forget the term Passive talent… there are only 2 types of people in the workforce…

  • Active Talent
  • Wait for it… yes a brand new type of talent… I’m excited & I hope you are… here it comes… drumroll please… Dormant Talent

That’s right! Dormant Talent!

These are the people who are working away at developing their career and are not currently looking for their next role. They maybe open to hearing about opportunities, or they maybe completely happy where they are. They will probably baulk at a headhunting approach. It is here my friends where you need to own the talent.

I’ve taken a long… long time to get here today, but stick with me. If you own this group within your recruitment niche, you will be able to develop new client relationships, exclusive client relationships… and… dare I say it… retained client relationships!

Interested? You should be!

Building an engaged Talent Community of Dormant Candidates is the single… most important skill a recruiter will need to be a success in Recruitment… end of.

I hope the vast majority of you are nodding your head in reverence and agreement.

The challenge is how do we own that Dormant talent piece? How do we ensure that before they reach their next active phase in a job search that they are already committed to you?

If you are a recruitment business owner/manager, or a career driven recruiter you should want the answer to that very challenge… and want it now. Good news is I’m just a phone call, or an email away. I look forward to hearing from you… if you really want to own the talent… and own the market.

Craig Watson



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