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Thinking of going out on your own and starting your own recruiting firm? You’ll want to take some time to think about which sector you intend to serve. While many recruiters choose to be generalists who fill the needs of every company in any industry with an opening, there are many benefits to zeroing in on one specific industry instead. For one, finding a niche narrows your focus. As a result, you have a better idea of who to target with marketing, advertising, and networking, which saves you time and money. You can cut down on your competition when you’re only in one industry, too. Choosing a recruiting niche also prevents you from burning out — you don’t have to keep up with the news, hiring trends, and events in every industry under the sun when you only work in one vertical.
Most importantly, however, it allows you to improve the quality of your services and your candidates. When you only work in one industry, you have a better chance of becoming the expert in the sector. No generalist recruiter can say the same. This will allow you to know exactly what type of high-value candidates to look for and enable you to be the go-to resource for industry information. This makes you a much more valuable asset to your clients, which ultimately helps you succeed in business.
But how do you become an expert in your niche? We’ve broken down exactly what you need to do.
First, choose a niche that is in demand and that, ideally, you have some interest or experience in. For example, going into technology recruiting makes sense if you have a background in technology management, IT security, or data science. If you have previous experience recruiting in the healthcare industry for previous employers, then it might make more sense for you to focus on that sector since you already have contacts and expertise there. It can be tough to become an expert from scratch, so ideally you should already be familiar with the industry you plan to enter.
When choosing a niche, another important thing to remember is that you should do your research: Which sectors are projected for growth in the future? Which sector has a need for recruitment services in your area? It all starts with demand. While you might be very interested in a particular niche, if there’s no demand for it where you plan to start your business or if there’s a ton of competition, it could indicate that you’ll have a difficult time finding clients and candidates.
Once you have entered your chosen niche, you need to be seen as the go-to in the industry for recruiting services. It’s time to study, research, and keep up with industry news. Bookmark industry publications and sign up for regular email newsletters to ensure you’re always up to date on the latest news and breaking stories. This will ensure your services, advice, pay scales, and more are always relevant and valuable, no matter how quickly things change in the sector.
It’s a lot easier to invest in attending industry events when you’re only focused on one niche. There will likely be one or two big events in the sector that are considered high value. Make it a point to go to a few networking events, trade shows, expos, and summits every year (virtual or otherwise), so you can meet new people in the industry, keep up with new developments, and stay in the know. This will not only enable you to remain relevant with your expertise but it’s also an excellent way to recruit new candidates and build relationships with potential new clients, too. In fact, you should make this part of your strategic client-development plan.
You know virtually everything there is to know in your niche, what next? Don’t keep all your valuable information to yourself! Share it with those who need it and those who have come to value your advice. Consider starting a monthly newsletter where you share this information and helpful articles with your existing clients and prospects.
While it does take a bit of effort on your part for copy and design, this one simple step can help you be seen as an expert to those who matter most to your agency. You can share insights from events you’ve recently attended, share new hiring trends you’ve read about, pass along new industry reports, and share articles or presentations you’ve recently published in the field.
Consider starting a blog on your website that your customers can come to whenever they want to keep up with the latest industry news. A blog is also a great way to attract new prospects who don’t yet know about your recruiting services.
You can also enhance your thought leadership and reputation by being a guest contributor for industry publications. Alternatively, perhaps you can become a speaker on a panel discussion or speak at industry conferences. Get your name and face out there regularly, and you’ll soon be known as an expert on the topics you speak about.
When breaking news occurs in your industry, such as new employment standards or hiring trends, for example, be proactive in sharing this information personally with your clients. While a monthly newsletter is a great way to send information to the masses, nothing is as valuable as a personal note to a valued client. Make it a habit to send clients personalized emails to let them know about the industry development and why you thought it was important to share it with them specifically. This compassionate advice can go a long way. It will not only enhance your thought leadership with your client base, but it can also help you build stronger relationships with your clients.
Bonus: When you’re seen as an expert, you can charge more for your services since clients will know you’re worth it.
To learn more about creating value for your clients and prospects, watch this webinar: Consultative Selling for Recruiters: Create Value and Trust with Prospects.
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