The global marketplace is buzzing. We are living in the greatest economic boom in modern history. Across the globe, experts are going on record with great news about the current worldwide expansion. “This is far and away the strongest global economy I’ve seen in my business lifetime,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson observed recently. John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco, echoes Paulson, calling it “the strongest global trend” of his career.
With global GDPs soaring to historic levels, $36 trillion today as compared to $13 trillion in the 1970s, world markets are dev-eloping faster than ever. It truly is an exciting time to be an executive recruiter. As executives everywhere seek to grow their organizations globally, they will be forced to face upcoming talent shortages. They will struggle more every year to find the top talent that can lead them to new successes in this unique marketplace. It is in times like these that some search consultants will achieve the careers of their dreams and others will be content to wallow in mediocrity.
There is a familiar adage: Make hay while the sun shines. And that day is upon us, my friends. Recruiters everywhere have an unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of an economy that is growing exponentially, because it is also one that is experiencing a significant skill and talent shortage. In the next few paragraphs, I’ve laid out the essential steps to exceptional recruiting success in this new era of prosperity.
Pick a niche and dominate it
Take a market that you are excited about, one that’s growing, and dominate it. In this economy, being a generalist can work but won’t pay huge dividends. Why? It’s going to be extremely difficult to find talent. If every search requires you to start from scratch in a fresh market and for a new position, it will be very difficult to build momentum. By selecting a niche within a market, you’ll have synergy in your searches. With similar candidates and job orders, you will be much more productive because your efforts can be used again and again. Synergy creates placements and puts money in your pocket.
Not sure how to pick a niche market? It must be an industry you know and one about which you’re passionate. Right now, thanks to emerging global markets, a smart choice may be companies and positions with international operations. Re-search your markets, limiting your choices to those that will be hot for the next five years. And then research more. Learn everything you can about those potential markets. Take a look at which positions within the industry are high-demand. Decide on geographical boundaries based on the market size. Your market should possess a solid 500 potential client companies. Much more than 500, and you need to narrow your initial marketplace. Any less, and your chosen market may not be big enough for you to get the financial results you want. Many recruiters use DIG -Discipline, Industry, and Geography – when defining markets.
Develop high and wide relationships with all client companies
When working with client companies, never be satisfied with one main point of contact. Things change, power shifts, and people come and go. If your only contact leaves the organization for any reason, your business is in jeopardy. Develop relationships that are high and wide, a broad spectrum of professional contacts at all levels within your client companies. Salesperson, VP of Sales, CEO, VP of Engineering, they should all know your name and take your calls. By working within every level and department of a company, you’ll not only get more business, but you’ll also gain a better understanding of its corporate goals and objectives, enabling you to help achieve them. With the high and wide approach, you establish yourself as a trusted talent adviser versus a tactical recruiter.
The best recruiters will equip their clients to navigate the rapidly approaching talent-shortage maze. You should educate them, showing them how to structure their hiring processes for this marketplace, helping them to be adaptable so they can meet top-talent demands. Building multiple relationships within an organization gives you credibility, and the power to deliver success in this tight market.
Build and maintain a strong brand identity in your clients’ eyes
The only way to build a positive brand identity is to deliver. Our clients’ perception of our professional worth is completely dependent on the talent we bring to them. Recruiters who consistently deliver quality talent, the impact players who make a significant difference in their organizations, have a strong brand identity. Your clients will want to partner with you again and again. Those who regularly schlep in with poor to average candidates will also achieve poor to average results. They’ll have a brand identity, though: that of a rÃ©sumÃ© pusher only interested in a fee.
Because talent will be so hard to come by in this market, some recruiters will be tempted to settle for less than perfect talent. Don’t. By lowering your standards, you also lower your brand identity in your clients’ eyes. Remember, in this business, perception is reality. Your brand must be that of an exceptional business adviser who brings great talent to the table. Always!
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Develop partnerships in international emerging markets
This is all about vision. Don’t overlook the rest of the world. It’s not just the United States experiencing an unprecedented economic boom. A significant part of the growth of the world’s GDP is happening in four countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Some of these countries will double the expansion of the United States. Many corporate executives are doing whatever they can to take advantage of those emerging markets. Chances are, many of the companies you do business with today are looking overseas to grow and prosper as these foreign markets heat up. But whether they’re in China or Kansas, what do they need? Talent. It’s the one constant in all countries, across all industries. And that is why executive recruiting is the greatest career in the world today.
Specifically here in our country, we need talented people who have the skills and experience to grow business internationally, as well as to attract talent in those markets. As search consultants, we must anticipate some of these needs for our clients, working with the executive team to fulfill them. Propose strategic or long-term planning meetings to gain a thorough understanding of a client’s direction internationally in order to be ready to present solutions to talent issues before they’re a problem.
Developing partnerships with other offices across the globe is a great way to add value to your current clients. Many recruiting organizations have international business offices or partners. These people have feet on the street in the local markets across the globe. MRI has an exceptional international business unit that provides talent worldwide. If you don’t have access to a network of international business partners, get on Google and find them. Many will work with you to help find the local talent you need. However, be prepared to give a percentage of your fee away. Many will only work on splits starting at 25/75. But an international recruiting contact gives you the ability to recruit in emerging foreign markets. That kind of global vision pays off in the long run.
Take more impact players to the market
To succeed in this high-demand, low-supply talent market, it isn’t enough to fill jobs. You must also go back to bringing the “Impact Player” to the market. Your “time to fill” metric on positions will continue to increase as this talent shortfall trend grows stronger. Although it’s a new era in the global marketplace, an old recruiting tool has never been more reliable. The old MPC call, the presenting of a solid A player, is delivering better results today in recruiting than ever. Companies are starved for great talent. By feeding them a steady diet of A players within their industry, you will build your brand identity and credibility. You will prove you are the search consultant who is in contact daily with the top talent in their industry. If you have an A player, get on the phone. Chances are you’ll make just as many placements with basic marketing calls with an MPC as by filling those needle-in-the-haystack searches you have piled on your desk.
Recruiting in this market environment does have its challenges. With the demand for talent high worldwide and the supply low, our job won’t be easy. The good news is, if you are able to make a few changes in your focus, your client relationships, and your approach, you will have the opportunity of a lifetime – the greatest worldwide economic expansion in history! Make the most of it.
Jon Bartos is a premier speaker, writer, and consultant on all aspects of human capital. As CEO of Jonathan Scott International in Mason, Ohio, he has achieved industry-leading success. He is one of an elite group of executive recruiters who bill on average over $1 million annually. Since 1999, he has achieved over $9 million in cash in on his personal desk performance. Jon has also established JSI as a top 10% executive search firm. The office has won 15 international awards in the MRI franchise system, including International Billing Manager of the Year and Top 10 SC Office. Jon runs an executive-coaching program for recruiters and recruiting managers called “Magnum Program.” He also hosts a career-focused talk show on Fox radio, “Talent Wins with Jon Bartos, Your Personal Career Coach.” Are you ready to take your company or career to the next level? Jon can be reached at (513) 701-5910, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.talentwinsonline.com