When you want to get stronger physically, you lift weights. Do you just do rep after rep of bicep curls? No; you’ll only have strong biceps. For real strength, you’ll do squats, dead lifts, pushups, planks, lunges — a variety of exercises that will make you stronger overall. In recruiting, I sometimes see companies implement a “biceps only” regimen, putting all of their effort into one specific area. While staying within your niche is a good strategy, your recruiting firm will be stronger if you diversify your client base.
Here’s why: if your recruiting firm is tied too closely with one client or one industry, and if that client or industry fails, your business will struggle. According to an article from Pivot Companies, if 10 percent of your business is with one customer or more than half of your business takes place within in one industry, it’s time to expand your niche.
Take strategic action to make your recruiting firm more resilient through diversification. Here are three ways to diversify your staffing company’s client base.
- Network With a Purpose. Recruiting firm leaders need to be very intentional about how they network. While you do need to strengthen existing relationships, you’ll also add value to your staffing company by expanding your network to include new contacts, new businesses and industries related to your core skill sets.Within your staffing firm’s niche area, reach out to a variety of people. Get face time with new contacts at conferences, training sessions, trade shows and association meetings, then be of value to them and stay in touch over social media. Utilize recruiting software to track prospective clients and schedule your communications with them.
- Promote Recruitment Staff Diversity. When you’re hiring recruiters or adding to your sales team, keep diversity in mind. A diverse recruiting staff will help you locate, attract and connect with more diverse clients.As a leader, you’ll also benefit from having recruitment team members who challenge you, offer you new perspectives and are up-to-date on what matters to potential clients who have similar interests and outlooks. “Companies need someone from the outside who has done it in a different way,” says Mark Jaffe, president of executive search firm Wyatt & Jaffe. “They need an infusion of other DNA that is compatible with their DNA but not identical.”
- Diversify Recruiting Activity Channels. Where is your staffing agency active online? Strategically analyze what channels your potential clients are in and join their conversations. Look into various channels; if your social media campaign is on fire, great. But don’t forget about other opportunities where you can garner visibility to potential clients. A new strategy might include being active on a new job site or job board, pinpointing new advertising opportunities, or guest blogging for a new industry that’s related to your niche.
As you strengthen your recruiting company, don’t do the same old exercises targeting only one area—diversify your activities with strategic intent. That way you’ll increase your staffing firm’s strength, positioning your firm for long-term success.