The world of recruitment has changed considerably over the years with the advent of job boards. Some people are not really aware of the difference between job boards and search engines, but a job board, such as Indeed, basically lists jobs for employers. In the case of Indeed, employers may post jobs for free, or they can pay a fee to have their job more prominently displayed.
Search engines, on the other hand, do what search engines always do and that is to search the web and compile lists of jobs available which they get from job boards together with employer websites.
So there is now a new reality in the world of recruitment agencies in that employers are simply not going to pay an agency a fee to hire an employee that they can get from a job board either for nothing or on payment of a small fee to promote their listing. In fact, if you are a London recruitment agency, for example, and you only have candidates available who are actively out looking for jobs, your recruitment agency is heading for failure. If these candidates are actively looking for jobs, then they will be listed elsewhere too, either with other agencies or on job boards or both.
If you think about it, a candidate who has made the decision to look for a new job is not only listed on job boards and other agencies, but in all probability is engaging with employers directly on social media, such as LinkedIn as well. Even if a candidate responds to you from a job board, you are in competition with others and your chances of a successful placement are diminishingly small.
Conversely, if you have a good candidate who is exclusive to you, then getting him a placement is almost a done deal. A candidate is really only going to be in one of five positions. Many of them are not looking for a new job at all. In fact, one figure says that 75% of people on LinkedIn are not looking for a position.
The next stage is the candidate who is thinking about getting a new job. Then he, or she, will have come to a point where they have made a decision to look for a new position, but not yet taken any action. This is the ideal point at which you can get them to ask you to find them a post, because the next stage is when they are actively looking and starting to add more and more channels to their search. This then becomes the candidate you are least likely to place, because he is now using multiple channels, applying to job boards, applying to employers direct, and is on the lists of other recruitment agencies as well. Yes, he has the skills that are needed, but employers will not pay you for those candidates.
The whole approach has to change, because the ideal candidate as far as you as a recruiter are concerned, is the one who has made the decision to look for a new job, but not actually started doing so. Whether we like it or not, the whole recruitment industry has switched around, and our job is no longer marketing exclusively to employers, but marketing to candidates.
The smart recruiter will engage with those applicants before they get to the stage of making the decision and will know that they are at that stage and be able to snap them up before they actually start making applications.
This means taking the time and trouble to get to know people on social media and through other channels and engaging with them. What you need to do is to build a reservoir of talent that you can dip into when the right time comes.
Not only can you dip into it when the candidate has made the decision to act, you can also dip into it even if he has not yet decided to change jobs, or isn't even thinking about it. When you know someone's skills, likes, and dislikes, if an employer comes to you with a position that would be a perfect fit, you can be in a position to make a placement not only with someone who nobody else can get, but someone who hadn't even thought about it.