Businesses and economies are very much like playgrounds with a bunch of kids running around screaming and shouting all day long. It's certainly been a bit of a mixed up playground over the last few years but currently business is booming within digital marketing and 2011 is most definitely proving to be the year that a huge upsurge in work is taking place. Salaries are on the up and so is the amount of vacancies available. I'm sure you have heard the phrase, "It's all swings and roundabouts" before, but in reality it's all about see-saws.
You may be wondering what I mean by this and I will elaborate shortly. But first let me give you a little insight into the world of recruitment. Like all other businesses we look at historical trends and constantly analyse the markets we operate within. As recruiters, we have access to large amounts of industry data including a lot of quite sensitive information about people and companies. Good headhunters can see changes in a market coming a mile off and often before our clients do. That's because we get to see a global overview of the industry rather than just a microcosm relating to an individual company.
What do I see happening right now? The "see-saw" in the playground is tipping upwards in one of the kid's favor. That kid is the applicant and it's his turn to call the shots. If - as a client who is looking to hire - you haven't noticed the major shortage of good people around, then you are either very lucky at attracting staff or totally blind.
A lot of companies fall in to the blind category right now. Why? If you take a close look at the market, you'll find that there are a huge number of jobs available and very few good quality candidates to fill those jobs. The amount of times I have heard companies say recently, "Well we won't take him because he didn't sell himself enough to us" is truly astounding. Of course job hunters need to sell themselves at interview, but in reality it is the companies who should be selling themselves harder.
Let me tell you a fact right now. If you think that applicants you see are only interviewing with you, then you are in cloud cuckoo land. They are most likely interviewing at around six to 10 companies including all of your competitors. An applicant can pick and choose who they work for. They have no shortage of choices, whereas companies are struggling to attract experienced talent. Can you, as a firm, really afford to be without a key strategic hire such as an SEO director for months on end because a headhunter pulled your current one out and placed them at your competition? How will your business fare online six months down the line because you fail to realize you need to sell your company to prospective employees? How will it fare because your competitors haven't failed in this department? Well I think the word "fail" has been mentioned a couple of times there, so think about your hiring strategy again.
When someone experienced walks into your office to interview with you, put your ego in your desk, and start to think about what you can do to let them know you are the best choice for them career wise. Otherwise all that will happen is that you decide hey, this person is good and we want them, but they turn will you down, go to a competitor, and make that company a bucket full of cash. What are you left with? Reduced profits? Overworking your remaining employees? Making them feel dissatisfied? Open to offers from head hunters? Things start to move fast when they go downhill and as a head hunter let me tell you this. We can smell blood in the water a mile off and a wounded company is easy prey.
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Jake Langwith is managing director and founder at International Head Hunters Stone Carter where he specializes within SEO, web analytics, and social media. With over 17 years experience across the U.K., Europe, and Asia Pacific markets he has established a strong global reputation and works in close partnership with some of the world's leading digital agencies and brands.
Jake is actively involved in the digital marketing community. He's also an avid blogger and a speaker at SEO-related industry events such as the SES conference series. He takes a keen interest in his market sector and outside of recruitment runs several websites where he puts into practice SEO and marketing strategies. Jake is particularly interested in SEO and conversion strategy within e-commerce.
A self-confessed search and tech geek, Jake is married with two children and lives in London where he was born and bred.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT