How often do you have strategic conversations with your clients? The ability to do so is essential for remaining competitive and winning new business.
Economic and political developments since the Brexit referendum in June 2016 have highlighted more than ever the need for recruitment businesses to be well-informed of labour market conditions, so they can pass that insight on to clients.
Employers’ confidence in the prospects for the UK economy has deteriorated in recent months and the outlook on the UK jobs market has remained uncertain. In light of this, an increasing number of clients are asking for advice on strategic planning. From workforce skills transformation and ways to increase productivity, to technological advances and new approaches to candidate attraction, employers seek recruiters’ guidance on ways to overcome challenges and grow their business.
Responding to this call, in a survey of REC members in February 2019, the majority of respondents (56%) identified the need to gear up in order to provide more strategic advice to clients as the most important priority ahead of Brexit. Similarly, in another survey in March 2019, three in five recruitment businesses (60%) stressed that building more strategic relationships with clients was their main organisational priority when looking beyond Brexit.
Meanwhile, skills sourcing and geographical expertise are of particular significance to employers; according to the REC’s monthly ‘JobsOutlook’, employers have consistently cited this criterion as one of the most important when selecting their recruitment agency partners.
A lack of jobs market awareness and a reduced ability to offer advice on workforce planning to clients would greatly undermine the credibility of a recruitment business with prospective clients and hinder relationships with existing ones. By monitoring regularly and understanding the implications of changes in the jobs market – including staff availability, skills shortages, flexible work and technology – recruiters can increase their ability to offer strategic advice to clients and compete effectively.