Ten Steps to Dominating Your Market and Owning Your Niche — Part 2

Apr 5, 2011

The best way to build a high-billing practice is to recruit within a niche and become the absolute best recruiter on the face of the Earth in that niche. You want to own your market.  All top billers do it. Regardless of whether they recruit in IT, Accounting, or Healthcare – they are POWER BROKERS in their industry.

Yesterday, we gave you Steps 1-4 of how to dominate your market and own your niche. Today, we bring you steps 5-10.

Step 5: Work similar searches that will give you recyclability of your efforts so you are not starting from zero every time. After calling great candidates with potential opportunities every couple of months, a similar phenomenon will occur as with client prospects. They will eventually return your call. You have earned a small bit of respect, but at least the door is open. Bust through that door and use your market knowledge to start developing rapport. Over time, after talking to hundreds and even thousands of candidates, you may start to make a name for yourself. Focus on a niche, and you can hit that thousand industry connects in two months. Spread yourself wider, and it might take two years.

By committing to your niche, you will develop relationships with the prospective candidate pool, and also be the first recruiter to be sent referrals. Clients will see the need to work with you because you shorten the time-to-fill cycle. You can leverage your efforts on previous searches because the companies in your niche are usually looking for similar types of talented individuals.

Step 6: Organize your database so that you, or your researcher, can quickly identify the right talent for any given search. Utilizing the FILL methodology, I have my database broken down into rollup lists. For each major market location (NY, Dallas, Chicago, Denver, etc.) I have five separate rollup lists broken out by function – Direct Sales, Channel Sales, Management  (any type), Pre-sales Systems Engineers, Post-sales Systems Engineers. These are the types of roles I place most often; my bread and butter. (anyone who wants to compete – I believe in abundance. At the same time, bring it on…) I also have individual rollup lists for specialized functions such as Business Development/Alliances, Professional Services, Consulting, OEM Sales, Marketing, or International.

When I get a search for a sales rep in NY, I already have over 1,400 sales reps that sell storage to end user customers in NY already on a single rollup list. Now, not all of them are necessarily qualified, nor would all of them be interested in any given search. You have to invest the time (DURING PLANNING TIME, NOT PHONE TIME!!!) to review the candidates’ qualifications and career goals and individually select the top targets for this particular role. This may take some time, could even be 2-3 hours or more for this single search. That said, by making a target list, usually comprised of 50-100 candidates, I narrow my sights to only contacting candidates I know are qualified and whom I believe I can potentially get interested. Also, I already have a relationship with most of these candidates, so it’s a lukewarm call to begin with.  Any single person from that list I get on the phone, I’m confident I can get on an interview with my client. Shooting with a sniper rifle, versus spray and pray.

However, based on my relationships with the top candidates, and a specific process, I don’t even have to make the 50 calls.

Step 7: Maximize the value of your time, focus on high dollar activities, and out-source everything else. My admin/researcher Christina will send out a mass email (which I usually write, lots of “sizzle,” pique the curiosity) to a target list. During the day, as a dozen or so responses trickle in, I’m focused on pounding phone calls on a different search. Christina is going through and categorizing the responses, replying back to those who show interest, asking for updated resumes, scheduling times for a conversation with me to discuss further. I end up making 8-10 calls to candidates that have already replied with interest, and we know are already qualified. This almost always will yield me 3-5 candidates that I can present to a client. Average turnaround from when I take a Job Order to when I’m presenting candidates to a client and setting up interviews is usually 48-72 hours. You can’t beat speed. It’s what our clients want. It’s what the job boards, and the internal recruiters, and the cheap 15% recruiters do not deliver.  If you can drastically shorten your clients’ time-to-fill cycle, you are providing true value. Your competitors can’t touch that!

Step 8: Make lots of phone calls….plan during planning time…..

Step 9: Make lots of phone calls….plan during planning time…..

Step 10: Make lots of phone calls….plan during planning time…..

Now you’ve got the recipe.

The two magic ingredients that make it work are Effort and Attitude.

Charles Swindoll has said, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company. A home. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. Life is 10% what happens. And 90% how I react to it.”

This IS going to be the best year ever. Turn off your TV, and go make it happen!

This article is from the February 2011 print Fordyce Letter. To subscribe and receive a monthly print issue, please go to our Subscription Services page.

Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed weekly!