In November the REC took three experts or ‘business brains’ on the road to Birmingham, Manchester and London. These ‘brains’ shared their thinking with packed audiences of recruiters all keen to learn how to grow their recruitment business in the current market.

We captured the key messages to act as a refresher to those that attended and a prompt to hose that didn’t but who are keen to hear the wisdom.

1. Choose where and how you compete: Kevin Green
As the recruitment market matures, choosing how you compete is more important than ever. Being an inch wide and a mile deep, i.e. being a deep specialist, will be one of the characteristics of tomorrow’s winners. Actively choose which clients to focus on, e.g. SMEs, who will create 65% of all the new jobs in the next decade as the economy returns to growth (and they don’t often have HR or procurement so margins may be higher!)

2. Different models for different folk: Kevin Green
If your business chooses to go through vendors, such as RPOs, then design the organisation with the right capability and cost base. Don’t try and be a full service recruiter with all the expertise that this model requires and then operate at much lower margins. If you’re offering a low cost product, be a low cost provider; think like the Easyjet or Ryanair of recruitment.

3. Balanced leadership: Mike Southon
Make sure you have a balanced top team. If you are the entrepreneur and sales driven make sure you have other cornerstones covered, i.e. finance and operations, if you want to grow.

4. Short and sharp: Mike Southon
Never write a sales email that’s longer than four lines long. Grab potential clients’ attention by asking for a 15 minute meeting on a specific date. People who have used this ‘Magic E-Mail’ have had response rates as high as 16%.

5. Take a chance: Tony Goodwin
If you want to grow your business you need to let go and trust people to do a good job. Hire good people and then give them the space to perform. It’s not always easy and sometimes it will go wrong but it’s the only way to grow, especially if you intend to grow overseas.

6. Reward success: Tony Goodwin
If you want people to really drive the business they need a meaningful stake in the outcome. Make sure you share the upside with the people who make a significant difference on performance.

7. Teach candidate search: Johnny Campbell
Consultants need to know how to search for candidates as many don’t know where to find the talent. If you can locate the best candidates you have a competitive advantage in the market. By far the best way to create value for clients is by being an expert at talent sourcing.

8. Have a big online footprint: Johnny Campbell
This will impact on the effectiveness of all your search and selection activity. If you want to improve the quality and quantity of your responses then you should focus on improving your business’s online footprint.

9. Don’t use social media for the pure sake of it: Johnny Campbell
Just because your competitor is on Facebook does not mean that you should be. Understand the potential value of all new tools and resources and then decide what is right for your business.

10. What goes around comes around: Mike Southon
“And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make” – The Beatles
Love your work, your customers and your staff; what goes round comes round.