The niche you select to focus on is essential to your success. Learn how to find your niche and then recruit and place top talent, with dramatic results.
- How's your business? Is it growing, is it flat? Are you struggling to find your way or are you new and looking to get off to a good start? No matter your situation, the niche you select to focus on is key to your success. It will have a dramatic impact on whether you achieve average success in the recruiting profession or hit it out of the park. Let me share some tips on how to find a niche that not only is lucrative today, but one that will continue to grow in the future.
Business is always changing, so you won't always be able to rely on what you know now. Imagine for a moment how your success would be limited if you recruited only travel agents. Technology has made it so easy to book travel online that travel agents are almost a thing of the past. You need to find new places to do business and you need to start now. Begin by doing extensive research to find three possible areas of specialization.
Pick up the last several issues of Forbes, Bloomberg, Inc., or Fortune magazines and make a list of the fastest growing industries. Be sure to note any specific companies that catch your eye. Then, review the occupational outlook handbooks from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and make of list of niches with projected future job growth. Compare the two lists and choose the top three overlapping industries. Next, go to the websites of the top five companies in the three niche areas that you've selected.
Read the press and media sections to see what others are saying about the growth of these companies and industries. Then set up Google Alerts for each of your targeted companies to get the most recent information online. The information you receive will help you identify hiring triggers, contact names, and trends. It will probably take awhile to find the three niche areas in growth industries, but don't shortcut this part of the process. Keep searching until you find them.
When you've narrowed the list to three possibilities, it's time to get first-hand input. Reach out to current and past employees from that industry. Ask them about the industry, its current status and projected growth. Ask what trade publications they read and what professional associations they support. Then join the LinkedIn professional groups for that niche and become part of the conversation. Once you've finally narrowed your choice to one or two possible niches, subscribe to the industry trade publications.
They will give you great insights. Then contact the professional associations who represent the two industries. Professional associations inform their members of current as well as future trends and challenges and can provide relevant information to help you make an informed decision. Ask about attending a professional association meeting as a guest. That will give you a chance to personally interact with people who are working in your selected niche.
At one point, I decided to expand my business. We were in northwest Indiana, so placing light industrial temps seemed like a good idea, and I jumped right in. For a few years, my business did well, but if I had done my research, I'd have seen the handwriting on the wall. Major recruiting franchises specializing in light industrial temps moved in and I was literally driven out of my niche. It was an expensive mistake but I learned my lesson.
I conducted extensive research and switched to placing high-margin engineers with the same clients. What amazed me was that I made the same profit on one engineer that I made on 20 light industrial temp workers. That was the price I paid for not researching my niche. So don't be that recruiter who specializes in placing talent in dying industries or low-margin temps. Conduct your research and take time to make an informed decision.
Then specialize in a niche where there's not only current but future growth as well.
- Selecting a growing niche
- Specializing where talent is sparse
- Identifying the variety of potential needs
- Reflecting your niche
- Sounding like an expert in a new niche
- Marketing to employers of choice
- Contacting past employers
- Creating marketing opportunities
- Filling most of the requisitions you write
- Developing your follow-up process