Many SME’s (and larger businesses) find themselves offering an amazing product or service, but struggle to build a team around the business idea – Why is this? Often an idea is awesome because it is unusual, niche, or built around ground-breaking or disruptive principles.
So what does this mean for your recruitment?
Well, it might well mean that you find yourself recruiting in a niche market. Unusual skills, distinct specialisms, quirky culture fits – all mean that you might be finding it difficult to build your team.
So where do you start?
First things first – get really clear on what you are looking for. What are your essentials? What are your ‘nice to haves’? Really define the parameters of the job description, and get crystal clear on who could fit the role.
Check that your employer brand matches your target audience. Amazing employer brands attract the gold dust of recruitment – passive candidates. Ensuring you employer brand is giving out the right message will shape you as an employer of choice, a business candidates consistently approach directly.
Next – map out your market. Figure out the businesses who operate in areas similar to you, or businesses who have a culture you aspire to - get to know who works where. Start to connect and engage with the market. Ensure you understand the technology or developments that drive the market. Who is leading the change? Are you connecting to the right people at the right time?
Once you’ve figured out the movers and shakers of the market place and defined the competition, start to think about creating a presence in your niche. Write blogs or articles on relevant industry news, attend (or hold) conferences and create an online presence in the market – particularly on social media. Start and contribute to debates, post relevant content and build a following.
If you build a presence, have an awesome employer brand and make yourself visible as an ‘employer of choice’ you should automatically be building a talent pipeline. Nurture the relationships – even if they aren’t right for your business, they probably know someone who is. Keep in touch with interested (potential) candidates, providing them with information that will be of service to them. Make sure they think of you when they are looking for a new challenge or know someone who might be.
Recruiting in a niche market is not a ‘post (an advert) and pray’ exercise. It takes time, dedication, knowledge and great relationship building skills. However a mix of great employer branding and creating a name for yourself in the market place should see you building your talent pipeline to enviable levels for years to come.