The number of recruitment firms that expect to meet or exceed their yearly revenue targets has fallen by ten percent, according to a recent report.
The report, released by recruitment software company Bullhorn, found that over two thirds of firms will focus on strengthening relationships with existing clients to combat the weak economic outlook, while others will be devoting up to 50 percent more time to pursuing new business opportunities.
“Whether recruiters plan to widen their focus or specialise, they must be able to prove expertise and provide industry insight to secure new opportunities,” says Ben Fuller, sales director for Bullhorn Australia.
Only 65 percent of firms met or exceeded their revenue goals in 2012, down from 75 percent the year before, while the number of companies expecting an increase in revenue this year has fallen from 91 percent in 2012 to 76 percent.
The fall has seen almost a third of recruitment firms seeking to increase revenue by venturing into new markets, while another 28 percent have chosen to narrow their area of focus.
“For many smaller recruitment firms, pulling back to specialise in a niche sector is a temporary phase while they… nurture existing relationships until the market picks up again in their sector,” Fuller says.
Fuller believes social media has also become a key tool for attracting prospective clients, saying a strong online presence is necessary to ensure recruiters are “in the right place to start conversations.”
Over 40 percent of firms introduced social media in 2012, with a third listing the accessing of passive candidates via social media as one of their biggest opportunities for 2013.
“Recruiters are beginning to take a deeper look at the positive business outcomes of social media activity,” Fuller says.
Almost half the firms surveyed stated that their online presence and membership to professional groups were the best methods for connecting with new clients in 2012, with attendance of networking events dropping 13 percent.
The report also found that introducing more efficient business processes, increasing flexible roles and workplaces, and capitalising on growth in emerging economies were the other big opportunities for 2013, with companies also investing in new software and technology to make their services more effective.
“Understanding what platforms give the best return, ratios of engaging versus selling, and social recruiting etiquette will help recruiters streamline and maximise their efforts in 2013,” Fuller says.