Is it wise to put all your recruitment agency eggs in one basket?

Is it wise to put all your recruitment agency eggs in one basket?

This pandemic has knocked many businesses sideways. Some well-known household brands, as well as lots of unknown smaller businesses, will not re-open to the public once restrictions are lifted; these businesses have failed to grow sufficiently or adapt, to diversify or serve a true need.

There’s a fear that the economy is headed towards a recession the likes of which we’ve never seen, and that the long-term effects could affect numerous future generations.

But let’s keep it light, eh?

In all seriousness, there’s plenty to worry about if you’re an agency boss who’s trying to ride out the storm. However, that’s all they are at the moment…worries. We only know what we know as we stand today – we’re in a situation that has never happened in our lifetimes, so no one can truly know what will happen in the future. It may not be all doom and gloom after all.

For example, even as we sit here today, some businesses are seeing sales off the scale: supermarkets, restaurants-turned-takeaways, food suppliers, producers of PPE and handwash, etc., as well as less obvious ones: hot tub wholesales, flour mills, fitness instructors and food subscription box companies. Look at all the hoo-ha surrounding Costa Coffee opening up its drive-throughs this week – people queued for more than two hours, all over the UK, for something that can easily be made at home! We humans are a strange species…and our behaviour in a crisis is difficult to predict.

The point of our post is that adapting is crucial when unforeseen catastrophes arise – but why wait for a disaster to happen? Diversifying is something you should do before everything goes south.

Look at the changes those current success stories have made: fitness instructors can’t operate in a gym, shouting out instructions to a gaggle of adrenaline-fuelled faithfuls like they usually do - they’ve had to adapt their offering to meet the needs of their customer base (and also government guidelines) and deliver their classes online. Restaurants have had to completely overhaul the delivery of their product, going to the customer instead of a customer coming to them.

Both these examples, however, have simply changed the way their core product reaches their customers, which, though wise during this pandemic, isn’t the only way a business can diversify.

Rather than offering the same core offering but in a slightly different way, it’s much safer to have a longer-term business plan that involves additional income streams. These shouldn’t be too far away from your core business to confuse your overall message, but there’s a lot to be said for making products from your service(s) and services from your product(s). That way, whatever the pandemic, economic shift, technological calamity or customer preference, you always have something to offer.

As recruiters, you could create ebooks (and even physical books) aimed at guiding candidates through a career change or as they aim for their dream role. You could offer one-to-one consultations/critiques on CVs and/or interview technique, or even a ‘we will write your CV for you’ service. You could start a podcast that would attract a raft of new customers (and which could pay dividends from advertisers to the same market). Your recruitment agency could branch out into training, i.e. delivering accredited courses in basic disciplines of the industry you operate within, e.g. food and hygiene certification. You could offer consultancy/coaching to companies who keep recruiting in house, so that they know how to choose the best candidates for their business.

None of these additional products or services change will what you offer or who you help, they’re just extra income streams that can be given your full attention should your core business and typical delivery become threatened – which this pandemic has shown can happen. Through such diversification, you will also reach more markets and, with more opportunity for cross-selling and/or upselling, you’ll encounter more opportunities for growth.

More good news: your new services/products shouldn’t need much in the way of extra funds to create or launch, and you can use your existing staff/experts to deliver them as well as your existing website to promote them (with just a little tweaking from experts like Fast Recruitment Websites). It’s hard to understand why a business wouldn’t diversify when there’s so little to lose and so much to gain.

Coronavirus and the current lockdown situation have shown us that nothing can be taken for granted. Anything could happen at any time that could shake the foundations of your business.

Google says that the definition of not putting all your eggs into one basket is ‘not being dependent on any one thing or course of action’. The last few weeks have shown us why, in business, that can indeed be a bad thing.

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