Survivalism for recruiters? When faced with tough times, a little resourcefulness may be the difference between success and failure.
Communities which operate on finite resources learn to not be wasteful. You’ve probably heard the old butchers’ expression: “the only part of the pig that isn’t used is its ‘oink’.
Recruiters, operating in strange times, may have to learn to think a little bit more like that resourceful butcher. Recycle, make do and mend, and find a use for every last morsel of business goodness that you can find.
Are you searching for new revenue streams within your existing operations? Then you can try to monetize data which is generated as a by-product of your day-to-day activities. Sounds interesting? Roll up your sleeves and let’s get our hands dirty…
Monetize data from your business
One revenue stream that remains untapped for many is company and industry data. In this recent guide, we suggested offering consultancy services to clients.
Additional consultancy is a straightforward proposition. Essentially, you sell a business lesson, strategy, or marketplace insight to a client who will benefit. All data has value. But learning how to retrieve it, process it into something meaningful, and then package it as a commercial product – that is the real skill.
Monetize data: three methods
If you are generating data, then most likely your recruitment software system is already capturing it automatically. But retrieving it, turning it into something valuable – and knowing what “it” is – can be something of an art form. So we have put together three alternative ways to monetize data that may already be in your recruitment CRM or ATS systems.
Surveys and Polls
A little popular consensus can be a valuable thing if targeted correctly. You have a network of contacts who are most likely strangers to one another, but whose interests are relatively similar. Taking a survey of business sentiment and sharing the data among the participants places you at the centre of this valuable network, and allows your client companies to learn a little more about the competition.
An example? Every January, eBoss runs a quick recruitment sentiments survey for the year ahead. This gauges intentions and priorities of recruitment firms using our products. It is limited in scope, and only somewhat more sophisticated than a quick “show of hands”. Yet the data which it collates is nevertheless a valued indicator of movements in the recruiting sector.
Thinking about setting up a survey? You (probably) conduct some degree of market research already, so you know how to set insightful questions. But polls have to be fair to be valuable. Who better to ask than the experts at SurveyMonkey, for tips on writing a balanced survey question?
This is where you take a bunch of numbers from your recruitment software system, and turn that data into a presentation.
Need a bit of inspiration about what we mean? eBoss produces occasional analysis of Jobfeed data. This presents some of the raw data from our Jobfeed feature as a broad, statistical overview. It offers a glimpse of the complete picture that Jobfeed users can access every day. It also shows varying trends and movements in the market over time.
Have job order volumes increased or decreased significantly in the past quarter? If we sample data from one sector, has that industry demonstrated clear growth potential for recruiters seeking fresh opportunities?
Think about the types of questions that your clients will already be asking themselves about the market, and look to furnish them with the answers.
This type of data analytics can also be beneficial to your own business, when setting recruitment fees. If you can demonstrate that a niche sector has seen a boom in activity over the past quarter, then you can adjust your time and cost expectations accordingly. If a client is a late-comer to a frenzy of hiring activity, you have the raw market data that will demonstrate to them why their own hires are taking longer and – yes – perhaps costing a little more, too.
Remember, every consultation is a presentation. And every good presentation tells a story. What story do you want to tell? What story are the numbers telling you? The meeting point between these two factors is where your consultation is born.
Limited access to core operational data
Lastly, you could permit access to the raw data which you used in the database analytics, above. That is – show your clients the data you have worked from to produce your database analysis. This should only be done carefully, and in a limited scope. For instance, you could supply a challenging client with a competing job order from your database to explain why their skills demands are too high, or fees are too low.
If another employer is sweeping up the ideal candidates because they pay better and require less, that is a valuable consultancy lesson for a hiring manager to learn.
Remember: many HR departments will have some insight into competitors. But few will have invested in facilities that provide explicit insight of competitors’ activities and rates. This is the type of research they will carry out manually. Automate that research, and then bring the data to them, and you have added true value to the hire.
For instance, we have developed a new kind of mailing list for recruiters – the eBoss Insider. Just like in our Jobfeed breakdown articles in the previous section, we take Jobfeed data and present it to our clients. However, the significant difference in this respect is that the analysis simply reports on the data, eg: “2,000 new jobs created in recruiting”. With the eBoss Insider newsletter, recipients get the actual job listings themselves, in full.
When you monetize data in this way, you are no longer telling clients what is available – you are giving them what is available. Think of it as a small helping of sample data, a demo, or a little bit of loss-leading marketing.
…but Plan carefully
This, of course, requires a little careful planning beforehand. You must stay on the right side of data compliance and privacy laws. You also need to make sure you are not selling a premium consultancy that takes away your core revenue stream. By that, I mean – don’t supply so much data in a consultancy that the client is able to cut you out of the equation, and finish their hires themselves!
Providing limited access to core operational data is a clever way of demonstrating your working and value to the talent supply chain. What is obvious about your work to you, may not be so transparent to someone in a different line of work.
A carefully planned consultancy which shares some of your operational data can help you to demonstrate the impressive insight and knowledge you are capable of accessing.