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  • 08 August 2017

You’re all fishing in the same pond!?

One thing we regularly hear from potential clients: “Why should I  work with you and not with competitor X? Don’t you all fish in the same pond? “

There is undoubtedly a kernel of truth to this assumption. However, the figures prove that this is only partly correct. Let us clarify this picture: yes, there is a list of available technicians that have active profiles on the labour market. And yes, these people are found by many intermediaries. However, the majority of people looking for a job are not active job seekers. These professionals are not marketing themselves as actively looking for a job, but they may well be open to a new challenge.

The figures about latent job seekers vary, but a conservative estimate could be up to 65% of the labour force. Some studies claim that as much as 80% are latent job seekers. A great many at least. To verify this claim, I delved into our own data to investigate.

Research into latent job seekers

At Xelvin we often talk about ‘procedures’. An introductory meeting between a candidate and a client of ours. Of all the ‘procedures’ in 2017, in the Eastern Netherlands region, the majority (72%) came from our existing network of candidates. Candidates that we have had some contact with in the past or who come directly from our database. To give you an idea: for a company like Xelvin, this network consists of around 40,000 technicians. Meaning that more than a quarter (28%) of the ‘procedures’ came from new recruitment, candidates who were not previously known to Xelvin.

Where do we find the new candidates?

They come from a wide variety of sources. These could include the usual online recruitment channels such as Monsterboard and the Nationale Vacaturebank. In recent years, LinkedIn has increasingly emerged as a prominent recruitment channel. The success of the traditional “job boards” is, on the other hand, declining. A technician with an attractive CV can be inundated with inquiries from those parties who are all fishing in the same proverbial pond. We often hear: “I turned off my phone, the calls were driving me crazy”. Of course, these candidates are actively looking for a new job, so there is a good chance that you, as an employer, could fill your vacancy fast.

However, if you consider the fierce competition that you will experience as an employer, then your odds of plummet. The success of placing advertisements on these sites is rapidly declining. You could almost wonder if it’s any different to placing an ad in the local newspaper. That’s why many parties are choosing to leave the traditional vacancy bank pond and just let it dry up.

Ok, sounds like a valid thought, but what can you do instead? To illustrate this, we can stick to the allegory of the pond and the fish. It might seem strange to label a company’s most valuable resource, it’s people, as fish, but I’m going to explain 😉

In principle, it’s simple. If you want fish, grab a shovel, dig your own pond, plant, feed and whatever else fish need. Sit down and wait for the fish to bite. Most companies cannot or will not invest in this themselves. To stick with our story: they choose to go to a fish shop and buy the fish that fits best on their menu. They decide to make the move to Xelvin or another agency that can quickly help them achieve their goals.

Agencies such as Xelvin create their own networks, maintain them, invest in corporate branding and successfully recruit new employees. A productive approach, but it is also a time and money intensive one. The difference between these “fish shops” (i.e. intermediaries such as secondment and S&S agencies) is in the types of ponds and rivers that they “manage”. One might focus on goldfish, the other on Koi carp. Of course, you have to pay a fee for this, just like at the fish shop. However, it saves you doing all the digging and feeding yourself. One last thing… if you’re going to spend your money on it, make sure to look for the best fisherman with the most unique pond you can find!