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  • robmarkwell

Pivoting – Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

80% of the UK recruitment agency scene is made up of small independent agencies of 20 headcount or less, of which a large portion are specialists.


As a specialist, no one knows your vertical/niche better than you. And certainly not those faceless enterprise sized generalist recruitment businesses. Right?


This may be true. We all love a supermarket, but sometimes if I want a nice pair of jeans, I may not head to Sainsbury’s.



But what happens when your well runs dry due to external factors? We saw this magnified in lockdown when certain industries suffered more than others. What is your move when your mindset is that your only USP is market knowledge?

In times of unpredictable economic conditions, a sudden downturn in your vertical can be devastating for business. Yet so many will continue to bang pointlessly on those closed doors, or worse, just sit and accept their fate.



Now more than ever, your ability to pivot is key to business growth.



More than your niche market knowledge, I would argue that being very good at recruitment and customer services should always be your number one selling point.. closely followed by your niche expertise.

This is why a well structured performance management program and solid leadership team are so important.


The problem with a change of direction and/or diversification is where do you start and how do you avoid spreading yourself too thin and diluting your brand?


Firstly, diversification needs to be smart and strategic. If you are used to recruiting permanent accountants, taking an uneducated dive into blue collar temps may be a bit of a stretch.

Diversifying isn’t just skill, it is territory. In this online world, accessing foreign markets is so much easier than before. This is often an opportunity missed by UK recruitment companies.


In both cases, the fear of the unknown can set in amongst the troops. And if leadership aren’t fully clear on the metrics, that fear and reluctance will only spread faster. If you are indeed pivoting due to hard times, how much time and resource can you really spare on a new venture?


It is a very delicate balancing act that is likely to dig a bigger hole without the right planned out strategy at board level and the correct comms and performance metrics to the wider team.

But with the right guidance and expertise around transforming the nature of your business, it can not only help the bottom line in tougher times, it can be roots for a broader more robust business in the future.

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