How to create the ultimate industry report
Salary surveys aren’t a “new” thing in our industry – but they have been done to death, and in some instances – not very well.
The reality is that nearly every recruitment company sends out salary surveys, and a lot of the time, although they can be helpful.
You need to think about what more you can do in the current market to keep your clients and candidates engaged.
Industry reports are a level up from salary surveys.
They talk to your community more than the masses – and can enable you to provide a comprehensive breakdown to your clients and candidates beyond sending them a spreadsheet of numbers and salaries.
They can be a great tool for client meetings and even as part of a business development call.
I’ve split it into five key sections (and one bonus section) to give you the basics to start building the ultimate industry report!
Salary and bonuses
The baseline of your industry should include salary and bonuses (or day rates if you’re a contract recruiter).
The idea of putting together an industry report is that its super niche, so if you only recruit .Net developers in the BeNeLux region – make sure that your salary and bonuses section accurately reflects this.
The more data you correct (and the more specialised it is), the better your results will be.
The more granular you can be, the better – even down to the location and company size.
This will enable your clients and candidates to draw parallels and, in turn, be able to find the data they’re looking for much quicker.
TIP: Remember, presentation is everything
Not every candidate and client is going to be great at navigating data, so break it up and make it look good.
If you aren’t a designer – work with a graphic designer or your marketing team to make it as palatable as possible.
Don’t let this be the reason why you don’t take action; you can easily get the resource you need from easy-to-use websites like Upwork & Fiverr – I have used them tons of times)
Culture and people
This can cover everything from company culture, benefits, succession planning, diversity and inclusion, environment and sustainability, initiatives etc.
Think about this section appealing to your C-Suite, your heads of Talent and the Internal Recruiters you’re trying to partner with.
We need to stop seeing Talent and HR as the enemy and instead see how much smoother your partnership will be if you’re able to provide them with value.
What have you heard in the market? What do people want? What cultures are thriving right now? Share that knowledge.
TIP: Get TA and HR involved.
Why not get direct quotes and involvement from the TA and HR leaders you want to partner with?
Not only is their insight going to be valuable for peers in the industry.
It’s a different way to build a relationship with them beyond your ‘typical” business development techniques.
I know that getting “in” with TA takes time – so look at this industry report as a way to create a community and give back to your market.
Hiring ratios and statistics (great for clients)
This is when you can subtly sell yourself as well as the wider organisation.
What are your current hiring ratios within the team?
What issues are you seeing, and what solutions are you proposing?
What typical solutions are clients going for, and what has the outcome been?
This is a huge educational piece for clients.
If they can see that the majority are now hiring contractors, then it may encourage them to rethink contract resources.
Equally, if they can see the interview-to-placement ratio across retainer or retainer-lite projects, it gives them something tangible to work towards.
New technology and systems and what this means
This section will be very dependent on your industry and whether tech and systems vastly impact how you recruit.
For example, let’s say you operate within the developer space – is there a new coding language that is in demand? Are there new systems that are attracting candidates to one business over another?
This enables you to become a true consultant.
You’re looking beyond the candidate>placement routine you’re used to, and instead, you’re becoming a voice for your market and a voice for your community.
TIP: Gather qualitative data for this as well as numerical data.
Qualitative – long form. Tangible answers.
Do your research, and if there’s a lot of numerical data leaning toward something.
What can you find online to back this up?
Can any of your survey participants offer quotes?
Can you talk about the pros and cons?
Current affairs – how this affects your market and predictions
There will be larger current affairs (such as the war in Ukraine) that will affect all markets and industries.
However, there will be micro-current affairs within your market that will affect hiring as well as a number of other things.
For example, mass lay-offs from a specific organisation.
How did that affect things? Or, if you recruit within a specific geography or location, what local changes can affect your market?
Again, you want to be as consultative as possible and offer solutions.
What have you seen, and what are your predictions?
M&A’s, companies going public, mass lay-offs, and big organisational changes are just some of the things that could fall into this category.
You don’t want this section to become an echo chamber of what is already online.
Instead, you want to see this section as an opportunity for you to look at it through a recruitment lens and offer actionable insights directly to your clients and candidates.
BONUS SECTION: Direct quotes from your community
Being an expert in your market is only achievable if you have an inch-wide, mile-deep mentality and a strong network of individuals.
Sure, you’ll have certain things you can’t disclose, and you won’t want to pit people against each other and work for competitors, but instead, you need to see yourself as a neutral party.
As a recruitment consultant, you need to show off your network and the insight that it provides you to incentivise clients and candidates to work with you.
What direct quotes can you pepper throughout the industry report?
The more senior, the better.
This gives them exposure to hiring for their own businesses but also enables you to showcase the relationships and unique insights that you’ve been able to gather for those in your market.
Still, need some inspiration?
It can feel like a bit of a mountain to climb if you’ve never made an industry report before.
But think of it as a mini version of reports that are produced by the Big 4 or even the huge recruitment companies (such as Korn Ferry) who produce comprehensive annual reports that cover even more.
The goal isn’t to be the next Korn Ferry or EY.
But instead, create a community for your clients and candidates and a smaller, digestible version that people are going to read.
It doesn’t need to be war and peace, and it doesn’t need to be 25+ pages long.
It just needs to have clear, concise information that people know they can’t get elsewhere – meaning that you create a demand, and people will come to you!
You can find two great examples that I recently found myself enjoying here & here.
Your actionable takeaways ✅
Here are your actionable steps to implement & apply what we have shared with you today.
1. Skip the salary survey and create an industry report instead. It provides a comprehensive breakdown of your niche market and talks directly to your community.
2. Make sure your report is visually appealing and easy to digest.
3. Cover everything from company culture to sustainability initiatives. Provide value to C-Suite, heads of Talent, and internal recruiters you want to partner with.
4. Include hiring ratios and statistics to sell yourself and your organization.
5. Consider the impact of new technology and systems on your industry. Become a true consultant and look beyond the candidate-placement routine.
6. Cover current affairs and provide actionable insights.
7. Gather direct quotes from TA and HR leaders you want to partner with. Showcase the relationships and unique insights you have gathered from those in your market.