Getting in front of competitors when hiring is all about knowing the future of the marketplace, according to a digital recruitment expert.

Robert Sheffield is the Chief Executive of the Nakama Group, a recruitment agency that works across UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. He believes that, in order for recruiters to get ahead of their competition and to successfully supply clients with high-quality candidates, a forward-facing strategy is vital. As is knowing the lay of the land.

“We aren’t necessarily looking at what people are hiring now, although that is obviously relevant,” Sheffield tells Recruitment Grapevine. “Instead, we look at what the trends will look like in six, 12 and 18 months.”

In order to do that, and to get ahead of the competition, Sheffield says staff at the global digital recruitment firm spend “a lot of time researching” the market by engaging in conversations with business leaders and working with several think tanks across Europe, Asia and Australasia.

“We pull a lot of information together,” Sheffield explains. “It is a mixture of on-the-ground expertise and subject matter expertise, as well as industry information. We are [assessing] what our environment looks like and how we should engage with the digital talent market.

“Then we take our idea of where the market is going and see what expertise our clients will need, and make sure we engage with them in a consultative way.”

The next step, Sheffield says, is to see what that talent looks like and, more importantly, where the talent can be sourced from. The problem is that talent isn’t always in the same part of the world. However, Sheffield argues that the new millennial workforce is more prone to move around for work than previous generations.

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