Being a recruiter is not only about searching for talent. The key to success is good relations with your clients. How to achieve this?
Clients may be busy, they have plenty of other things to do, recruitment might not be the favourite part of their job. Even worse, most companies hire two or more agencies. How to make yourself visible and distinctive from your competition?
Let me share some ideas with you.
Listen to their needs.
A vacancy means that there is a job to be done at the organisation. What is more, at the moment there is no-one doing that job. This is a serious problem for the business which might end up with a project delay or financial loss.
Show the client you understand the problem by identifying what skillset is needed and what problems are there to be resolved by the new employee. I always emphasise the importance of the role briefing and asking the right questions while doing it. Take your time to go through the job description, write down anything you don’t know and schedule a meeting or a phone call to clarify all your doubts with the client. Careful: don’t believe ‘it takes just 15 minutes’. To find out what the job is really about you will need at least 40 mintues!
Act as a local market expert.
Who is hiring, who is firing? Who is spoiling the market by offering excessively high salaries? These might be the pieces of information your client wants.
Recruiters, especially those working with several clients, have excellent insight into market trends when it comes to employment, salaries and overall shifts in the employment market.
Your client is wondering why employees flee to the competitor? Maybe they are unaware that the company just across the street offers a full refund of gym membership as a benefit. Gather feedback and don’t hesitate to share it with your client at the meeting.
Do something extra.
Going an extra mile for a client can be crucial in establishing long term and productive relations. If you think that it is too time consuming, let me assure you – it is not. Pointing out that typo on their website, suggesting an easy improvement to the fanpage will not only make your client grateful, but they will also see that you actually pay attention to their presence on the market or in social media. And remember: in the long run, the success of your client is your success!
Tell them something they don’t know.
For example, how they are seen by their candidates or employees. Recruiters not only talk to candidates, they talk between them (Oh, come on, admit it!) That makes them a good source of valuable feedback. Go ahead and tell your client the news regarding their company from the market. Even if the feedback you received is negative, your client will appreciate you sharing it.
Obviously, in order to receive the info you need it is best to ask the right questions while interviewing your candidates. Go ahead and take extra time asking why they chose to change their employment. If they refuse to take part in the interview for your client’s company, don’t hesitate to ask them: why?
Your client will appreciate the info.
Time is the most precious resource.
There’s nothing more frustrating than the recruitment process taking forever. It is demotivating not only for candidates, who lose interest in the company, but also for your client, who gains a negative reputation, and obviously for you, as you lose both candidate and money. The reason for the delay may be hiring managers deliberately sitting on CVs for too long, but more often it is because your client has no time for recruitment. Again, turn it into an opportunity to get some extra points for your service and engagement.
You can offer to call candidates with feedback or send them a general e-mail on behalf of the company. Suggest that you could take care of schedulling their appointments. Request access to their internal database, so you can upload candidates’ profiles and change their statuses yourself. Not only will this speed up the process, but give you more control over the process itself.
Be the one who creates the need for recruitment.
Got an excellent candidate and no vacancy for them? Recommend them anyway, you can share their blank CV with a brief description of their biggest achievements, salary expectations etc. There is a possibility the client will like them so much they end up with a placement, if not, no worries – the client will be impressed that you think about their needs even though they didn’t request recruitment.
Do you have anything to add to this list? I’d love to find out!