It’s pretty hard to generalise on the state of the recruitment industry without making wild stereotypical statements. That said, I’m about to do just that.
For years in recruitment, the most common state of play has seen a candidate-led market.
And that’s meant that for the vast majority of recruiters, the candidate piece has been a critical part of success. But there are signs that’s about to change.
Today, we’ll be giving you advice off the back of our successful, highly acclaimed webinar where we guided attendees through beating their competition to the punch.
So, how can you attract and retain clients in a tight market?
Glad you asked…
Tip #1: How to win more business with existing clients
“People remember how you treat them when there’s nothing in it for you”
Every recruiter under the sun has probably talked about working long term with the clients they serve. You’ve undoubtedly said the same thing to yours.
But there’s a difference between throwing out catchphrases and actually helping the people you hope to retain.
Maintaining the quality of your service is one of the key differentiators which will turn spot business into long term business. Helping not only the contact, but also the wider business, when there’s no fee to be had.
Offering guidance when there’s no money to be made will be remembered. Going above and beyond simply to ensure the success of the business will ironically make your business more of a success too.
A client is far more likely to use your services again if they feel as though they get value for money. Whether that’s through market knowledge, education, training, pre-qualification, market mapping, benchmarking or any other number of additional services.
Here are some ideas to help:
Train your team internally
Educate your team members in best practice and bringing client management to the front of mind.
There’s nothing worse for a client than being passed on to a recruiter internally who has no idea of their business, or what a good hire might look like. They might as well go to a new agency and start from scratch.
Give them a reason not to. Make sure communication’s seamless and information’s passed on so there’s synergy throughout. It’ll make their hiring all the easier, and placements easier to come by.
Continue to educate your clients on the market landscape and help them set realistic expectations.
Some businesses think they’re doing the world a favour by having a job vacancy. It’s your job to inform them this won’t wash.
Help them by guiding their process. You probably know their competition better than they do. Which means you can help them hire better. And by hiring better, they’ll be a better business, with bigger hiring budgets.
Add value for your clients
When was the last time you held a client event? Have you been on client meetings recently? And not just to take them some doughnuts or ask about live vacancies. Because your competitors will be doing everything they can to make sure they’re front of mind.
Hey, doughnuts might work. But I’d say it’s unlikely.
You’ve undoubtedly got a fantastic network full of inspirational people. Why not offer an evening of guest speakers for your customers to inspire their existing staff?
Get back in front of clients and build meaningful relationships to prepare for the shift in market.
Tip #2: Use trust and reputation to stand out from your competitors
Agency reviews and social proof make it easier to succeed in recruitment. Recruiters can validate their results and quality of service. And this helps them unearth new candidates and win new business. And that helps you make money.
Brand strategy is all about client and candidate engagement and leaning into the agency’s point of difference.
You must have a continual presence for clients and candidates – whether that’s across SEEK, LinkedIn, Sourcr, or any other platform, a brand should be present to remain relevant and valuable. And this goes above and beyond recruitment too.
Case in point: if the only thing you ever talk about on LinkedIn is jobs, you’ll only ever engage active candidates. Should you diversify your topics of conversation however, you’ll find passive candidates engaging with you constantly.
Integrating video campaigns and sourcing strategies with clients can also be a strong point of difference. You have to stand out and become a necessity.
No idea’s a bad idea either. Give your team the freedom to brainstorm without criticism. Identify ideas and different approaches to start conversations with candidates and clients. For example, U&U brew coffee beans for clients in Melbourne.
Tip #3: Support and empower team members to build their own brand and win business
You already know how important your agency brand is.
But the personal brands of your recruiters are crucial to your long term success. Some recruitment agencies shy away from building the brands of their individuals. That’s not a very sound strategy.
After all, the individuals in your business are the lifeblood of your profits.
Encourage your team to think about the right content and messages for the right channels. Is LinkedIn the best place to show referrals from other businesses? Or should they be building a community there to show their ability through conversation?
You should also try to empower your team to lean into their strengths and character. Trying to be something you’re not either collectively or individually won’t make genuine connections and is almost impossible to maintain.
The world of recruitment’s changing. But with just a few tweaks to your approach, you’ll be set for the next few years to beat your competition and stay at the top of your game.
Want to hear more from the award-winning panel of recruitment leaders? Check out the recording of our highly appraised free webinar, How to outperform your competitors and win more business in a downturn market.
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