With so much recruiting competition on the market, generating new business can be a struggle. Usually, it takes time and effort that you cannot afford to lose. What’s more, it often comes down to cost when clients search for a recruitment agency, but you can’t keep dropping your prices every time a picky shopper comes through. Finding new business is a real challenge recruiters have to face every day. However, instead of only looking for new streams of revenue, recruiters should focus on holding on to current clients for future business. By building meaningful relationships, showing you care, and going the extra mile for them, you can keep clients coming back for more and even get them generating new business for you.
Meaningful relationships happen on two different levels: professional and personal. Your professional relationship should focus on client customization, meaning adapting your process to fit your client’s vocabulary, culture, and needs. This is not to say that you have to change the core of your recruiting, but it’s good to think about the small things you can do to tailor your process to work cohesively with your client’s. Take the time to learn their specific business language. Try to ascertain how many interviews they prefer and what kind of documentation their candidates normally require. Then, you can apply that to your process. If you have an ATS that can create custom workflows, build specific ones for your repeat clients. Try to become the perfect fit for their hiring process.
Your personal relationship with your clients is similarly important, but for a different reason. People are far more likely to work with someone they like than with someone they only have a surface relationship with. For this reason, you should be thinking about how you can connect on a personal level. Take your clients out to lunch and find out what you can. What are your client’s interests? What are their daily challenges? Befriend your client and they’ll want to continue working with you. And don’t forget to say “thank you”; gratitude goes a long way.
Being able to consult on market-specific trends requires a vast knowledge of a particular industry. If you already specialize in an industry, then consulting should come naturally, but if you aren’t a specialist, then there are still small things you can do to advise your client. Take a look at your client’s website —specifically their careers page, if they have one. Offer advice on how they can be a more attractive company to candidates.
Furthermore, you can offer insights on the best way to work with recruiters like yourself. This isn’t to say you should be critical, but feel free to give feedback on how their communication with you and the candidates you submit. Look at similar clients you’ve worked with in the past and see how they compare. Be sure to highlight positive interactions as well. People will appreciate constructive criticism more if it’s accompanied by positives.
It’s common practice for recruiters to check in with their clients a few weeks after a successful hire. 30 days is the standard waiting period before checking in because it gives both the client and new hire enough time to work through the transition. If necessary, you can help facilitate that transition by revisiting your position as the liaison. Ask a lot of questions during this period to demonstrate your continued interest in the client and their business. How is the new hire getting along with everyone? Are there issues you could have helped avoid? What can you do to help ease the transition?
Use this check in as an opportunity to pitch them for more work. If they need any other positions filled, you can come with more candidates to offer. Be as proactive as you can and you’ll start seeing results.
Asking for feedback is a good way to solidify yourself as an attentive and caring recruiter. By demonstrating that you’re willing to refine and hone your process, you paint yourself as a professional recruiter, and it won’t go unnoticed by the client. Feedback should come in the form of a survey, and if you ask the right questions, it’ll force the client to think about you in terms of the value you provided.
Rewarding loyalty incentivises customers to keep coming back to you for their recruitment needs. There are a variety of different methods, discounts, and programs you can employ that reward your clients for coming back. And, if you’ve done your job effectively, it’ll be hard for your clients to say “no” when they know they can save money with you as well.
As much as current clients are great for repeat business, they can also be a resource for generating new business. You can simply ask your clients for referrals or you can set up a referral program to incentivize them. Referrals are immensely effective in generating business, as referred customers are often more valuable than organic customers.
Writing client case studies is another way to generate business. Case studies are a retrospective look at the value you were able to offer a client. They are short, one-to-two-page documents that you can use for sales collateral when trying to convert prospects. When writing case studies, focus on the client’s biggest challenges and the solutions you implemented to overcome those challenges. It’s best to get case studies from clients you know had a great experience, and be sure to use a handful of clients with a variety of challenges. That way, you can best fit the case study to the prospective client you’re trying to convert.
Generating business will forever be a struggle. The time it takes to find and convert new business is substantial, so remember to spend time focused on retaining current clients. By putting in extra work and building yourself as the perfect option for your clients, they’ll keep returning to you for repeat business, and that’s a revenue stream you cannot afford to lose.