I get asked, a lot, by recruitment start ups and new consultants joining agencies “How do I find clients?”. So here are eight suggestions of ways recruiters can find new clients.
Recruitment isn’t much different from any other industry where you need business to business (ie, company to company) relationships to make revenue. However just focusing on sales techniques isn’t going to be enough to build long-term relationships – you also need to do some clever marketing. Before you do any of these eight things though:
- Identify your target client base and map out your prospective clients (by sector, job function, location, etc).
- Clearly spec out your offering to your target audience.
- Make yourself presentable online (ie, ensure you have a great LinkedIn profile, etc).
- Over time you will work to position yourself and your business as the go-to recruiter in your space (see point 8 below for more information on this).
Here are the eight…
- Do cold calls. I know this is the one thing you’d hoped I wouldn’t say. Hitting the phones is the most boring thing, but having a list of potential clients and dedicating some time each day to contacting them is a good focus. When you call them, you need a rehearsed set of lines to help get your foot in the door. Please do not EVER use the line “do you have any vacancies”. Assume that all employers will have vacancies. Finding a compelling reason to keep calling your target clients will lead to them remembering you when they do have a vacancy.
- Keep an eye on what your target client base is doing. Follow them on social media and in the news. If they are bringing out a new product, opening a new office, etc get in touch to see if this means they’ll be hiring.
- Go to events in your space. Networking is really hard for some people but being in the same room as target clients is gold-dust. Target yourself with saying hello to, and getting the business cards, of everyone at the event.
- Spend some time on LinkedIn building your network. Use a personal note with every single invite you send and follow them up.
- Locate a genuinely excellent candidate and “spec them out” – make sure you have a strong relationship with that individual, work with them to perfect their CV, create a target list of companies with them and then call each to introduce the candidate and yourself. In an ideal world you’ll get a placement but regardless you should be able to position yourself as someone with access to the best candidates in your space.
- It’s a bit old school, but… devise an email marketing campaign. Properly and professionally executed and followed up, it’s worth investing some time in.
- Don’t be afraid to use your personal network of friends and ex-colleagues for introductions. Also, always ask existing clients who they can refer you to.
- Create content and push it into your client space. It’s not difficult to use the video option on LinkedIn or to create some short videos for YouTube, which showcase your knowledge and expertise. Actually, tag potential clients on LinkedIn or Twitter – giving them a reason to get in touch.
Louise Triance runs the UK Recruiter website and overconfidently describes herself on LinkedIn as the “Hub of the UK Recruitment Industry”. If you are starting up a recruitment agency there’s a load more content for you in our recruitment startup centre.