Most recruitment firms struggle to bring in a consistent flow of quality new business with clients who:
- Respect and value you
- Give you exclusives and retainers
- Pay you reasonable recruitment fees
- Refer you to new quality clients
This problem is usually related to one or more of the following:
- Not being in the right niche for you (see my article https://peoplemaximizers.com/defining-your-niche/)
- Your marketing and sales approach is not resonating with them
- Your delivery process (everything you do after #’s 1 & 2 above) is suboptimal
This article addresses # 2 above since an ineffective marketing and sales approach is one of the most common recruitment strategy breakdowns today. Correcting this issue is one of the most effective recruitment best practices you can ever implement.
How did we get to this place?
The most seasoned recruitment firm leaders frequently have the most difficulty adjusting to the marketing efforts needed today. I can relate since I was once in this category myself. When I got into the recruitment business in 1992, it was a very different world than today.
- There was no internet or email.
- When you cold-called prospects, a high percentage picked up the phone, and a fair portion called back when you left them a message.
- There were MUCH FEWER competitors, so it was easier to get the job orders and exclusive searches.
- Companies didn’t have internal recruiting departments. To fill jobs themselves, they usually advertised in the classified section of the local newspaper. Candidates faxed their resumes, and the hiring manager ended up with a pile of faxes to review.
In the above environment, effective cold-calling and referrals were the recruitment strategies that led to new business development success. That may be why so many recruitment firms are still obsessed with people making a lot of cold-calls.
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, most recruiting firms had at least basic websites to provide credibility. Mass email campaigns were amazingly effective….for awhile. I remember consistently getting positive responses and job orders from people who knew nothing about me when doing mass email campaigns. What is your percentage of positive responses now?
Social media platforms like LinkedIn emerged and by 2012-2015 Linkedinin was a critical platform for both client marketing and candidate recruiting. However, just as cold-calling, web marketing, and email marketing, LinkedIn has been overrun and beaten up with countless recruiters employing the same basic strategies and tactics. What worked in the past doesn’t as well now. Most firms that utilize digital and social media marketing now find it difficult to stand out from the crowd.
How do you get a competitive edge today?
I provided a chronological perspective to explain why new business development is more complicated and difficult than it ever was. Each of the tools listed above (phone, website, email, and social media) are still relevant and important. Try to eliminate just one and see what happens. The problem is that each tool that’s been added on top of the phone has increased the overall level of sales and marketing complexity 5-10 fold! Instead of ignoring any one of these tools, you need to find a way to wisely integrate them all together.
Putting these tools together in a repeatable and effective program is probably not your sweet spot as a recruiting firm owner. That’s why engaging the right outside experts makes sense (just like your clients engage you to hire). When you implement a wise, consistent sales and marketing plan, you develop a favorable awareness with your target audience. This elevates you above your competitors and leads to an ongoing inflow of “qualified prospects” into your sales funnel. These people are more likely to see you as a “trusted advisor” rather than a commodity.
By increasing your pool of qualified prospects, you invest your time talking to more of the right people. This replaces reliance on cold-calling or being limited to what comes to you via referral. Now you can be more selective to say no to the prospects that don’t fit your ideal client profile.
If you’d like to attend a free 30-minute educational webinar on how all of the pieces of the sales and marketing puzzle fit together, it will be help on 9/23/20 at 12:30 PM ET. Here’s the link to register:
To dive deeper into learning how to build a staffing business, check out our business coaching.