In our previous post, we discussed Why Your Candidates Are Being Rejected By Your Clients
As I mentioned in that post you should put the QUALITY of your candidates first and have a solid interviewing system to identify which candidate is the best fit for your position. Yet even if you are able to find and identify the best fits, your candidates may be ignored by your Clients.
The Importance of Relationships
And here’s why: LACK OF RELATIONSHIPS
Just because your candidates are solid A Players and you can vouch for them doesn’t mean your Client will interview them.
Think of it this way: your Client usually has multiple vendors, not just you. And all of those vendors are submitting several candidates per week. That’s a lot of emails. There might be old vendors they’ve known for years and trust them, so if you just got on board it will take some time to get your candidates reviewed. You will definitely not be on top of the list as a vendor. And if their preferred vendors are constantly providing them with quality candidates, they won’t look further. Why take risks, right?
How to Build a Relationship with your Client
But you have to understand that the old vendor was once new. And somehow they managed to become on top of the list. How did they do it???
Dedicated Networking Person
Typically, an outstanding recruiting company would have a separate person assigned to this role. Those would be either Account Managers, Account Executives, Business Development Managers, Salespeople, etc. This is the ideal scenario. Where you can hire a dedicated person to develop relationships with your Clients as well as grow your business. In this case, your company would stand out because that person can visit them onsite, follow up with calls on a regular basis, help with managing projects, bring your candidates to in-person interviews and prep them, be present at those interviews and gather feedback, study the interviewing questions and communicate back to you (the recruiter) or your recruiting team.
This is why you’re not only bringing in QUALITY candidates but your Client is constantly reminded about you as a company and there’s a person that they can relate to. A person that they can trust and a person who can resolve their pain points.
There’s nothing more powerful than building relationships in person.
Do it Yourself
Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t have such a person in your company or don’t have the budget you can still develop relationships with your Clients. Let’s take the worst-case scenario. You are the only person in your company and you’re not in your Client’s area to visit them, for example overseas. And you don’t have the budget to visit them.
There are several things you can do:
- Consistent follow-up via email. No less than once per week. Even though you didn’t manage to find an A Player on the market. You can still submit the best available candidate that you managed to find over the week. In addition, you can provide stats on your efforts. How many candidates there are in general on the market, how many have you contacted/interviewed, etc. The idea here is to keep in touch and show your Client that you were putting in the effort to find a person for them, so they are constantly reminded about you.
- Follow-ups shouldn’t include only emails. Right after you sent that weekly status update – give them a call. Tell them the situation, explain how things are going, and get an update from them. Are they interviewing someone, did they make an offer? What do they think about the candidates you already sent?
- While you’re on the call, drop them an email with the link to a Google Hangout. Mention that you’re on there, so they can join for a quick video call for convenience. This way you’re taking it a step further by presenting yourself and emulating a live in-person meeting.
- Offer them that you would conference in your candidates. If you find someone that they would like to interview, be a bridge and join both parties on a Skype call or a phone call. Tell them that you would like to learn where your candidates might be falling behind in the interviewing process so that you could adjust your search and interviewing questions further on.
- Study your Client. Follow their social media, read press releases about them, check if they got a recent investment, and check their online reputation. All of this information can be used during your conversation with them so that you’re not only talking about candidates, but rather the big picture. You might be able to recommend something that would help their business in general. For example, if you see a trend of negative feedback about them on different review websites, you can bring their attention to that so they would take action. In this case, you’re also helping yourself since your potential candidates would be reading those reviews as well.
As you can see there are several things that can be done to help you stand out as a vendor. These are just a couple of bullet points for your consideration and application. They are simple but can make a drastic difference in your interview rate or even in your placement rate.
Also if you are outsourcing as a recruiter and have your CEO overseas near your Clients location, then you can team up. This way you would be building relationships with your Clients together. This holds true for small companies and start-ups. Where the CEO can allocate some time for doing that, but as you grow bigger as a company or you just have an extra budget, you MUST have a separate representative to build those relationships.
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