5 Tips to Motivate Clients to Recruit the Way You Know is Best.

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Why do Clients make Working with Recruitment Agencies so hard for Themselves?

Simple. Most of them have no idea what we do. If you want to increase your fees, you need to educate and change the habits of these clients.

Many hiring managers have no understanding of how to maximise the hiring process and work with agencies to get the best result. This leads to frustration for all.

How is it CEO’s stand up and say “our people are our strongest asset” and then treat recruiting as a cost not an investment? Words are cheap and all too often the commitment to people comes second to the short term bottom line and other “priorities”. This is ironic as this bottom line is the very thing a smart recruiting strategy impacts.

I’m not suggesting to waste money on recruitment, quite the opposite, a smart recruitment strategy that addresses the talent requirements of the business will by its very nature save the business money. Clients can have their cake and eat it too if they think recruiting strategy first, cost second. Clients can gain a lot by first reviewing their process and taking our advice on what works best.

Recruiting isn’t Nearly as Hard as Clients Sometimes Make it.

Only a couple of basics need to change, I’ll get to this further down. And with a commitment from the top down its pretty straight forward.

For you to avoid the frustration that comes from working with clients who just don’t understand what we do or appreciate the value, you MUST push back and take control of the process so everybody gets the result they want. All recruiters have to do this to avoid being slaves of average. Sometimes as small agency owners particularly those who have just left the comfort of a larger company can feel vulnerable and jump to the clients’ drum and do business with those that perhaps if they were still at a larger agency wouldn’t even consider. There is no need and in fact this will send you under faster than anything.

You are an experienced recruiter with demonstrated success, so know this – if you or your team are not filling roles for a client, it is most likely because of what they are NOT doing that they should be and vice versa.

Let’s take a closer look at what I mean.

Any of these scenarios familiar to you?

Client “I don’t have time to see you but flick me some CV’s and if any of them are good we’ll use you again.” Ouch!

Client “I have an urgent role to fill, please send me candidates as soon as you can.” You find the candidates, submit them and then it’s like the client drops off the face of the earth. I call this the “hurry up and wait dance”, it’s a fee killer.

You submit a candidate and the client says “Oh thank you, we already know this person, they are on our database so we’ll take it from here.” I won’t go on a rant about it, but suffice to say this one makes me want to tear out my hair.

Instead of giving you as much information about the role to help you fill their position they seemingly create roadblocks between yourself and the hiring manager because they are “too busy” to spend 30 minutes with you.

These are all stark indicators of clients who don’t understand how recruitment agencies can get the best results for them. I won’t go into the specifics of each scenario as I am sure you have experienced versions of these. What I will do is provide a few ideas on managing these types of scenarios head on.

5 Tips to get your Clients Marching to Your Drum!

TIP #1. Set your expectations upfront and train your staff on these. These scenarios above and many like them are recurring. Be prepared and set yourself up powerfully in the beginning. Make your expectations clear and explain to the client why they are important in securing the best person. Give your team your support and backing to do the same.

To to the best job for you Mr Client I need:

  1. An in-depth face to face job brief so I have a full understanding of the company and the job and the benefits to attract the best clients. The better the brief I have the more spot on the candidates will be ensuring you only spend time seeing the best.
  2. Availability to discuss each submission with you over the phone when I represent them to you so I can give you a full understanding of my reasoning in representing them.
  3. To agree potential times for interviews to be scheduled upfront to help them move through the process and avoid losing candidates.
  4. Feedback on interviewed candidates within 24hours to ensure those shortlisted remain interested and others are respectfully rejected.
  5. Agree a timeframe that is valid in your specialist area for all subsequent parts to the process such as offer timeframes etc.An understanding that I always check with candidates if they have been made aware of a position and if they are represented and ultimately selected a fee will be payable. It is irrelevant if they are already known to the company and haven’t been approached for the role. (Your role isn’t to bring their attention to people they have missed!)
  6. A commitment to advising you if anything changes in relation to the assignment such as putting it on hold.

If you set these expectations up front it makes it easier for you and/or your team to address them if they are not being met. It also gives you the opportunity to explain why they are important.

TIP #2. If a client isn’t following the process you have agreed bring it to their attention, let them know and don’t be afraid to re-iterate what will improve the outcome. Appeal to the WIIFM. Explain to them the process they are following is making it hard for THEM. Be on the front foot with them and if they aren’t getting back to you, I often suggest sending a polite email advising them that you understood the role was a priority and worked hard to deliver candidates for them. As you’ve not heard back you can only assume priorities have shifted and you will now need to put their role on hold until you hear from them. Most of the time this works as they realise they have been messing you around.

TIP #3. Don’t start working on a role until you are sure you have 100% client commitment and a solid job brief. Explain to the client getting a good brief is what the entire process hinges on and without it they are far less likely to see the best candidates.

TIP #4. Make line manager involvement standard and refuse to work on roles where they don’t recognise the importance of being involved. Again, tie it back to the detailed job brief.

TIP #5. Recognise when to quit a client or when to push through to win them over.

I have been pretty harsh on the clients here but its really just to make a point. Most people want to get the best outcome and will listen to your advice if they can see how it will improve things for them. If you get to a point whereby you don’t see how you can influence the situation I would seriously look at why you are persisting with the client and perhaps pursue business elsewhere because ultimately if you can’t get them to understand how the process works best you will never make money from them.

I hope you find some useful tips in here and I look forward to any comments.

Thanks for reading.

Belinda Kerr

Recruitment Garage





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