The average worker changes job 12 times in their working life, and even then, may join the ranks of post-retirement ‘silver workers’ in consulting.
The fact is that these days people very rarely have a job for life, but that’s not to say they can’t have a dedicated recruiter for the journey.
A candidate’s climb up the career ladder doesn’t stop once they’re placed and neither should the helping hand your recruiters are providing.
Agencies need to present themselves more as long-term partners in their candidate’s careers and less as short-term service providers filling demand.
Once your recruiters place
Chalking up the commission is only the beginning of the recruitment journey, as lasting relationships are built long after placements are made.
- Are your recruiters making check-in calls to see how the candidate is faring and if there are any teething problems that could be addressed?
- Are your recruiters communicating with their contract placements on a weekly basis?
- If their candidate is unhappy, do your recruiters have alternative opportunities to offer?
- Do they also have available candidates to backfill the vacancy?
Contractors will choose to stick with the devil they know, the devil that knows them, and the devil that’s delivering, which is why your recruiters need to be present and effective.
If you treat your contractors well and support their careers then your pipeline will build itself. They’re your best source for building your network, which is why your recruiters need to be asking:
- Which referrals your contractors can provide from previous placements?
- Which candidates and clients are reputable, which are the rising stars, and which they should perhaps avoid?
- Are they referring you to their networks?
- Which big projects are upcoming and what are the details around them?
- If they didn’t use you or are pursuing other avenues, why? What were the draws that you’re missing or are unable to provide?
Every candidate you place is an extension of your personal brand.
The performance and retention of the candidates you place will determine the likelihood of business returning to your doorstep, and bringing more with it.
Your recruiters need to position themselves as strategic business partners and not simply as a service providers in a race to fill demand.
They need to be an invaluable source of market intel and advice in your market. From rates and demand, to the senior figures in the industry and the upcoming projects.
Securing a client for life
It’s about providing value with every placement to secure repeat business and increase your chances of exclusivity. Establish yourself as a go-to for clients and your pipeline will develop itself.
That’s not to say that you’re accountable for every consequence of your placement, as even the best screened candidates won’t always gel with your clients.
It’s why agencies are fighting an uphill battle working on a contingency basis without exclusivity. Time constraints and competition ultimately drive recruiters in a race to the bottom over quality.
If clients realised the cost of a bad hire and the value that good recruitment adds to a business, then they would be less inclined to pit recruiters against each other over non-exclusive contracts.
Change your metrics
For those that mistakenly fall into the trap of seeing recruitment as a race to the finish, they soon realise that the value of a recruiter lies in the quality of their service and its long-term implications.
Being hell-bent on placing today can sometimes hurt your business for tomorrow, if the hire ends up damaging your professional reputation.
In the same way that you buy a car expecting it to last, businesses invest in their hires and expect them to deliver a return.
Perhaps shifting the focus of KPIs away from the speed of a placement to:
- Quality of hire/placement.
- Post-placement relationship building.
- Repeat business
- New clients from candidate referral
Would have a positive effect on the bottom line of your agency.
Remember your candidates
Communication, or lack of, killed the placement and your chances of ever placing them again.
Candidates often cite a poor level of contact with recruiters as their biggest bugbear, which is why keeping everyone informed, even when there’s no progression, or the candidate was unsuccessful, is crucial.
If your recruiters have three high-grade candidates for a role, you don’t want the successful placement of one to come at the cost of future placements for the others, simply because your recruiter failed to get on the phone and keep them informed.
In the manic world of recruitment it can be difficult to stick your head above the parapet and see what lies ahead, but your consultants need to focus less on the placements of today and more on the relationships of tomorrow.