Being a recruiter making a call to a client, it’s already assumed the problem you believe you can solve. Unlike other sales arenas, uncovering their problems is not what you’ll need to do. Instead, you must reveal to them the results you provide when you solve that problem. To do so, it’s necessary to appeal to what clients care about!
The central point of your pitch is your process. You need to be ready to explain the steps you will go through to ensure you will deliver quality candidates to your client and how your process fuels that recruiting cycle.
Clients know there are two kinds of recruiters out there: those learning their trade and just getting started; and those who actually “get it,” and have the skills and experience to deliver without being a burden to the client. Those in the latter category are able to speak knowledgeably and confidently about their process.
At first glance, this is fairly straightforward. How fast can you put candidates in front of a client? Of course, achieving this result doesn’t matter if you fail at quality, so this point goes hand-in-hand with ‘accuracy’ explained next.
Looking deeper, it’s important to explain why speed is part of the process, but you should not over emphasize it. Why? Because what’s fast for your client is extremely slow for you as a recruiter. Keep in mind, when a client calls on your services, in many instances that follows a period of 60-90 days they’ve posted the job and searched for candidates to no avail. So, if you emphasize speed, then you may be insulting the person you’re speaking with because they’ve been doing this for some time. The message you’re conveying could turn their attitude into doubtful and offended instead of confident and hopeful. Tread carefully.
On the other side of the coin, if you do get the order and successfully match quality candidates in just a few days, then you may actually be doing yourself a disservice. Clients may imagine that it was easy to find candidates after all and that they were simply running ads in the wrong place. They could consider trying again on their own without your services.
Clients want to see only quality candidates. That is to say, they want to see you are accurately matching the candidates you present with the skills they require. It’s the biggest issue clients face, and is the number one thing they care about where you’re concerned.
If the candidates you present don’t align with 90 percent of the skills required within the job description, you’ve failed. If the candidates you present fall way outside of the salary range specified, you’ve failed. If the candidates you present are not motivated by anything other than money, you’ve failed. Only people that meet those three criteria should ever be presented as candidates to your clients.
Clients are extremely aware of candidates finishing the process. They don’t care how many good candidates you present if none of those people accept the offers when extended, or if they don’t show up for the first day of an assignment. Make sure your pitch includes your results in terms of the percentage of offers accepted on average.
Although you’re dealing with human beings who can be emotional and unpredictable, there are many ways you can better understand and qualify your candidates to make sure they’re viable to submit to your client. Similarly, you can ask questions that prepare those candidates for the job offer if it comes. When a candidate you present turns down an offer, the client blames you as the recruiter because they feel that you’ve misrepresented the candidate’s interest in the position.
Once a candidate is hired through an agency, clients don’t want to have to think about refilling that position. You may disagree that this is a point to sell on, but in reality, it is an expectation of clients when it comes to your services. When a client is spending money to hire someone, they have expectations of how long that candidate is going to work for them.
As such, speak to the results of your process in terms of how long the candidates you place stay in the positions you’ve matched them to, stayed with the company you placed them in, how many were promoted in that time, and so on.
A huge benefit and selling point that comes from being an experienced recruiter is that you have access to people the clients don’t through their normal recruiting efforts. There’s a void only you can fill.
Let them know you’ll do traditional recruiting (e.g. you’ll talk to people about opportunities), but also speak to the strength of your database. How many people do you already have in a network that’s unique and important to what your client is looking for? Consider the depth of your talent pool. Can you determine that a majority of talent has not posted to a job board in five years and rely on you to bring them opportunities? Messages like that will convey the value you bring to tap into talent the client cannot.
To learn more about what you can do to show your clients you understand their concerns and how to solve them, as well as other ways to best position your firm to attract customers, download our eBook, Essential Questions to Evaluate Outsourcing Providers.