Are you getting any?
Posted by Mitch on 29th July 2020
One of the major and perennial problems with running a perm recruitment agency is the question of clients – or to be more precise, getting them.
Look at any job ad for an agency recruiter and either the ability to cold call or bring clients with you will feature regularly.
The only reason I can think of as to why recruitment agencies need to be consistently looking for new clients is because they don’t keep enough of them.
So what can an agency do to encourage their existing clients to use them more regularly?
Firstly, it has to be accepted that when you have a business model that only achieves a 20-30% success rate (aka contingency recruiting), convincing a company that they should keep coming back can be a tough sell. Most other types of businesses that achieved a success rate that low, would probably go out of business fairly quickly.
Getting enquiries from lots of new clients is just a symptom of good market conditions – which is why none of you are getting any right now.
Getting enquiries from lots of existing clients is a symptom of having a good product/service. I think that’s where real growth comes from.
So, couldn’t you try selling more things to the people who already know and/or like you?
Might some of your existing clients who already buy senior candidates from you, buy junior candidates as well?
Maybe they’d let you recruit for jobs in some of their other functions that you don’t specialise in? For example, if you specialise in placing salespeople, learning how to fill customer service jobs would be quite simple.
Maybe they’d let you create better job marketing so they might be able to fill their vacancies themselves more easily? That could prove beneficial when your market returns to normal.
Obviously, you’ll probably need to have done our copywriting training to sell that last one.
But you get my point, right? That it’s easier to sell something to an existing client than it is to someone who doesn’t know you – especially if you work on contingency.
If I’m stating the obvious, I apologise.
It’s just that I had this thought earlier and was going to post it on LinkedIn, but their word limit stopped me. Plus, now that it’s here, it might make it into another book one day.