How to Win More Business for Your Recruitment Agency in 2021: Top Tips from the Experts

It’s been a challenging landscape for recruitment agencies looking to grow their business development efforts. Still, opportunities are everywhere.

We reached out to top recruitment businesses and technology providers for their best tips on winning new business, improving your business dev efforts, and offering a better client experience.

Here are their top tips:

Elevate Your Sales Team

TURN YOUR TEAM INTO THOUGHT LEADERS

You have access to information that would be useful to your clients. Take your data and your insights and turn them into articles you can share with your prospects. This transforms your salespeople into thought-leaders your clients can trust.

Sara Flood, HTR Jobs

KEEP YOUR REPS ON TRACK

Focus on rep efficiency by pointing out jobs they are working that have been open for too long and become stale as well as early stage jobs that may not be getting the activity & attention they need.  

Ben Turner, InsightSquared 

MAKE SMART DECISIONS ABOUT HOW TO USE YOUR TEAM

Utilise people on your team where their strengths are. If they are better with business development, don’t necessarily move them to a 360 role. Tailor their role to where they can best succeed and provide the most value.

Rob Grant, Harrington Starr

MASTER MARKETING

CREATE GREAT CONTENT AND PROMOTE IT

Content and inbound marketing are powerful strategies for driving more business in this economy, but only if your content gets found! Once you create a great piece of content that answers one of your audience's biggest questions, promote it with: 

  • SEO (optimising content for search engines); 
  • PPC (paid advertising on Google and social media); 
  • Direct sharing via email or even text;
  • Social sharing (getting your team to post your content and leveraging industry influencers to further amplify your content's reach.)

David Searns, Haley Marketing

REV UP YOUR REPUTATION WITH REVIEWS

The average recruitment agency has fewer than 10 reviews, yet our research indicates that 75% of recruitment agency buyers rely on online reviews to vet potential agencies. Building out your online reputation can really have an outsized impact on your agency's ability to drive business, especially when we can't rely on in-person networking to nurture those client relationships.

Eric Gregg, ClearlyRated

 

HIT YOUR TARGET WITH TARGETING

Amp up your digital channels and diversify your outreach beyond just your website.  Targeted paid social can be a great place to start prospecting for new business if used correctly.  Look beyond LinkedIn as professionals are active on many different social sources and getting in front of potential new customers means being active on these same sources with compelling, targeted content.

Maggie Mistovich, TextUs

SEND TRAFFIC WHERE IT MATTERS (YOUR WEBSITE)

When advertising on job board aggregators, especially the big ones, try to make sure that when a job seeker clicks on the job they get redirected back to your website. Once they're there, they are a captive audience. Now, they can search for more jobs but will only see yours, or spend time getting to know your culture and business practises. Lots of potential clients will search for the types of jobs they have to offer first, and then pick their recruiter from the ones they find, so make sure your job links go back to your site and you can hook in those customers!

Jeremy Scott, Matador Jobs

BE DIRECT

If you're targeting larger accounts where there's more competition, integrated direct marketing can help you break through the clutter, create a strong business case for an initial meeting, differentiate you from the competition, and provide your sales team with a structured process for going after target clients.

David Searns, Haley Marketing

SYNDICATE & SHARE

Every piece of content or product (including the jobs you are looking to fill) is valuable. Use syndication to get the word out. Whether you create jobs feeds to get your jobs out to general AND local or niche job aggregators or you create tools to share your blog posts on social media and other sites, getting your content and product out there will pay dividends. Don't be afraid to repurpose the successful content too. If a certain blog post was popular, get yourself in front of a camera and make a short video of you restating the info that made the post popular.

Jeremy Scott, Matador Jobs

DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF FROM THE COMPETITION

REDUCE RISK TO REAP REWARDS

While hiring managers are still looking for high-quality talent, their ability to tolerate the risk of partnering with an unproven agency has shifted. If you're looking to win new clients, look for ways to reduce the risk the decision-making process: ask for referrals, seek credible third-party proof of service excellence, share testimonials from your happiest clients, invest in your online reputation, and address the operational roadblocks that create the biggest pain points for your current clients (speed-to-hire, response time, etc.) to help new clients feel like they can confidently say yes to your agency. 

Eric Gregg, ClearlyRated

CELEBRATE YOUR BRAND AND CULTURE

So many recruiting companies we see write boring, bland job descriptions and have simple, generic website content. The most successful companies we work with celebrate their brand with gorgeous bespoke websites that highlight their culture, vision and values, and culture. When an applicant or a potential client visits a site where the brand and culture is celebrated, they are more likely to apply for a role or ask that company to market the roles they are looking to fill.

Jeremy Scott, Matador Jobs

LET YOUR CLIENTS SHARE WHAT MAKES YOU SPECIAL

Differentiation is what all agencies strive for, a simple way to stand out from the competition. The best way to differentiate yourself is through your people and the feedback, testimonials, and reviews from the people they serve. Don’t tell people how great you are, let others do it for you.

Adam Conrad, Great Recruiters

 

MAKE ADJUSTMENTS FOR THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE

ACCOMODATE AND ADAPT

Be more flexible with your pricing and contract terms to accommodate your prospects’ circumstances. Adapting to your customers’ needs is a win-win because it not only shows that you’re a consultative partner, but also differentiates you from your competitors.

Evan O’Connor, IntelAgree

YOU DON'T NEED TO BE THERE IN PERSON TO CLOSE DEALS

COVID-19 has necessitated video-conferencing with clients instead of meeting them face to face, but it shouldn’t put a pause on acquiring new business. Utilising video has actually streamlined the process of winning clients for us.

Alex Wiffen, Cherry Pick People

YOU DON'T NEED TO EXPAND YOUR MARKETS SERVED TO EXPAND YOUR OPPORTUNITIES

Don’t feel like you have to jump ship to a hot market like healthcare just because there currently lots of jobs there. Don’t be afraid to stay in your niche; instead, expand what you can offer to clients.

Rob Grant, Harrington Starr

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

Even though customers are hesitant to purchase right now, you can control the effort you put in — e.g., more prospecting, sales calls, and contract flexibility — to increase your odds of bringing in new business.

Evan O’Connor, IntelAgree

LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP CLIENTS OF ALL SIZES

Turn to technology to help offer services typically reserved for only large corporate clients.  Custom client login portals, website access and email automation are now accessible (and integrated into Bullhorn) for companies of any size.

Tim Walker, 3DIQ

PROVIDE OPTIONS

Offer your clients more information about candidate submissions in order to shorten feedback time.  Include mobile-friendly viewing options, video interview clips, or quick feedback options to make it easy for customers to interview and hire candidates.

Tim Walker, 3DIQ

SPEED UP YOUR DEALS WITH TEXTS

Text outreach and communication can mean quicker times to close deals and place candidates as it provides faster response times and accelerated speed to market.

Maggie Mistovich, TextUs

APPROACH NEW BUSINESS WITH (MARKET) INTELLIGENCE

Identify new leads through existing and new accounts. Market intelligence tools that let you cut through the noise of competing agency job posts can help you pinpoint direct employer jobs and answer two key questions: 

  • Am I winning all the business I could from key customers, or is there room to expand? 
  • Which new companies operating in my industry are still hiring for my specialist roles?

Derrick Cramer, Textkernel

POWER YOUR BUSINESS WITH ANALYTICS

IMPROVING TIME-TO-VALUE IS A VALUABLE USE OF YOUR TIME

Shortening “time-to-value” - the length of time before a customer sees positive results from your product and can justify their investment - is a proven strategy for driving revenue via upsells and cross-sells. One way to shorten time to value is to invest in a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) that includes features such as in-app digital guidance, user enablement, and 24/7 self-service - all features that make it easier for your customers to quickly see the value in your offering.

Adam Nichols, Whatfix

LEARN FROM YOUR PAST

Use historical analysis to identify market segments or industries you've been successful in the past and direct resources to targeting jobs & clients in those spaces. 

Ben Turner, InsightSquared

PUT DATA IN THE DRIVER SEAT

Now is the time for data to drive decisions. Tools that provide market intelligence, both current and historical, can help you to spot trends and opportunity in key Regions/Industries/Roles.

Derrick Cramer, Textkernel

RE-ENGAGE YOUR LOST RELATIONSHIPS

Identify past clients where placements were made with no further activity for months or even years. With signed terms and existing relationships in place, re-engaging these relationships could well be your fastest route to cash.

Joe McGuire, cube19

CREATE YOUR OWN DATA AND SHARE IT WITH YOUR CLIENTS

Create a set of questions you ask every qualifying candidate, like how long they’ve been looking for a new role and the top 3 things they’re looking for in their next role. This information will be useful to you and differentiate the value you provide to clients.

Adam Dale, SourceBreaker

UTILISE VIDEO AND REMOTE TECHNOLOGY

BE PROACTIVE WITH YOUR PREMIUM SERVICES

Mock up a video job spec and send it to a potential client. This will demonstrate the quality of your premium service and will get their attention!

Richard McLaren, Hinterview

BREAK THE ICE WITH A VIDEO

Bringing something rare to the market is the best way to grab attention. For example, sending a personalised video to a client you've never spoken to explaining how much you know about their business is a good start. This way, you're not telling prospects that you're different - you're showing them.

Ryan McCabe, Odro

INTERVIEWS GO BOTH WAYS

Record a two-way interview showcasing a top candidate and send it to a potential client. The video format will catch their eye, and it’s a great way to show off the calibre of your network of candidates.

Richard McLaren, Hinterview

SERVE AS TRUSTED ADVISORS

HARNESS YOUR EXPERTISE

Offer your existing clients consultative advice on their talent acquisition strategy. Recruiting is closer to market supply of talent and better understands the true value of skills (relative to demand, their ability to transfer to a new domain, etc.) This knowledge can unlock revenue for your agency beyond placements.

Derrick Cramer, Textkernel

 

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

AVOID CLICHES IN YOUR SALES PITCH

Get away from the overused "our difference is our relationships" answer when asked about why your agency is better. Provide concrete evidence or testimonials that are understandable to your new client, such as "our clients enjoy the fact that we supply more quality candidates faster, so they can focus on what they do best.

Tim Walker, 3DIQ

YOUR CANDIDATE'S CURRENT BOSS COULD BE YOUR NEXT CLIENT

Track the bosses of candidates you are currently working with and speak to them regularly about their business and hiring plans. It also doesn’t hurt to be proactive: spec in candidates with the same skillset as the incumbent 

Adam Dale, SourceBreaker

 

REWARD RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

In this landscape, the right actions don’t always lead to success. When you can’t measure success on hires or deals, measure quality conversations. This industry is all about relationships, and your team will be well-positioned by making that your emphasis.

Sara Flood, HTR Jobs

 

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