We often mistakenly think if we speak to enough prospects and fill enough job orders an ideal client that "get's it" will emerge.
After years of being a frustrated recruiter myself I began to strategically identify what the key elements of a great client look like for me.
Recently at an offsite meeting with my Platinum Coaching Clients we did a full day exercise on creating definition around the aspects of how a great recruiting client we would partner with would work with us. That was the easy part. The better part of the day was spent putting together a system to lead the client through a process to discover that working "our way" was in their best interest.
Here's what most recruiters fail to completely comprehend. MOST of these clients don't exist in this state of high performance right now. The reality is that great recruiting clients are MADE, NOT FOUND! Since recruiters continue to wander the "client desert" waiting to stumble upon the perfect client many often suffer from deep dehydration during the journey. Why? Most of your future great clients are terrible clients for your competitors right now!
We can probably all agree that great clients would pay high fees, give us exclusives and/or engagements, give us feedback quickly, be decisive, etc. No real mystery here. If that is so easy why is that combination so rare in the real world of recruiting?
Think about it. How many companies have you started working with that worked with you perfectly from the start? Almost none! Why? Most recruiters are tactical in their approach and most sound pretty much the same.
Bluntly, many recruiters do a poor job surfacing great candidates and providing excellent service. Because of this we are treated the same in our initial conversations. This is, however, where the true opportunity lies for those reading this that provide great service, great value and a true consultative relationship.
Choose a different way to approach your prospects. Choose a slightly different language in discussing your prospects needs and most importantly choose to be deeply diagnostic with your questions and the prospect on the other side of the phone will almost instantly recognize that you are "different". That is the crucial first step... Get them to tilt their head to the left a bit and say "hmm". You got your foot in the door, now let's not blow the opportunity.
Part of this process is NOT to "check in" with them. You do not want to ask about "open positions", "openings", "open req's", etc. These phrases make you sound like everyone else and commoditize your service.
In the conversation when defining their requirements invest time in defining what they are really looking for. There are dozens of questions I could list here and probably write a book.
Here's some examples: Instead of asking about the duties and responsibilities in the position get them to paint a picture for you by asking "Imagine you are walking down the hall with your new hire one year to the date from when you hired them and you say to them 'New hire, you have had an outstanding first year here!' What did they accomplish?"
Do you see how that question gets you the duties you need, but how the answer will be significantly more robust? Also, the quality of the question enhances the perception of you as a solution provider.
See next week for more on the next steps in creating your own great clients!