5 Ways Recruiters Build Strong Client Relationships
In an industry as notoriously tough as recruiting, what is it that makes some recruiters successful regardless of the economic conditions or other challenges? Well, with more than 20 years in the contract staffing industry, we have noticed one thing that they all seem to have in common: their keen ability to build strong client relationships.
This doesn’t happen by accident. In fact, we have identified five specific ways that successful recruiters build strong client relationships:
#1—Really learn about the client.
The recruiters who truly set themselves apart only send clients a few highly targeted resumes for each job order. That requires them to dig below the surface when learning about their clients. Many successful recruiters insist on making on-site visits so they can meet the whole team, tour the facility, and get a true sense of the culture. This helps them understand what it will take for a candidate to really succeed there.
#2—Satisfy ALL of their clients’ needs.
Recruiters who position themselves as a “one-stop-shop” for staffing needs ensure that their clients don’t have a reason to take any job orders to a different recruiter. They provide a variety of solutions, including direct hire, traditional contract staffing services, contract-to-direct hire, payrolling, 1099 independent contractor to W-2 employee conversions, retiree restaffing, and internships/co-ops. Busy employers appreciate having only one point of contact for their staffing needs, so this is a great way to build loyalty.
#3—Provide solutions, not just people.
Your clients know they have staffing problems, but they may not know that an alternative staffing option can solve those problems. By asking open-ended questions, you can determine the best solution for them. For example, try asking if they have any special projects or upcoming deadlines. If they do, they might want to bring on a traditional contractor. Are they unable to get the additional staff they need due to a hiring freeze? You may want to suggest that they bring workers in on a contract-to direct basis. Since contractors come out of a different budget than direct hires, they’re able to bring in contractors even during a hiring freeze.
#4—Become an employment law resource.
Companies often expect recruiters to be knowledgeable about employment law. Therefore, they may look to recruiters for help understanding the laws. To maintain their strong relationships with clients, many successful recruiters make sure they are up-to-date on issues such as healthcare reform (aka Obamacare), wage and hour regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and proper worker classification (1099 independent contractor vs. W-2 employee).
#5—Keep in touch.
When you’re actively working a job order, it’s easy for you to keep in contact with your clients. But what about in between job orders? Or what about when you didn’t get the job order? You never know when a company may have a need, so contact clients and potential clients occasionally to touch base. Doing this helps you to stay at the top of their minds so that when they DO need staffing help, they think of you first.
These are some great techniques, but there are many other ways to strengthen your client relationships. Basically, ANYTHING you do to add value for your clients enhances those relationships.
In addition to helping you retain current clients, you can also pick up referrals this way. Put your clients first, and they will help you thrive even during the most challenging economic conditions.