I have been recruiting for 9 years. Only recently have I added other recruiters to my team and therefore have to have more clients to support that team. My question: what is the very best business development process that you have used to gain more clients. I have done the cold calls, the email blasts, online presence and the most placeable candidate. I have to be honest and say that I have been successful at each but not a clear winner. What have you found?

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Just a thought here - I know many of my very good clients usually have openings in other disciplines. Lately I have begun asking about those opportunities within my established client base.

This approach might not be the best solution if each new recruiter is working the same field.....but if you added a different "desk" with each hire - then expanding your business within your current customer base would be the clear direction with quickest results.

It's what I'm doing!

Good luck with your expanstion Peggy.
Interesting. I just had a very good client ask me about a controller position. This is not my area (I am in medical sales/marketing/tech support. I am not sure that this is a good move?
Can you clarify what you mean by "this" not being a good move? Do you mean that passing up might be the wrong move? OR taking the position?
Peggy,

I am independent as well and have considered expanding but I am not sure if it is something I am willing to manage, it is possible though and would be interested to hear how it goes for you? As for me, I work out of a home office which I do not want to lose so if I did add staff they would have to be home office as well so I could not train or continually monitor them.

As for BD, I prefer and enjoy doing e-mail marketing but I take the time to do them each personal, not a blast. I have even taken the time to review their website and throw in a personal note when possible about something I saw and I am happy with the response rate. Yes this takes more time but I enjoy it because I work on them after hours and being independent, if I get 1 or 2 solid hits off an effort all is well for me. I do need to get better about following up with the companies I do not hear back from though as I want to keep my name in front of them.

As for working in other disciplines, I am an Engineer and Technical Recruiter which is how I market myself. Right now I am working on a Materials Manager position & Cost Account for one client and a Director of Finance for another. Yes they are out of my niche but these are established clients that have come to me and who am I to turn down an opportunity to make money?
"this" means working a job that I am not familiar with....
controller vs. sales?

Jerry Albright said:
Can you clarify what you mean by "this" not being a good move? Do you mean that passing up might be the wrong move? OR taking the position?
I'm not sure what kind of business you do, but I found belonging to Associations can be very helpful. You actually make friends and build relationships, as well as building trust.
I'm with Jerry on this discussion, I work in the technical side but have worked in my career in Accounting, Engineering, Operations. When I was working for a large vendor corporation, we were the smallest office, but the most profitable competing with the likes of NY, Chicago, Dallas and many more, 95 overall at that time.

Think about this model, less is more. We had less consultants, but more profit on each, less maintenance because of that,(less staff mgmt needed and less expenses) but more responsiveness to our consultants needs (better retention), less clients, but we OWNED that account. I see our service with a client like a virus (in a nice way virus, and because we work with technical people;-), once we get in the door with a hiring manager and deliver the goods, we ask them to sponsor us to someone else either in their dept or some other area that has a need.

If you don't specialize in a controller, contact one of your network people that you trust and do a split with them. Let the client know that you appreciate the opportunity, it's a little out of your wheelhouse, but you're willing to give it a go. That way you've honestly set the stage with the client with minimal skin in the game. If you deliver the candidate they hire, you are the hero and again you establish yourself in another area of that client. Eventually you might hire someone yourself for that market.

I would rather be deep into 3 clients than shallow in 100. That's the model that I saw fail with many of the large vendors. When you walk into the door of your client, wouldn't it be nice if everyone recognized you versus just the department(s) you worked with. I"m not saying to walk away from your vertical but don't turn away business at your door for fear of delivery, it's all in the way you set the stage with your client that sets the expectation overall on the service provided.

Think of it this way, how much time/effort did you put into building that client...once you got in the door, did you look around at your surrounding and say, "I am finally here". I've seen people get into an account, get one job and that was all that department had budgeted for that year. If you spread around the service to other depts, you won't see that problem and you will be very busy during recessions and much busier when it's not. I like looking at my desk and deciding whether I have time to take on another client or to turn them away.

Another thought here - if that client has divisions, you should be like a bee moving from one flower to the next and picking up the honey from the divisions too since you've already established yourself within the umbrella of companies. Ask about their suppliers too, they like working with someone that is working with their clients and everything all connects if you're looking from the outside/in or better yet, the inside/out.

Like Jerry said, "It's what I'm doing"

Feel the fear and do it anyway -- good luck on this Peggy!
Dean:
I am all over it. Thank you for the inspirational discussion.
I love tapping into the experience on this network.
Have a great weekend.

Dean Lockett said:
I'm with Jerry on this discussion, I work in the technical side but have worked in my career in Accounting, Engineering, Operations. When I was working for a large vendor corporation, we were the smallest office, but the most profitable competing with the likes of NY, Chicago, Dallas and many more, 95 overall at that time.

Think about this model, less is more. We had less consultants, but more profit on each, less maintenance because of that,(less staff mgmt needed and less expenses) but more responsiveness to our consultants needs (better retention), less clients, but we OWNED that account. I see our service with a client like a virus (in a nice way virus, and because we work with technical people;-), once we get in the door with a hiring manager and deliver the goods, we ask them to sponsor us to someone else either in their dept or some other area that has a need.

If you don't specialize in a controller, contact one of your network people that you trust and do a split with them. Let the client know that you appreciate the opportunity, it's a little out of your wheelhouse, but you're willing to give it a go. That way you've honestly set the stage with the client with minimal skin in the game. If you deliver the candidate they hire, you are the hero and again you establish yourself in another area of that client. Eventually you might hire someone yourself for that market.

I would rather be deep into 3 clients than shallow in 100. That's the model that I saw fail with many of the large vendors. When you walk into the door of your client, wouldn't it be nice if everyone recognized you versus just the department(s) you worked with. I"m not saying to walk away from your vertical but don't turn away business at your door for fear of delivery, it's all in the way you set the stage with your client that sets the expectation overall on the service provided.

Think of it this way, how much time/effort did you put into building that client...once you got in the door, did you look around at your surrounding and say, "I am finally here". I've seen people get into an account, get one job and that was all that department had budgeted for that year. If you spread around the service to other depts, you won't see that problem and you will be very busy during recessions and much busier when it's not. I like looking at my desk and deciding whether I have time to take on another client or to turn them away.

Another thought here - if that client has divisions, you should be like a bee moving from one flower to the next and picking up the honey from the divisions too since you've already established yourself within the umbrella of companies. Ask about their suppliers too, they like working with someone that is working with their clients and everything all connects if you're looking from the outside/in or better yet, the inside/out.

Like Jerry said, "It's what I'm doing"

Feel the fear and do it anyway -- good luck on this Peggy!
Peggy,

I have a slightly different opinion on this. I used to be all over the place in what I would take on, for reasons mentioned already, if you have a good client you didn't want to say 'no' to a good job order.

But, it needs to make sense. If it's so far outside of what you specialize in, will it be a good use of your time to chase after it? If it's a very different search, something you're not at all familiar with, say you do technical and this is a materials production manager or accounting auditor for example, do you have enough time and resources to learn the space and start recruiting from scratch? If you do, then it could be worth while.

But, would your time be better spent referring that job to someone and taking a cut, and then focusing on getting another new client in a similar space? Let's say you place java engineers and have two clients currently with java openings and you have a few great candidates. If you focus on getting another java opening, then you don't have to reinvent the wheel and you can leverage your existing candidates and make more placements in less time. So for each java person, you'll have 2 or 3 places to send them, rather than working on an accounting auditor, getting a few people and then having nothing else for them.

Overlap is good, and the easiest way I've found to get new clients quickly is by leveraging candidate information. Every time you talk to a candidate ask them, 'where have you been, who did you meet with, what did you think?' Once you place them, do you always then try to get the order from the company they were with and all the other companies that they interviewed with? That's a great source of new orders as you know exactly the type of person who may get the job, someone like your candidate. Also, when you check candidate references, all those former supervisors maybe potential new clients. Whenever you interview a good candidate, look at companies that are competitors, they could be great new clients potentially, as well as companies he/she used to work at.

~Pam
Dean, awesome stuff. I love "Ask about their suppliers too, they like working with someone that is working with their clients . . . " I'm a big fan of the deep vs. wide argument as well - but I know it's tough for a younger recruiter to pull off at first. Isn't that the understatement of the day.?. :)

I've never considered the lateral suppliers and really appreciate the tip. Again, awesome.
Hi Peggy,

Automating the technical side of your business process will let you concentrate on building and maintaining stronger relationships with your clients.

Eliminating information silos and taking a customer centric approach might be something to consider. Our company has developed a couple of customized software solutions that fully automate the recruiting process. The software is based around a Customer Relationship Management model and everything resides under one ecosystem.

Good luck.
Stafford

Perpetual Sourcing
StaffingCRM
Stafford, let's talk. Would you be open to me giving you a ring? I'm interested.

Josh

Intelestream said:
Hi Peggy,

Automating the technical side of your business process will let you concentrate on building and maintaining stronger relationships with your clients.

Eliminating information silos and taking a customer centric approach might be something to consider. Our company has developed a couple of customized software solutions that fully automate the recruiting process. The software is based around a Customer Relationship Management model and everything resides under one ecosystem.

Good luck.
Stafford

Perpetual Sourcing
StaffingCRM

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