As I was on vacation this past summer, I was reflecting on why some recruiters are better than others and why it shows up in their results. Great recruiters know the vital signs just like any great business or great sports team. They understand the levers that need to be pulled in order to achieve the desired results.
When I started TYGES International twelve years ago, I bought a franchise from MRI and was terrified to say the least because most people that bought in to this business came from a sales background. Well up until that point I had a whopping zero years of experience in sales. Little did I know at the time that my lack of sales experience would work to my benefit and not my detriment. At the time, I came to this business with about 15 years of operations experience with four different companies where I learned how a manufacturing business operates.
As I started my new venture at the age of 35 years old, MRI provided a 3 week kickoff training session in Cleveland, OH led by a seasoned trainer named Doug Donkin. He taught me the fundamentals of this business and I believe that what applied then applies today. Sadly, many recruiters choose to ignore them.
1) Define who you want to be up front and stick to it. Don’t be everything to everyone. Be a niche player.
2) When dealing with clients look for partners where you have unfettered access to the hiring manager as well as human resources. (I recently declined additional work from a client who had paid me personal desk nearly $2 Million in sales over the past 6 years). They recently changed the rules. Once you lose access to the person with the pain (hiring manager), your success rate drops off substantially. We have a saying at TYGES – “we teach people how to treat us”.
3) Build a solid relationship with HR and the internal recruiters. this may sound counterintuitive to item 2 above but it is not. They are people too and they need to be treated with respect.
4) Drive the process (professionally) through good communication, regular follow-up, and outlining what’s expected of all parties up front. Set the table properly when you start the relationship. Recruiters are always in a hurry chasing a fictitious clock.
While these tips are not all inclusive they are key in building long-term partnerships where mutual respect exists between all parties. It may not feel like it while you are building your business, but it is better to move on if you see this as purely a transactional relationship. Relationships don’t always start like this but you have to be able to see the promise of this in the future. Ask for the 3-way call up front and if the answer is no – professionally decline and move on to the next call. Save yourself a lot of time and frustration and change a “hope and pray” type of business in to a much more predictable and fun way of doing this business. Let it become a business where you know you are valued, respected, and where your odds of closing the deal is much higher. One point of clarity – you don’t find great clients. You find clients and you build great relationships together through mutual respect.
For those of you that think this write-up pertains to how recruiters deal with clients, the principles still apply on the relationship between a recruiter and an individual who is looking for a job (recruiters like to call them “candidates” – a term that is a pet peeve to me). Deal with people who are open, honest, transparent and are willing to partner with you. Deal with a professional niche player in your space. Build a solid relationship and drive the process in a professional way. Recruiters need to treat people with the same mutual respect. They are clients also (not “candidates”) and just like companies who you cannot help, there will be individuals you cannot help. Just make sure you communicate honestly and make sure they are at least a little better off after speaking with you than they were before they spoke with you.
Thank you Doug Donkin for preparing me properly.
This post originally appeared at www.reinventingrecruiting.com