In a fantasy world, when you approach a new company for job orders, they would say "Where have you been? We have been waiting for you!" and give you a couple of solid job orders to fill.
In the real world, you are one of several recruiters trying to get the same job orders from the same companies. After meeting with "no less than 100 staffing agencies" over the past several years, Matt Lowney, EVP Talent & Operations for the Buntin Group, offers some tips to help recruiters differentiate themselves to potential clients in his recent Fordyce Letter article, "Staffing Agency Pitch: "We're Different." Employer: Yawn."
In the article, Lowney talks about the sales pitches he's heard from recruiters over and over again. If you think you are going to wow potential clients with your claim to be "different," your promise to "build relationships," or by bragging about your proprietary database, think again. Instead, Lowney offers the following suggestions:
- Talk about your recruiting process IN-DEPTH. Lowney says he "will absolutely select a staffing vendor based on the depth of their recruiting process."
- Explain what really makes you different. You need to be able to tell potential clients in 15 seconds why they would be "insane NOT to work with you as a staffing partner" without regurgitating the same elevator speech they've heard a million times, Lowney said. We would suggest that, in this uncertain economy, another way to differentiate yourself is to become a sole-source provider that can handle all of a company's staffing needs. Can you provide contractors in addition to direct-hires? Can you offer a contract-to-direct option? Better yet, do you know when to suggest contract staffing in response to a particular staffing challenge a client may have?
- Don't over-promise. If you don't think you can fill the position, say so. Lowney says he respects honesty, and your potential clients most likely will as well. They may come back to you with job orders you really can fill.
- Provide one point of contact. Lowney likes dealing with the same person every time he calls his staffing partner. If your firm has retention issues, take care of them because clients don't like having to "retrain" their reps every few months.
When you receive a candidate from me - there is an audio play button on the top. Simply by clicking PLAY you'll be able to listen to THEM (not me) describe (in roughly 1 or 2 minutes) SPECIFICALLY why they are qualified for the position.
My competitors have a hard time beating that. :)
I don't believe it's realistic for a mom and pop small recruiting company to provide one stop shopping for all the client's needs. One person can't be a jack of all trades and do any of them well. I believe being an expert in one, versed in another discipline tops is realistic.
Convince, explaining how to, potential clients you can find people they can't. If you're using similar methods finding people they are, why utilize you?
So I'd agree with Debbie on her points 1, 3, 4, and the first half of 2....unless I had a large agency to cover all client contingencies.
This article brought a smile to my face as it made me think back to one of my first clients. She asked the question "why you" and I went on to explain the company and my background. At the end of my "pitch" she asked for a copy of MY resume. When I asked why - she wanted proof that my background was what I had told her. Two hours after sending my resume (reluctantly at first) - she sent me 5 job orders.
That's the first and ONLY time I've been asked for proof of my background.
So - tell the truth.
Truth of the matter is - there is very little that distinguishes one agency from another. I find that the biggest factor is - is there a real connection? Does your style match the potential clients?
People do business with people.
This is a good article.
@Bill - its completely realistic. If you know the 20/80 rule then that alone speaks volumes about how to solve the problem and that in a sense you're right. "It's not realistic for most people". The reason is they just won't work hard enough to solve the problem . There is a difference between you won't do it or you can't do it. To say you won't do it makes sense. That's just a choice. There is considerable risk and overhead. To say you "can't" do it, only points to your lack of vision and limitations on solving complex problems. Let me tell you about a 24 year old kid who moved out to the stix by himself leaving all of his friends and family behind to build a business from scratch. He made zero on his first placement. Nobody could beat his "no profit" margins so of course he go the business. 4 years later, he's the leader in his nitch as a 28 year old with a liquid net worth of $2m. No trust fund, no assistance from anybody. Pure sweat and balls. You can't? You just haven't dug deep enough.
Every article about "the pitch" cracks me up. The writer has to write something so obviously the lowest common denominator makes sense. Target the weak, inexperienced or the clueless (just like all media). You do realize nobody in their right mind is actually going to put into public print the TRUE "secret sauce" right? I mean you don't expect Coke to reveal their secret recipe anytime soon do you? The recipe that has built their multi-billon dollar business. Put it this way, don't you think it's rather easy to figure out the obvious superficial rehearsed made-up business sounding sales pitch vs. a confidence that comes from deep understanding and knowledge in the field?
The secret is what's not being said. You can't fake who you are. If you are a weak recruiter, if you're nothing special than it simply shows. If you have something special to offer, it become quite easy to talk about it.
As the corporate recruiter that gets "pitched to" every othjer day, multiple times per day, save it! After 15 years in the game, there is no sales pitch that is going to wow me or make me give anyone a job order. When you contact me to fill an Accountant that has only been posted 24 hrs you insult me. Are you suggesting I can't fill an Accountant role therefore I need to pay you 18-20%of the salary to do so???
I reach out to specialized agencies when I need assistance with a hard to fill/specialized role. Usually the recruiter will be someone from network of peers whom I've worked with before, or hell, they are my friend and I want to give them my business.
Hadn't read the posts here since my post.
@Jerry--exactly right. Styles have to be compatible. I'm a down and dirty over the phone cold call recruiter looking for passive/invisible candidates. Any company uncomfortable with my directly calling into competitors out of embarrassment fear their name might get mentioned or I somehow won't be discreet/professional shouldn't and won't work with me.
@Joshua--if a company wants a recruiting company to fill multi discipline perm, contractor, salary surveys then unless you have multiple other companies you can trust enough to partner with it's highly unlikely a one man operation can fulfill all their needs. If they want you to find a Subject Matter Catheter Design Engineer, that's something a good recruiter in that niche can readily perform.
It's about being excellent in a niche that most one man shops will do and do well, not be all things to a client which is next to impossible, IMO
@Tiffany--If I called you I'd firstly assume/expect you're a good to excellent Internet recruiter having the skills and technology finding most people on your own without paying a fee except the very hard to impossible to fill positions. That's the staple of what jobs I'm uncovering companies will allow me to work on. There are recruiters here who have different experiences with plenty of fillable positions doing gangbusters well. They're either far better recruiters than I am, or just not called the right companies or in the right market niche.
I'd come at you from my market niche expertise standpoint offering to seek/present passive/invisible candidates by recruiting over the phone you wouldn't likely have accessed on your own. You'd either appreciate that approach adding value to your efforts, or tell me you don't need me.
Several factors would enter into your decision including perceived confidence in my demeanor, presentation, and chemistry would all be included. But if the assignment is easy or the candidate flow is greater than the demand, I'd expect you'd decline.
When you contact me to fill an Accountant that has only been posted 24 hrs you insult me. Are you suggesting I can't fill an Accountant role therefore I need to pay you 18-20%of the salary to do so???
I don't think you should take that personally, Tiffany. It's people doing their job. I can assure you that your competence level doesn't go through our heads when we're dialing for dollars.