I believe first impressions are one of the keys to recruiting success. Everyone we talk to has a problem that they want us to help them solve. Clients have a job opening that needs filled and Job Seekers are looking for a new career path. It is the first impression that they will remember. This post is going to focus on the client aspect and relationship. (Candidate post coming soon.)
If you are talking to a first time client, what is the impression you want to leave with them? Are you listening to their problem? All clients are not the same – do not treat them that way. You have to listen to what they are actually saying. Listen to the big overall problem as well as the smaller ones. When I am talking to a new client, I want them to know that I am their partner and ally, their Trusted Advisor. That I am the “Go-to-Guy” for their Recruiting issues. They will know that I provided them with the best service, listened to and understand their issues and was up-front and honest with them regarding the process.
Hopefully, now they have decided to give you a try but they probably want to ”test you” with a harder to fill order before they start giving you most or all of their business. This order is probably one that has been open for months, given to many other recruiters and is that “Purple Squirrel” type of position. What do you do?
This is your chance to woo them. The most important task to do here is to roll out the red carpet and treat them like they are your only client. Contrary to conventional thinking, the MOST important issue is not whether you fill this order BUT how you treat them during this hiring process. Let them know up front, what to expect from you and as a new client, what you expect from them. Keep them in the loop the entire process. Tell them what is difficult about this search and what potential matches you have found. Don’t be afraid to give them the bad news as well as the good. Make them feel at ease while working with you and make sure they feel that they are an intimate part of this process. The new client should be involved throughout so they can start feeling comfortable with how you recruit. As stated above, be their true Consultant and Trusted Advisor. This is your one chance to put yourself in that category with them, versus just another staffing firm.
How you treat the first order is the factor they will use to give you more business, all of the little things do matter.
Think back, on your last new client. What was your first impression, on them? Now look at that person in the mirror and commit to being even better next time!!!