Winning new clients and developing existing ones can be challenging at the best of times. But to create new relationships and build existing ones, it is essential to understand and develop the mindset of a typical HR manager or internal recruiter. Here are some thoughts to get you started:
1. Think and talk like an HR manager or internal recruiter
· Take the time to ask what is on their minds to develop your understanding of their day-to-day challenges. This will help you increase your understanding of their specific role and as a result you may uncover another business opportunity.
· Start talking their language. Talk in terms of how you can help them with the following key business drivers:
i) Quality of hire Appreciate that hiring the wrong candidate will have a high financial implication on your client. It is always better to forego a placement rather than risk damaging a potential long-term relationship.
ii) Cost per hire: Understand that most recruiters are under pressure to reduce recruitment costs so being flexible where possible will increase the chances of volume business if that is your goal.
iii) Time to hire Always ask which roles are most urgent and have the greatest business impact. That way you will be working on roles that are more likely to move forward quickly.
2. Aim to become a recruitment partner
· Think service first and view the placement fee as a reward for having done a good job. That way you will quickly be viewed as an extension to the service they offer. Internal recruiters can easily spot consultants who are more interested in ‘doing a deal’ as opposed to doing what is fair and right for the client.
· Think ‘value-added’. Look at offering information that will help them in their role such as salary surveys or providing information on competency based interview for their managers. Internal recruiters often get involved in other projects such as diversity for example so you could offer to support them. This could then be used for other clients.
· Share tools and processes. This could be as simple as offering to provide a standard candidate summary forms to providing access to recruitment software to help manage candidate applications online.
· Ask how you can improve the service you offer. You will often find out what other agencies are doing that makes the difference. It can also be a great source of ideas to help develop other customer relationships.