It’s fair to say that a lot of recruiters have a healthy ego. Let’s be honest, without a certain amount of self-confidence there would be no way many of us would have made it through those trying early days where door after door was closed on us and call after call led nowhere fast. We either quickly grow a thick skin or we falter and fail.
Whilst a healthy level of self-esteem can help a recruiter through the darker days, many recruiters make an error with their existing clients by overestimating the impact they’ve had on their customers’ lives. Even when people have hired an employee through you, you shouldn’t assume that you’ll be permanently etched into the client’s mind.
The humbling reality is that clients and candidates quickly forget the recruiter.
Clients may remember the jobseeker. Candidates may remember the client. But it’s not often they remember the person who put them together. Both sides are excited by the opportunity, not the agent involved. If it all goes well, it’s the result that lingers in the memory and rarely the recruiter.
And there may be nothing wrong with that; an agent or middle-man seamlessly bringing both parties together.
But if you want more, the solution is to make sure your first piece of business is only the opening stage in a long-term relationship. The key to making that happen is after-care – something at which many recruiters are notoriously weak. Once the money is in the bank, if there’s not another role to fill, communication can get patchy and that’s not the way to encourage repeat business.
Here are five ways to keep in touch with your customers and remind them of the positives that come from dealing with you - without making the error many make of solely and blatantly asking after future business.
- Phone follow-ups – checking up on your candidate, even after the rebate period has run out, demonstrates that you care about people rather than just business. Be sure to check in with your legacy customers and ask “how is John getting on?” You never know when you may find out that John has left and a replacement is required, or that he is doing so well that they’d like you to find them another John. You shouldn’t assume you’ll be top of their call list for this just because you succeeded at some point in the past. Unless you get in touch, they may forget or neglect to call you.
- Use social media – share relevant articles and news-pieces directly with the customer, illustrating that you are keeping them in mind even when you are not actively working on a requirement.
- If you are sent any marketing collateral from one of your customer’s competitors, forward it on to your client to show them what others within their market are doing. Gathering intelligence like this that the client may not be getting directly is a great way to provide added value to your customers.
- Offer something free – providing you gain something from it. As an example, a while ago, I was in the process of getting a new certification and I needed a company to act as the proverbial guinea pig for me. I offered to coach some of their staff for free. They got training without outlay. I got some excellent results to use in my research. And by remaining present in the client’s mind, I got some further paid business from them not too long afterwards!
- Promote their business – every time you mention them positively in view of the public, they will notice – especially in a situation where you gain nothing from doing so. Give without thought of getting and, eventually, it will come back to benefit you. ‘Like’ their social media posts, write complimentary comments and believe in their brand.
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