The Importance of Client Recruitment for a Search Consultant

We’ve stressed before in the Top Echelon Blog for agency recruiters and search consultants the importance of working the right job orders. Doing so can mean the difference between making placements and meeting your billing goals and . . . not.

However, enjoying success as a search consultant ultimately goes beyond just working the right job orders. That’s because working the right job orders is tied to something which is even more important—working for the right companies. And that’s why client recruitment is so critical for search consultants.

So as we explore the topic of client recruitment for search consultants, we’re going to draw upon the wisdom of recruiting industry trainer Jon Bartos. In a previous blog post, we discussed the fact that there are three factors that contribute to a search consultant’s billings. Those three factors are as follows:

  1. The quality of the job search
  2. The sense of urgency tied to the search
  3. Whether or not the recruiter will be working directly with the hiring manager

According to Bartos, if an agency recruiter or search consultant is able to find job orders that fall in line with the above three factors, then their chances for placement success increase dramatically. It goes without saying that a recruiter should align themselves with companies that issue job orders that adhere to these factors.

5 factors for better client recruitment

In other words, in terms of client recruitment, agency recruiters and search consultants should strive to work with companies or employers that do the following five things:

#1—Issue quality job orders that contain specific search parameters and a realistic job description.

This is all about setting expectations and communicating important information that will allow you to execute and complete a successful search in a reasonable amount of time. Incorrect or ambiguous information or inaccurate timelines will only slow things down at best and derail the entire search at worst.

#2—Have a stated goal for exactly when the new employee should start.

“ASAP” is not an acceptable answer. When you ask the hiring manager when they would like to start interviewing candidates, “ASAP” is not an acceptable answer in that instance, either. When a hiring manager gives you actual dates, what they’re doing is holding themselves to a specific timeline . . . which is probably why they sometimes do not provide actual dates.

#3—Provide consistent feedback regarding the candidates being presented.

Feedback is the lifeblood of a successful search. How are you supposed to make the necessary adjustments if you don’t have the information you need upon which to make those adjustments? The answer is that you can’t make those adjustments, which is more likely to generate unsatisfactory results for everybody involved. And nobody likes unsatisfactory results.

#4—Have a process in place for interviewing and hiring in a timely fashion.

The efficiency of your client’s hiring process is paramount to the success of the search. YOU know that’s the case, but alas, sometimes they do not know that’s the case. Even if the job order is perfect, it must be tied to a hiring process that will allow you to source, engage, and recruit the best candidates in the marketplace in the shortest amount of time possible. We’re not building Rome here. We’re hiring job candidates.

#5—Display a sense of urgency, from the time the job order is issued until the time it’s filled.

It is, of course, important that you have a sense of urgency during the recruiting and hiring process. However, that won’t matter much if the hiring manager doesn’t share in that same sense of urgency. Then you’re more than likely on the way to Frustration Road. One of the top keys to filling a position and making a placement is a healthy sense of urgency on the part of everybody involved in the process. Without that, the situation can quickly devolve into distraction and eventually come to a standstill.

The relationship that a recruiter has with their client is like any other relationship, which means it can be dysfunctional—or even abusive—if the recruiter allows it to be. If a search consultant works with a bunch of companies that don’t exhibit any of the characteristics listed above, then that search consultant is likely to “enjoy” an increase in activity, but not an increase in revenue.

There isn’t much margin for error when it comes to client recruitment. All work and no pay makes Jack the recruiter a dull boy. (Not to mention an unhappy one.)

“Recruiters need to find those companies that have the right process and a sense of urgency,” said Bartos. “Then they need to do more business with those companies. That’s why big billers are big billers . . . they find those types of relationships. That’s what’s important.

“If you’re working with companies that don’t have a good hiring process, it’s going to be a tough year.”

Client recruitment and the importance of ongoing training

Jon Bartos is a premier writer, speaker, and consultant on all aspects of personal performance, human capital, and the analytics behind them. Bartos has served as a keynote speaker at Top Echelon recruiter networking events and is also a regular contributor to the Top Echelon Expert Recruiter Coaching Series of webinars.

Speaking of which, if you’re looking to develop better client recruitment as an agency recruiter or search consultant, then engaging in continuous training and education is an excellent way to do so. And it just so happens that Top Echelon has an extensive training library of free training courses for headhunting. These courses are recorded versions of Top Echelon’s Expert Recruiter Coaching Series of webinars.

These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics dealing with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help agency recruiters and search consultants make more placements.

In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment tools and solutions, including the following:

Find out more about the recruiting solutions that Top Echelon offers to agency recruiters and search consultants!