How Can You Keep Recruiting Customers Happy?
If you’re an independent recruiter or a recruiting agency keeping your customers happy is key to your ability to survive and then thrive. We’ve previously discussed how setting the right expectations can make a big difference, but there’s of course more to it than that. Here are three simple tips on how you can make sure your customers are happy and ready to come back to you for future recruiting needs.
Align with the Organizational Strategy
Simply filling vacancies is not enough – in order to keep recruitment customers truly happy, the candidates you provide need to add real value to their organization. If you only focus on recruiting people based on the required skillset you may be able to fill the rec, but you’ll run the risk of people who don’t share the organizations values, scale well with growth, respond well to change, etc. However, if you understand your clients’ strategies and long term goals you’ll be able to use your search to make sure they hire people who align well.
So how can you make sure you’re both aware of and aligned with the strategy? With every client you should take time on the first few calls/meetings to not only learn about their vacancies, but what their strategies and goals are. Some clients may not want to be too open about this, so be sure to take the time to explain why you’re asking questions about their strategy, how much you need to know (it doesn’t need to be too deep), and how you can help. For example, suppose a client is a high-growth company who’s strategy is focused on following first movers in all areas related to digital content distribution. As a recruiter some of this may sound like mumbo-jumbo, but let’s look at what some of this strategy would entail:
The company is high-growth, which means it probably needs people who are flexible, have a broader skillset, and can deal with multiple responsibilities that shift over time. Since the strategy involves following first movers it means that they are going to let other companies lead the initial charge and deliver the first round of innovations, then they will use the lessons learned to try to take over different market segments. For this you need people who are analytical, patient, and cautious when it comes to risks – they aren’t breaking new ground, they’re following other people in, letting them do the dirty work, and then taking over from there.
These type of psychological traits and candidate descriptions wouldn’t be found in a normal rec that simply lists the required skills and experience. However, by knowing the strategy you can make sure you’re looking for candidates who don’t just have the skills, but have the right personalities and mindsets to succeed in this kind of environment.
As a recruiter you don’t have to know these things, but if you do you’ll position yourself to deliver better results.
Create and Share Candidate Personas
Candidate personas are useful tools for helping understand exactly who you are looking for and where you can find them. They’re not just beneficial to you the recruiter though, they can also help your customers. By sharing candidate personas with them you’ll provide insights into your work process, which in turn generates a sense of transparency and helps customers to understand and appreciate your process.
You can also use such personas to help companies achieve diversity goals. For example, when thinking of software developers many people imagine a white, nerdy, twenty-something male. As a result they create candidate personas that align with this idea and only search in places where those types of people can be found. With diverse candidate personals you can sketch out what other types of software programmers look like and how you can help to recruit them. With this approach you’re not just providing your client with candidates, you’re providing them with valuable insights into prospective employees.
Follow Up on the Performance of New Hires
Generally speaking your relationship with candidates slows or disappears after they have been hired. The same is often true of your relationship with clients. However, if a candidate doesn’t work out for whatever reason you run the risk of not knowing about it, and losing a customer because they don’t think you’re giving them the people they need. By taking the time to follow up on the performance of new hires you can keep a pulse on how things are going, maintain a relationship with your client, and even create metrics to track how your placed candidates perform.
At the very least you should be calling your customer one to three months after a placement to ask how things are going. If you have the time and resources we actually recommend you expand this and follow up six and twelve months after the placement. One possibility is to use surveys to assess how things are going. With this data you can identify your strengths as well as areas for improvement. Doing so helps customers to understand you are truly invested in their success, while also helping you to improve the services you provide.
Following up on new hires has an added benefit as well – any data you collect can you used to market yourself. Imagine being able to tell prospective clients that your placements have a 90% 12 month retention rate and are consistently rated in the top 10% of performance quality of new hires. These kind of statistics can go a long way to securing new business.
Bonus Tip: Use Hello Talent with Customers
As an extra tip, we recommend using Hello Talent as you interact with customers. By inviting them to join your talent pools they can see the hiring pipeline you are building for them grow in real time. After using Hello Talent, executive search firm Nisha Global said, “Every recruitment agency has email, but if you come to clients with a tool that makes it easier to share information you will have a competitive advantage. You’ll be associated with providing them with a better experience courtesy of Hello Talent.”
In the long run keeping your customers happy isn’t just about delivering candidates to them. Its about giving them people who are aligned with the organization, showing who you are looking for and how you do it, and checking in on how each hire performs (it might also involve Hello Talent). This level of personal service ensures that customers see you as a true asset, which will keep them coming back to you.