You’re at that point every new business dreads. You’re done building your recruitment agency and you’re ready for business.
Now you need clients.
In fact, you need to develop strategies and methods to consistently reach and turn prospects into clients. This is most difficult to do at the very beginning. Acquiring a good reputation and getting used to industry practices eventually take the wheel but as a new recruitment agency, there are some methods that help you locate and convert potential clients.
1- Job Boards
No matter the company, their product or approach, job boards are the go-to solution the minute a new position opens up. It’s more or less a reflex nowadays seeing how effective a channel they can be, and how very little effort they take to leverage. The downside, however, is that job boards can be very difficult to rely on for what might be a time-critical position.
This is where your new recruitment agency comes in.
Companies hiring through job portals have a need that your recruitment agency can fill. You can get in touch with these companies to discuss how you can help them source qualified candidates, whether on your own or in coordination with an internal recruiter.
Crawling job portals requires a proactive approach. You can expect to collect a significant amount of information over time, about your prospective clients as well as their recruitment needs.
In order to effectively leverage this channel, make sure that you’re prepared to store a lot of data and track multiple jobs. A good way to do this would be through an ATS that you can rely on for data management, job tracking, and job board integration.
2- Social Media
This is a channel that’s highly recommended for almost any business, not just recruitment agencies. Almost every potential client and candidate out there is on social media. In fact, platforms like LinkedIn, Quora, and Facebook will almost always make a presence in their daily browsing history, job boards significantly less so.
Creating ad campaigns on social media to advertise your agency can put you directly in potential clients’ or candidates’ line of sight. Sure, this is a method that you’ll need to invest in, but it’s a very effective way of casting a wide net for maximum exposure. It’s also a good idea to join local job sharing groups (Especially on Facebook). You can come across a lot of opportunities to make contact with prospective clients.
3- Email Campaigns
The question of whether Email campaigns are actually effective is very often answered incorrectly. Despite the stigma attached to this particular outreach activity, it actually produces results to rival social media.
The difference between a successful email campaign and a failed one lies in how it’s approached. Sending out the same email to a list of 1000 contacts spells trouble and failure for the effort.
Create email campaigns that aren’t the equivalent of knocking on people’s doors to sell for the sake of selling. You want your emails to be industry-specific, to be personalized rather than generic, and above all, you want your emails to be informative.
If you provide companies with information that’s relevant and useful in their line of work (or at least relevant to their recruitment needs), chances are you’ll begin cultivating a connection where they get value from your emails.
If you’re going to share updates about your business, or that new expert you hired, chances are your email won’t be given more than 10 seconds worth of attention. You want to demonstrate your expertise, you want to help and inform, and this is what your email should include, no more, no less.
4- Cold Emails & Hiring Managers
In the same fashion that email newsletter campaigns are scoffed about, cold emails are treated as an outdated method. But this method has existed throughout the digital age for a reason.
It delivers more results than you’d expect.
Hiring managers are always in need of contacts such as recruitment experts and agencies. Their role revolves around effective hiring, and that requires reading relevant emails for the majority of their day.
Begin by building your own database of hiring managers and decision-makers at different companies. Enlist freelancers, or browse the web yourself to locate hiring managers and acquire their email addresses. It would also be a great touch to take notes of any openings they’re recruiting for (to mention later in your email).
This is a direct line that connects you to your most likely clients. If anyone’s worth sending cold emails to, it’s hiring managers.
5- Follow-Ups, Reviews, and Referrals
Cultivating connections and professional relationships are at the core of a recruitment agency’s operations. It’s one of those businesses where “Once a client, always a client” is applicable.
Hiring managers will revert back to the agency that helped them when they struggled with recruitment. As you begin acquiring clients (even on a minor scale), make sure that you regularly follow up with them, that you acquire reviews and keep your agency in their peripherals for the day they need your help again.
Referrals are equally important. This applies to past connections as well. People you worked with in the past, people you went to college with, they are all in the perfect professional position to be considered potential clients. Keep those connections alive for new prospects.
6- Staying Up to Date on Industry Practices (ATS, Tools, and Databases)
Optimizing your process improves your success rate. Though this isn’t a method to directly contact prospective clients, keeping track of the industry’s latest practices (HR and recruitment tech, up-and-coming job boards, new channels, etc.) allows you to take a step back and reassess the bigger picture.
For example, ATS platforms are a rising industry trend that simplifies the entire recruitment cycle. There’s a lot of innovative tools that range from social media enrichment and AI recommendations to automated data extraction and job board integration.
Beyond the fun tools designed to streamline your recruitment operations, an ATS that provides well-rounded CRM utilities can be the difference between acquiring a client and letting them slip through your fingers. You and your team can better manage candidate data, keep track of potential clients as well as communications you’ve had with them, and follow up with these prospects over time.
In some cases, ATS platforms provide features that cater to the very activities we’ve recommended above. To put it bluntly, it can be utilized as a CRM system just as efficiently for client and prospect management as it would be for candidate recruitment.
Check out our blog section for insights on how to improve your recruitment.