Recruitment is one of those fields that looks very different from an outsider’s perspective as opposed to an insider’s one. If you don’t know what it’s really like in the industry, it seems optimal to move from client to client as quickly as possible, maximizing the number of commissions you can get in a certain period of time. Experts, however, know that recruitment is all about playing the long game in regards to contact with clients.
’One and Done’ Is Not Enough
On a surface level, a recruiter’s goal is to match a good candidate with a company who needs their talent. Once that task has been accomplished, our job is technically done. However, no one ever got to be the best in the business just by following their job description, and that same principle applies here. Instead of simply chasing monetary rewards, a good recruiter seeks to establish a link between themselves and each client they assist.
To illustrate the reasons for this, it’s helpful to compare it to the workings of the more well-known industries: sales. If a salesperson has the option of selling a single product to a customer or getting that customer to set up a recurring order, no one would suggest that the first option was the better one, even if that single product would yield more initial profit. This is why the concept of brand loyalty exists and why companies try so hard to establish it in their customers. Being able to count on a customer’s repeated patronage gives them the baseline financial security upon which commercial empires like Kraft Foods and the Walt Disney Company are built. The value of sustained relationships in recruitment is a little less transparent, but they’re just as important.
Keeping Them Coming Back
So far, tumultuousness has been the defining feature of the 21st century job market; job churn is accelerating on both sides of the employer-employee relationship. Corporate restructuring is happening constantly, and many workers are always on the lookout for more prestigious or lucrative positions. This means that there is a lot of potential demand for recruitment services – assuming that the people involved bother to contact a recruiter rather than try to go through the process on their own. Many who have no existing connections with the recruitment industry will not necessarily think to do this, or may not want to go through the hassle of trying to find someone to work with who isn’t purely self-interested. This isn’t a problem when they already know and trust a good recruiter – in that case, it only makes sense to contact them first.
The Difference Strong Relationships Make
If you can build relationships with your clients that last beyond the initial placement, those people will think of you first when they need a new hire or a new job. That will probably happen several times over the course of the years, and they may also refer you to friends or colleagues who are also in need of your services. Conversely, if you make a quick match for someone and fail to follow up on that contact, they likely won’t even remember your name, and certainly won’t bother to seek you out again. Winning a client over and taking a continued interest in them is what forges those strong bonds of trust – it’s brand loyalty for recruiters.
Having a few clients who use your services many times is almost always more lucrative in the long term than having many one-time ones, and it’s unquestionably more stable. You’ll rarely have a huge influx of money all at once, but you’ll also rarely have to weather the long, difficult dry spells that many recruiters face when they leave themselves at the mercy of the market. The bottom line is that recruitment is not an industry for those looking to make fast, easy money; in order to be a truly excellent recruiter, you must make long-lasting client relationships your top priority.
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