Being in the staffing industry for 40+ years, I’ve seen a lot of recruiters just give up in a tough economy. Even though a lot of companies are cutting back on hiring, there are many recruiters who are still thriving. Here are just five things they are doing:
Start thinking Contract and Contract-to-Hire. If you’ve only done Direct Hire in the past, go back to your previous clients where you have had successful placements and offer them Contract and Contract-to-Hire candidates. A lot of candidates are willing now, more than ever, to take a short term assignment when they need to make some money sooner than later. If you’re an independent recruiter, this might not make sense, since you would have to fund payroll, but if you work for a staffing firm, they should be able to handle it. And currently there are several really good funding companies out there that independent recruiters are utilizing. If you need one, you can contact me via the Meet Darryl page.
Find openings to fill by asking your candidates. When interviewing your candidates, ask them, only after you have developed some rapport and trust: Where have they interviewed? What position did they apply for? Who did they interview with? What salary figure were they talking? How did the company leave it with them? (Obviously if the candidate you are speaking with is still interested in this position, and being considered for it, it would not be ethical to call that company to try and get the job order).
Know how to handle objections with potential client companies. The staffing industry is like any other in the sense that it operates on supply and demand. When an ample supply of candidates exists like it does now, you need to be able to get your foot in the door and be better at it than the average recruiter. That means handling objections in a professional manner. Distinguish between a buy sign and an objection. A buy sign is any question asked about the candidate you might be marketing. (And I hope you’re marketing a good, qualified candidate).
One of the objections you might hear these days is: “We advertise on our own; there’s a flood of good people out there right now.” If you hear this, try saying this in response: “Some of our clients also advertise their openings. What they have found is that they become flooded with resumes of unqualified people. When you advertise on your own, you pay your money up front and take a chance. I do it all for you and you only pay me for results. You have nothing to lose by interviewing this outstanding candidate.”
Consider changing disciplines if your old path is drying up. Health care, government services and cyber security are just a few fields right now where hiring is still pretty hot. If you’ve been in construction or IT, for example, and it’s drying up, it might be worth your time to investigate what’s going on in other industries.
Develop a believable marketing presentation. Find a most place-able candidate. Develop a good presentation, and then deliver it consistently. Example: “I’m not calling to tell you about anyone or sell you anything; it’s just that while on a search for another company similar to yours, I found some outstanding candidates in ________ (software, hardware, electrical engineering, etc.). I simply wanted to let you know about that and see if, at this point, you have some interest in this kind of talent.”
Until next time, keep moving forward.