Which comes first? The candidate or the client, the Chicken or the Egg?

Recently a colleague and I were discussing our different work styles.  By working from the mind set of the client and the job order are the most important part of the fill to hire equation he has been extremely successful.  I on the other hand have achieved similar success with probably less effort.  I have achieved my success by turning down the traditional job order from the traditional client and strictly focusing on “Candidate Marketing.” 

Most Recruiters uses a couple forms of Candidate Marketing techniques.  The first technique is simply a “cookie cutter” technique.  A Recruiter will present a candidate they have located with the same skill set as the last placement done with an established client.   Typically the candidate they are marketing will only be shown to that one established client.  The other technique is a “self marketing candidate.” On a rare occasion, a Recruiter will contacted by a candidate when they find a position they fell is suitable for their skill set.  If there is an established client relationship the Recruiter will be given an opportunity to present the candidate before they apply on their own. When these techniques are recognized and acted upon they both can work well but are limited to established client relationships.  They are also both exceedingly reactive models to managing a desk. 

When utilizing a Candidate Marketing approach the Recruiter will quickly take control of the entire hiring process and effectively their desk.  A select few staffing agencies have recognized this approach and gone the extra mile to implement strong processes to spend more time marketing then filling traditional job orders.  When research was done on these staffing agencies, the data indicated the Recruiters generated higher GM’s than the industry average by working more effectively between normal business hours.  Clients and candidates perceived these Recruiters to be the expert, giving them the autonym to drive the hiring process to conclusion quicker and more effectively than other Recruiters.

Early in my career I was taught Candidate Marketing techniques by Tony Bryne.  Tony’s training instilled a core foundation that has enabled me to establish a reputation of breaking new markets and recovering bad accounts for the past ten years.  Over those years, I have personally proven time and time again, that with the right candidate you can open any door and collect a fee.

When teaching Recruiters to take control of their desk through Candidate Marketing techniques they are continuously challenged with their driving desire to find and cover a job order.   Instead of making the switch over night, you might consider trying implementing Candidate Marketing slowly.  To do this I suggest the next time you find a candidate you really like, go the extra mile.  Find out what three companies your candidate would work for, for free.  Ask them why they want to work for those companies and why should those companies hire them.  Take five minutes over your lunch hour to call those companies for your GREAT candidate.  Explain to the managers why the candidate wants to work  for their organization and why the manager should at least interview them.  Typically the manager will ask for the resume and schedule an interview.  If the manager does not have that authority to make the interview happen, they will most certainly put you in touch with the right people that can assist you in booking the interview.  

Going the extra mile for a candidate you enjoy working with and stepping out of your comfort zone you have taken the first steps of implementing your own Candidate Marketing process.  As you utilize your process on a regular basis you will be able to refine it and increase the regularity of generating revenue.  As you generate more and more consistent revenue you will be considerably more comfortable turning away job orders that are not exclusively yours.


Rebecca B. Sargeant

For more details about Candidate Marketing Techniques please contact me at rsargeant@rbs-staffing.com


One response to “Which comes first? The candidate or the client, the Chicken or the Egg?

  1. Great Post Rebecca !! Well researched and presented. !!

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