By David Mandar ~
We all know that the recruitment is a very challenging industry, with heavy competition for clients. In general, very little separates one agency from another. Most agencies use similar tools, and provide the same services. The differentiators are few, so we have to rely on our strong relationships, our corporate brand and occasionally a proprietary process or tool that will give us an edge over the competition.
As an Account Manager I spent a lot of time and effort on establishing new client relationships. After almost five years of success with clients on the agency side, I decided to make the move to corporate recruitment. Being in a management role gave me the responsibility of managing recruitment vendors. This is when I became a client and the marketing calls started.
This brings me to my topic of discussion. On a daily basis I would get 4 or 5 calls from staffing agencies looking to help me fill job requirements. It didn’t come to me at first, but after a while I noticed something that really bothered me. You would expect that the person making these business development calls would be an experienced Senior Recruiter, but 80% of the calls I was receiving were coming from junior recruiters. Not only were they junior, but sometimes they were on their first week on the job. After listening to many people struggle through poorly prepared scripts, I flipped the calls around, and started asking questions. I was curious, and wanted to know more about my caller and the company they were representing. It’s amazing what people will tell you sometimes!
Here are some things I would discover on typical calls;
- This is their first (or second) week on the job
- They don’t know who your company is, or what it does
- They don’t know who you are
- They have never recruited before
- They have never received training
- They can’t describe their services
The list goes on, but you get the general idea.
Based on the fact that an agency has put an obviously unqualified person on the phone, screams volumes about why I won’t do business with them. Probably never! They don’t understand that there is too much at stake for the hiring manager or the company to risk their business on a junior recruiter. In my mind, this practice of inexperienced recruiters calling draws attention to a poorly managed staffing company.
With one phone call they have put a black mark on their companies name in the market. The damage is done and that damage is difficult to repair. Managers or hiring authorities within that organization will now share their horror story over coffee, and in no time that company will have a poor reputation. This is a first step towards possible ruin!
In my opinion, these marketing calls or cold calls should not be handled by junior or unqualified personnel. Such a practice is brand suicide. These marketing calls should only be done by an expert who is fully trained in the art of the cold call, has years of experience within the industry and has done their research on target clients before conducting calls. Definitely not a ‘make busy’ task for the most junior recruiter! These calls are the first opportunity you have to make an impression, and shouldn’t be squandered.
Back in 1996, when I was a rookie recruiter in my first agency job, I was not allowed to even pick up a phone to talk to candidates before completing my two week training. The training provided skills and techniques necessary to be successful as a recruiter. Once I was given the OK to join the team, I was assigned a mentor from the team who would coach me on a daily basis. After a year I was given the ok to start bringing on clients, but before I could do that, I also had to go through additional “Account Managers” training.
If you are an agency owner or a team manager who has junior staff making these calls, think again about that process. Bringing in new clients regularly is the basis for business sustainability. Doing it right takes training, planning and patience. Invest in your people. Get your senior staff trained to become cold calling experts, and then enjoy success as all reap the financial benefits of increased business.
For more information on recruitment training and coaching for all levels please free to contact me, or check us out at http://www.curta.ca
David Mandar, Principal