by Rebecca Sargeant
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Not All Clients Are The Same
Many Recruitment Professionals open a conversation with a prospect by jumping both feet in and asking, “Do you have any job openings I can help you fill?” This is very similar to walking up to someone and asking, “Want to get married?” As in the latter case, getting right to the point with potential customers often times pushes them away instead of enticing them to take it to the next level.
Even if prospects give you the green light, by jumping in too fast, you create the potential of running into all sorts of traps and problems that could cost you your time, your reputation and income.
Get to know your potential clients first and make sure you make a good match. By qualifying them, you determine if you can help them. Let’s face it, there are lots of clients you can’t help. It’s not your fault, it’s just that you don’t make a good match. And there are all sorts of reasons for this including – prospects don’t know what they want and are impossible to please, they have income problems and won’t be able to pay for your services, they have a bad reputation, they have unrealistic ideas on what candidates skills actually are, or they can be plain old tire kickers just out there keeping an eye on the market by interviewing candidates.
How To Qualify Clients
So how do you qualify your prospective clients and determine if they are worth your time? At Curta, we teach our students to follow specific 4 step process with each prospect:
- Exploring The Company: First you determine the company’s quality potential by doing a bit of digging and discovering more about them. Where is their headquarters? How many years has it been in business? Who are the company executives and their backgrounds? How many opened positions are there? What is the company culture? Why do you want them as a client? At Curta, we provide actual forms in our training that Recruiters can use to investigate each prospect. If you see a company that is unstable or in a declining business cycle, then you would not go any further in this process and reject the client. Otherwise, you would investigate further.
- Profiling the Hiring Manager : Once the company passes the ‘Worthy Test’, it’s time to move on to the Hiring Manager, a key figure in closing hires. With Hiring Managers, you want to look at their hiring style, personality, and motivations. Do what you do every day with candidates, schedule to take the time to get to know them, interview them, by asking a few questions such as how long have they been with the company, who hired them, what’s their career background, who do they report to and are they involved in the hiring process, and what kind of people do they hire. Afterwards, answer why you would want to work with this Hiring Manager. If you find a Hiring Manager’s profile is not a positive one, you are opening yourself up to lots of hiring problems, and you should reject the client. Otherwise, you would investigate further.
- Job Order Calculator: At Curta, we created and tested what we call the Job Order Calculator. Based on a client’s responses to certain questions, a recruiter can determine the range of quality the hiring opportunity fits into. Getting a high score indicates they are less likely to fill the job order and shouldn’t touch it. A low score indicates a high chance they will make money focusing on presenting candidates and they should go for it. Likewise, you can make your own calculator. Think back to past hiring experiences and what made them ideal or a waste of time. Then jot down the key criteria of a hire and how an ideal company would respond. Now evaluate the prospect you are profiling and determine how close they are to your ideal responses. The closer they are, the more you want to work with them.
- Zeroing-in on the job. Once you get a job opening to fill, don’t jump immediately to sourcing candidates. Take a bit of time to qualify the opening first, making sure you have the exact information required to fill that position. Ask questions like, “What are the 3 most important skills?” “Describe an average work week.” “What projects will they be responsible for?” “What is the background of the idea person?” “What would you like this person to accomplish in the first 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year marks?” and “What is the salary range (low, medium, high)?” In many cases, you will have to rewrite the job description and consult with the Hiring Manager on what they are truly looking for to meet their staffing demands. Alternatively, if the Hiring Manager won’t connect with you to qualify the job hire or gives you evasive or too general answers, you would put this job order on the back-burner, and focus your efforts on other orders that provide a higher return on your time.
In the end, if you qualify prospects and service only the quality ones, you end up with quicker hires, happier clients, more rewards for your time and effort, and of course, more income. Why? Because quality prospects are more likely to become quality clients. These are clients who pay their bills, work ethically, know what they want, cooperate in the hiring process, and promote your services to other Hiring Managers.
Rebecca is the Recruiter’s Coach at Curta, where the mission is to raise the bar in the global recruiting and staffing industry and assisting Recruiters in exceeding their business goals. Rebecca is currently meeting the 360 Desk Challenge of building a desk from scratch and targeting a $100K by October 1st using Curta methodology. “Because those who teach well, definitely can!”