Success as a recruiter depends not on what you know, but who you know. After all, if you don’t know who’s hiring for a position or looking for a new job, then you can’t profit from connecting the two parties.
That’s why marketing yourself to companies with open jobs and job hunters is the key to success for recruiting agencies. Read on for five of the best ways to increase your recruiting agency‘s little black book of contacts:
1. Get (your brand) out there
The first step to developing a reputation among hiring companies and job seekers is to let them know that you exist.
Invest in a booth at your industry’s trade association fair or convention. Start conversations with both people seeking work as well as companies that are hiring. Be ready to take down information and to follow up on those connections as soon as possible!
2. Beef up your LinkedIn and Twitter activity
Since so many companies are posting jobs on LinkedIn, the site is becoming a useful tool for recruiters. Join LinkedIn’s many discussion groups to find out which companies are hiring, and contact the hiring managers who are discussing these roles for a chance to recruit for them.
Use LinkedIn to search for job hunters, too. Make sure your LinkedIn profile projects professionalism, including a sensible profile picture and a concise and catchy summary to hook people in. (Avoid using these words.) Consider linking your Facebook profile as well so your recruiters have as many databases as possible to search for job seekers.
Twitter has also become a go-to tool for companies advertising job vacancies and candidates looking for work. Keep an eye out by searching tweets for keywords. Companies who advertise for jobs on Twitter are often looking to fill positions quickly, so respond quickly to improve your chance of getting their business.
3. Ask for referrals from your connections
Once you start building a list of professionals in the fields you recruit for, build that list by asking those contacts for referrals.
Consider adding an incentive, such as a $250 referral fee for anyone who puts you in contact with a candidate who is ultimately hired by one of your clients. If you help land their referral a job, you get paid and they’ll get a small reward.
4. Recruit “outside the box” to step up your game
Move beyond the trade show booth tables and ramp up your activity in your industry.
Do you recruit accountants? Consider sponsoring a continuing education course to build your reputation among both accounting firms and accountants. If you recruit creatives for advertising agencies, think of an event that will appeal to both, like an art show. You can also can sponsor a happy hour, charity bowling night or golf outing to build your brand and collect contacts.
5. Turn your job-hunting contacts into hiring contacts
Once you help one of your recruits get hired, keep the relationship going strong. Maintain contact with that happily employed professional because in a week, month or year, they’ll come to you first when they decide they want a new job. In the meantime, that professional is also likely to recommend you to fellow job hunters and hiring managers.
And, try to build a relationship with the hiring manager of the company. Even if that person cannot directly hire for jobs, they can recommend you to their boss or HR department as a valuable partner for recruiting future candidates.
Remember: whether your recruiting agency is brand new or has been around for years, building and maintaining your business is dependent on the relationships you are able to forge and grow.
Simon Brooks has over 20 years’ experience in the recruitment industry and is currently working for BCL Legal.