Copyright (c) 2012 Kimberly Schenk
Not every search is desirable. When cold calling for new business too many recruiters are so happy to get a job order they fail to discern whether or not they want to spend time on the search. If they find they don't respect their new client they won't work on the placement. If the search fee is too low then the motivation will be low to fill the order. If the employer runs a sub par operation, candidates won't want to work there and your job becomes more difficult.
Rule number 1: Be selective with the searches you accept and you're far more likely to make the placement.
Recruiter training should include how to initiate conversations with potential clients. Full cycle Executive Recruiters are paid on commission and finding new business is a regular part of a recruiter's life. New clients and new searches are easy to find. Here's one step toward securing as many new searches as you can handle.
The secret to successful cold calls to potential clients is to engage your prospect quickly. Hiring managers are busy so be direct. Two strategies work best, in my experience. Ask about their immediate needs after you introduce yourself as an expert in their industry niche, or option 2, present a candidate who wants to change positions.
Recruiting strategy two is a great way to get into the job order quickly. Recruiters gain interest by presenting a candidate with a few enticing facts. Be brief. The facts should be relevant to the employer, nothing subjective. When you lead with a candidate, you close with, "Can you use a person with this background?"
If you understand your niche and the most desirable candidates many employers seek, within a few phone calls you'll get a search. When employers' ask, "How much?" they're interested. They have a need. Generally, I tell the employer my fee range and without hesitation continue to the search.
"My fee can be anywhere from 18% -28% of annual compensation for a (the job title) however to give you an exact quote, and make sure you have the best person for your situation, I need to ask a few questions. This candidate may or may not be a perfect match for you. What position do you need to fill right now?"
New recruiters often fail to realize they are in the middle of a search at this point. The employer will let you know if he's not comfortable with your fee. If there's no objection you have the green light to complete the job order even though no one says the words, 'Job Order'. Don't worry about 'selling' yourself or your credentials. Employers don't care about you! They have open positions and that's their problem.
Solve their problem. Be the hero. Find the candidate their company needs. If they have questions about your credentials, they'll ask. Your demeanor, your tone of voice and speech convey your authority.
Top recruiters keep asking and answering questions until we have a fee agreement, know we're talking with the top decision maker, and believe we have a healthy win/win search assignment. Don't hurt your chances of making a placement by accepting a search with unrealistic requirements. You won't be motivated to work the search or continue the relationship. Remember you're an expert in your niche and it's okay to challenge employers and educate them on the market from your perspective as a Headhunter.
Everyone wins if there's mutual respect and clear parameters surrounding expectations on both sides. The more information you have, the better you'll be able to serve your clients and candidates. Always have a list of prepared questions next to you. Recruiters manage the recruiting process with questions. Information is power.
An important recruiting strategy that expedites the placement process is to work directly with hiring managers. When you establish a good relationship with a hiring manager you won't need ten new clients because one happy client will use you over and over. Cold call for new business several times a week and you'll have all the search assignments you could ever want!
If you're in the recruiting business you must know how to cold call for searches. There are recruiting strategies that make it easy to find great search assignments! The secret is in asking questions that engage your prospect. Kimberly Schenk is an Executive Recruiter (20 years), Author, and Recruiting Coach. If you want a career as a recruiter learn the recruitment process! http://www.TopRecruiterSecrets.com
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