Be selective with the searches you accept and you are far more likely to make the placement.
Recruiter training should include how to initiate conversations with potential clients. 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 is one step toward securing as many searches as you can handle.
The secret to successful cold calling is to engage the potential client quickly. Hiring managers are busy and so be direct. In my experience there are two strategies that work best. Option 1: Ask about their immediate needs after you introduce yourself as an expert in their industry. Option 2: Present a candidate who wants to change positions.
Option 2 is a great way to get into the job order quickly. Recruiters gain interest by presentin a candidate with a few enticing facts. Be brief in your description. Keep the facts relevant to the employer. When you lead with a description of a candidate be sure to close by saying, “Can you use a person with this background?”
By understanding your niche and the type of candidate the employer is looking for you can get a search within a few phone calls. The employer is interested when they ask, “How much?” That tells you that they have a need. At that point I tell the employer my fee range and continue to the search with no hesitation.
“My fee can be anywhere from 18%-28% of the annual compensation for the position. However, to give you an exact quote and make sure I find the best person for your company, 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 of ten fall to realize that they already in the middle of a search at this point. The employer will let you know if they are not comfortable with your fee. If they don’t make an objection to your fee then you have the greenlight to complete the job order. It doesn’t matter if no one says words like, “Job order.” Don’t worry about ‘selling yourself or your credentials.” Employers don’t care about you, they care about the open positions they need to fill.
Solve their problem for them. Be the hero and find the ideal candidate for their company. If they have questions about your credentials, they will ask. Your demeanor and tone of voice are what convey your authority.
Top recruiters keep asking and answering questions until we have a fee agreement. We know that we are talking with the top decision maker and believe that 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 with the employer. Remember you are an expert in your niche. It’s okay to challenge employers and educate them on the market from your perspective as an expert Headhunter.
Everyone wins if there is mutual respect and clear parameters about expectations on both sides. The more information you have, the better you will 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.
Working directly with hiring managers expedites the placement process. It is an important recruiting strategy. When you establish a good relationship with a hiring manager you won’t need ten new clients because that one happy client will use you over and over. Cold call for new business several times a week and you will get all the search assignments you could ever want!