Winning clients is probably the biggest challenge you face when starting out as a brand new recruitment agency – especially in today’s job-driven market.
Going up against larger and better-established agencies that have a lot of cash to throw around can be daunting, but I doesn’t have to be.
Here’s how you can turn these ‘disadvantages’ of being a new agency on the block into strengths that will give you an advantage when canvassing for business as a new recruitment agency.
To succeed in this industry, you need to stand out from the crowd – and in recruitment, it’s a pretty big crowd.
To do this, you need to clearly demonstrate why prospects should choose your business over someone else’s. What is your unique selling point (USP)?
Think about what makes your agency different: Ask yourself “Why does my business exist?” and craft your company story around the answer. For example, you might have noticed businesses struggle to find candidates in a very niche sector – so you’ve specialised in only sourcing those specific candidates.
Whatever your reason is for starting your business, show your clients you offer something unique and the business will win itself.
Read: How to Differentiate Your Agency on the Recruitment Market
Innovate your sales pitch
It’s not enough to know why your agency stands out against your competitors – you need to be able to pitch this well to prospects too.
As a recruitment start-up, you have the benefit having no established rules or models regarding what you sell to clients, and this gives you space to get creative and offer something that prospects will pay attention to.
As a small business, you have the flexibility to productise your service to suit your prospect’s needs. For example, if they’re looking for more exposure on a role but would rather manage the hiring process themselves, you could offer them a self-service agreement that would allow for this arrangement.
This will put you at a real advantage over larger agencies that don’t have that flexibility – so use this in your pitch.
Laser-focus your niche
When you’re first starting out and chasing that all important cash-flow for your new business, it can be tempting to work any job in any industry that comes your way. But if a client has a choice between a generalist recruiter and a recruiter who’s an expert in their niche, who do you think they’ll choose?
The key to long-term success in your market lies in having expertise that’s an inch wide and a mile deep.
Your deep knowledge and immersion in that narrow niche will put you above even the longest-standing generalist recruiters when pitching for jobs within that specialism.
Specialising in a very specific niche will be key to succeeding in a post-Covid recruitment market, so this now’s the time to carve out your niche and nurture your position as the go-to recruiter in that space.
Expertly market your brand
You don’t need a big budget to have great marketing and pull in business – just need some good ideas and an expert marketing strategy behind them.
Becoming well-known and respected as a thought leader in your niche is an excellent way to use your personal brand to promote the company brand. If clients trust you by how you present yourself online, they’ll trust the brand too.
Your website will play a big part in helping you win over prospects too. It doesn’t cost a lot to create a professional-looking recruitment website that represents your brand. Look out for recruitment software providers (like Firefish!) that offer agency startup packages that include an affordable website along with your CRM.
Use SEO tactics to boost the reach of your brand online, if you do it right you can easily outrank big agencies, even without the budget. If you’re an SEO beginner, this eBook has everything you need to know to get started.
Leverage your existing relationships
Touching base with the candidates and clients you’ve had a previously worked with is one of the fastest ways to win business as a new agency.
Not only do you have a better chance of winning business from these contacts, but they’re a great source to generate leads and referrals.
Asking for reviews from candidates and clients that you can publish on your website and social media channels is a fantastic way to provide proof that you’re a credible brand.
The eBook below has everything you need to know to win sales pitches against agencies ten times your size.
David is a Senior Growth Outreach Specialist at Firefish. After working as a 360 recruiter, he loves innovating recruitment with Firefish Software.