How to Successfully Take Over a Long-Standing Recruitment Client

Taking over a warm recruitment desk can be a real treat, as you can start winning jobs immediately without having to lay any groundwork.

But taking over a long-standing client relationship is also a huge responsibility.

It’s likely the business has been relying on that regular income for years, so if you don’t manage the handover carefully, you could lose that steady income for your agency.

Here’s how to ensure you take over any long-standing client smoothly.

Get to know them inside out

How to take over a long-standing recruitment clientTo show your new client you’re up to the task of managing their account, you need to thoroughly understand their business and recruitment needs before you have that initial call.

It’s important to take the time to do your homework, as this will assure them they’re in safe hands!

Start by doing the following:


  • Research the company - The company website is your best place to start in getting to know the business, their values and team structure. You could also run a Google news search to see if there have been any notable milestones worth knowing (e.g. did they win any awards recently? Receive a round of funding?).
  • Connect with hiring managers - Connecting with the hiring managers on LinkedIn is a great move too. Have a good look at their profiles as you might find some info/connections in common that will help you build rapport.
  • Read their notes in your CRM - If your predecessor is as good a recruiter as you are, they’ll have left notes in the CRM over the years while working with the client – and this is gold for you! CRM notes will give you a clear and thorough understanding the history of the client relationship, their hiring habits and even (if the CRM has 2-way email logging) the style in which the client likes to communicate.
  • Speak to colleagues – Speak to your colleagues who already know the client to find out about the company and your contact there. If you can build a solid understanding of how the relationship has been working before you meet them, this is guaranteed to get you off to a great start.

Look up their recruitment history

You have one of the most valuable information sources at your fingertips: the client’s recruitment history.

By using your recruitment CRM to look at past jobs, shortlists and hires associated with that client, you can learn what types of jobs they recruit and what an ideal candidate looks like to them.

Take the time to look at CVs and LinkedIn profiles of previously placed candidates as this will give you a strong picture of the background and experience a successful candidate will need.

You can then go ahead and put together a talent pool specific to that client so you’re entering the relationship armed with a strong pool of candidates you think they’ll love.

Researching their recruitment history will also give you an idea of how many jobs you’re likely to get from the client and how often they recruit, so you can begin thinking about how to manage your time with them.

Find out why they love working with your agency

reasons-to-love-being-a-recruiter-1The client has already bought into working with your agency, so you don’t need to worry about that part!

But you do need to do some digging to find out what they love so much about working with your agency so you can continue to provide the service they want.

For example, do they come to your agency because they know you can get a solid shortlist to them in a short space of time? Or maybe it’s the close friendly relationship your predecessor had with them that’s made them stick around so long.

Knowing exactly what’s made this client loyal over the years will allow you to continuing to deliver on their expectations – which will be key to keeping the relationship going.

Read: How to Win Repeat Business From Your Existing Recruitment Clients

Make a good first impression

Don’t wait around for the client to come to you. You need to be proactive in weaving yourself into the relationship, so pick up the phone to introduce yourself.

Arrange a time to meet in person or over Zoom. This is a much more personal approach than just sending an email and it will work in your favour.

Introducing yourself in this way gives you the chance to wow the client with your expert knowledge, experience and background, which can put them at ease knowing that you have the expertise to handle their recruitment needs.

Remember you only get one chance to make a good first impression, so make this count!

Focus on trust

To make this relationship work, you need to show your new client that they can trust you as their key contact now.

Remember that you were chosen to take over this client for a reason. Let them know they’re in capable hands!

You can build trust by doing the following:build trust-min

  • Always approach them with confidence and armed with the right info
  • Listen closely and adapt your approach to suit their needs
  • Give them clear examples of clients you have worked with in the past that are similar to them – this will demonstrate you clearly clearly know their industry already
  • Do what you say you’ll do! If you say you’ll call them at a certain time, make sure you do it
  • Never overpromise – it might seem like a good idea to impress them in the beginning but underdelivering is a sure-fire way to dismantle the relationship.

To take the relationship to that next level so they become the client that helps you smash your targets every month, download the eBook below!

2 men on a winning plinth new clients

Beth Williams

Awesome Aussie Beth is an experienced recruiter and Growth Executive here at Firefish. She has a huge love of the industry and a real passion for helping recruiters to change the way they recruit.

Subscribe to our blog and receive top content to help you reach, engage and recruit more effectively!

Related Blogs

View All

How to Win Repeat Business From Your Recruitment Clients

Can Video Help You Be a Better Recruiter?