Many of your clients will be announcing hiring freezes, furloughing and even laying off staff right now, so it can be hard to think of how you can be of value to them at a time like this. But you can be!
This is not a situation where you should simply lay low, wait for the market to pick up again and then give your clients a call. This is just fair-weather recruitment and those who choose this route will not be remembered when we all come out the other side of this.
In fact, your clients will appreciate your expertise and guidance right now – this is the time to build real loyalty with your best clients. You just need to know where your value lies in these circumstances so you can use this to your advantage and know how to approach this sensitively with your clients.
Here are some ways you can stay valuable to your clients during this difficult time…
Going quiet at a time like this is not the right strategy to take. Engagement across all social media platforms has gone up massively since lockdown, internet usage has increased 50% and twitter alone is recording 20% more activity across the channel.
This is happening because a sense of community is incredibly important right now – we’re all look for some direction and guidance through this uncertainty, and it’s no different for the recruitment industry.
Show your network that you’re not slowing down and if anything, you’ve ramped things up in the face of Covid-19. Read the right sources, get involved in discussions and offer support to your online community. Clients will gravitate towards those recruiters they see at the forefront, showing they care about keeping the industry going – not shying away.
Ask yourself this: “When we come out the other side of all this, will I be remembered?”
Help them visualise the future
Many of your clients will still be dealing with the ‘right now’ of their business, but soon enough, they’ll be ready to start thinking about the future and when this time comes, this will be your chance to shine.
You will be the positive driving force that helps your clients visualise what their business is going to look like months down the line. How are you going to help them get there?
Map out what you foresee as a positive long-term recruitment plan and where you think this will strengthen the business. Presenting your ideas to your client will be both a comfort in visualising their business recovery and also a great motivator and a reminder that things will pick up again – and when it does, you’ll be ready to support them.
Repackage your services
Take a look at the services you currently offer to your clients and start thinking about how you can repackage them up to suit your client’s needs right now.
Essentially, you want to look at ways you can continue providing a service to them at a time when they’re not going to be recruiting. For example, you could be looking at adding new services to your offerings, such as supporting them with employer branding, or building them a virtual hiring and onboarding program for their business. This is all stuff that they themselves won’t have any time or headspace for at the moment, but it will be critical to getting the business back on track.
It’s likely you’ll need to offer these services free of charge, at very little cost or come as part of a wider package, but the important thing to remember is that the work you put in now will all pay off majorly in the long term.
Your services will probably need to be reassessed frequently and re-packaged in response to how the market is changing as we’re in a period of constant high-flux. However, taking the time to respond to the market is what will get you results.
Be their market informant
You know your industry and niche better than anyone, so do everything you can to keep your finger on the pulse regarding what’s going on and report back to your client to demonstrate you’re a recruiter worth keeping close.
For example, if you’re a recruiter working in the construction industry right now, keeping tabs of the situation regarding Covid-19 testing on building sites to help workers return to work would be a invaluable intel to a client who’s project has been put on hold due to the virus.
Information like this will make you indispensable to your clients: While they’re busy keeping their business afloat, you’ll be their eyes and ears on the market.
Prior to Covid-19, the recruitment industry was becoming a very transactional service, but it’s clear that things will be very different when business picks up again. And as we see a shift to a need for more personal, high-touch relationships with our clients, the groundwork you lay now will ensure your competitors don’t even get a look in.
In order to stay visible to your clients right now, you need to be on top of your social media game. The eBook below will teach you how to social sell so you stay relevant to your clients.
Katie once headed up the Firefish blog and marketing team. She now works as a freelance copywriter and continues to contribute to our award-winning blog.