Trust and respect – it’s no secret that in the world of recruitment, these two qualities are like precious gems that can unlock a treasure trove of opportunities. Imagine having clients who not only rely on your expertise but also value your judgment and recommendations. It's a game-changer!
Why is gaining your client's trust and respect so crucial? Well, besides the obvious benefits of repeat business and a positive reputation, studies show that 83% of consumers won’t do business with brands they don’t trust. Moreover, the way your clients feel about your brand has 1.5 times more impact on their decisions than what they think about your agency – which only amplifies the importance of creating and cultivating positive feelings and associations with your agency amongst your clients and prospects.
So how do you make sure prospective clients trust you and respect your brand? We’ll unveil expert strategies, practical tips, and real-life anecdotes to help you establish yourself as a trusted advisor. From active listening and transparent communication to delivering on promises, we'll explore the building blocks of cultivating strong client relationships. Let’s dive in!
Be transparent and honest
This one seems a bit obvious, yet many agencies struggle with letting their clients and prospects know exactly where they stand – especially if it’s not great news. Having open and honest communication with your clients is key to building a long-term relationship. Building trust does not happen after a one-off transaction - it is a continuous process that develops over time and will only happen if you are open and honest (especially in tougher times!).
Make sure you aren’t hiding the potential challenges and limitations of the recruitment process. Discuss probable obstacles upfront and throughout and offer solutions to mitigate them. Transparency builds credibility and shows your willingness to work together. Besides, if the market isn’t great, it’s likely your client already knows it – so he will respect you more for acknowledging that and offering solutions instead of acting as if everything is normal.
Don’t be the recruiter that hides some important info that you may have come across throughout the recruitment process thinking it will help you make the placement – trust me, it will only come back and bite you as you will end up with a failed sale and a broken relationship (and worst case scenario – the words gets out and your reputation is ruined, too!).
Share expertise and advice
Painting yourself as the industry expert is key if you want to gain your client’s respect. You’re not just the task-taker – you need to make sure you’re bringing value to the table. As an experienced recruiter, you know industry insights your client might not be aware of – so always bring in expertise and tips (even if it sometimes goes against their initial ideas).
Make sure you are continuously learning, investing time in staying up to date on industry news, regulations, and emerging technologies. This will allow you to share relevant insights with potential clients and allow you to position yourself as a valuable resource.
Create a community
93% of brands agree that consumers are more likely to purchase or work with a brand that they feel connected to – which means that simply being a great recruiter isn’t always enough. You need to showcase your personality and personal brand and make sure your current clients are a part of that brand. It can be as easy as having a social group for your clients where they can communicate and share feedback or providing them with weekly insights or tips to keep them in the loop. Also sharing things like feedback or reviews on your personal and company pages helps to add credibility.
Check-in with your clients and be reachable
Even if you have no news for them, it’s important to keep checking in with your clients on a regular basis. It makes them feel cared for and allows you to continue to develop your relationship with them. Make sure you keep your clients informed about the progress of any recruitment that you are working on for them. Regular updates on candidate search, screening, and interview process will help to show your dedication and professionalism. Also checking in with them even when you are not recruiting for them to find out what is happening with the business and the market will help you grow and foster the relationship.
Ask for feedback – and act on it
Making sure you’re aware of your client’s issues and suggestions is half of the equation – but actually acting on them and adjusting your services based on their feedback is much more important. It may be checking in after a successful placement or an unsuccessful one, and gauging the candidate or client satisfaction. This will then allow you to address any concerns and work through any solutions or processes that will make things better moving forward.
Growth Specialist Paul was a Principle Consultant in the tech sector before joining Firefish. He loves changing the way agencies recruit with software.