“I connect great people…”
“I’m a talent connector…”
“I’m a people connector…”
“I bring great candidates to clients…”
“I find talent others can’t…”
“I have the deepest connections in the industry…”
“I’m better connected than any recruiter in my market…”
You’ve probably noticed a theme here. Recruiters tend to be fixated on connecting. It’s what you’re paid to do and if you’re good, you’ll take immense pride in your ability.
But maybe because you’re so focused on the honey pot, you’re missing a trick when it comes to living and branding yourself as a connector.
Let me explain.
Your clients don’t enjoy recruiting much at all. Truth be told, they’d probably opt for doing the ironing or knitting a fawn cardigan if they had a choice.
Because it’s tough, they ain’t that good at it, and they’re spinning about seventeen other plates at the same time and we know only the Greeks do this well.
The less your clients need to talk about recruitment, the better it makes them feel.
Well, beyond helping them define a job spec, you could start by asking questions about their other plates. The tricky parts of their work existence you wouldn’t normally assist with.
What you do here is what you’ve already been telling people you do.
But you do it for free.
Some might call this ‘adding value’. Going above and beyond to assist your client, without adding a fee on directly.
You can start by asking the right questions to determine which plates they’re most worried about dropping and the ones they’d like to spin more effectively.
Let’s say you recruit salespeople and your key point of contact is often the Sales Manager or Sales Director.
There’ll be times your client might want or need an absolute champion specialist in the following areas:
Novated Leasing Expertise.
Expense Management Software.
If you’re working with a client to fill holes in their team and never have a conversation outside of that, this won’t work for you. You’re also probably not going to find out working with HR. And herein lies a problem.
People ‘further down the chain’ will be unable to give you an insight into the business. And they’re probably impotent to carry out your recommendations.
If your client’s the Organ Grinder however, connecting them with specialists in your vertical, could be one of the smartest moves you make.
It’s really not just a case of typing ‘Sales Trainer London’ into Google, and then picking someone who pops up high in the rankings.
You’ll need to invest time and research in this activity.
Is this person credible? Do they have results to back them up? Do they share similar values? Are they creating educational content that would benefit your clients? Could they be an extension of your brand?
In wake of Google, you’ll need to get your backside off social media and start meeting these people regularly, face-to-face. The more you meet them for coffee, the more you learn.
You might be thinking… “Thanks for giving me this extra work, but how does it help me now? I’ve got about three spare minutes to breathe on an average day.”
I understand, honestly.
But if you have a short-term mindset and see this as quid pro quo exercise then it’s probably best you stop reading and move on.
For the rest of you here are some things to mull over.
– You’ll demonstrate a deeper level of care than your competitors.
– One-way conversations purely about ‘jobs on’ and selling amazing candidates will massively tail off.
– Understanding your clients’ needs and wants at a deeper level will improve your recruitment skills.
– Sales Managers will come to you as candidates (well, you are Mr or Mrs Connected, remember).
– Your community will grow surprisingly quickly and social will embrace your differentiators.
– The experts you’ve referred to clients will be proactively looking to help you.
– You can accumulate extra dosh for successfully ‘connecting’ people, even if your initial work is pro bono.
– Your ammunition of ‘good content’ will explode and you will become a better marketer.
And when you can do all that, you’ll have harnessed the power of connection so well, you can start using that power to your own end.
David Wolstenholme builds personal brands for aspirational recruiters and leaders.
If you’re reading this right now, and have a boss who “doesn’t pay you to build your personal brand”…
You can change that, here.
Senior Consultant - Sales & Marketing at Michael Page Dubai
International Recruitment Consultant at Madison Parker
Principal Recruitment Consultant - HR at Ernest Hunter Green
Recruitment Team Leader (French Speaker) at Montreal Associates