Building Strong Client Relationships: The Key to Successful Recruiting

Building Strong Client Relationships: The Key to Successful Recruiting

As talent advisors who work with hundreds of recruitment teams, we see all the different facets of effective hiring practices. One of the most commonly overlooked factors in effective recruitment is the recruiter-client relationship. Clients want recruiters who understand their talent needs and the urgency to fill empty roles. However, they also prioritize exceptional service and effective communication.

Recruiters who can balance these facets of relationship management can retain clients for longer, sourcing more appropriate candidates and providing better overall hiring experiences.

Understanding Your Clients’ Needs

Recruiters must abandon any idea that there is a one-size-fits-all approach to hiring. Every industry has different needs, and each business within that industry is also unique. Taking the time to get to know each client helps you plan recruitment efforts from the ground up. You need to understand:

  • Their view of the ideal candidate.
  • The job description as it pertains to the company and not just a generalized version, for example, a mobile app developer for a healthcare company may need differing skills compared to that of a video game studio.
  • How urgently a firm needs roles filling.
  • Levels of employee churn—Is there something amiss with the company’s current recruitment practices?
  • Benefits packages.

Effective communication is the key to obtaining all the data you need. Regular meetings with clients are essential, but so is proactively offering feedback on the progress of recruitment. When it’s tough to source candidates, be open about that and consider and suggest alternative approaches. Perhaps the firm could increase the salary on offer or tweak the benefits to suit applicants most likely to show interest.

Throughout the recruitment journey, understanding your client’s needs allows you to provide a higher level of service. You can respond quicker and more effectively, keeping your actions in line with client goals. It’s also easier to create great hiring experiences for candidates by immediately providing detailed knowledge about the business they may end up working for.

Tips for Building Better Client Relationships

Relationship marketing is the practice of utilizing marketing-type skills to create lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with clients. Utilize the following tips to create improved relationships with clients that drive more effective recruitment campaigns.

Learn Your Clients’ Stories

When you understand the goals of the businesses you’re recruiting for, you can source applicants whose values align with those of the company they want to work for. Create job postings that highlight the good a company does in the community or its sustainability practices, for example, to attract candidates who will work passionately for that type of business.

Provide Support for Fair and Diverse Hiring Practices

Not every business understands the intricacies of fair hiring and can inadvertently end up with a lack of diversity in their workforce. Promote the benefits of hiring from a range of backgrounds and plan recruitment drives accordingly.

Set Expectations Around Communication

Learn how your clients like to communicate. Perhaps they like to do everything through an online platform, or maybe it’s better for them to have a twice-weekly call. When you communicate with clients effectively, you get more data that you can use to hone job descriptions and other critical aspects of recruitment.

Provide Impeccable Service

Your client should be more than just a paycheck. Treat them as a trusted partner and, inevitably, you will gain that trust in response. Follow up on every query, provide realistic timescales, and track and report on your recruitment performance regularly. Actively seek feedback to understand what you could be doing better for your clients.

When Client Relationships Lead to Success

Forbes Council recently highlighted the importance of storytelling for recruiters—in other words, recruiters getting to know a client’s business goals and values, and using those in their recruitment drives. One example was a firm looking for a senior tax accountant willing to work 45 hours a week. The recruiter combined the company’s story with their commitment to treating employees and customers with equal fairness. They also included a description of the ideal candidate and how they would benefit, including career progression and education opportunities.

The successful candidate was one seeking the training on offer and wanting to cut down from the 75 hours a week they were working at that time. The recruiter understood what was valuable to both their client and the ideal candidate, helping them make that perfect match fast.

Building relationships with clients requires patience, openness, and a willingness to accept feedback. Recruiters won’t get it right 100% of the time. However, they can (and should) learn from mistakes and showcase to clients what changes they’re making off the back of any errors or undesirable performance. Talent trends highlight continuing challenges for recruiters, but a willingness to work closely with clients to understand the ideal applicants can help reduce hiring cycle times and increase satisfaction for both businesses and candidates.

MRINetwork has been a leader in the recruitment space for over 55 years. To find out more about how we help companies grow, connect with us online.