Recently started a recruitment agency? Then you might be wondering about the best way to generate leads.
To find out, we went straight to the experts and surveyed recruiters who have been in your position before.
So if you’re looking for some new business development tips, read on and learn how recruitment agencies get clients.
How new recruitment agencies find clients: survey
To discover how a recruitment startup finds clients, we surveyed recruiters who, at some stage in their career, have launched an agency.
Specifically, we wanted to know what they felt was the most effective method of sourcing leads in the early days of starting a business.
Digital marketing channels (social media and content) made up 33% of the vote in total, although only 6% seemed to favour content production – perhaps owing to the time required and the challenges of measuring ROI.
Finally, networking is still proving to be effective in winning business when starting out. 17% of our recruiters supported this, showing that recruitment still (and always will) rely on who you know.
So now we know what recruiters think, let’s delve a little deeper into each of these client sourcing methods.
Should you cold call to find clients?
Cold calling divides opinion in the recruitment space.
While many agencies have built business around it, others struggle to justify the investment.
But just what is cold calling and is it ever necessary?
What is cold calling in recruitment?
Cold calling is the process of contacting prospective clients in the hope of selling your service. These prospective clients won’t be expecting your call, but may be interested in what you have to say.
The issue arises with the fact that cold calling has always been considered a numbers game – both in the volume of people you contact and the number of times you contact them.
This means that the cost can ultimately be quite high, especially when the success rate of cold calling (to get an initial conversation at least) is between 1%-3%.
When should a recruiter cold call?
So new agencies should probably resist blanket cold calling, but that’s not to say there’s no place for ringing up businesses without invitation.
Natasha South, Operations and Marketing Manager at Camino Partners, believes cold calling can bring value to a business – if done correctly.
She told us: “I think cold-calling is always an interesting subject and ultimately depends on how you define it. If cold calling is finding any old number and hoping for the best, it is almost completely ineffective.
If your cold calling consists of doing some research into a business, knowing their market and potential pain-points before speaking with a prospective client you haven’t engaged with before, it is absolutely an effective tool. It always comes back to value-adding, what value can you add to a prospective client if you don’t have a clue.”
In other words, if you see a vacancy that you genuinely think you have the right candidate for, or there’s another way you believe you can bring something to an employer, then a cold call might be beneficial to both parties.
However, if you’re spending more than a third of your time chasing leads on the phone, then you should probably divert some of your efforts elsewhere.
If you want to find out more about this, we wrote an interesting article that compares cold calling with social media selling.
Content marketing for recruitment agencies
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that ‘content is king’.
In fact, Bill Gates coined this phrase way back in 1996, but the old adage certainly still applies to businesses looking to reap the benefits of digital.
The problem with content marketing is that it’s tough to measure success. This can make it difficult to justify if you’re a recently launched agency that’s looking after the pennies.
How content marketing can win you business
The purpose of content marketing is to increase brand recognition, loyalty and traffic to your site.
All these things are a cocktail for getting new clients, with content marketing reportedly resulting in three times more leads than outbound marketing (including cold calling).
How can new recruiters use social media to find clients?
When starting an agency, social media can accelerate growth by helping you build a brand and generate leads.
Tomas Coulter, co-founder of 360 Resourcing Solutions, told us that social media played a key role in helping his agency find clients and candidates:
“When 360 Resourcing was just starting out, it was just a small team, so making the most of personal connections and digital channels helped us to keep within budget. As we grew, we were able to spend more time on social media to build our brand, and find clients and candidates.
Social media for lead generation can have its ups and downs, but having a solid presence online lends you a lot of credibility when candidates look you up.”
Starting a recruitment agency poses many challenges, but finding business is arguably the biggest concern for recruiters. While cold calling won out as the top lead generation method in our survey, agencies that take a more balanced approach will likely have the most success.
If you’re looking for an easy way to find clients, why not visit Agency Central? We’re a business development tool that helps recruitment agencies connect with employers and job hunters.