14 Practical Strategies for Recruitment Business to be Profitable

Many recruitment businesses, regardless of whether in Singapore or anywhere in the world, face the same problem: they are not able to generate enough business and sales to break-even or even make money.

As such, many of these recruitment companies are not able to survive and eventually have to close down and either work for another company or switch to another industry.

To generate more business for your recruitment business, you will need to follow the steps:

Index – 14 Strategies for Recruitment Business to be Profitable

1) Build Credibility

2) Have a corporate email address

3) Engage in search engine Optimization

4) Engage in Social Media

5) Use technology to the maximum

6) Generate More Sales – Obviously! 

7) Have a niche with plentiful of connections

8) Delegate work that you are not good at.

9) Shorten the credit terms for clients

10) Reduce Your Operating Cost

11) Do not Pay Excessive Salary

12) Looking for the Real Expert

13) Using the 80/20 Pareto’s Principle

14) Getting the Clients & Meet them!

1) Build Credibility.

To have more clients, you will need to be perceived as very credible, be it your company logo, design, layout, the content you put inside the webpage, your business card, your business agreement content, the company letterhead, the email signature or every other thing that the clients see that will have a direct or indirect relation to perceiving your credibility.

This is especially important and critical because, without well-perceived credibility, you will never able to win a client over to your side.

Some questions to ponder: would you do business with anyone who does not have a good website layout?

The answer is quite obvious. Credibility counts a lot.

Have a powerful website

When you meet someone, most of the time, you will judge how he dresses and how well he communicates.

It is the same way online—you need to dress well on your website, which means your website must be quality work done by a professional designer.

Do not just DIY and save money; an expert will usually create something better than you can—and you will be judged by your website.

The content of the website must be great; don’t just copy and paste from another website.

The reader will know if they are smart enough.

short, make an effort to put aside some funds for your website. It will be worthwhile.

2) Have a corporate email address

Do not use the free email services such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail.

If you have a corporate business, you need to project a corporate image.

Having a FREE email account will never give a great impression.

This is a very basic requirement, and it is quite surprising that there are still many people using a FREE email account for their corporate business.

3) Engage in Search Engine Optimization 

Do ensure your website is optimized. You see, a website without relevant traffic is like opening a shop without any customers.

Your presence in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others will bring many visitors to your website.

On my website www.dougleschan.com, which is branded as SEO Master, I have over 53.24% of my visitors coming directly from the search engine itself.

This is just a snapshot of how search engines can really bring your business to another level. However, be very cautious—if you are new to search engines, I would suggest that you read plenty of books in this area.

If you are not careful, you can be seriously burned in this business when you are not totally familiar with it. 

4) Engage in social media 

You will need to be visible to the public.

This is part of branding and marketing.

The cost is very cheap, and it will have a positive effect on your business.

Some of the social media platforms you can engage in are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many more…if you are still not into this, make an effort to do so….

  • Linkedin

Recruiters are filling job openings much quickly by relying on new tools that are souring social networks especially by targeting those workers who aren’t necessarily looking for jobs.

LinkedIn is one such network that got into this field by launching its recruiter facilities in 2008, thus letting headhunters search its more than 187 million profiles to contact all the potential candidates.

A redefinition of the roles of generating clients

In this new configuration, it is always difficult for the business to identify the needs of their targeted market while generating new clients.

Linkedin can help you in this regard to get the much-needed leads that you want to generate for your business as its one of the most reliable and useful tools that are being used in the market for the effective handling, endorsement and management of your company online all over the globe.

It works!

The use of Linkedin in general and blogs, in particular, can increase the visibility of your business, but it also helps to develop more clients and qualified leads with a good conversion rate.

Indeed, 57% of participants in the study that was conducted on using the HubSpot blogs and LinkedIn have changed the leads that are generated by these new media clients.

Add Photos And Files In Your Contributions

LinkedIn is constantly trying to change its platform to allow recruiters to easily reach their targets.

Last year, for example, the social network gave the opportunity to share content targeting contacts by very specific criteria such as industry, trade, and seniority.

More recently, LinkedIn offers recruiters to attach visuals and files to their contribution, and in addition to the classic link redirection.

The aim is to attract the eye and highlight the contribution within the stream.

The visibility of each post is optimized and the click-through rate increases.

Use The Widget Lead Collection

If you decide to test LinkedIn Ads, advertising solution to allow yourself to broadcast messages on the most popular pages, do not hesitate to add the Lead Collection widget on your landing page.

This widget is a band that comes to encapsulate the top of your page in order to offer your site visitors who arrive at LinkedIn and submit their email so you can contact with them using their email address.

Consider Your Pages Products As Landing Pages

Why not give the opportunity for LinkedIn users to contact you directly on LinkedIn? In the case where a client would be interested in your product, the most direct way of contacting you is to give the necessary information directly from the Page.

By receiving the messages in this way, you will be able to recover the e-mail address of your contact. This is an opportunity for you to start making and maintaining the relationship with your new client.

This is also an opportunity to connect directly with the user so that he can be aware of your contributions.

These two tricks greatly increase the probability of transforming your lead into a returning customer.

Send Emails Directly To Your Custom Target

Sponsored LinkedIn InMail is like the Email marketing on steroids. This paid program identifies exactly the people you want to reach. Write your message, add your URL and leave the rest to LinkedIn.

This is a very interesting way to generate both traffic and potential leads to your website. Yes, it costs. But the investment is worth since you will be able to specifically target the people you want in the first place.

If you join the program, the people you are targeting will receive a notification, thus alerting them that they have received an important message in their inbox.

Awareness Of Your Services

Pages allow you to present more precisely your expertise. While you can create a recruiter page on LinkedIn and briefly present your company, LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to describe precisely all the know-how of your business.

In addition, the search engine allows you to find a Linkedin company and its competitions.

Visitors to your page can then know precisely your business and especially how many members have commented on your activity. This way of measuring its reputation is statistically one of the highlights of Linkedin!

Creating a Linkedin company page is simple and fast. A large number of recruiters and employees around the world have a Linkedin profile.

The principle of this network is to indicate where you are working and it is very likely that your employees will indicate the name of your business.

5) Use technology to the maximum 

In this Internet era, if you are still using fax machines, (I assume you are NOT!) please throw them away and move yourself to a different generation.

In this era, we are using email marketing, harvesting software, SEO, SEM, SMO, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, etc.

You see, it’s all about technology, and with technology, it is like having 20-50 full-time people working for you at once….It is simply amazing—you just need to know how and what to use. 

6) Generate More Sales – Obviously! 

Basically, in any business, there are only two factors that determine whether the business is profitable. They are:

  • Total sales generated
  • The total cost of operating

For recruitment agencies, the main bulk of the sales revenue comes from the placement of candidates; as such, the key clients are the companies who are paying the service fee for the placements.

Some recruitment agencies also charge candidates a service fee, but in most of the cases, it will be the companies who are paying the fees.

Today we will focus on the two sectors, generating sales and reducing costs.

So How to Generate More Sales?

  • Increase your service fees by 10-20% of your current price.

Some people may argue that they should reduce their price instead.

However, when you are providing a great service, most clients will be very willing to pay an increase of 10-20% (although some may not like it), and when you increase your fees, you will automatically filter out those who are not very serious.

In addition, you will be indirectly pushing your brand and status higher compared to the other players.

7) Have a niche with plentiful of connections

They key is this: focus on your best industry or function.

If you have plenty of contacts in a specific industry or function, put all your effort into that area.

Not only will you be perceived as a specialized consultant in that area, you will have less competition, and you will be able to close more sales. 

8) Delegate work that you are not good at.

If you are very good at operations, then you better stick to what you are doing and let other people do the other functions, such as sales, business development, customer service, or accounting.

The very fact that you will take a longer time to do the work you are not familiar with or good at makes your productivity very low. Hence, with low productivity, you will not be able to generate more sales and clients.

9) Shorten the credit terms for clients

Given a choice, ask for a shorter credit term such as payment upon service rendered, or a 7 days credit terms will be good enough.

Most reasonable clients will be able to agree with it.

Of course, there are many customers who will ask for the longest credit period possible, and you will have to weigh whether to accept the terms or not. In one of my book written, Financial Success in Recruitment Industry, I have written about how having a good cash flow is very important because having sales does not mean the money is in your bank account.

You may have to wait for a long while before the cheque is sent over if you are to give a credit terms from 30 days to even 90 days!

Without cash, you will not be able to pay the bills, the rent, or the salaries….and that will be the last thing you want to happen.

10) Reduce Your Operating Cost

Go for the Basic Necessities

You do not need a very high-end computer such as APPLE or a super high-end laptop that has powerful memory or RAM. As long as you have the basic equipment to use, that will be good enough.

Once you have more cash on hand, then invest in better equipment.

The higher end your items are, the more you will need to commit every month.

For example, you do not need a laser color printer if a mono-color printer can do the job.

You also don’t need to rent the best office if you are able to use a basic office that is cheaper, and if you are able to share an office, then do so.

In this way, it will make your monthly running cost lower.  

11. Do not Pay Excessive Salary

A good staff generally requires better salaries. You will still be able to get a good staff if you are careful and search hard enough, and better still, their expected salary will not be as high as those high flyers whose results are usually not very interesting. Pay a basic salary and reward highly based on performance; this will ensure that you will not commit too much to the cost of salary.

12. Looking for the Real Expert

If you need someone to do BRANDING and MARKETING or any specialized job for the company, generally people have the belief that it will cost a lot to hire such people.

The trick is that you should not engage a company; instead, you should look for a freelancer who has the expertise and is still able to do a much better job at a fraction of the market price.

You just have to look out for them in the market.

13. Using the 80/20 Pareto’s Principle

The 80/20 Pareto’s Principle states that, for many events, it is estimated that roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the action. How is this principle able to assist employment or manpower agencies?

For Clients

This is to state that 80% of recruitment agencies revenues come from 20% of your clients.

In other words, if you have 100 clients, 20 clients will bring you 80% of your overall sales, and the other 80 clients will ONLY bring you 20% of the business.

TIPS:

How do you take advantage of this? Pretty simple: focus 80% of your time on 20% of your clients, and 20% of your time on the other 80% who are only producing 20% of the business.

In fact, if you want to be EXTREMELY productive, identify the list of them and FOCUS ALL your time on the 20%. This will actually push your sales by at least another 50% – 100%.

Try this, and you will be making more sales and profit in no time.

For Recruitment Consultants

Well, based on this principle, 20% of the recruitment consultants will bring you 80% of your business, and the other 80% of them actually bring you only 20% of the business.

This a very sad story in the eyes of the boss of the company, but it is true in many cases.

TIPS: 

How do you take advantage of this? You can actually ensure that the top 20% are motivated and continue to give them room to excel even more.

Make sure you make them very happy because they are your 80% sales generators.

In the meantime, you might want to let go of the people that are not productive and hire more potential consultants.

If you are lucky, you might be able to find a few more consultants that are pretty good.

Management of Time

Twenty percent of your time will be spent on 80% of your productivity.

Productive activities include talking to clients, prospecting, and building rapport with clients, candidates, and staff.

-productive activities include chit-chatting, playing games, checking updates from Facebook, gossiping, and queuing up to buy coffee or tea, etc.

TIPS:  

Identify YOUR own list of activities that are productive and those that are not.  

Turn the non-productive time into more productive activities, and you will be able to double or even triple your output. Try it!It works like wonder!

For Candidates

Apparently, 80% of the candidates you see will not be the right potential candidates for your clients; as such, only 20% of them will give you the huge chunk of 80% of their business.

This means that for every 10 candidates you interview, only two will bring you good business.

TIPS: 

Make sure you filter your candidates VERY carefully; if you have doubts, drop them.

This way, not only are you going to be productive, but it will also save you plenty of time, and you will still get plenty of closure using the least resources.

The 80/20 Pareto’s Principle in the recruitment agency business works very well.

Follow it faithfully, and you can at least DOUBLE your productivity and billing.

For many new recruitment consultants that have chosen this very interesting career in the recruitment industry, one of the most important and frightening events they encounter is to meet up with potential clients and to convince the clients to give them the business so that they can work on the deals.

So, when you meet up with the clients and do the presentation, what happens after that? You will need to ask further questions of the potential clients regarding the jobs and requirements.

Well, let me tell you a secret before you actually go and see your client – this is very important; not many people in the recruitment industry will tell you this secret. In many cases, people do not know it exists. The formula below only comes from people who have many years of experience in seeing and talking to people. 

The Secret is: The QUALITY of your questions= how the clients PERCEIVE you = whether they will GIVE you the business.

14: Getting the Clients & Meet them!

Many recruitment consultants/recruiters will ask the basic questions when they meet the clients and such questions are:

–          What will be the salary range of the position?

–          Does your company work on weekends?

–          What are the working hours?

–          What are the job duties of this position?

–          What are the minimum qualifications needed for this position?

Well, I would say that whoever asks these questions is raising the risk of losing the business up to 70-80%!

That means the recruitment consultant is losing that client!

Why am I saying this? The reason is very simple; let me ask you a very basic question:

Is the client meeting with you only?

Will they be meeting with some other recruitment agencies that are your direct competitors?

Have they met someone else before meeting you?

Under normal situations, the answer would be YES, they would have already met someone in the same industry who is your competitor. Will your competitors ask the same questions as above?

Very likely they have! So, if you are queue number #5 meeting the client, and you are asking the same questions the first four recruitment consultants have asked, what does that make you???

I am sure you get my point. You are just the SAME–no difference, no spice….

Sorry to say, but this is what the other party will think, and they DO NOT like to see something that is the SAME, BLAND, and TASTELESS….

YOU NEED TO BE DIFFERENT!!!!!

You need to impress them with something different. Let me ask you another question:

What is the purpose of meeting with your client? To discuss the job requirements?Or something else?

If you are meeting with the client, your job is to IMPRESS the client, not to talk about the job description and requirements. Period!

Get the facts straight: you need to make them feel good, make them think that you can do the job, and let them have higher confidence in you and your company….

The point is, YOU ARE THE FOCUS, not the job order!

In the event that the company is confident in you and trusts that you will be able to get the job done, is that enough to make them give you the job order, requirements, and also anything and everything you need to know without you asking? YES, they will! They will be so anxious as to why you never ask those “Golden” questions!

My friend, you need to be different and unique so that you impress the clients….

Well, here we are….

To achieve the above, you will also need a lot of discipline to carry them out.

It will not be easy, and it may not be pretty at times, however, for the sake of the business profits, sometimes certain sacrifices are needed.

Wishing you generate huge profit every year! Cheers!

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