Greg Savage is a legend when it comes to all things recruitment. On Episode 110 of Talent & Growth he talked us through 6 of his crucial tips for recruiters in 2023. Greg is a recruiting veteran whose career has spanned 44 years, and took him from starting his own company to writing a book that has rapidly been adopted as the recruitment industry’s holy grail. Read on to hear 6 of his most important tips for recruiters this year.
Tip #1 – Become Indispensable
When decisions to lay people off are made in the recruitment industry, inevitably, it’s those who put in the least effort who are let go. If you want to survive, you need to make yourself indispensable to the company. If you want to play in the first team rugby, you don’t put in a second team effort. That’s true of life as well. Why would you put in a lowball effort on your job when your job plays into your career, which plays into your life and your happiness? You shouldn’t be doing more because you have to, but you should be putting in enough effort to impress the relevant stakeholders and make yourself indispensable. That means learning new skills, taking opportunities and improving the business, not for your boss, but for your own self esteem as well.
Tip #2 – Train your People
This one is for people in leadership. You need to get closer to your people than ever before. Don’t think that because people have less options, you can do what you want management wise. I’m seeing recruitment companies saying people have to spend four or five days back in the office. What that suggests is that we’ve got the power again, but that kind of thinking is a mistake, because the best people will always have a choice. Now is the time to re-recruit your staff. Companies have been spending so much time training their new recruits and haven’t spent enough time with their valuable, veteran people. What managers need to do is spend time getting close to everybody, working out what their aspirations are, what training they need and how they fit into the culture and environment. Everybody in your business should be growing. Coaching and training IS retention.
Tip #3 – Nurture Client Relationships
Don’t take your current clients for granted. I often ask people, “When did you last see your client face to face?”, and they’ll say “No need to see her, she gives me all her work.” That’s such a dangerous mentality. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to nurture that relationship, when the wheel turns, there’s a good chance you’ll lose that client. Now’s the time to work out who your top 25 clients are and get closer to them. Figure out what’s happening in their company, what more can you do to make yourselves more visible and valuable? If you’re not close to your clients, other people will pick up their business.
Tip #4 – Don’t Neglect the Little Guys
Reignite dormant client relationships. There is a phrase used in recruitment agencies, where we call companies a second tier client or a B client. The danger with that is lots of recruiters are only focussing on their clients who pay big retainer packages, and all their eggs are in three or four baskets. These ‘second tier’ clients who used to do a lot of work with you are essentially being ignored. That’s bad, because when the wheel turns, you’re going to need them, and they won’t need you. Now is the time to reignite those dormant relationships, and it’s 100x better from doing it face to face. Get them back in your stream and nourish those relationships so that you’re more protected if some of your bigger clients end up falling off.
Tip #5 – Refresh your Sales Skills
There are plenty of recruiters in the UK. The truth of the matter is, most of these recruiters who consider themselves to be experienced, have never done a client meeting in their lives. That’s a problem, because they don’t have any relationships with clients or skills to build meaningful engagement. If you’re one of those people, and you want to stay relevant, refresh your sales approach. Learn how to make an outreach call and how to sell your services and differentiators. You have to be able to differentiate yourself to clients and candidates if you want to stay in business.
Tip #6 – Maintain Candidate Relationships
If you run an efficient business, you’ll have a digital ATS. You can use that to rank candidates by some sort of categorization, which is a fantastic thing to do. Here’s why: there’ll be a whole sea of candidates that you didn’t place but ranked well. If you build up a good relationship with them, especially if they’re in senior roles, they might well be potential clients. At the very worst, you’ve given your brand a huge injection of goodwill by taking the time to make them feel valued. A candidate is a candidate for life, and we should work with them throughout their career cycle. You can place people five or six times in their career by putting them on a career path or journey. Building candidates will also save so much time, because they’re in your ecosystem forever – you don’t have to keep sourcing the same candidate over and over for different roles.
To learn more from the legend that is Greg Savage, tune into the Talent & Growth podcast here to hear the full conversation.