As a recruiter, you probably have a few clients who have a hard time committing. Maybe you’re struggling with a manager who sounds like they’re ready to make an offer to a candidate, but always needs another week. While motivating clients can be extremely difficult, the right tips for recruiters can help you move the dial.
Tried and true motivation theories, in particular, can be quite effective. When you’re trying to get a client or candidate to “yes,” what you’re really doing is trying to help them find motivation for themselves. Luckily, as it turns out, six measurable factors drive each of us to action:
Convincing clients to take actions that will help their company succeed, even when they’re out of their comfort zone, doesn’t have to be such a chore. These motivation techniques are excellent tips for recruiters and can help you move clients closer to “yes.”
Some of us just want the truth. Our search for the “right answer”—whether it’s the right firm, the right candidate, or just the right place for lunch—is tantamount. Right answers, of course, usually come from research, which is just another name for understanding what has already happened and applying that to future decisions.
Ask yourself: “How well do I equip my clients with the truth? Does my website include real, descriptive testimonials that prove we’re the right solution to their staffing challenges? Do I converse about candidates in terms of their specific qualifications that illustrate why they’re a good fit?” Improve these things and truth-seekers will appreciate and reward your efforts.
Have you ever met someone who only cares about return on investment (ROI)? Whether it’s about saving money or better time management, some of us are driven to make wise investments and want to see our limited resources pay off.
Ask yourself: “Why would a client’s time or money be better spent on my recruiting strategy than with other options? How does my firm, or any candidate I recommend, provide the most ‘bang for their buck?’” Unless you differentiate your staffing services in terms of value, your motivation techniques will fall flat here. But if you can honestly say that what your recommending will pay for itself multiple times over, you’re on the right track.
Do you know anyone who uses the phrase “my feelings” frequently? That person may be strongly motivated by personal experience. Some of us use our subjective reality, rather than a more objective perspective, to make decisions. Understanding the urge to follow one’s instincts is one of the most important tips for recruiters.
Ask yourself: “How will my recommendation influence the client? Can I explain to a new prospect the benefits I can offer them? Can I help a hiring manager understand whether a new hire will be a team player?” If you can paint a positive picture of future experiences, those clients who are motivated this way will be more likely to work with you.
Some of us really just want to help. If that’s the case, then we’re happy to spend our own time and money supporting others in the pursuit of their goals. It may be about providing employee development, supporting a manager’s project initiative, or some other form of service. Either way, for some of us, another person’s success is our reward.
Ask yourself: “Who else is my recommendation good for? Will retaining my firm’s staffing services reduce the workload on my clients’ teammates? Will hiring my candidate give a manager a chance to develop their skills?” If so, sharing these benefits with your client will help get them to “yes.”
The phrase “power-hungry” is often used as an insult, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in charge of your own destiny. Strong leadership often mobilizes others around a goal, for example. Those of us who are motivated this way don’t want to be left out of staffing decisions. Knowing which clients need to be in charge is one of the most important tips for recruiters and will help you maintain the right tact.
Ask yourself: “Do my communications with my clients put them in the driver’s seat, or do they make it sound like I’m the one at the helm?” It’s tempting to say, “We need to do this soon,” for example, but your simple deadline reminder may sound like an unwelcome direction to the person who wants to lead. Remember to act—and speak—like your client is the one in charge. After all, they are.
Some of us run all of our decisions through the same set of criteria. For us, consistency is key, and things like standardized hiring criteria are extremely important. Using the same deciding factors for all of our decisions is crucial. When another person makes an off-the-cuff decision, or quickly changes direction, we become concerned.
Ask yourself: “How do my recommendations support what is already important to the client? Am I advocating consistency in hiring practices, and the careful building of an integrated team?” Be careful not to give the impression that you’re taking a shotgun approach, or you may find that your recruitment strategy grinds to a halt.
Motivating Clients: Rules of Engagement
Keep in mind that these tips for recruiters come with a few important instructions:
First, you need to know that the same factor which resonates with one person might not work with another. A manager focused on service might jump at the chance to hire someone in order to help their team, while a manager who is focused on value could find that suggestion ridiculous unless they could justify the cost of the hire. Use each approach cautiously until you determine which one works.
Second, and most important of all, is to be honest. To emphasize is one thing, to fabricate is quite another. The staffing industry is a close-knit community and your reputation as a top tier hiring provider is far more important than any one sale.
If you’re careful to tailor your communications to your clients, and stay completely honest, there’s a good chance that one of these six factors will get your client back in gear and back on the path to saying “yes.”
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