As a new temporary recruitment agency, one of your biggest challenges will be to build a list of well-qualified candidates and establish a quality client portfolio. In a busy, competitive industry you will need to work hard to reach, engage with and establish relationships with both.
You can start making connections and attract potential candidates through the following channels:
- Job Fairs: You will have access to active jobseekers wanting to know what your agency has to offer. You will be exhibiting alongside competitors, so think about how your start-up can stand out. Engage in friendly chat, give away free merchandise and get potential candidates to sign up to your email list.
- Network: Attend relevant workshops, conferences and other industry events which will facilitate direct contact with potential candidates or which might offer new leads and contacts.
- Website: From the offset, you must have a well-designed and well-written website that clearly communicates who you are. It should reflect a professional operation and provide reassurance that you offer the best service. Flag any professional memberships by adding a statement or logo of the organisation.
- Social Media Accounts: With more people using social media for job searches, you must maintain strong accounts that portray the right message about your business. Social media will give you an opportunity to communicate in a more informal manner and show some of the personality behind your business, but keep all posts professional and consistent with your agency’s mission and values.
- Engage your Talent: Maintain contact with potential future candidates. A regular newsletter sent out to your contacts list alerts candidates to your agency’s news and successes. As with all contact lists, be mindful of new GDPR legislation and explicitly request permission to retain candidates’ personal details and keep in touch.
- Job Boards: Job boards are websites that host job advertisements. Employers post open vacancies and typically pay a fee to advertise and accept job applicants through the job board. Potential candidates can search these adverts and upload their CVs. As a recruitment agent, you can search candidate CVs as a way of discovering potential talent.
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Building A Client Portfolio
You can start building your client portfolio using some of the same methods for attracting candidates. Jobs boards give you access to vital information on potential clients. You will be able to see which companies are hiring and which industries are posting a growing number of vacancies. Similarly, networking at events will enable you to make connections and gather referrals. As your knowledge of the industry grows, you can widen your presence at networking events by volunteering or applying to present at a workshop or conference. As you gather contacts, be sure to make follow-up contact afterwards.
Website and Social Media: Your branding and social media are as important for attracting potential clients as they are for new talent. Again, your web presence sets the tone for your business and a well-designed, professional website speaks volumes. If you are an industry-specific agency, demonstrate your knowledge of the sector to potential clients. Provide genuinely useful content via a company blog or other social media that reflects your knowledge of industry news and events. Alerting clients to any professional memberships you may have through your website and social media helps raise your level of professionalism. For example, a membership to the REC, which works to define recruitment standards and practice, implies that your business adheres to a particular code of practice.
In terms of building your client portfolio, LinkedIn is one of your most valuable sources. With a reported 500 million users, it provides one of the best channels for making business connections and gathering information. Maintain both a business profile and personal staff profiles, ensuring all are kept current and professional.
Retaining Candidates And Clients
In order to retain the best candidates and clients, they must be offered a high level service from your agency. How you treat them will determine whether or not they stay with you. Good communication is vital, and you will need to keep candidates up to date on job vacancies, interviews, meetings and timesheets. To help manage and professionalise this communication, offer a text messaging service. You can do this through software specifically designed for the temporary recruitment industry. Through this system, you can also communicate with groups of candidates at once.
Software can also generate electronic timesheets, automated invoicing and payroll exports, thereby reducing the potential for errors and ensuring that the many administrative processes associated with temporary recruitment are managed professionally. Efficiently handling candidate and client communications reflects the professionalism of an agency and helps maintain good relations. Software that provides a Client Portal, where clients can view candidate bookings, timesheets, compliance documentation and AWR status, further raises the level of the service you offer and can help differentiate you from competitors.
Clients and candidates who have a good experience working with your agency are more likely to want to continue to do so in the future and may recommend your services to others.