The easy and unexpected answer is they don't have to run out and find a bunch of new clients to start getting contract job orders. Recruiters have told us that the best source of contract job orders is their current clients.
Think about it. You already have a relationship with your existing clients. There is already a level a trust. Hopefully, they've come to see you as a good source for hiring advice and trends, so when you present contract staffing as an answer to a staffing issue, they will be more likely to listen. Even better, it is very likely that they already use contractors or have a desire to but never asked you because you previously didn't offer the service.
Moreover, it typically takes less time, money, and energy to extend your relationship with a current client than it takes to acquire a new one, as David Gee discusses in the Staffing Talk article "Old Customers, New Business." In fact, he states that repeat clients tend to spend 65% more on products/services than a new one. In the article, Robert Gordman, author of The Must-Have Customer: 7 Steps to Winning the Customer You Haven't Got, reiterated the common statistic that core customers only account for 20% of a company's base but can provide 80% of the profits.
"It's important to know who your profitable customers are," Gordman said. "Once you know who's profitable, you can find out why they're doing business with you. Then you can start extending the relationship with them based on why you're currently successful with them."
So now you know WHO your best source of contract staffing job orders is. But HOW do you get them to use your contract staffing services. Here are a few ways:
"Do you have a short-term need or upcoming project?" These are the perfect times to use contractors because there is no long-term commitment.
"Are you prohibited from hiring due to a hiring freeze?" Contractors come from a different budget than direct hires, so they may be able to utilize contractors even during a hiring freeze.
"Are you worried about hiring the right person?" You can let them try-before-they-buy through a contract-to-direct arrangement.