Generating leads for your business such an important process for the recruitment processional and one that is taken for granted by the established professional who works majority of their business from referrals, but can be a headache, nay!, nightmare, for most. Most recruitment professionals (who I talk with anyways!) are genuinely passionate about what they do and really do know and believe in the value they can add to clients’ businesses, the challenge is finding those prospective businesses and for some reason, unbeknownst to me, recruitment companies, even the very large ones are not very proactive in assisting their employees to generate leads. From a bigger picture standpoint I’m going to discuss first the impact that Information Technology and the Internet are having on lead generation then after that lets discuss some strategies for you to use and generate leads in todays market and economy with the tools that we have available today.
Technology and Lead Generation
As sales professionals we are only just starting to appreciate the changes that technology has brought about in the area of lead generation and even as the changes in technology continue so does the lead generation potential of the internet. I am currently talking with a recruitment company who have adopted some of this modern technology into their business and have turned what would ordinarily be looked at as their “company website” into a lead generation “machine” of sorts and they are able to generate a consistent flow of leads for their recruitment staff to convert and work with every month. They are able to arm their staff with leads of people to call who have a need, and they train their staff to convert these leads, their method although not very complicated is so effective that they had a call with job orders from one of the largest technology companies in the world, now that’s a great lead!! Mass market advertising and mass direct mail or email campaigns are not, and have not been for a while, very effective and generally do not generate a good number of leads at all.
Technology and the Internet if used even in a small degree of their potential can use data sources to generate leads of pre-qualified, potential customers. And this isn’t the “future” this is the “now” its happening and it will continue to get better. To get the competitive edge you have to design your lead generation to get in front of your prospective client before your competitors do and so have a lead generation strategy that allows you to pre qualify prospects before speaking with them. There is technology that is allowing for this to become more and more achievable and some recruitment and staffing companies are starting to apply this technology.
Essentially how it works is that the company uses content geared towards potential clients and search engine optimization SEO to attract these potential clients both clients and candidates (traffic) to their site and then gives the potential client the opportunity to register their contact information and then consent to be contacted by a recruitment professional to discuss. That’s essentially how it works but if done right its effective and really does work. I have been talking with a number of organizations who adopt this technology and methods and its amazing how far we’ve come and are still going, and yes, it changes the role of the recruitment professional in the business development and sales process and there is a greater focus on a more client driven consultative sales approach (thank goodness!) as the professional is dealing with a more sophisticated albeit pre qualified potential client.
All that being said, the somewhat good news is that even without the full use or any use of this technology today’s recruitment professional can and should adopt these principles in their lead generation today so lets discuss that next in:
Lead Generation for the Recruitment Professional Today
The need to develop effective and up to date lead generation programs exists for small, medium and large organizations today and hence recently I was asked by two recruitment professionals in the US & Canada recently who work for a very large global IT recruitment agency and one of the largest in the US, for some advice on lead generation in todays market and it’s a great subject to ask for advice on, if you have this desire to be a better lead generator also then I commend you because it shows that you want to do business, you want to find prospective clients who you will work with, it shows that you are enthusiastic about your chosen profession and I’ll wager that you are probably confident in yourself and the services you have to offer. I know all this because instead of complaining and saying” It's no good, I cant find any leads!” You’re asking “How can I find more leads” and that’s a great question to ask yourself one that we are going to discuss here and one that when you find the right strategies for your business and your “core market” you will see the impact it will have on your business.
One of the most enjoyable business activities for me is being able to “anticipate” where the next business opportunities will come from and even when I had responsibility for multiple specialist divisions across the different locations, it was still a fun exercise for me to carry out with my divisions and like what modern technology is trying to achieve, I wanted to:
It's that simple actually, we want leads who will need our services and will work with us and appreciate our services as long as we do as we say we will. Even today there are tools that allow you to do a little research to lead you in the right direction so lets look at the lead generation tools first then some strategies for each.
Lead Generation Tools for Today:
Strategies for these tools
The key with these lead generation strategies is to use them and check which ones are working for you and develop upon them. Get into the habit of preparing ahead of time so prepare your leads on the weekend before going work on Monday morning, make a list of who you’ll be contacting and what your message is for each based upon the source of the lead, if the company has just won a contract let them know that you know that congratulate them and ask to meet. Be bold and direct, clients appreciate that you have some prior knowledge due to some research before calling and it helps you stand out as your call isn’t entirely taken by the prospect to be a "cold call" more of a "warm" one really.
Gerard Ezinwoke is an award winning recruitment professional, trainer, recruitment coach, and strategist based in Toronto, Canada to individuals and organizations with experience working in Europe and Canada.
"The Business of Recruitment" Series aims to provide productive strategies for each aspect of recruitment & staffing for recruitment agencies and headhunters. These strategies are based on experience of high performing recruitment professionals across North America and Europe.