Quality over Quantity – The Path to Becoming a Top Supplier
Being fairly new to the staffing industry, I had no idea what to expect. I just knew it was about finding the right people for the right positions and making sure that everyone was satisfied after all was said and done. What I didn’t realize at the time, is how much more involved it is. It’s so much more than finding a candidate and sending them over to the client with your fingers crossed hoping that it all works out. You are literally helping someone find a job that is going to impact their life in so many ways– financially, emotionally and culturally. Your goal is to give them a sense of fulfillment with their placement. That’s a lot to consider when recruiting … No pressure. This is not an industry where you can just simply not care about people (I mean you can, but it’s not going to help you or them). You HAVE to care, not only about the candidates, but also your clients. I discovered over time that while I could send all the resumes that I wanted to the client, without fully determining if they were a good fit, I wasn’t actually doing them any favors. Making recruiting ONLY a numbers game does not gain trust with the client. I began to realize that in order to be noticed by our client we needed to listen, show them that we cared and deliver those expected results.
As a recruiter, nothing is more exciting than finding a candidate who is interested in being considered for a position that we need to fill. The next best thing is finding multiple candidates who are interested and want to be considered for a role. For most recruiters, “applicant submittals” are a numbers game. The more people that I can find who seem to be a good fit and are generally interested in being submitted for a position certainly helps my scorecard. However, when I begin to focus more on the quantity of the candidates that I’m sending over instead of the quality, I end up not delivering the results my clients are expecting.
I’ve discovered that what sets you apart from the rest, is not only how you treat your candidates, but how you treat your clients. Some recruiters might take the quantity over quality approach and send over every resume they have, just to show that they are working on a client’s position. While that might look good on paper, I beg the question … How many of those resumes are actually what the hiring manager is looking for? How many of those candidates are 100% on board with the role and aren’t going to jump ship after a week or two? How many of those candidates would you want representing your brand? Do you feel that they would even be a good fit for the client? If you are going to just send any resume over to the client, it ends up being more work on their end. When you are listening to what your client needs and deliver what they are looking for, a stronger relationship is formed and you are able to show how much you genuinely care about your business and the work you produce.
Listening is definitely a great quality to have when doing business. If you are able to deliver on what the client wants, you will continue to build a great relationship. If you aren’t supplying what the client wants, it is usually because you aren’t listening. There are two parts to listening; hearing the person out and also adhering to the situation. It is not only important to listen and understand your client’s needs, but to follow through and deliver. Do you want to become known by the client? Listen. Do you want to build a relationship on a foundation of trust and respect? Listen. Then act. It’s going to feel much better at the end of the day knowing that you have made a positive impact on all parties.
Sometimes over-communicating the small details can become extremely beneficial when building that client relationship. Recently, I called a client to let them know about a candidate I had and I wanted to discuss some concerns they had with the particular role (that seemed pretty minuscule). I figured that if the client knew how the candidate felt, they could all collectively decide if it would be a good fit. After hanging up, I felt so inadequate. Why did I need to call about something so small? Why couldn’t I have figured that out myself? I’m completely capable of making that decision, so why did I just call to talk about something so insignificant? Apparently, our client didn’t feel that way. In fact, that was one of the reasons why they had named me a Top Supplier/Account Manager. They were impressed that I cared enough to call and ask a small question. To them, it showed how much I cared about who I was sending over. In fact, they mentioned that exact exchange with me at a supplier conference. I was shocked and taken aback since I had no idea they received it that way. This just goes to show that something so small could make such a big impact.
By showing up and letting the client know how much I was listening and by delivering the best candidates that I could find, I proved that I cared. I was able to successfully execute quality candidates over quantity candidates. Who would have thought that something so simple could end up getting our business ranked as a top supplier by our client?