The Role of a Recruitment Consultant?
For many years it has been the expectation of recruitment managers, hiring clients, internal recruitment teams, and consultancies alike that a Recruitment Consultant performs the role with a 360 degree view.
The question now is; what is a 360 degree consultant? How many facets are there to performing the role of a Recruiter in today’s market?

• Is it all about “being on the phone”?
• What has happened to the personality?
• How do recruiters attract the real quality candidates?
• How does a recruiter convince new customers that he/she is the right choice for them?
• How does a recruiter ensure they are ahead of the market trends?
• How does a recruiter manage his/her time effectively to ensure speed and relevance of delivery?
• Once a client is engaged, how does the recruiter ensure they stay engaged?

These are just the high-level questions being regularly asked by my recruiters, in this document, I will attempt to answer them all and also discuss why marketing plays such an important role in candidate and client attraction.

Is it all about being on the phone?
In my humble opinion, no, it is not “all about being on the phone.” But, knowing why you are on the phone and having a Business Development strategy and focus, aligned with a Candidate and Client marketing strategy is imperative. Clients and Candidates time is valuable, therefore wasting it with badly prepared calls or discussions does not go down well. In this era, both clients and candidates want to work with a select number of recruiters, who understand their needs and requirements. They will then trust them and build long-standing relationships with them.
The starting point to all of this comes from research and focus on the contact. Ensuring that the conversation is relevant, educational, personal and of value. If you cannot demonstrate this, then the phone call is not worth making.

What has happened to the personality?
Following on from structured research and valued conversations, comes the personality. I believe that Recruiters have “had it easy” for far too long. With the emergence of social media, job boards, fully integrated recruitment solutions and email marketing, recruiters have forgotten that this is a people business and to engage with people we need to build relationships.
In my opinion, this is not possible without either meeting or talking to the candidates and clients.
Yes, it is possible to start conversations via social channels, web content and email campaigns. But, a “scattergun” approach certainly will not achieve this. Therefore a strategy and structure must be in place to achieve this.

How does a recruiter manage his/her time effectively to ensure speed and relevance of delivery?
This is the key. Poor time management in recruitment will lead to, well, missed targets! In turn, this could mean; missed opportunities, missed conversations, missed personal earnings and of course, missed revenue for your company. Which, could ultimately mean the end of your tenure with that organisation.
Time management is incorrectly under-rated by many. As recruiters, we have so much to manage on a daily basis, that without a daily structure and focus, our KPI’s will not be achieved.
My advice – put together a daily plan document, that you can use to keep focus on your tasks in hand. This may include: client canvassing, candidate canvassing, social media posting, blog writing, lead generation, trend investigation or market research, reference taking and client management.
Clearly, this can change at a moments notice due to client activity, but, putting focus in this area will allow recruiters to achieve their daily/weekly goals. If these are achieved then the monthly and quarterly goals will also be achieved.
Figure out what time of day is best for social posting and build that into the day plan.
There are tools that can be used to post social content, and delay the posting until the relevant time, such as Hootsuite.
Work out which time of day is best to call your clients or prospects, and which time of day is best to call candidates.
Then work into your day plan how you can spend time writing a blog, researching trends for content and then build out the content. Sometimes the content can take a long time to put together, but keep with it. Then work out how you can market this content, if you are not skilled in this area reach out to the company’s internal marketeer. Or if it doesn’t have one, take time to research some best practices. It is these digital activities, that will stand you apart from the “standard recruiter” and bring you those hard to find candidates, or make some headway into a targeted client.

How does a recruiter convince new customers that he/she is the right choice for them?
Firstly; always, always act with integrity and with the clients best interests at heart.
Secondly; keep these principles in mind:
Educate (inform the prospective client of information that will add value to their company or individual role)
Collaborate (have specific examples of where your collaboration with other organisations has added value, then discuss how this can in-turn benefit the client)
Be persuasive (handle objections, but handle them with professionalism and compelling arguments, based on facts or experience)
Listen (if you do not know what the client needs, how can you help them)
Connect (people-buy-people, it is an old fashion analogy, but it is true, form a relationship.)
To do most of this, recruiters must take some time to research the organisation and sometimes the industry they operate in. Look at trends that may be relevant.

Plan the initial contact call, as this may be your only chance to make the impression required. Write down the specific questions that need asking, and ensure that they are asked.

Close the conversation with next agreed steps.

How does a recruiter ensure they are ahead of the market trends?
There are many free sites that enable market researchers to gain valuable insight into market trends, online discussions, social media trends and hot topics. All of these sites can be found relatively easily and are free to use, as long as you register.
Some of these are:
• Google Trends
• Springwise
• Trendhunter
• Moreinspiration
• Answerthepublic
For those creative recruiters out there, these sites can really help in guiding you and enabling you to create discussions or content that can really aid your sales processes.

Once a client is engaged, how does the recruiter ensure they stay engaged?
Apart from the usual weekly/monthly calls or emails into existing clients. Why not be creative? A newsletter for example? An annual event with the client, such as a charity bike ride or charity run, this will drive relations and also uphold your company’s CSR!
Mainly, if one is focusing on the personal connection, education and providing the highest levels of service at all times, there is no real reason for your clients to not continue to engage with you. However, some of the ideas above may help to cement that relationship further.

So, does a Recruiter need to be a Marketer?
In short, yes, but, not a full blown marketer. If they were, then other aspects of the role would be lost. But, focusing on which angles of digital marketing can add value to the service and attract candidates / clients is something that all recruiters should be either doing now, or seriously considering for the near future.

If your agency is not embarking on a digital plan or marketing strategy that involves digital engagement, it will be left behind.
I tip my hat to all recruiters out there, as it is very often a thank-less task. It can be demoralising at times, but, when its good – DAMN ITS GOOD!