Previously I shared a blog on adding value and finished it with some ideas on adding value for candidates.  This is a follow-up and focuses on adding value to clients, or potential clients when we can.

All relationships are built on an exchange of perceived value.

We trust someone because they have shown themselves to be trustworthy.

When we want to foster a relationship, we must find ways to add value to another person and it must be in a form that they perceive as valuable.

This has always been a challenge in the recruiting business.  By virtue of the industry’s nature, things move quickly and finding ways to help a candidate that we cannot place right away drives us to move onto the next in – it has traditionally been very transactional.

Statistically, the best Contingent Recruitment Professionals will complete 15%-20% of all the jobs orders they work on.  Retained Search Professionals, statistically, complete around 75% of their assignments.  Of the 25% not completed, most stop short because of changes at the client – in control, need, funding and so on.

If the easiest way to add value for a client is a successful placement, how can we add value when not completing an assignment?

Over the years, I have actively sought out ways to add value to a client’s process.  Sometimes it might result in the assignment not completing, it might result in a radical shift in the assignment or it might facilitate completion.  Here are some of those ways we can add value even when not engaged:

  1. Correctly or more thoroughly defining the position, context and need
  2. Sharing market intelligence on companies, reputations and changes in the market that will influence the search
  3. Counsel of interviewing techniques to conduct and get more effective interviews
  4. Referrals to other respected colleagues in different geographies or with specific niche areas that we usually do not work
  5. Making non-competitive connections to other service providers like CPAs, attorneys and even connections into the PE space for candidates with great business ideas for a next step

These are just a handful of ways I have identified to add some level of value to a search process for clients.  Since we are always learning, what are your thoughts on ways to provide additional value to clients in the search process?

– John Light, Partner at Evolving Talent Group

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