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We all crave a sense of value at work. There are times when we suffer from imposter syndrome and worry if a company made the right choice hiring you. Other times we are stress if we are meeting our employer’s expectations even when things seem to be going well.
I want you to want me
I need you to need me
-Cheap Trick (also every recruiter ever)
It’s a key part of company culture, we need to feel valued as employees in order to have the confidence to perform to the best of our ability.
So how can you, as a recruiter, prove yourself to be super valuable and a key component to your agency’s success?
The answer lies in two simple words; account management
Aims of account management
The main goals of account management are protecting and increasing revenue. Constant nurturing can lead to small accounts flourishing. in order to prove that account management is worth your time and energy it’s vital that you can measure it in ways that benefit your agency.
How can we measure the benefits of account management?
There are two very simple ways to identify the advantages of great account management. Measuring renewal and expansion. Do the people you work with want to keep working with you? Not just continue but want to do MORE work with you because you’ve proven yourself as a valuable asset.
What does great account management look like?
By spending time developing relationships with your customers you should be able to judge if you’re doing a great job at account management based on three telltale signs:
- Automatic Renewals- customers love working with you and can’t imagine life without you!
- Expansion- in fact, you’re so valuable to them they want to work with you even more!
- Customers ask advice- they begin to seek your opinion and value your input as a trusted advisor.
How to make all of this happen…
There are some very simple steps we can follow to create a mutually beneficial relationship between you and the customer you are working with.
1. Set achievable goals
Setting achievable goals with your customer will help you demonstrate success and highlight the value you bring to their company. This will help you build a case for expansion in future
Involve the customer when setting these goals as this keeps them engaged in the process. For example, perhaps your customer would like to decrease time to hire or increase job acceptances.
(Who wouldn’t want these two things!? The point is, help them identify this as a key goal).
2. Set targets for these goals
Setting targets for your goals is the second step to account management success. Drill down into the exact figures so both parties understand what they are working towards.
20% decrease in time to hire
15% increase in job acceptances
These metrics will help you set a baseline and an end goal that you want to work towards.
3. Underpromise and overdeliver
Setting unrealistic goals can set you up for failure. It’s tempting to promise your customer the sun, moon and stars. Avoid the dangers of failing by setting uber realistic goals that still make an impact.
This way you can negate the pitfalls of harming the relationship you have established. If you fail to meet targets, even if they were wildly optimistic to begin with, you could damage the potential for renewal or expansion.
Leverage those SLAs
Service level agreements (SLAs) are a key component of any aspect of account management. SLAs keep both parties accountable and compliant throughout their working relationship
53 percent of recruitment outsourcing relationships that fail do so due to inconsistency in these service level agreements.
This stems from a lack of clear communication from both sides.
Lack of clear communication about priorities, and expectations those things usually leads to failure in a relationship and you’re not only going to lose your current business, you’re going to lose the opportunity to expand.
So what does a comprehensive SLA look like?
SLAs are designed with three objectives in mind:
- operational compliance
- operational success
- clarity and transparency
Basically, they keep a professional relationship ticking over and establish some key boundaries for both parties.
SLA FAQs (that’s fun to say)
- What are we being held to account for?
- What is the client responsible for?
- Are they going to have information provided to us at a certain time?
- Are they going to always give us meeting time of face time or phone time?
- Are they going to give us feedback in a certain amount of hours?
- What are the reporting in metrics we’re going to establish?
- Which are the ones that we monitor, which are the ones that they monitor?
- Are we communicating with each other?
- Are we sharing the right KPI’s at all times?
- What are the penalties for non-compliance?
It’s important to set this out at the beginning of your contract. Make sure you are both aware of these parameters and the consequences of failing to meet the terms of your SLA.
It is up to you to really showcase how valuable you are as a recruiter. You need to be constantly talking about and reminding your customer that you are giving them value. Don’t rely on a customer waiting until the end of a process and then realising how indispensable you are. You want them to constantly be thinking about this as it will help you build a great case for expansion.
To help you stay on top of this ensure you have regular calls scheduled and always have prepared material for these calls
Pour over all the KPI’s and data that you share. Review the original SLA, look at the expectations, go back to what you originally agreed and make sure you’re ready to talk about each of those areas and have all your information ready.
Don’t force this into the conversation just because you have all this data, you’ve done your research, don’t bombard your customer with stats. Keep the conversation natural, open up the topic, ask them for example, how do you feel things are going, have you noticed any changes.
You know how it’s going, you’ve looked at the data, you’ve researched this, you know exactly how it’s going but don’t force that down your customer’s throat. Let it come from them.
Try and tease that out of them rather than you telling them and allow them to come to the realisation that you’re an awesome recruiter who is critical to their success.
Put all of these together and you have all the tools to become an awesome account manager and an indispensable recruiter to your company AND your customer!
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