The UK recruitment market is a mature, competitive landscape. The focus of most recruitment businesses is on developing market share. Once you have been given an opportunity to work with a client (new or longstanding relationship) the goal has to be to fill the vacancy. Both you and I recognise that not every job that an agency is given is successfully filled (by them). Sometimes a competitor recruiter might fill it, or the position may be withdrawn or cancelled. Some recruitment business will actually fill less jobs than they don’t.
Unfilled jobs present us with an opportunity to review the service we have delivered to a customer and openly review the experience. There is a lot that can be learnt from the jobs we don’t fill:
- Where did we do well?
- Not so well?
- Who got the job?
- Where did they come from?
- Were they on our database?
- Why didn’t we present them?
- Why did we reject them if we did find them?
- How well did we understand the brief?
- What could we have done differently?
- How did the client feel about our communication through the process?
- Would they use us again in the future?
- What did our competitor(s) do that we can learn from?
As a manager of a team of recruiters, this was one of my Friday routines – validating with the team what had happened with jobs that we had not been successful on. Both as an internal review and also with a progression call to the hiring client to demonstrate our commitment to delivering as high a quality of service as possible and our on-going desire to ensure we improved our delivery service.
Clients were often surprised to receive the call. It seems none of our competitors were doing this. It gave us meaningful feedback that we could address. Our competitors were only completing satisfaction reviews over the phone with their clients when they had been the successful agency who filled the job.
Try it out for yourself. You might be surprised what you discover about your customers perceptions of you and your business.
While you are phoning clients who's jobs you didn't manage to fill - you might also want to read this article too!