How to “Grow Up” as a Recruiting Agency

by | Jul 14, 2022

No one ever said that owning and operating a recruiting agency would be easy. It’s a tough business, and it takes a lot of hard work to be successful.

But even if you’re doing everything right, there are things that will keep you from taking your agency to the next level: scale, automation, systems, processes, culture.

In other words, if you’re serious about growing your business, you need to start by “growing up.”  

There comes a point where you have to stop the mad dash and start focusing on embracing scalable automation, making sure your brand is being managed correctly, and having stronger processes among your team.

It can be tempting to put these things off because you feel like you have too much on your plate already. But if you don’t do these things, you’ll never achieve the business growth that you want. Like it or not, growth requires change. 

Plus, although it will require an extra push initially, scalability means you’ll eventually have fewer things on your plate. So, it pays off in the long run.

Here are some tips to help “grow up” as a recruiting agency. 

Why your recruiting agency needs to mature

In a market that’s short on top talent, the competition among recruiting agencies is fiercer than ever. The question you’re probably asking yourself is: How do I ensure candidates and clients choose to work with us? 

Unless you work in a highly differentiated niche, odds are no one will want to work with a rag-tag operation. If the recruiting agency down the proverbial street offers a better experience, more opportunities, and is faster to respond, candidates will pick them over you. 

That’s why it’s so important for your recruiting agency to mature, step it up to the next level.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hire more people right off the bat. In fact, you probably shouldn’t—at least, not yet. Instead, work on automating, scaling, and becoming more strategic in your operations. 

By improving your processes and experiences, you’ll be in a better position to attract and retain top talent.

What does a mature recruiting agency look like?

Of course, it’s important to ask: what does it look like to “grow up” as a recruiting agency? 

Believe it or not, there are some objective differentiators that set mature, modern recruiting agencies apart from the rest: 

  • They take their reputation seriously. Not only do they provide exceptional, candidate-centric experiences, they work to validate and promote those experiences. 
  • They have experience. Modern, mature recruiting agencies know that experience is a major value-add to the candidate, so they work to promote employee longevity by valuing and developing every member of their tema. 
  • They’re tech-savvy. Technology will never replace the human touch, but it also is an indispensable tool to streamline processes and make recruiters work more efficiently—improving their effectiveness without sacrificing work-life balance
  • They want to improve. Modern recruiting agencies proactively look for issues, so they can fix them before they become problems. 

We know these are the key attributes of modern recruiting agencies, because we’ve seen them in real life! Our clients set themselves apart in each of these four areas, and achieve great success as a result. 

READ THE CASE STUDY: How CareerStaff Unlimited Boosted Recruiter Efficiency & Productivity with Great Recruiters

5 steps to “grow up” as a recruiting agency

Now that we’ve covered the various elements that make up a modern, mature recruiting agency, let’s look at some top tips that will help you get from Point A to Point B. 

These tips came out of a conversation that we had with Matt Dickens of Astute Technology Partners, one of our clients. 

1. Embrace technology & automation

At its core, technology is about efficiency. It’s designed to help recruiters, salespeople, operations, and everyone else in the organization do their jobs better by automating and simplifying processes.

As recruiters, this is immensely valuable. Your time is important, and every minute you save is a minute of value you can provide to a candidate or client. 

By integrating technology into your organization and culture, you can build streamlined processes that improve both your employee and candidate experience. It’s a win-win for everyone. 

Examples of these technologies include: 

  • Applicant tracking systems
  • Experience management & brand promotion platforms
  • Recruitment marketing platforms
  • Referral platforms
  • Reference checking
  • Candidate screening

Keep in mind that purchasing the technology, while important, isn’t enough. You need to get your team to use it. This process can involve internal champions, dedicated training, gamification, and even a little bit of good old fashioned peer pressure.

Ultimately, however, it’s about finding creative ways to make the value of the technology clear so everyone uses it to improve their day-to-day productivity. 

2. Keep your KPIs front and center

Every one of your processes, technologies, and practices should move you toward a particular goal. If not, you’re just wasting money and resources. 

Mature recruiting agencies keep their KPIs front and center. They define them very clearly and objectively, and are transparent with the team about the direction they’re headed. If a particular practice or tool isn’t helping to hit their KPIs, then they’ll know it’s time to reevaluate and try something new. 

By focusing on results, your recruiting agency will be open to continual improvement and adaptability. You go from “this is how we’ve always done it,” to “this is how we accomplish our goals.” 

3. Communicate with the finance team

Not every practice or technology will deliver an immediate ROI. That will inevitably put you at odds with the finance team—which makes sense, since their job is to protect the company’s bottom line. 

This is why it’s important to establish clear lines of communication, and explain the value behind your investments, even if they aren’t immediately obvious. For example, if you invest in experience management tools, you can talk about the return on awareness (ROA) as opposed to the hard ROI.

By level setting expectations, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. Only then can you hope to realize the full potential of any new initiative.

READ MORE: Return on Awareness: A Better Way to Manage Experience Management

4. Make it easy for candidates and clients to learn about you

When you’re looking to attract more clients and candidates, you need to do everything in your power to make a great impression. “Good enough” just isn’t good enough any more.

And one of the best ways to do that is by making it easy for them to learn about you and your business:

  • Actively capture & promote positive reviews
  • Create a website that answers key prospect questions & provides third-party validation of your successes
  • Post about your wins on social media
  • Put yourself out there—recruiting is an industry built on relationships!

5. Be proactive about your reputation

Your reputation isn’t just part of your business—it is your business. It impacts how people perceive you and your ability to succeed.

In today’s digital-first world, everyone Googles a company before choosing to do business with them. That means that investing in your digital reputation isn’t a “nice to have.” It’s a foundational piece of your agency’s success. 

Great Recruiters is an ideal tool to help you do just that. But don’t just take our word for it, hear it directly from Matt Dickens: 

“We took on Great Recruiters to emphasize the fact that we’re making an effort to be one of the ‘good guys’. We’re trying hard to make sure we provide a fantastic service.” 

– Matt Dickens, Astute Technology Partners

To get started with Great Recruiters, click here.

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