I was sat in a coffee shop over the weekend and overheard two friends talking about cars.
One was exalting the virtues of his lovely German saloon, with leather interior, cruise control, faultless driving experience,etc. His friend was also exalting how cheap his car cost to buy and run, the low “upfront cost”, low cost for spare parts, servicing, etc.
Although the conversation was about cars – the two friends were coming from opposite ends of the scale in terms of car needs and wants. Kind of similar to comparing apples & pears.
This set me thinking about clients “buying” recruitment services and their wants & needs; be it “Transactional” or “Value-add”.
Transactional clients are typically only interested in the best deal and will buy a recruitment companies’ service on price alone. No amount of discussing the features and benefits of a higher value service will move them from their sole aim of getting the best possible price. In our business, our niche market expertise is a crucial part of our service, but to transactional clients they have little or no interest in our opinion. They just want CV’s as they are the expert and can make up their own mind.
Value-add clients tend to be interested in the whole package and want an expert recruiter. The financial deal needs to be OK but their primary interest is the value that our expertise can bring in helping them recruit the right type of individual for the right price at the right time. They want someone they can trust, who will be open and honest with them and is looking for a long term relationship.
Value-add clients are also aware that if they looked around they would likely find a cheaper option; however this isn’t their primary motivation. They understand that the package of expertise, contacts, price & honesty minimizes the probability of a bad recruitment – which is every clients No1 fear.
Many clients don’t recruit that often, so are completely unaware of whether what they want is actually available in the marketplace & what it’s relative cost is (i.e. how much salary do I need to pay to hire). Fortunately we spend our time talking to people across a wide variety of sectors so we have an expert’s view of what skills can be recruited, how much they cost and how quickly we can get hold of them.
In many instances we actually save value-add clients money by helping them adjust their specification and salary offer to be more in line with what the market provides.
Ultimately – 80% of our client base is value-add clients. We operate best when we work in partnership with a client; working together using our experience and know-how to get them the right people through compromise and flexibility. Nobody recruits someone 100% matching the job spec – so in reality recruitment is all about how and where to compromise on your requirements, and having a recruitment partner you trust & who can help and advise on where concessions need to be made is truly invaluable in hiring the best people.