How Many Clients Do I Really Need?

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Jul 3, 2013

Dear Barb:

How many clients do you think a recruiter needs to become a big biller? I have three clients who keep me very busy and therefore I don’t do any client development. If I land another big client, I would not be able to fill the orders written.

Beatrice P.

El Paso, TX

Dear Beatrice:

The majority of recruiters have five clients or less who represent at least 75% of their sales; this is not recession proof. If one or two clients stop hiring and you only have a handful of clients, you would need to scramble to land additional clients.

A recession-proof territory should represent 10 key accounts and 20 back-up clients. Your key accounts call you first, and you talk to them each month whether you have an open order with them or not. Your back-up accounts know who you are and what you do, have positions each year in your niche, but contact several recruiters with their business.

If one or more of your key accounts stops hiring, you replace them with one of your back-up accounts. A territory of 30 accounts is recession proof. If you can’t fill all the orders you are writing, consider hiring a recruiting specialist who only works on the orders you write. Big Billers are almost always great at client development, which is where you need to spend the majority of your time. Surround yourself with recruiters who can provide you with candidates to fill those orders or assignments.

One Last Tip: If you’ve been representing the same clients for 10 years or more, they are not the employers of choice in your niche. You need to constantly upgrade your clients so you are representing the companies most desired by the candidates in your niche.

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS

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