To be a successful RPO consultant you have to immerse yourself in your client’s business and industry. Once you’ve done that, your client will pull up a chair for you at its table and welcome you as its RPO business partner.
Know Your Client’s Business
“What do you know about us?” It’s such a basic and open-ended question. But how you answer it will define your relationship with the client. It will mean the difference between being a mere “recruiter” and a recruiting business consultant: your client’s business partner. Ramp up your knowledge of the company, its industry, other top employers, and competitors. Becoming well-versed in these areas not only makes you a better recruiter, but also a knowledgeable, well-versed business partner. Prepare for this conversation.
Know Your Area of Expertise
Start with what you know. A good recruiter can recruit for any area, but some learning curves are greater than others. You are expected to be an expert in at least one area, and in that one area you’d better be knocking it out of the park! This means research, research, research! Look at the openings your client currently has online, take a quick refresher by reading up on industry trades, poke around on relevant websites, and know your acronyms. Have a good idea of your client’s basic needs before you walk into that conference room. Go back to your college days and cram! Stack up on energy drinks, coffee, and sugary snacks. Do whatever it takes to absorb as much information as possible. The next interaction with your client will be like an exam.
How well you do in that meeting will not only reflect on you, but on your company as well. There was never a more certain way to see your stock plummet in your client’s eyes than to ask, “remind me again what MM stands for?” while drafting out a SAP job description.
You’ve got one job to do at this moment. Do it well.
Who Is Your Client?
You’ve reviewed its website. Now, learn its history, review its language, and gain a real feel for the impression it makes on you. Is its style formal? Engaging? Does it celebrate successes, tout its long history? Get the basic idea and then take a step back. Review all the information you gather as if you were a potential new hire. Every ad you place, every person you talk to is, at some point, going to reference the site. Take a closer look at how this information can be perceived by potential new hires. How your client presents the information and the language it uses will be interpreted as a predictor of its corporate culture.
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Here is where you need to be proactive in your research. Why has your client experienced so much success hiring? Or, conversely, has your client had challenges? Become its biggest fan. I am talking not only about Google alerts, but about shadowing it in every way possible. Follow your client on Twitter and LinkedIn. “Like” it on Facebook. “Subscribe” to its YouTube videos, and read every entry on Glassdoor.
Understand how it is projecting its image. Yes, we want to know all the hype, the good, the bad, and even the ugly. The comments listed on those sites can be insightful as well. A couple of the anonymous users may be disgruntled employees and one or two of the glowing reviews may have been added by the PR department, but concentrate on the overall tone of these comments. The more you know, the more value you add to your client.
Who Else Is in My Sandbox?
Know the client’s competition. What have been its latest challenges and successes? How can you recruit people from the competition if you are unaware that it just had a record breaking year, closed a facility, or outsourced to another country? Time to step up with more Google alerts, more Facebook pages, more LinkedIn groups, and discussion boards. Time to watch your client’s competition, take notes, and prepare our next move.