Inside Staffing – Sales or Client Side

Some IT staffing firms are setup where there is a dedicated recruiter and a dedicated sales person. This is usually firms that do contract work. Some firms that run direct placement/permanent placement (perm)/FTE staffing will do full cycle – recruit their own candidates and market their own candidates. The articles in the  series typically address the contract side, aka split desk arrangement.

But what is expected of the sales person?

Depending on the firm, a sales person is heavy on the cold calls. Not only have I done recruiting, but I have also done sales. Two different worlds, well kind of. Many firms have goals or numbers to hit. The rationale is that if you hit those numbers you’ll inevitably grow your business. For the most part, it’s a method that has done well for some firms. Those numbers and their definitions follows:

  1. 125 connections with a client – a connect is a conversation. Not a “hello…” cutoff abruptly by “thanks but no thanks”. It’s getting valid information. I liked ot use the 3 “no’s” rule. You’d have to get 3 no’s before getting off the phone or getting some relevant piece of information – new contact info, news that the company you called uses hired help, or a referral, etc. This means, getting client voice mail, no answers to your call, etc, that you could end up calling 225+ people a week. You could mess with the numbers a bit and consider an email as a connect as well, but it has to be something of value.
  2. 12-15 face to face meetings – This is a meeting with a client, face to face. Now you could maximize your time here if you go to one client location but meet 5 different contacts – HR, hiring managers, other IT team members. Each outing to a client could be 30-60 minutes depending on how many is to be your audience. A single contact, 30 minutes. The goal is to establish a relationship. If the client knows you, they’re more apt to buy from you. At least that’s the objective.
  3. Starts – Sometimes known as a ‘fill’. This is where you obtain a requisition, or job order, from a client and your firm gets a person to start in that client’s needed position. This number is determined by how many open orders you have. Typically 12% of your active orders (positions where you have a consultant out on contract and you’re bringing in revenue through billing for their time) is not heard of. So as you grow, so does your needed starts.

Now some firms may have much lower numbers and are more passive. It varies. I have had associates that have gone to competitor firms to talk to them. The firms that run at a different pace have a quite a reaction at the above output. It’s usually one of surprise. The amount of calls themselves is simply crazy.

Many firms will simply call and introduce themselves. Others try to provide value in every call. How do you do provide value? Talk about a stellar candidate. This candidate is one of the people your recruiter just met, maybe they have a crazy-in-demand skill set that everyone needs. Tell the client you have the person they need.

  • Don’t need them? Fine, who do you need? No one? Ok, do you know anyone that could use this person, I’m just trying to get them a job sir/ma’am.
  • Do you ever need help on a temp basis? Yes/no? You’ve never used a firm?
  • Do you ever have projects where you need temporary help?

You can see how a dialog can come about. It’s not a bad thing. Many people don’t know the benefits of variable cost. They don’t know how a firm can help. It’s an additional resource.

Now if you’re a company that uses temps or contractors but don’t use your firm as a resource then it’s probing to find out why.

  • Did we make you mad?
  • Are we too expensive?
  • Is that other firm servicing you well?
  • Are you sure you’re paying a competitive rate?

Another dialog ensues with the goal of getting a request or a face-to-face meeting. Rinse. Repeat. Eventually you’ll get that connect =>face-to-face => job request => start => commission.

Next step for the sales exec? Fielding an actual request from a client.

Have a different method to the madness? Feel free to share. Success is not always obtained the same way.

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