Monday, January 21, 2013

Want Referrals From Recruiters?

Developing an informal referral relationship with one or more recruiters can be a way to generate a handful of new clients each year. However, if you are serious about creating a steady stream of new clients sent your way by recruiters, you need to approach the recruiting firm with a proposal to create a strategic partnership.

This model positions you as a resource and income stream for the recruiting firm, whereas referral relationships (even when the recruiter is compensated for the referral), can seem like more of a one-way street.

Numerous resume writers have been approached by recruiting firms looking to add resume writing to their service offerings. The "Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships With Recruiters" special report is invaluable for resume writers who have been contacted about this type of opportunity. Not only will it give you a specific list of questions to ask the recruiting firm to help gauge whether this will be a good fit, but it also outlines issues to consider, systems and procedures to put in place to ensure the relationship works, and identifies the key considerations that should be put into a written agreement or contract.

Some of these include:

  • Tracking referrals. How will you know when the client came from the recruiting firm?
  • Compensation. Commissions for referrals range from $0 to 75%. How much should you offer?
  • Scope of commissionable work. Most referral fees are based on the initial project scope only (usually a resume and cover letter) -- but it's wise to outline this specifically. What if the client comes back for a LinkedIn profile development, or resume retarget? Is a referral fee paid on these services? It depends on your agreement.
  • Reporting requirements. Figuring out how and when referral fees are paid is critical.
  • Contact information. Are you representing yourself as an agent of the recruiting firm? If so, how will this be handled? Will you have an email address that is tied to the recruiting firm's site, so it's easier to track where referrals come from? A special phone number? 

Also, systems and procedures are important. If you are going to be handling a high volume of referrals from a recruiting firm, you need internal processes that can support prospecting, handling leads, pricing projects, and converting them into clients. You'll also need systems for information-gathering, service delivery, billing, and project finalization. These systems must be scalable to support the increase in projects you want to handle. (And what if you get overwhelmed? Do you have methods for subcontracting projects or making referrals to other resume writers?)

"Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships with Recruiters" outlines five case studies of resume writers who have either been approached by a recruiting firm about a referral relationship, or who have initiated this contact.

For example, you can read about Angie, who has developed a referral partnership with a recruiting firm that targets the financial services industry. She pays the firm a small fee that is based on a percentage of each sale. Leads come from all over the country, and she receives 5-6 contacts per month, and converts approximately half of those to become clients. Angie estimates this arrangement contributes around 15 percent of her total revenue.

You can also check out these related blog posts:

The "Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships With Recruiters" special report is just $27 and is available for immediate download. The information-packed 22-page report includes questions to ask to make sure the relationship will be a good fit, issues to address with the firm, systems and procedures you should have in place to support the referrals, how to increase the number of referrals you receive, what to put in your written agreement (contract), and frequently-asked questions.

Tuesday, January 27 at 1 p.m. Eastern
Details HERE.

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