Recruitment – it’s all about partnerships!
By Abi Howell
As the owner of Truly Tailored Recruitment, a well-known and highly regarded recruitment agency in Gloucestershire, I can attribute the entire success of the business to strong partnerships. It sounds simple, but building these partnerships – of which there are many – takes time and commitment. I’m extremely lucky to have incredible bonds with every single one of my team, bonds that have been tested to the extreme in these current difficult times. We’ve had to change everything about the way we work, whilst keeping the ethos of the business exactly the same.
We have two customers in our field of work; our clients and our candidates. The relationships we form with them, and the partnerships we build, are vital to what we do.
Our partnerships with candidates are incredibly important to us; we ensure we take the time to really get to know the person behind the CV. We take a deep dive during our registration process to find out what makes them tick, get a proper feel for the sort of environment the person will thrive in and spend significant period of time understanding their motivations, their personal morals and what they would be doing if we could “wave a magic wand”! It’s paramount that we get to know the whole person so when we do place them, we know they are going to be fulfilled in their role. We try to take a holistic approach to placing people so that we can ensure candidate satisfaction whilst ensuring a maximum return on investment for our clients too.
Client partnerships are just as important. We work our very best when we are exclusive recruiters; we aim to set ourselves apart from the rest by offering a full service and we won’t lie, we’re not the cheapest on the market, but our service offering justifies us charging our fee. Ultimately, we want to become an extension of the client’s team and carry out the recruitment process for them as if we were recruiting for our own business. We’re currently working in challenging times; ordinarily, we go to meet all of our clients, have a cuppa, get a feel for the environment and understand not only the skills required, but the person that will best suit the company’s key behaviours and ethics. We are now partnering with new businesses to supply us technological solutions that will allow us to still give everyone the personal experience we want to deliver, but not necessarily ‘traditionally’ face to face!
Actually, we work with a lot of business partners who are our unsung heroes in the background that we honestly could not do without! With their expertise they enable us to deliver the best service to our clients and candidates. From Hive360, who we use for our payroll and employee benefits packages, to Reform IT, who’ve been taking us into the virtual world and a new way of working. The businesses we work with need to blend together too, which is why we chose to use Voyager Infinity as our CRM system, as we are not just looking for a database of candidate names and client locations! We want something that will integrate with ease into other areas of the business, like MailChimp for marketing, and Logic Melon for job board posting.
Working with local businesses, we have forged strong partnerships; for example with our photographer Steve Rolfe who produces quirky visuals for us, and Squashed Robot who create our much-loved video content! As a predominantly local Gloucestershire business, we like to strengthen our network with other proud, high-calibre providers where we can.
It’s been really important to us to partner with other businesses, including those that would ordinarily be considered competition. We are realistic. Sometimes, we might not be the best suited to working with a particular business. We won’t take money for the sake of it, and we’re open to utilising our network of specialist recruitment partners to help our clients receive the best service, even if sometimes that means we share a placement fee. For us it’s a far cry from the dog-eat-dog sales world that our industry can get a bad reputation for. Good recruiters are so much more than salespeople. They’re excellent communicators, relationship-builders, industry-trained professionals who need to be skilled in understanding the industries they recruit for.
In an ever-changing world, strong partnerships are key to survival. Without excellent communication, including the ability to be frank, open and honest with one another, a recruitment business can easily fall flat. I’ve been in the recruitment game long enough to have worked through the ‘good old days’ in booming economic times, and then through a much tougher time for recruiters; through both candidate-led and client-led markets, into now, where things are set to change again! The whole way of working and recruiting is now new for us as well as our clients and candidates alike. I hope the foundations we’ve laid are going to see us leap into the new way of working with gusto and on to continued success. I am confident in our abilities to support our existing partner businesses as they come back from the Covid-19 crisis, whilst building new partnerships in the business world; all the while supporting candidates looking for work and creating new partnerships for them with businesses who need their skills.
Have I said it enough times yet? Partnerships! Partnerships – good ones – are the key. I’ve found some really, really good ones in my time and I’m not letting them go!