Do you have a recruitment firm, or an office full of desks for rent?
I have been with my hair dresser for 8 years. He knows my taste in magazines, some of my secrets and all of my roots.
A few years ago he was based in a large salon in the city, where he rented a chair. I’d go in and get my hair done, catch up on the gossip, laugh at the odd hair do that left the building. Luckily for me he is a gadget freak (it’s thanks to him that I migrated from Blackberry to iPhone). He would lend me his Stuff Magazine when I went in and I would get my tech fix whilst getting my split ends annihilated.
The rest of the staff there barely knew I was there. I didn’t really talk to them – zero interaction. Perhaps if I was lucky my hair would be washed by one of the juniors who gave the best head massages. I’d pay the girl at the till on the way out… but apart from that David, my hair dresser, was my only contact at the salon.
One day he very quietly commented that he was opening his own salon and would I like to move with him. I bit his hand off. Why wouldn’t I? I had no relationship with the salon. They kept no details on me. Would they even miss me? He was the salon.
So, why do I think that some recruiters are hairdressers?
- They have exclusive relationships with the clients. Are you simply the “girl” taking my money at the till?
- Do they use stuff in your business, for example, hair washers, tea makers, reception (IT, HR, Finance, Admin) that their fees contribute to, but that I am totally oblivious to?
- Are your consultants simply logging data at point of sale to get the cash in but the juicy stuff which is about me, what I like, how I buy is in his/her head?
- If they left and took “clients” with them, would you know? And don’t forget you’ll only know what data they’ve taken and who’s migrated with them if they actually told you about these relationships in the first place.
- Even if you had the data on the client, would it be enough for you to continue the relationship going forward?
- Are your clients engaging with your business, or the consultant? Are their loyalties with the brand or their perceived face of the brand, the consultant (the hair dresser)?
The Last Word
CRM stands for Client (or customer) relationship management database… but are your staff actually using it for that? What rules do you have for how your staff use the system? And if you have rules, are you actually checking that they are being followed? What penalties do you have for misuse or no use at all? It’s amazing how some top billers can log a lead and place the resulting vacancy and the conversion only took 30 minutes (amazing stat… let’s do more of that? ‘)
What relationships are your staff building which you can’t see? How will this affect you going forward? What plans are you making to not only capitalise on systems / tech / social media, whilst also keeping a grown up, practical eye on the risks that these lovely new systems are exposing you to. (By the way, banning / restricting use is not the way forward and doesn’t actually work!)
So, are you guilty of simply renting a chair to your consultants to allow them to grow a lovely portable client base, or do you do more to grow / protect your brand, relationships, market share?
(Originally published on UKRecruiter – thanks)