6th September 2021

How to get clients for a recruitment agency

Phone call Recruitment

Top tips for getting clients for your recruitment agency

Part of the lifeblood of any business is finding new customers. Even if your agency has a solid client base of regular employers that require your services, there are good reasons why you should always maintain a focus on getting clients for your recruitment agency.

Selling your recruitment agency’s skills is identical to selling other types of business service – it requires marketing and lead generation activity to deliver opportunities that your recruiters can then convert.

The full range of lead generation activities may be pursued. Traditional methods have of course been complemented by digital methods, which have steadily been refined over the last two decades or so. Here we outline and provide some tips to help you get clients for your recruitment agency.

Cold Calling

Cold calling is just about the most tried and tested technique in the book. Despite lower cost digital methods, cold calling to get clients for your recruitment agency is still one of the most widely preferred approaches.

With success rates of typically 1 to 3 percent, it’s a bit of a numbers game. However, just working through a random list of phone numbers is a pointless exercise. Recruiters need to do their homework and research likely companies that may be of interest. Targeting in this way creates richer shortlists that often deliver more new clients, faster.

Skilled and confident recruiters are likely to have evolved good techniques, pleasant telephone manners and loose scripts that help them to focus on making a great and meaningful impression. Matching the specialities of your agency with the likely needs of prospective clients is always likely to be of interest to a receptive listener that has staffing needs.

Perhaps, one of the reasons why cold calling is so popular is that a successful call enables a number of things, that may otherwise take weeks or months to achieve, to be done in 10 or 15 minutes. Getting clients for your recruitment agency through cold calling lets recruiters qualify the opportunity, gather information, start to build a relationship and may even provide an invitation to present a candidate for a vacant post, all in one short call. No wonder as many as 50% of agencies think it is the most effective method for finding clients.


Recruitment is quite literally a people business, where people who are good with people – ‘people people’ – tend to flourish through the use of interpersonal skills. Networking face to face (F2F) is perhaps the oldest methods used to get new clients for a recruitment agency, as it pre-dates the invention of the telephone!

Networking opportunities are particularly rich at business events such as Expos and seminars. As with cold calling, a good recruitment networker is likely to do some homework. Finding out companies or individuals that are attending and swotting up on their needs enables targeting that may help increase the chance of success.

Business cards are essential, but think beyond the elevator pitch and carefully about what to say so that it seems natural and not too salesy. Always follow up with LinkedIn and on other appropriate social channels and perhaps even email if there are sufficient grounds.

Of course, Covid has forced all of us to rethink about the infection risks of F2F exposure. And where it is not a business policy, it remains a personal decision. The pent up need for social interaction in our personal lives does carry over to business, with many people needing to get out there and rub shoulders with others in their industry or sector. So, while networking events may still be a little thin on the ground, their role in getting clients for your recruitment agency is always likely to remain important. As many as 17% of agencies think it is the most effective method for finding clients.

Social Media

Of course, recent decades have seen the increasing influence of technology and the Internet. Whether it is for a start-up agency or an established recruitment business, social media has an incredible ability to build a recruitment brand and generate leads for you to follow up. Getting clients for your recruitment agency with social media can start with pushing your brand out to the personal business contacts of your team, helping you maximise the potential of those connections.

And it’s not just for finding clients. Social channels are excellent for raising awareness of your agency to prospective candidates too. Typically, a social media strategy should include such tactics as advertising on social platforms, sharing content and engaging an industry community or perhaps even building a new one. As many as 27% of agencies think it is the most effective method for finding clients.

Content Marketing

The theory behind content marketing is that by offering useful business information under your brand you invite recognition, attract website traffic and win loyalty, and ultimately get clients for your recruitment agency. However, this depends on producing high quality and unique content that offers something new to the many other competing recruitment businesses that are pursuing content-led marketing strategies.

Commissioning content experts is a good way to obtain high quality, professionally produced content quickly. Its impact and effect are amplified when content creators work with your recruitment industry subject matter experts to produce expert-led insight and ideas. This really helps your recruitment agency to standout from the crowd. With only 6% of agencies thinking it is the most effective method for finding clients, it seems the use of content to get clients for recruitment agencies is a little underutilised!

As with social media, the best approach to content marketing is to devise a content strategy. This should all be organised as part of your agency’s digital marketing strategy. This ensures that social, content and website activity is orchestrated and complementary, and delivers real value that helps you get clients for your recruitment agency.

Recruitment agencies maximise efficiency and reduce costs with ETZ

Whatever methods you favour for getting clients for your recruitment business, the reality is that technology is pivotal to the running of today’s recruitment businesses. Efficiency is the key to maximising the return on technology investment and reducing costs to maximise profitability.

ETZ timesheet processing and invoicing solution is super-efficient and integrates with accounting and other key elements of the RecTech software stack that are critical to today’s recruitment businesses. To find out more about how we support recruitment agencies with the technology expertise to streamline back office operations, book a demo.

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