By: Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Attracting top talent, retaining top talent, and the impact of technology changes at such an accelerated pace are just three of the challenges faced by most Talent Acquisition Professionals, in today’s competitive job market. Yet, Staffing and Recruiting Professionals are often regarded as a vendor vs. a consultative workforce | workplace expert.

It is essential to separate yourself from your competition and elevate your client relationship from vendor to trusted advisor. You will accomplish this by implementing the following strategies:

1. UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF YOUR CLIENTS
Position yourself as a consultative workforce | workplace expert who can help them anticipate trends, save money and attract the best talent. Discuss the impact of technology or the aging baby boomers on their strategic hiring process.

When you start providing your clients with valuable information that will impact the future of their firm, they start to share their concerns, problems, future plans and ask for your advice and assistance to help identify talent needed to achieve their objectives.

2. CUSTOMIZE YOUR SERVICES
Years ago the Staffing and Recruiting took this approach to marketing, “Let me tell you about the services we have to offer.” This is referred to as the WWD (What We Do) approach and is no longer effective.

In today’s competitive marketplace the new approach has become “What Services Do You Need?” Then you customize your services around the needs of your clients. If a need exists that you do not offer, you refer them to someone who can provide the services.

3. DEVELOP A LIFELONG RELATIONSHIP
It takes time to develop strong working relationships with your clients. Your goal is to form lifelong friendships and relationships where you become this person’s sounding board. Do your best always to provide them with the top candidate available vs. the best person in your database. Provide your clients with valuable information and insights, when you are not making money from them.

Attempt to learn something personal about them with every third contact. Clients would rather talk about anything, other than discussing what you have to offer. When they realize you care about them, they can trust you and you deliver what you promise, they will value you as a trusted advisor and never put you in the same category as a vendor.