Growing even a “small professional network” into a thriving recruiting business
Whether you are an experienced recruiter who is becoming an entrepreneur for the first time or you have never made a placement before, your recruiting business begins with the connections you currently have as a great starting point. Recruiters do not need hundreds of personal LinkedIn connections with CEOs to break into the industry.
Starting a recruiting business depends more on how you can turn one connection (even ones unrelated to your industry) into leads and referrals. Every recruiting placement opportunity begins with some sort of a referral or lead generated by the recruiter. What separates recruiters apart from each other is being able to recognize those opportunities for leads and referrals.
Not every person a recruiter engages with is going to be looking for a job or have a position for them to fill. That is not the end of the road–that is just an opportunity to build on your connection to see which other ways they can lead you on to additional opportunities. The math on how this works is pretty simple: if you can get 2 or 3 leads from each person you engage with, this will multiply into a pretty vast network over a pretty short period of time.
Being able to shift conversations into getting leads or referrals mostly just requires some attention towards seeing what other information this person may have which will help to find additional contacts which will lead to more opportunities.
The ‘secret’ to getting these leads and referrals is simply just asking. However, how the recruiter asks is important. Recruiters get more referrals and leads by asking who that person knows who might need their help. Instead of seeming like they are asking for help, they offer to help people who might be able to use some career or hiring assistance.
Getting in the habit of asking everyone at some point during every conversation will grow any recruiter’s pipeline of business immediately. They are then able to constantly expand their network, which eventually leads to receiving referrals from contacts without asking. People are more likely to help and offer information if you have previously notified them that you are actively looking for similar lead opportunities.
Recruiters are in the business of making connections and building upon those connections. Anyone can do it–it’s just a matter of training yourself to identify where those potential referrals may come from and to best demonstrate how much you can help improve things for that potential referral.