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5 signs a recruitment agency has solid client relationships

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What makes a recruitment consultant’s job rewarding? Access to top clients and having strong relationships with stakeholders in the company is certainly a fantastic head start!

There’s no question – when you have strong client relationships, the job is more fun and you feel like you’re making an actual difference.

When you’re researching recruitment agencies and asking questions during interview, you need to dig into the client logo list on the website. And that means figuring out whether they’re name dropping or truly have a solid relationship with the companies they’re telling you about.

Look for these 5 signs you’ll be inheriting strong relationships.

Consultants and Managers are regularly in contact with senior people

Often when people say: ‘I know that person,’ they mean ‘I know of that person’. And there’s a big difference between those 2 statements. It’s not difficult to know the names of senior people in a given market. But do you know them as people? Do you catch up with them regularly? If you rang them up today, would they know who you are? Check that the agency’s contacts actually are the senior people – the ones making top-level decisions about when and who to recruit. If the agency’s point person is HR or talent development, it’s very different relationship-wise to having access to the MD. Being a trusted advisor to the CEO is a different ball game to being on the PSL with HR.

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They have long-term repeat business from clients

This is a sign they have strategic input into clients’ businesses. It means successful placements aren’t about luck – or having the right candidate at the right time. It means the agency is helping the client understand the skills landscape, develop the appropriate recruitment strategy and then find the best fit. If an agency is working hand in glove like this – and is an exclusive partner – you know there’s heritage and strength in the relationship.

Ask about the percentage of revenue produced from top clients. Ask what percentage of clients have worked with them for 5+ years.

Clients engage with the agency at networking events and on social media

This isn’t just about attending an exhibition or showing up for local speed networking. This is about having speaking slots and sponsoring events and awards.

Check who they tag and feature on their networking-related social media posts (both individual and agency). If they’ve recorded a video, how senior are the industry contacts they’ve interviewed? Are clients commenting on people’s LinkedIn articles and posts? Are they liking the agency’s tweets? Are they recommending agency principals and consultants on LinkedIn?

They'll let you speak with a client

Checking out website testimonials and LinkedIn recommendations is an important due diligence element (especially if the testimonials are from senior people rather than HR). Go one step further – ask if you can speak to a client, so you can hear first-hand what their experience is like.

If an agency says they’re in with a company, they should be able to ask someone senior to take a phone call from a prospective consultant.

Your onboarding process includes client briefings

Getting detail about your onboarding process will show whether you’re inheriting a transactional relationship or a partnership.

Does someone senior in the agency hold the relationship? Do you spend time in the client offices to meet everyone and understand life in the business? Does the CRM include detail on everything that’s happened with the client? Is there intelligence sharing across the business?

Here’s an example. At IDEX, Directors are in regular contact with their counterparts within our clients – and will feed you leads. Anyone new has that continuity, as well as having access to client information and past meeting notes in the CRM. You’ll have ‘work experience’ where you’re on the ground with the client. All this means you have an established legacy to work with.

Reap the benefits of strong client relationships

We work as the recruitment partner for leading companies in insurance, financial services and legal– and client experience is one of our differentiators. This has never been more evident than with the number of clients who sign multi-year deals with us, or trust us to handle all aspects of their business growth as one of our exclusive Business Growth Program

Contact Richard on or 0333 700 4339 for a confidential chat about how this benefits consultants – and what opportunities we have available across the UK.