Proposals are “cash-in-waiting”. Make yours count!

Getting sent a brief from RecruitLoop is a testament to your recruiting skills and industry experience.  We guarantee clients we will only send briefs to recruiters who we feel can get the job done.  So the fact you are included is the first step toward success.

And we only brief up to four recruiters at a time.  This is to ensure two things:

  1. The client isn’t overwhelmed by calls and proposals from recruiters, which can sometimes lead to them putting the whole thing in the “too hard” basket; and
  2. You have an increased chance of winning the project because you aren’t competing with a ton of other recruiters

Winning the project is then up to you.

Your speed of response and the quality of your initial contact and/or proposal is everything and our successful Loopers know this.

We do share an example of a good proposal in the Support Centre but here are 7 tips to make sure you are in with the best chance of winning the projects you are bidding for.

1.  Don’t be put off by the proposed budget

RecruitLoop is all about offering clients value for money but we are not the local $2 shop of the recruitment industry!

When they post a role on our site, clients are given the opportunity to nominate a budget for their project.  The lowest range offered is $500 – $2000, the next is $2,000 – $5,000 and the third is “Over $5,000”.

Now, clients are human beings like the rest of us, so most are going to see what they can get for the least amount of money possible! Or it could be that they don’t really understand what is involved in the recruitment process (particularly if the position is a tricky one) and so just go with the lowest range by default.  You know a client probably “gets it” when they choose the mid-range.

Either way, don’t decline a project brief because of the budget the client has indicated but rather see it as an opportunity to present yourself as the professional you are and ‘up-sell’ or agree on what assistance you can provide for the budget the client has in mind.

2.  Don’t wait too long to call the client and introduce yourself

The brief we send you includes everything the client has provided.

Sometimes this is extensive and sometimes it isn’t and you need more information before deciding whether to spend time on a proposal or not. Either way, find a reason to call the client – you want to clarify something; you want to check on the salary details; you want to confirm the preferred start date; or you want to clearly understand the type of person they are looking for.

Anything to position you in their minds as a knowledgeable professional.

In that call, talk them through your experience, your proposed process, the features and benefits of the RecruitLoop platform and have a discussion around the budget if you feel you need to.

Big tip here though … do not lead with the $ discussion!  

Like you when you are buying something you need or want, clients will agree to pay more once they have a clear sense of how the ‘product’ will meet their needs.

And call them early on in the process!  If you really want to make an impression, call them within an hour of receiving the brief and close the call by giving them an expectation around how quickly you will get your written proposal to them.

3.  Send a detailed proposal that shows respect for your client

Our example of a winning proposal shows you how to deal with each of the four sections in the template so I won’t play “word nitty-gritty” here.

But I will say this: When you are responding to a brief that has gone to other recruiters as well as you, putting “As discussed” in any of the fields is not giving yourself the best chance of winning the project.

Imagine being a busy client.  You have taken three phone calls from three recruiters you’ve never met.  All three have told you why you can be comfortable launching your project with them.  You have listened but not taken any notes. Then all three send proposals that simply say “As discussed”.  I think you can see where I’m going with this.

So, why not open your proposal with a “Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.  Further to our discussion, I understand you need …”

Then in the other fields you can lead with “As discussed in our phone conversation earlier today …” if you want.

The combination of your phone call and a detailed, respectful proposal gives you the very best chance of sealing the deal.

4.  Tell them what you have done rather than the type of relationship you’d like

Clients will pay for the best skills they can buy for their money.  Telling them you like animals and hand-in-hand moonlit walks along the beach won’t work here!

Even though you may have discussed all this on the phone, in sections 2 and 3 of your proposal give them renewed confidence that you have those skills by sharing:

  • the types of roles you have recruited in the past
  • the talent sourcing and screening processes you will go through
  • the candidate evaluation processes you will undertake
  • how often you will communicate your progress

And try to write plainly and simply – keep away from industry jargon and words that you wouldn’t use if you were talking to them.

5.  Justify your time and cost estimate

The deeper your understanding of the role and the more you can detail the rigour you will bring to the sourcing and evaluation processes, the greater your chances of having your time and cost guesstimate accepted.

When clients actually see what you’ll be doing for the money, their sense of value in your services is heightened and the chance of pulling you into endless negotiation is diminished.

Also, your estimate constitutes an agreement with the client.  If you’ve been up front about your time and costs and they award you the project, they can’t come back and say they weren’t made aware of what it was going to cost.

6.  Punctuate, spell check and format

So, you’ve given the client the why (they should work with you), the how (you will go about the project) and a cost estimate.  Now is the time to show them you are a professional recruiter with good attention to detail. Clients will assume a lot about your intelligence and the care you will take with their project from the quality of your writing.

Use full stops to indicate the end of a sentence, capital letters to indicate the beginning of a new one and a few commas to break things up a bit.

And paragraphs to separate ideas/thoughts are essential!

7.  Follow up to close the deal

If the client awards the project to another recruiter, you will receive an email from RecruitLoop to that effect. But if you haven’t heard anything from us, the likelihood is that the client is still deciding which way to go.

So be proactive!  If you haven’t heard anything within 24 hours of submitting your proposal, give the client a call or shoot off an email (from your RecruitLoop email) asking if they’ve had a chance to look at your proposal yet because you are eager to find them the person they need.  Try not to assume anything from the lack of contact – other than they are busy.

If you’ve had repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact the client, then by all means email someone at RecruitLoop asking for an update but please don’t make this your default action – we will always suggest you try to make contact yourself in the first instance.  After all, it’s your client relationship you are trying to build.

And my last tip:  when you have crafted a proposal that works for you, save it as a Word document and then simply copy and paste each section into the fields in the template – changing company details and names of course!