There are many things that design firms can learn from recruiting firms, and visa-verse. Last week we published five ideas, here are five more tips for design firms to be more relevant to their clients.
6. Expand your content network and research methods.
Develop content networks, not just sales leads. Retained recruiters build relations with candidates and clients to help make the perfect connections. To expand your content network also means to expand your research capabilities, by going beyond contextual research and design thinking to yes, some good old desk research methods.
7. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
Often the goal is to supplement your clients’ capabilities, not to replace them. So adapt what you do to best service your client, not your portfolio. The client and the retained recruiter should develop synergy. Clients often need help in filling the gaps, to build their creative resources, for example, so seek to complement, not outdo.
8. Stop selling.
With all due respect, behind most great design firms are great sales organizations. They sell to pitch new business, sell to pitch the strategy, pitch the creative, and pitch for follow on work. On the other hand, the best recruiters don’t pitch anything. There is plenty of great talent out there, I just need to find and develop the perfect match for each client. It’s an outside in approach, versus inside out.
9. Provide a one-year performance guarantee.
The industry standard for good retained recruiting firms, like ours, is to provide a one-year performance guarantee. Not so with design firms. Most design firms still “throw the work over the fence”, so to speak, for the client to bring to market, without performance a guarantee. Isn’t it time to step up and guarantee your work?
10. Be better than anyone else in your niche.
Lets be honest, there really is not much difference between design firms. They all use basically the same processes and methods, for the same type of projects, for the same type of clients. But it’s different in retained recruiting firms, because some are exclusively specialized in niche markets only. We focus just on design and innovation leadership recruiting, because that’s the area we know best. What niche does your firm know better than anyone else?