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Writing Winning Proposals

November 30th, 2022

The Recruitment Marketing and Sales Podcast

The recruitment market has experienced a crazy few years. Now more than ever, organisations appreciate the value that an experienced recruitment company can bring to their business when recruiting the best talent to move forward.

As the recruitment market becomes more competitive and client acquisition is back on your radar, you will likely be asked to provide a proposal to identify that you are the recruiter of choice they ‘should ‘be working with.

So, if proposal writing is new to you, here are a few suggestions on where to start.

Writing a winning proposal can be the difference between gaining a new client and a recruitment project and losing out to the competition. It will help your prospective client make a more informed decision about the service level you can provide.

It All Starts With Research and Planning

Before you start writing your proposal, there are a few things to consider, which will involve research and market intelligence.

Researching your client is vital. You need to understand both their business and growth goals.

Plus, critically, what is happening in their current market. Putting the time and effort into writing a client-winning proposal is fine as long as it will bear fruit for you in the long, medium and short term

What specific roles do they want to fill, and what is happening in the market or business that has created this opportunity?

Which recruitment companies do they currently work with or have previously engaged with to deliver placements?

Will the project be exclusive to you and the client, or will multiple recruiters be a part of the project?

Is this proposal one where you have options of different fee structures for levels of service, or is this an Asda Walmart experience where it is all about the volume of roles you will get at a lower fee?

Consider what questions they might ask, such as; your company’s experience working on similar projects, your recruiting process, and the team members who may work on the project. Ensure you are fully prepared on this one.

When you think ahead like this by answering these questions in the body of your proposal, you demonstrate that you understand your prospective client’s needs and challenges and demonstrate your attention to detail.

[ Important: Unless this is potentially a massive opportunity for you, consider the impact of working with multiple recruitment companies on a project; our experience is it rarely ends well.]

Creating Your Proposal 5 Critical Areas

As you put your finger on your keyboard, remember to be concise and to the point when writing your proposal. Don’t use jargon unless it is a well-recognised sector speak that everyone in the process will be familiar with.

Keep everything on point and avoid going off on a tangent, as it can confuse anyone reading the document. Focus on the client and how what you are recommending in the proposal will help them.

Diagrams and flow diagrams will communicate your process and up-level your document and the impact of your pitch more than you appreciate.

Timelines Are Key

When it comes to recruitment, timelines are vital. Picture the scene; you are recruiting for a new sales force build for a product launch that will add significant revenue to your client’s bottom line.

The salespeople they want will also need to be trained on the new product as well as being the best available! So, timelines like; first and second interviews, assessment centres, notice periods and training will all be critical to schedules and deadlines.

Your timeline doesn’t have to be precise, as in down to the day; an overall guideline is essential to clients and reassures them that you know what you are doing and how the process works.

Focus on The Benefits

You may want to go in-depth about your process; however, the top line is what they are looking for with an understanding of workflows. Remember, the last thing you want is to give away your trade secrets.

Remember to highlight their pain points so that your proposal is the obvious solution.

Include Social Proof

A prospective client often wants to know what it’s like to work with a provider they haven’t partnered with before.

Most of them will carry out some due diligence checks like the background research you will have undertaken for your proposal.

Providing several case studies will demonstrate how your recruitment company has assisted other companies in similar situations.

Therefore helping to form a relationship of trust and respect for your company.

Tone of Voice

Using an active voice and simple wording makes it easier to read and is the preferred choice when writing any business proposal.

Here is a classic example of how this works.

Passive: The candidates will be contacted in the first instance by our senior consultant.

Active: Our senior consultants will contact the candidates in the first instance.

People often use technical language to sound impressive. Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect, resulting in a less engaged reader as it’s more challenging to understand.

Keeping your wording simple, avoiding jargon, and making it relatable to your audience means your proposal will have more impact.

Tell A Story

One of the reasons many proposals get overlooked or rejected is because they don’t stand out from the crowd. Sharing examples and stories of previous projects can help.

In today’s changing business, world story is both King and Queen!

Here is an example I am sure you can relate to.

Let’s say you had the task of finding senior executives for several C-suite positions. In the project’s early stages, the recruiting deadline was shortened, and you had to identify ideal candidates quickly. By using your in-depth industry knowledge and network in conjunction with your extensive market mapping, you were able to promote the opportunity to targeted candidates.

Sharing examples always helps the sale.

Next Steps?

Remember to focus your client on the next steps. Some proposals end without an ending. There is nothing for the client to do, nothing to sign, and no call to action.

Proposals that don’t ask the client to do anything after they have finished reading often get put to one side and forgotten about.

Stating what you want your potential client to do next or even requesting a signature at the end of the proposal to be sent back to you will keep the process moving forward.

In summary, being able to write a winning proposal is your opportunity to demonstrate why your recruitment company is different and is the ideal partner who can meet their needs.

While creating this type of proposal will take time, when done well, it can be one of the keys accelerating your business success.

Want Help Marketing Your Recruitment Company?

We decided to re-write and re-record this post as it’s a question we have had more than once from our Superfast Circle clients. If you want to win more business and stand out from the recruiting crowd, our ongoing support through SFC might be exactly what you need.

If you want to lock in the current fee forever, book a demo with us before Dec 14th and say yes and you are good to go.

To find out more, call us on ++44(0)1524 920 700

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