· 8 min read

How to Generate Leads For Your Recruiting Business

Having trouble getting your name out there? Maybe it is time to think outside the box! Check out this list on how to generate more leads to get your business going!

Daniel Jakaitis Image
Daniel Jakaitis
Having trouble getting your name out there? Maybe it is time to think outside the box! Check out this list on how to generate more leads to get your business going!

Taking the risk to venture into the unknown territory of becoming an Independent Recruiter can bring about a variety of emotions. Especially operating one’s very own recruiting agency! Being an incredible Recruiter does not cut it anymore, until the business is up and running Recruiting takes a back seat to Sales, Marketing, and Business Development. If there is not a consistent funnel of attracting recruitment clients and obtaining leads, then the business will not survive.

Ideally, clients seek a top recruiter out and pitch their businesses and hiring needs to them leading to an influx of recruitment leads. However, in order to achieve this level of status, one must establish a stable business to gain credibility and even do some recruitment marketing. By implementing these steps to generate leads, the clientele list will successfully grow.

Below, we share tips for:

  • Better lead targeting
  • Demonstrating your value
  • Asking for referrals
  • Getting organized

1. Create an Ideal Client Profile

In the beginning, it’s highly tempting to act on any recruiting lead that comes in – even if the client’s needs lie within a different scope of field or the compensation is not on par. At the end of the day, business is business and is required to keep the lights on. However, after a certain amount of time, creating and maintaining a niche for the recruiting business takes precedence.

A good way to hone in on your niche is to list and reflect on all the customers and roles you’ve served in the past.


  • Types of Positions  (full-time, part-time, contract, contract to hire, C2C)
  • Leveling (entry, associate, mid-senior level, executive, staff)
  • Company size (larger companies might have relaxed parameters)
  • Recruitment commission structure (was it split amongst others)
  • Company industries (Health, Tech, Finance)
  • Departments (Customer Success, Accounting, HR, Operations, Engineering)
  • Other services you provide (writing job descriptions, promoting roles on social media or job boards, skills assessments, interview process consulting)

After taking the time to internalize the findings, a common theme or pattern might begin to emerge. An ICP or Ideal Client Profile should reflect the aspects valued most.

If no trend occurs, focus on the different variables of recruiting and pinpoint which ones are most compelling. Do not prioritize a passionless niche!

Being as specific as possible with your ICP not only helps you target recruitment leads more effectively, but it encourages you to stand apart from the crowd. You should be able to pitch yourself as a subject matter expert for a specific field.

And it’s okay to reevaluate your ICP over time!  Maybe a form of recruiting evolves or you realize you enjoy recruiting for a department you did not consider before. It’s a good idea to reassess your recruitment ICP every year to make sure the way you’re positioning yourself in the market is truly in lockstep with what you offer.

2. See Who is Hiring

One of the simplest ways to get new recruiting clients is to find out who is hiring.

Review your ICP, put together a list of companies you would be suited to recruit for, then block off time to look at each of the career sites. What types of roles are they hiring for? Which job requisitions could you possibly source for?

If you’re not seeing much activity, head to job boards.

Here are just a few:

Most platforms have filters that candidates typically use, which are useful to you as well. Perhaps you only recruit for large companies or small startups. Or, you only source engineering candidates. Use these filters to your advantage.

Also, consider setting up alerts for certain types of roles. As soon as new ones appear, you can get in touch with the company’s Talent Acquisition team. And if you see a pattern start to emerge – like a company is hiring for a brand new department you specialize in – even better. You might be able to recruit a whole suite of new candidates.

3. Provide Value Ideal Clients Can’t Deny

Recruiting agencies aren’t cheap, and it can be a struggle to get executives to understand the value you bring.

So make it easy on them. Show them exactly what you’re worth. Here are some ideas:

  1. Send resumes for job reqs that they have open. Talk about getting someone’s attention! Passing along an outstanding resume is bound to make a positive impression on the hiring manager. Use that opportunity to bring up similar roles you’ve previously filled and other companies you’ve worked with to get the flywheel going.

  2. Backfill positions. When you place someone at a company, their previous employer now has an opening. If they’re within your ICP, pitch them!

  3. Flaunt big logos. Just like the companies you’re recruiting for, you need to show social proof. Working with reputable companies can give you a leg up in your prospects’ minds – especially if you’ve worked with competitors. Add big-name logos and testimonials to your website, your LinkedIn profile, and even social media.

  4. Publish case studies with impressive KPIs. Include metrics that C-suite members will be drawn to, such as time-to-hire, number of qualified candidates, and interview-to-offer ratio. Put these case studies front and center on your website, and include links to (or mentions of) them in your email signature.

  5. Attend industry conferences. Carving out time and budget to attend industry conferences can get you in front of both amazing candidates and hiring managers. Come prepared with business cards and connect with people on LinkedIn to boost your network. Even if you meet just one person interested in your recruiting business or learn about an up-and-coming area of interest for companies in your ICP, it’s worth it.

  6. Host your own cocktail hours or matchmaking events. Dropping money on events may seem frivolous, but think about the people you could meet in your community. Spending $1,500 to host a cocktail hour or lunch for 20 to 30 people might yield several recruitment leads that could far and away make up for the initial cost. And matching up 1 or 2 candidates and hiring managers would serve as exceptional social proof.

4. Ask for Recruiting Referrals

If your clients love working with you, they are probably more than happy to recommend you to their colleagues – they just might need a little prompting. So make the ask.

Every quarter or so, send a quick email or mention in a check-in meeting that you are open to referrals. Eventually, you might even be able to establish some sort of referral program, offering a discount on your services or some other form of compensation.

Make sure to do the same. Help your recruiting clients however you can – they’ll remember how engaging you’ve been when it comes time to ask for referrals or renew your contract.

5. Never Stop Engaging With Your ICPs

The key to getting great recruiting leads is to build great relationships.

But that’s impossible to do if you don’t stay in touch. As you add new prospects and clients to your contact list, think about the best ways to stay connected. Is it social media? Is it an email? Is it in-person meet-ups?

Many recruiting agencies send nurture emails updating their contact list with success stories, upcoming events they’re hosting, industry reports, or trends in the recruiting world.

But remember, being spammy is the number one way to get ignored. The way you stay top of mind needs to be valuable to your clients. What do they want to see? What would actually be useful to them?

Tools like Talent CRM make it easy to track who you’ve sent emails to and how those campaigns performed. Analyze the results each time you send a campaign to see if there’s anything you can do to improve the open and click-through rate.

6. Absorb Information From Your Clients and Candidates

Relationships with your clients and candidates are the most precious part of your business.

If you listen hard enough, both candidates and clients will give you invaluable clues about how get recruitment clients, explaining who is hiring, what they need, and how you can bring your skills to the rescue.

It’s cheesy, but it can help to pretend you’re a spy. Pay close attention to what your clients say. Maybe they’ll mention that a different department is struggling with their recruiting. Ask more about it. If it’s in your domain, remind them of the results you’ve delivered for other clients and that you have some client openings.

If a candidate says their friend is looking for a job, ask for more information. If they want to work at one of your ICPs, they have a stellar resume, and that employer has an opening, that’s your chance to get an “in” with a new client.

Being curious (and a little nosy) may help you get your next big gig.

7. Get a Talent CRM

You can’t become a top recruiting agency without proper organization.

While Google Sheets may be a good start for lead and candidate tracking, it won’t scale with your business. What you really need is a talent CRM.

Chatkick’s Talent CRM allows you to personalize your lead generation and recruiting at scale, automating and keeping track of all your communications. You can also use Chatkick’s analytics back-end to easily gather monthly or quarterly KPIs for your website and newsletters.

Accelerate Your Recruiting Lead Generation

Attracting new recruitment leads is one of the hardest parts of owning a recruiting agency. But with the right tactics executed at the right time, your recruiting business can become a lead-generation machine.

And once your flywheel gets going, you’ll need help capitalizing on it. Instead of hiring an EA, consider implementing Chatkick’s Talent CRM. Many recruiting agencies trust Talent CRM to streamline their business, simultaneously uncovering and managing recruitment leads and talent.

Want to try it out for yourself? Start your free, 14-day trial of Talent CRM.