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A New Business Approach and Mindset Shift, Ditching 360 And Achieving Their Best Month Ever KC Associates Story
Posted by Denise
Today in our Recruitment Hero Series here at Centredexcellence, I am sharing Kyle Champion’s story, an appropriate name I am sure you will agree with when you read about his success.
Kyle is the owner and co-founder of KC Associates based in the UK, who are sales specialists within the Co-Working and Flex Office market.
Kyle will share his story about how, in a little over six months, he has shifted the trajectory of his recruitment business.
When we first met, Kyle was confused about his best next steps, overwhelmed and overworked, and like many people we meet, grinding away 24/7 with the business owning him rather than the other way around.
And during the last six months, there’s been several strategies that Kyle has implemented into his business that is changing his results.
- Getting clear on his vision and developing a different direction
- Outsourcing his candidate resourcing function; we will dive deeper into the various elements of this process later
- Moved to work exclusive roles only
- Incrementally increasing his fees
- Clearly defined his niche; zoning in on his specialism
- Engaged in using specific tools and technology
- Rewired his mindset, which is consequently giving him totally different results.
So without further ado, here are the questions we asked Kyle about his journey and, importantly, his answers!
Tell Us More About You and Your Business?
I’ve been in recruitment for 11 years and over six years at KC Associates, which I run with my sister; we specialise in the flex office co-working market, where we are sales specialists.
We work with office brokers and office providers covering the UK, and most of our clients are based in central London.
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When We First Met, What Were You Experiencing in The Market?
We were coming out of the pandemic and were lost in where we go from here?
Do we want to grow financially and have more time with our family; what is next?
Like many other recruitment companies, we were having up and down months. Roles would come in, and then we moved all our focus to resourcing, and then when offers were accepted, we would be back on BD, with no real-time to sit and think about where we wanted the business to go.
When You Started Working With Nicky and I, What Did You Do?
It was shifting our mindset to who we are and what we do. Before joining the Centredexcellence RockIT programme, we would take any job anywhere.
Yet the truth was we were sales specialist recruiters within the office market. So if it’s not a sales position, we don’t work it, which means we have a lot more focus on what we do.
And one of the other things we quite quickly changed was only working with our clients exclusively; this has been a true gamechanger for us.
We can dedicate the time to get to know our clients and understand exactly what they want to achieve and put the time and effort into making sure we are finding the best possible candidates for our clients, rather than competing with five other agencies with everyone racing to flick CVs over as quickly as possible.
The mindset shift to this way of working was the biggest thing.
Katy: Yes, that shift is so powerful in honing your niche, yet many recruiters struggle with that because of huge FOMO and panicking that if they say no to a role, a client will never use or recommend them again; which isn’t true.
Recruiters want to keep their clients happy and take on the types of jobs they could possibly work and fill.
Yet are they your sweet spot?
Yet other roles are, which are higher value and easier to convert; this is the power of working niche.
Kyle: Let me give you an example of the mindset shift of niche. A brand new client approached us. I knew the sales manager well, and they wanted us to reduce our fees while working with two other agencies.
I said, no, we only work exclusively for our clients, and this is our fee.
After some back and forth and I explained what we do, our process, and why they should work with us exclusively, they changed their mind and agreed to work on that basis.
We filled the position quickly with two high-quality candidates at the final interview stage, which they hadn’t expected; they were delighted and even recommended us on LinkedIn.
Before joining the program, I would have given a discount as a brand new client. I would not have asked for exclusivity, either, because it wasn’t something I typically asked for.
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Tell Me About Elevating Your Fee Structure?
Pre-working with Centredexcellence, we would charge 15% of the basic salary, work with clients that were slightly lower than that, and sometimes discount the fee.
We have now brought in a different pricing model, which will take the fees anywhere from 15-18% up to 22% for a brand new client, depending on their wants.
We will give them various options to suit what best serves them. This is very different than before we started working with you as we often took jobs at 10 or 12%.
Now we never go below 15%.
What Beliefs Shifted For You Around Your Worth?
Other clients were happy to work exclusively, cemented our value, and were delighted to do that.
So, it didn’t make sense if a client didn’t want to work exclusively or wanted a discount.
We were working with so many clients that were more than happy with our process and fee structure, so why would we spend our time working for less than that?
One example I can share is I approached a potential new client at the start of the year, and they wanted to work at a lower rate, and I said no, that isn’t how we work.
The next day I focused on BD on LinkedIn, sent a few video messages, and then we picked up two clients willing to pay our fees and work exclusively.
If I had agreed to work on the other companies’ terms, I wouldn’t have spent time on BD or brought in two clients we are now working closely with.
We know our worth in the market. We work sales recruitment within the flex office market and don’t move from that. We also outsource our CV sourcing service, which frees up my and Rachel’s time to work with clients and candidates.
We have more focus, which also means we now often work with candidates that aren’t on job boards and are not with other agencies or applying for positions directly.
What Tools Have You Implemented to Improve Your Process and Results?
We have also upgraded our technology and tools; for example, video interviewing is a big part of our process; we do video job specs and use an online portal for our clients.
They can log in, and it acts as an ATS that they can track who we’ve sent and what stage they got to, and they can share this with colleagues and make comments.
It just wouldn’t make sense for us to discount for all that added value.
We have outsourced the CV searching side of the business, which has been huge for us. We have a company that works eight hours a day finding candidates for us.
Every morning and every afternoon, we get a short list sent to us, which means we can spend time conversing with candidates rather than sitting searching for nine hours a day on job boards.
This has freed up so much time for conversations with clients and candidates.
The other biggest thing is changing our business model. We now have someone who does the CV searching; Rachel approaches candidates, has an initial conversation with them and does the video interviewing.
I now manage the delivery side so we have all clearly defined roles. We know who’s responsible for what.
It’s not 360 anymore; doing multiple tasks.
It is good to have that clearly defined focus on what we’re looking to achieve.
This new business approach has taken away a lot of the stress of 360 work, and we are starting to enjoy recruiting again.
That record month in November, so soon after joining the RockIT programme, took the pressure off and, probably more than anything, made us completely believe in the program and what we were doing.
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What Would You Say To Other Business Owners About Working With Centredexcellence?
I would say trust the program. Like many businesses, you’ve got short-term goals and things you want to achieve.
We joined the program at the end of September, and then we had a record month in November, which more than paid for the program itself.
The long term was important to us not just now, but next year, the year after, and into the future; to know we have that support network behind us, yourself, Nicky, and Sally, as our coach, was amazing as well.
We can’t speak highly enough of Sally and being part of the weekly calls or the Facebook group and knowing if you’ve ever got a question about anything, there’s so much support there.
My advice would be; to go for it. I mean, as long as you are committed, you should be if you’re joining anything like this. With the support around you, you almost can’t fail.
Kyle and Rachel were action takers in the Rockit programme and, after only a month, had their best month ever.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you build your recruitment or executive search business to seven figures and beyond, schedule a free profit Accelerator Session with one of our Scale Specialists.
We will help you clarify exactly what you need to do to double your sales and build a business that runs on autopilot.
Nicky and Katy