Shortlist media coverage: How to generate more work via referrals

By Sophie Ford

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Shortlist's Hannah Gartrell talks to Jon Tanner, co-founder of the MitchelLake Group, on how a purpose-driven approach generates around 80% of business from referrals.

How to generate more work via referrals

Digital, media and technology recruitment company MitchelLake generates around 80% of its business from referrals, thanks to an approach that focuses on the purpose of recruitment, not the processes, says co-founder Jon Tanner.

Large-scale recruitment is always under threat from change and new technology so the only way recruitment companies can build a real, defendable growth opportunity, outside of highly technical niches, is through their intellectual property, Tanner told Shortlist.

For MitchelLake, this IP is market knowledge and expertise so its recruiters can bring more to client interactions than just recruitment processes, he says.

"The main thing that we've always done is focus on the purpose of what we do, rather than the process. We've seen over the last decade recruitment get commoditised at the lower end so it's all about volume, process, margin and those sorts of things," he says.

Instead, MitchelLake approaches client interactions with a view to helping them succeed in their own businesses, which includes hosting educational events and introducing clients to other businesses that could be potential suppliers or customers, says Tanner.

"For us, it's very much relationships over records, purpose over process, and participation over just being a supplier. We aim to be part of the eco system rather than just a supplier to it."

Purpose-drive approach constrains growth at times, but breeds referrals

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Source: Shortlist