How to Manage a Recruiter From a Client Perspective

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How to Manage a Recruiter From a Client Perspective

Are you working with a recruiter now? Or have you worked with a recruiter in the past – and promised yourself never again? As the contingency and staffing division of a national retained search firm, we at PeopleSuite focus on the needs facing our clients and deliver customized solutions to meet diverse talent challenges.

To get the most out of your recruiter, follow these 4 steps to a successful recruiting partnership.

How do you get the most value when working with a recruiter?

1) Meet with the Recruiter in Person – Critical in the initial stages to establish a working relationship and foster trust on both sides. Because a lot of information is communicated electronically, establishing a plan in-person can be very helpful.  A great recruiter is also a great storyteller. They need these skills to successfully tell your story in the marketplace. Telling a compelling story is only possible by seeing your space and understanding the working environment.

2) Be Transparent – Being “in the loop” on active projects is a great motivator for a recruiter. Alert your recruiters ASAP when the status of a search has changed. No recruiter likes to find out a week after a job has been filled, effectively wasting time and energy when resources could have been deployed elsewhere.  Keep them up to date, even when the news is not good!

3) Make them an extension of your HR and Marketing team – Once a client feels comfortable with a firm representing them in the marketplace, bring them into the fold.  Introduce them to key hiring managers within the organization, have onsite visits, etc. This will make them a true extension of your internal efforts and enable them to represent your company in the best light.  Also, share the stories you tell – no one can tell a company’s story like the professionals that work within it. Why do you enjoy working there? Based on your experience, what resonates with candidates? What are your company values?

4) Feedback, feedback, feedback! – Keep your recruiter abreast of the status of their candidates, and give them prompt feedback after they submit candidates to you!  The message you convey to a recruiter through feedback is “we need to fill this role and we want you to be successful”. Feedback is the special sauce to keep a recruiter engaged. Particularly when the search is a difficult one!  It’s also critical for the recruiter so that they can communicate timely and effectively to the candidate. “I haven’t heard anything” is often interpreted by the candidate as “we’re not interested”.

What kind of feedback should you provide to a recruiter after screening candidates?

Examples of feedback that will be helpful to the recruiter are:

1. How did the hiring manager feel about the candidate?
2. What areas of their skill set that are ideal or lagging in relation to the position
3. Do you think the candidate is a cultural fit?  If not, why?

4. If the candidate is not moving forward, why was the decision made?

5. Next steps? If the candidate is moving forward, how do the recruiter and client coordinate their efforts?

What are some differences between a recruiter’s goal and the client’s goal?

There should be no difference, both the recruiter and client’s goal should be to get the right person in the position to the benefit of everyone involved.  If your recruiter is more focused on simply filling the job, and not the finding the best quality candidate possible, find a new recruiter!

How much does the job market dictate how fast, or slow, it can take to find the “perfect candidate?”

There are no “perfect candidates”; however, candidate or client-driven markets do affect timing. In a candidate-driven market, top candidates are finding opportunities quickly and employers will need to match or beat the speed of their competition.  

With current unemployment at 3.8%, it’s certainly a candidate market, where top talent has options.  Companies and search firms must have a compelling ‘story’ to tell about the opportunities they represent.  A lean hiring process with an appropriate pace relative to the candidate or position is best. We’re seeing great candidates evaluating options at several employers, so keeping them engaged and informed during the interview process is critical to getting them across the finish line.

We recently had a candidate select another opportunity because the client made them wait for over an hour for an interview, before finally telling them to come back another time.  It was the differentiator for the candidate when choosing between offers and ultimately accepted the other opportunity. The candidate experience during the interview is the only experience they have before joining the team – make it amazing. Treat them respectfully, sell the company and culture and make them want to join the team!!

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