We’re giving it to you straight because we love providing value. Clients could get more out of us. Here’s how.
1. Get honest. Don’t play the game.
You and your recruiting firm both have the same goal: the right person for the position. Seems obvious, right? Yet they don’t always tell us the whole story–usually in an effort to oversell the organization and hide the warts. We understand this instinct, and yet, it usually has the opposite effect. For example, we recently placed a plant manager at a company with manufacturing facilities across the globe. The specific facility was struggling with culture and safety issues, but we didn’t get the full picture when we began the search. After submitting multiple candidates that had great backgrounds, yet not getting past a first interview, we dug deeper and uncovered the issues. They really needed a leader that had experience turning around a plant. Good to know! The final candidate was excited about the opportunity to turn the facility around, not scared of the challenges he would face. Be honest with your recruiter and the candidates, and they won’t leave after 6 months once they realize you’ve sold them a bill of goods. And remember–according to HBR, it typically takes eight months for a newly hired employed to reach full productivity.
2. Give us the full job story. Even the icky parts.
Don’t forget that we’ve seen it all. Humans make mistakes. Stuff gets messy. And sometimes leaders are downright difficult. A good example is failing to mention the somewhat challenging personality of the CMO–the future candidate’s boss–and how many people have already failed that interview. If you give us the full story, we’ll tailor our search and questions based on the boss’s quirks and triggers. The more we know, the better we can perform.
3. Tell us about your internal search.
You’re paying us so why not leverage us in every capacity? If you’re transparent about your internal search–often a terrific tactic to explore–we can then put our consulting hats on and help you assess your options. This also sharpens our own research for external possibilities. We know we must provide a better candidate than you can find on your own. And we love a good challenge.
4. Offer feedback after every candidate interview.
Hiring is a living, dynamic process. Job descriptions typically shift after the first few interviews. You discover leadership skills are essential and forgot to include them in the job description. A new manager steps into the hiring process and wants an Eloqua superuser. This includes hard and soft skills, personality fits within a team, growth potential, and dozens of other criteria that can evolve over time. Whatever the case, we’ll adjust our search criteria and the next candidate will be a better match. Guaranteed.
5. Always ask. Even about a high level of specialization.
Recently, we had a defense contractor client who was looking for such a high level of specialization in a unique weapon technology that a mere handful of people in the world could even understand the concept. It’s not the kind of thing you put on a LinkedIn profile. And it’s often classified. But we’re crafty! We found an article in an educational journal that led us to the perfect candidate. When we called him, his first question was “How did you find me?”
6. Leverage us as a consultant. We’re here to help.
Our recent blog went deep on how the client can provide a robust interview experience, including a minute-by-minute agenda, effectively selling your company, and putting down your devices. Another essential item is a list of interview questions. Managers have a tendency to hire people they like and ask questions that fail to go deep. We recommend using the STAR approach: Situation, Task, Action, Result. For any situation, this clearly outlines two things: If they have the knowledge and if they can effectively apply it in a work environment. And don’t forget about HR workshops and behavioral assessments. We offer both.
Of course, before you can leverage the firm, you must find them. Remember that anyone can conduct a LinkedIn search or cull through hundreds of submitted resumes. But only exceptional recruiters can get creative about the process, ask discerning questions and offer valuable consultation.
And that segues into a bonus tip: When finding a firm, focus less on recruiters who specialize and more on recruiters who understand people and relationships. Remember, recruiting is both a science and an art. A great recruiter can tell your story fluently and has an extremely high emotional intelligence.