The relationship between an agency or third-party recruiter and his or her client should be mutually beneficial. It needs to be a true partnership, otherwise, why bother?
Recruiting costs are sometimes paid reluctantly, but the best recruiters want to earn their keep and keep their clients happy. Long-term relationships for a recruiter mean less cold-calling for new clients, and less guesswork when sourcing through the learning curve of working with newer clients.
As much as the strong recruiter is willing to jump through proverbial hoops to please and deliver, the responsibility for a job well done (or in this case, a job filled!) does not rest solely on the recruiter’s shoulders. If you want to get the best results from your recruiting agent, and get those jobs filled with the best talent, you need to hold yourself as accountable as you hold them.
There are three things your recruiter needs for you to do in order to keep their promise of sending you great candidates to interview: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
As the partnership is first blossoming, you need to communicate with clear and thorough information and prioritized details about what you are seeking in candidates. Be sure to include not only the resume requirements and skill sets desired, but the personality parameters and cultural-fit characteristics, as well. It is important to have realistic expectations and not send your recruiter out on a unicorn hunt. Remember – the goal is to find the best candidate available to fill the job!
Talk through the instances where your recruiter can flex their expert opinion and subjectivity to present those special out-of-the-box candidates. But be crystal clear on the deal breakers so no one wastes time.
As you begin to interview the candidates provided, continue to keep the lines of communication open and most importantly, keep your communication timely! The last thing you want to realize is that the candidate you had your eye on as the potential winner, doesn’t end up on your team because of delays caused by you. If your recruiter is worth their fee, they will steer and expedite the process as much as possible, so agree on a hiring deadline and stick to it. Procrastination, or pushing your important search to the back burner, is a talent search killer – don’t be the victim!
Communication for the candidates you don’t like is just as important as communicating to set up next steps for the candidates you do like. Your recruiter is ready to hear the good, the bad and the ugly. They need that information sooner rather than later to hone and sharpen their criteria, so they can stay laser-focused for you and nail the bullseye with targeted fits. A passive approach on communication for those you are passing on will not help you get what you want.
The worst thing that can happen during the recruitment process is a stalling out due to a lack of communication. When a recruiter gets radio silence when they are trying to gain important knowledge about candidates they have submitted or candidates that have already been interviewed, everyone suffers. No matter what is happening with the search – with your infrastructure, with your internal candidate pipeline, or with changes in the job description – communicate with your recruiter! Their ability to do what you hired them to do depends as much on you as it does on them.
The saying goes, you get what you pay for. In recruiting, communication is the currency you provide in advance so the candidate you do pay for is the best you can get!