Whether you’re a job seeker or a company hoping to hire great people, working with a recruiter can be an essential part of the equation. The way you work with a recruiter can lead to a great experience…or one that’s not so great, just like dealing with any other professional.
I’d like to offer insights on how to effectively work with recruiters like me. Now, that may seem self-serving, but in today’s challenging environment, so much is at stake for the best candidates and employer brands. And it’s no secret that a good, strong relationship needs to be mutually beneficial.
My goal is to present you with important insider tips to help you have the best experience possible. And my intention is rock solid whether you choose to work with one of my industry colleagues or me.
Take a partnership approach
A great working relationship starts with a mindset of partnership. Partners look for ways to make each other’s lives better and easier. I try to do that for my clients and the candidates I represent – and I appreciate it when they do the same for me.
For jobseekers, this means doing some simple things:
- Make sure your resume is easy for me to organize and send to clients (your potential employers!). I want you to stand out in the talent pool.
- Save your documents in common file types, like .doc, .docx, and .pdf, and be sure to include your name in the filename to keep you top of mind.
- Be as accommodating as you can when it’s time to schedule interviews for you. Coordinating multiple calendars is a tricky part of my work.
- Following up with me for updates is okay, but not too often. You’re one of many people in the recruiting industry I’m trying to keep informed. My goal is to update everyone I’m working with on a weekly basis. The more people I’m helping, the harder that is. I promise that when I have an update for you, you’ll hear from me pronto.
- One last thing: When you’re in the business of people as I am – connections and referrals to people looking for a new challenge or searching for new employees are greatly appreciated. Hook me up!
For employers and hiring managers, it means reciprocal input:
- You may have found that we ask many very detailed questions…about your organization, recruiting strategy, staffing needs, company culture, job descriptions, skill sets, team members, your onboarding process, your interview process, and more. These questions and your answers are what help us understand and define the role you need to fill, and that lead you to a successful outcome. Be patient with our questions and as detailed as you can with answers. All input is vital to sourcing top talent for you.
- Follow up with me after interviews for open roles. I want feedback about candidates presented to you and anything else you want to share as we execute your talent search. I promise to be open to your feedback because it helps both of us identify the right potential candidates.
- Similarly, be open to input from me. My work in the marketplace gives me a broad perspective. It allows me to offer insights and market intelligence to you, from compensation ranges to labor trends and what other organizations and industries are prioritizing in talent acquisition. Increased knowledge and the right metrics streamline the search for your potential employees.
- I’ll wrap this section by acknowledging that there are some people out there (no one reading this, I’m sure) who behave as though they’re competing with recruiters instead of fulfilling talent needs. When you work with a recruiter who is focused on your needs rather than their competitors, you will enjoy an efficient recruiting process that produces a much better and faster result for you and your organization.
Prioritize communication and responsiveness
Things can move very quickly in the middle of the hiring process, especially in arranging interviews and making formal offers. My work puts me in the middle of that flurry of activity, and I do my best to juggle schedules and information between any number of people. Whether you’re hiring or being hired, open lines of communication and quick responses help me help you, ensuring the new job or great candidate you want isn’t lost to another opportunity.
Be available – by phone, email, or text – and respond as quickly as possible. Whether we’re nailing down an interview time and place, clarifying a critical piece of information, or getting an additional question answered, being responsive makes all our lives easier and gets you the job or new hire more quickly.
Transparency and honesty are king
Jobseekers: If I’m representing you in the job market, the more I know, the better I can help you. For example, your compensation range: What are you hoping for, and what is your bottom line? Are there things that are just as important to you or more so than the salary, such as a flexible work schedule or certain perks and benefits? Perhaps there’s something in your work history that worries you. Don’t hide it! Tell me so we can discuss how to handle it. If you’ve gone to an interview that I set up, be open about how it went and your interest level. I want to hear it all. And if anything changes midstream that might prevent you from accepting a job we’re pursuing for you, don’t keep it from me. This is a fluid process and circumstances change, so let’s work together as trusted partners to find the right fit at the right time.
Employers: Transparency is equally important on the client side of the equation. Again, the more I know about your needs, the better I can help. If a candidate I present to you is not the right fit, it won’t hurt my feelings to hear it. On the contrary, it will help me better understand the type of candidate you do want. Prompt responses protect both of our brand reputations. Let me know quickly who’s in and out of the running. This allows me to pass that on to the candidates. Admittedly, being the bearer of bad news isn’t fun, but it’s a part of my role that protects your brand and mine. Things often change during the hiring process. People change, expectations change, and delays happen. If or when changes occur, the sooner I know, the sooner I can adapt and deliver you the best support and solutions.
It’s not magic
There’s no magic involved in creating a great working relationship with a recruiter. Come to the table as a partner and be as responsive, open, and transparent as possible. You have my word that I’ll do the same. To paraphrase Casablanca’s Rick, this could be the beginning of a beautiful working relationship!