A successful relationship with a third party recruiter is based on your ability to express your needs and the recruiter’s willingness and ability to listen, and then deliver. Developing a professional relationship with a proven and seasoned recruiter may be the best thing you could ever do for yourself or your company. This may be the difference in a company that operates in survival mode vs. an enormously successful company or an industry leader. People do make a huge difference in how a company performs.
Recruiters need more than just a list of job skills to find quality candidates.
They need to understand your culture and environment. They need to know you and your company in some detail.
Good recruiters research your work environment by asking questions and interviewing employees. Once the relationship has been established, they stay in touch, calling periodically just to chat, to tell you what they are working on and to catch up with what is going on in your own business. Sometimes they let you know they’ve found a job candidate who’d be perfect for you, even if you aren’t currently hiring. This is a personal relationship, you need someone whose judgment you trust, who understands you, and is looking out for your best interest. The excellent recruiters take the time to understand the position, its role in your company, the reporting relationships; and if they have worked with you for a long time they understand your culture. These people are professionals and will save your company time and money over the long haul.
Finding that person can be tricky. In recruiting, there is no substitute for experience and a seasoned recruiter will have more than 15 years experience in recruiting. Recruiting and hiring excellent people is serious business and only the pros know how to do this with consistent success.
Make sure your recruiter has experience with the types of jobs you need to fill, don’t be the guinea pig! Also, think about the jobs you need to fill. What has been your past experience with hiring top performing employees in these jobs?
If your offices are dispersed, location may be another factor to consider. You want a recruiter that can help you regardless of which city you are hiring in.
With these criteria in mind, carefully select your recruiter by investigating their style and approach. From the beginning, good recruiters will actively seek information about your company and your core competencies. If they don’t, be skeptical. If they come in talking about what they can do for you, if they are arrogant and don’t listen to you or ask questions, then you shouldn’t invest any more of your time developing a relationship with them. Large recruiting firms often send their salesperson to see you or take the order, and you never get to develop a relationship with the person doing the work on your behalf – big mistake. In this scenario you are trusting that the salesperson will understand your company as well as you do from a hiring perspective and then to accurately pass all this on to the recruiter.
Before you make a selection, find out how accommodating your recruitment firm is, question their processes, ask exactly how they find the excellent candidates. Ask about volume discounts.
Once you find a recruiter you would like to use at some point, be prepared to commit the proper time to building that relationship, sharing information about your company, its culture, and its values. Give the recruiter your value statement, define your core competencies, and share your interview questions. Allow the recruiter to interview some existing employees to get a feel for who they are, and to participate in the first few screening processes to be sure the hiring managers are asking the right questions.
It’s easy to find candidates who have basic skill sets. What you want is for the recruiter to find people who really truly fit into your environment and who have the best skill sets. A recruiter needs the information that comes with regular discussions about your requirements and with feedback on the interviewees and also previously placed candidates. Every time you give the recruiter feedback, they can translate that into their screening process. In other words, you start building their knowledge base of what type of person will best fit in your organization. That means the next time you need someone, they will be able to respond faster, and with excellent candidates. Remember the communications exercise where you line people up and whisper in the first one’s ear? By the time it gets to the last person, the message is almost always changed. That is the reason the recruiter needs the feedback directly from the hiring manager. Quick feedback helps move the process along and improves your chances of recruiting an excellent individual. Time works against you in the recruiting process.
Once you have successfully worked with a professional recruiter and have developed a mutual trust, you will like going that route when you need outside resources.
The time to start developing this relationship is now, before you have a need to hire. Trying to settle on a recruiter in a short time frame or in a hurry to fill a requirement is wrought with risk and often poor results. Let a recruiter get to know your organization, so that by the time it comes to hiring, a lot of the homework is done, and this does not cost anything but your own time..