How to Get the Most from Your Recruiters (Hiring Manager Series)

How to Get the Most from Your Recruiters (Hiring Manager Series)

Posted on 11 July 2022

If you are a hiring manager, you’ll know that the most successful hires are the ones who are able to get comfortable quickly, the ones who settle in and manage to make friends almost as soon as they begin. Working relationships are more important than we realise. A bad one will find you dragging your feet into the office every day. A good one, on the other hand, will take all the ‘work’ out of your job. As a hiring manager, there is perhaps no relationship that affects your bottom line more than the one you have with your recruiter. They put the jam in your jelly doughnut. They are the spaghetti to your Bolognese. As any chef worth her salt will tell you, a dish is only as good as the effort you put into it. Likewise, your recruiter can only deliver as good as your draft. Here’s how to get the most from your recruiters.

Build Relationships

Whether or not your recruiters are internal or external, the basic fact is that if they like you, they’ll work harder for you. We’re not saying you have to ask about their children or find out the names of all their pets. Rather, work to build honesty and trust with them. You can start by arranging an in-person meeting (or a phone call, at the very least) to discuss your requirements and preferences. Encourage the recruiter to be honest with you and accept their opinions and suggestions. A good recruiter will be familiar enough with the job market to know if your salary package is too meagre, for example, and they can advise you on how better to attract suitable candidates.

Invest in the Job Briefing

A recruiter is not a mind-reader. They cannot deliver on something you haven’t asked for. Spend time drafting out your criteria and developing a job brief. Highlight essential skills or qualifications a candidate would need to possess to be eligible for your position, and decide between the must-haves and nice-to-haves. It is rare that any candidate will be your perfect package, and you will make your recruiter’s job slightly easier by broadening the field of search. This way, you and your recruiter will be less likely to miss out on some great talent.

Include in the brief things that make you an attractive opportunity. What makes your company so special? What makes you an employer of choice? It’s not only about what you need in a prospective employee, it’s also about what you can offer.

Be Responsive

Good communication is the foundation of every great relationship. Fast communication, to take it a step further, makes the recruitment process smoother. If you have any communication preferences, be sure to let your recruiter know. If you prefer taking calls to type out messages, tell them so they’ll know how best to reach you for a quick response. You may be busy, but make an effort to keep in close contact with your recruiter. Don’t be the bottleneck.

Get Involved

As much as possible, get involved. If you have little experience in the recruitment process, this can be a good time to tag along for the ride. There’s no better way to see your recruiter at work and understand the inherent limitations of their role. If, however, you have too much on your plate, be sure to touch base with your recruiter every so often, and they should be doing the same, particularly during the sourcing process. Ask for not just a shortlist of candidates but for samples of profiles as and when they come, so you can be sure that your recruiter has understood your requirements. Be open and honest with your feedback, but bear in mind that if you are hiring for a specialised role, it will take extra clarification on your part to ensure that the recruiter fully understands what you need in a candidate.

Don’t be shy to ask your recruiter for tips on the interviewing process, particularly if you haven’t had to interview anyone in a while. They’ll clue you in on acceptable questions to ask, what answers to expect, and what you should be on the lookout for. Work with your recruiter to come up with an interview plan and a timeline. Set deadlines so that you are on the same page.

It’s all about Communication

This point really cannot be stressed enough. A relationship with a recruiter can be one for life, provided you put in the time and effort. Once a recruiter is familiar with your company and your own working style, you’ll have a go-to recruiter for all your future hiring needs. Wouldn’t that be nice? Remember, it takes two to tango, and some things can’t be forced. On your part, be candid and respectful, and treat your recruiter as the professional they are. The hiring process can be long well, so you may as well try to make it a pleasant one too.

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