Some businesses begrudge paying recruitment agencies to find them the top talent they need to be successful and grow. Still, they always end up coming back for the service. Why? Because great recruiters know how to get the job done properly.
Some hiring / HR managers will absolutely exhaust their own capabilities first, contacting a million and one people on LinkedIn about a role they’re hoping to fill and then only enlist agency support as a very, very last resort, when none of their efforts have proven fruitful. In some respects, this might be fair enough – why pay for something you can do yourself? But for the most part, the bigger picture is being completely missed.
Great agency recruiters don’t just fire any old CV over to their top clients. They don’t just spam lists of people on LinkedIn and wait for a response. Why? Because their reputation depends on it, and their clients will quickly cut them loose if the quality of service is low. Recruiters want to do a good job; it’s in their very best interests to do so. So, as hiring / HR managers who have the budget to use agency recruiters, let them do the great job they’re capable of. In return, they only ask for these 3 simple things in return:
Recruiters don’t just know the market and candidate pool, they know it WELL and probably a lot better than you do. If you’re going to work with a recruiter, treat them like the valued business partner they are. Let them read beyond the CV and resume – let them sell you a candidate based on having met them and assessing transferrable skills and personality. Trust them to advise on salary brackets and what calibre of hire is realistic with respects to the brief and pricing you’ve given them. Recruiters are there to keep you happy by filling your role with the perfect person; they want to fill the role for obvious monetary reasons as well, so take what they have to say seriously.
If you’re going to talk about time frames and interview dates, stick to your word. Recruiters only get paid when they place someone with you, so in many ways the leg work they do before this point is all free to you as the HR / hiring manager. So, let them do that legwork for you! If they are going to put their trust in your process and work your role for you, make sure you stick to your promises. If you say the role is urgent, then treat it like an urgent role when the recruiters deliver you a shortlist. If you say interviews will be ‘next week’ then schedule those interviews for next week, not next month.
Keeping your promises is really important. While you might feel you can change your mind and call all the shots with no repercussions, recruiters are the ones who have to relay all the bad and frustrating news of delays and setbacks directly to candidates. If you are known to promise the world and then let your recruitment partners down, you’ll notice the level of commitment you get from your recruitment partners dwindles and you’ll get a bad employer reputation among candidate networks. Having genuine relationships in place with recruitment agencies will help you in many ways when it comes to your hiring needs, so don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Being transparent is way better than stringing recruitment partners, and ultimately candidates, along for weeks on end with no explanation, only to let them down in the long run. If budget has been cut and a vacancy has been shelved, let your recruiter know as soon as possible. Let your recruiters know how many other agencies are working on the same role; let them know if you already have 10 internal candidates interviewing for the role. If you are going on annual leave for 2 weeks, let your recruitment partners know before you go sway – don’t just let them find out with an OOO right in the middle of a process. Being honest and open with your recruitment partners will encourage them to be the same with you, and you’ll find that recruiters take you and your ‘urgent’ roles far more seriously.
Sure, recruiters have to work to fill vacancies for their commission, but the great ones don’t have to put up with hiring / HR managers who don’t respect their expertise and services. If you want to build a great relationship with your recruitment partners, let them help you and offer you the gold and glowing service they’re capable of; all they’ll ask is for you to treat them how you wish to be treated and to let them do their job properly.