This post originally appeared on the SkillStorm blog: www.skillstorm.com/blog
In a down economy it’s natural to assume that your corporate clients aren’t returning your calls because they aren’t hiring and therefore don’t need your services. How about when things turn around? The reality is hiring takes place in all economic states. The more likely answer for their unresponsiveness is you.
It’s like when you’re dating and you’ve just met someone new who looks promising. You’ve had a date or two and you think everything is good, but the person doesn’t call, or return your messages. You don’t get it, you were sure there was a connection. Maybe you’ve even asked the person and got a response. Chances are they gave you some excuse. Why? Because people don’t want confrontation and think if they soften the blow, you will go away without fuss.
The same thing happens when your corporate client stops calling, or returning your messages. And if you’ve done some things that in their mind made you a bad fit, forget getting them to tell you what went wrong. So rather than keep you guessing , I am going to share with you 5 things your corporate clients wish you knew, but wouldn’t tell you directly.
- Don’t exaggerate your experience. You probably tell your candidates the same thing and for good reason. If you send a candidate to a corporate client and that candidate has lied about their experience it makes you look bad. The same holds true for you. If you are new to the company, or new to the industry, do your research, but don’t be afraid to be humble. Ask questions.
- Listen and understand feedback. Clients more often than not, know exactly the kind of candidate and experience they need and want. When you miss the mark, they’re likely to tell you. Take the opportunity to listen, ask questions, and reiterate their needs. Make sure you’re clear. For example, if your client says, “I want a candidate with B2B prospecting experience,” they mean they want someone with that exact experience and not a candidate with experience that is similar or comparable. What your client is really saying is that they want someone who might be able to do the job; your client wants someone who they know can do the job. If you continue to send the wrong candidate eventually your client will feel as though you’re not listening and will ultimately their business elsewhere.
- Don’t embellish the details to your candidates. Let’s face it; there are times when you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. So when you find the ideal candidate, it’s natural to want to get them in front of your client as quickly as possible. But when you miss represent the job and its compensation with the belief that your client will love the candidate and therefore not want to lose her; you set both client and candidate up for failure. Don’t promise what your client can’t deliver. A mislead candidate means an unhappy client.
- When stuck, give your clients options. Sometimes your client’s expectations are unrealistic. And sometimes it just takes longer than expected to find the ideal candidate. Don’t repeatedly tell your client that you’re working on it or that you’re having no luck. Instead, help your client rethink his ideal candidate. Problem-solving for solutions that could work for the both of you can go a long way in building rapport.
- Relationships need nurturing. Although you’ve done a good job for your client in the past, don’t rest on your laurels. Make time to check in, to touch base. Clients want recruiter to be proactive on an ongoing basis and act like a partner who considers the business needs even when the client is not hiring.
It may go without saying, but it is worth noting: Just like with a bad breakup, sometimes it’s not you. But, sometimes it really is you.
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