In a previous article, I wrote how it doesn’t take much to call yourself an agency recruiter. Ask anyone within industry experience and they will tell you the same thing: a phone and access to a resume database and you can start selling yourself as an agency recruiter. Unfortunately it takes a lot more than that to be a respected recruiter, however that debate is for another time and place.
Either way, with so many third party recruiting agencies out there, it’s easy for hiring managers to give a requirement to one of the 50 people who call their office daily and tell them “just find me this candidate…” and move on.
Any recruiter worth their salt knows that is not how you take a client job order, however this article is not about taking a job order - I will leave that to your first week of recruiter training. What this is about is how the hiring manager/recruiter relationship can impact the process of recruiting.
When an agency recruiter receives a qualified job order they work tirelessly to fill that position – a majority of recruiting is done on a contingent basis, which means the recruiter doesn’t get paid until the candidate goes to work (and in most cases successfully completes a probation period). As such the recruiter is working for free. It’s like asking a builder to custom build you a home and once construction is complete, you have the ability to back out of the house, no money exchanged. Recruiters put in days of hard work, countless conversations and hours of interviews just to present someone to a manager who can say no to in a split second and all their work goes unrewarded.
The point I am getting at is with all of the hard work that goes into finding a candidate the importance of identifying the ideal person for your company’s opening it benefits both parties to have a relationship that goes beyond “just find me the right person…”
Below I highlight 4 points that will help benefit the hiring manager / recruiter relationship:
1) Take time to discuss the requirement:
Telling a recruiter to just look up the job description online is not enough. If that was the case, you would be able to find your candidate through your applications and, let’s face it, applications sometimes are at the bottom of the list as far as successful recruiting is concerned. However you are paying a premium to find the ideal candidate, and you can post an ad yourself – you don’t need to pay someone for that! If your agency recruiter wants to spend 20-30 minutes discussing the position, give it to them. 30 minutes may be a lot of time out of your schedule for one day, but if it saves a week of recruiting time, how much does that 30 minutes really hurt in the long run?
2) Thorough candidate feedback:
In a perfect world you would hire the first candidate you interview through a recruiter. However, I don’t have to tell you this: we do not live in a perfect world. You will decline candidates, more than once. However, the recruiter’s job is not to just keep throwing candidates your way until they get it right. The goal is to understand why the candidate missed the mark and work from that. Telling a recruiter that the candidate wasn’t strong enough or didn’t fit the mould is not enough. Why are they not strong enough? Was it their lack of technology experience? Are their past employers not industry specific enough? Whatever detailed information you give the recruiter they are using that to turn around and better identify the ideal candidate. And at the end of the day all that does is eliminate the amount of time to spend looking for the ideal fit.
3) Hiring speed:
Although a good recruiter can make it look like candidates grow on trees, the secret is they don’t. It’s understood that hiring can take a while, although sitting on a candidate for a significant period of time only hurts you. As much as I would like to prove otherwise, candidates are not only interviewing for your position. If you wait a month offering them the position, there is a chance they have already accepted another offer and moved on.
And that candidate you just passed up on? Well maybe they just landed the next big client for one of your competitors or developed the next proprietary software program to revitalize their employer’s market presence. These are the chances you take by taking a slower time than normal to pull the trigger.
4) Respect the fee structure:
Writing an article over the battle of recruiter fees could take days. So let’s just assume you have already agreed on a fee before the recruiting has started. Deciding that you want to renegotiate that fee once you have interviewed and identified a new hire is not the right time. Since there is no actual charge upfront to hire a recruiter, hiring managers are not forced to face how much it will actually cost. Sure you talk about it, but things become a lot different when an invoice is placed on your desk. Your recruiter spent a lot of time working at an agreed rate. You are not their only client. They prioritized your business based on their fee, the same way your company put a rush order on your last shipment for one of your clients because of terms you agreed on.
Recruiters and hiring managers both and the same goal; find the ideal fit in the quickest time possible. It doesn’t benefit anyone involved in the process if an open and honest relationship isn’t fostered. If you are a recruiter who works with a client that cannot give you this, then maybe it’s time to move on. If you are a hiring manager whose recruiter will not give you what you need then just wait for your phone to ring next, we are always calling.