I have recently had the pleasure of managing a large volume recruitment project, and utilised partnerships with other agencies. It ocurred to me to actually learn something from my range of experiences, from "Oh yay its her again - she's a fab recruiter" to "please, please, please don't let that be X on the phone!"
These are my perceptions of what not to do and what TO do!
What NOT to do
The generic - professional but predictable:
- Predictable dialogue “hi its joe blogs from x company how are you today? Do you have a quick moment to chat? Great well just a quick one” its just cheesy recruiter line after line.
- Never took the time to build a personal relationship - stayed distant
The “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” recruiter
- Friendly and agreeable, only ever called to follow up never initiated any conversations
- Responded blindly to every role released, asked no questions and always acted as though they understood everything automatically
- Literally submitted every applicant to their adverts, didn’t screen at all
The very very bad
- Pushy, aggressive and salesy “why can’t you give me the conference code for telephone interviews? So you are obviously not in control of the process?”
- Never called for anything other than to find out when we would next release roles to them
- Over clarification from some team members, “So if you are asking for X experience as an absolute requirement, does this mean that the person really needs to have it, or can they have maybe a little Y experience” (um… no)
- No updates on candidates submitted - went to offer with candidates and when we called them they had no idea that the candidate was no longer looking
(Picture the well known recruitment brand who’s name pops up at every client meeting. These guys were the worst to deal with. Bad manners, never returned phone calls unless we mentioned the word ‘Offer’! The kind that give recruiters a bad name)
The never responders
- Their BDM division facilitated the initial agreement - then left the process completely
- Called to chase roles, when roles were released they hardly bothered to respond, and never updated us on progress
- When asked why they hadn’t responded, they acted confused and couldn’t remember receiving the roles
(In this bunch of agencies was a mix of large and mid size firms, specialists and generalists and there were surprisingly many of them. I think it all comes down to the person you are dealing with and not necessarily the brand)
What TO do:
- Called and emailed regularly – even when there was no open role – even if it was to just say hello (good relationship building skills – maintain relationship when there are no apparent ‘gains’)
- Shared lots of market intel, candidates and clients spoke openly about her recent experiences recruiting
- Ranked all her candidates, benchmarked really good candidates and made comparisons
- Always honest “I’m not really an expert in that space, but I know people who are so can refer them to you?”
- Provided updates on candidate movements
- Followed all relevant conversations up with an email.
- Visited us when she was out visiting her clients
- Professionally persistent and kept her candidates at the forefront of my mind
This recruiter comes from a tiny agency and she relies on repeat word of mouth business. Her candidate quality was always excellent and she was always honest. She will always be someone I would think of when building relationships and providing quality
After this project I understand a small part of what internal recruiters go through everyday, and through these experiences I was able to make my team aware of common perceptions in our market.