Debunking Recruiting Secrets: The Match Game

This is the final post in the series I've been working on for the last few weeks. To start from the beginning you'll want to go HERE. We've talked about  great client relationships and mastering real talent.  This week we'll talk about the third and final key to being a great recruiter. In my opinion that is making the match between the client  and the candidate. This is where the game gets serious. Now there is money involved. Sometimes a lot of it.

Many would argue this is the most difficult part of the recruiting process because to consistently make placements, you have to match great talent to great clients. but you must also determine if the two are a good cultural fit. I'm still of the opinion that building client relationships is most important, but if you don't provide them with good matches, you certainly won't have it.

A quick search on "finding cultural fit" and you will know why this final skill is important. Organizations spend a ton of time trying to figure out who will make a good cultural fit. The bottom line is that candidates who are both qualified and a good cultural fit are less likely to fall-off or turn-over. Remember, we are looking for clients that call on us again and again. Fall-off is not good for a recruiter's reputation. So how do great recruiters determine if they have a good fit?

1. They Understand Their Client's Culture.

This is another place where having great client relationships are crucial to a recruiter's success. The key communicator for culture is going to be the person that supervises the role you are trying to fill. While few will admit to this, many companies have multiple cultures contained under one organization. The best judge of a fit for their team is the supervisor. If your contact at the company is not the person who decides whether or not this person is a fit for their team, you will need to make arrangements to have a conversation that includes that person about cultural fit.

I know that this will be tough in some scenarios. If your contact for example is an HR rep, you are going to need to convince this company representative that "team fit" as I like to refer to it in those circumstances is different than their corporate culture. Assure them of the benefits this will bring to their organization. Do they really want to waste time on candidates who just meet the basic qualifications, or do they want to find the best candidate? The candidate that will be a strong fit for the position, the team, and an asset to the organization is what you will find if you can screen for it up front. If you think there will be objection to you speaking with the position supervisor, try requesting a meeting with all the three of you.

2.They Understand What Motivates Their Candidate.

Great recruiters do a thorough job of screening the candidates they plan to work with. It is important when you do so, to diagnose the candidate's "pain" in their current position. Knowing this will help you to clearly determine what would motivate them to make a move to another position. Understanding what is important to your candidate is critical in recruiting even if they don't pay you. They are your product. Their talent represents yours. When you take the time to identify great talent AND understand what motivates them,  identifying a cultural match will be much easier.

3. They Go With Their Gut

I've said that there is no secret to being a great recruiter, but there might be one. It's that little thing called instinct. Great recruiters are able to make a reasonable assessment as to whether or not their candidate is a good "fit" for the client based on the facts they've learned and  a "gut feeling". They might not be able to put it in to words but they just know that their client is going to love this candidate as much as they do. It is that little something extra.

Beyond these key items, a lot of good follow up with both candidate and client is required to make the placement. I don't want to make light of how important that is, because even the mediocre recruiter knows that beyond the match, the work is far from over. You must coordinate interviews, evaluate feedback, negotiate an acceptable salary and benefit package between the two parties, etc. That, however is a whole other blog series of its own.

Amy McDonald works in an executive role with several employment websites including She has been working in the human resources and recruiting industry for over 20 years. Amy has worked with hundreds of recruitment professionals throughout her career, training best practices in sourcing candidates and refining the recruitment process. In her spare time, Amy also participates as a thought leader and contributor for recruitment information with BIZCATALYST360.

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