As you know finding good talent is incredibly hard. Using recruiters should be an important part of your talent sourcing strategy. Having worked with many recruiting companies over the years, I have a few pointers to that will help optimize your relationship:
#1. Create a hiring plan
This is an absolute must! Before you can start filling individual roles you need to know how they will fit into the organization. In trying to find a candidate for a particular role, I have often found people that would fit into another role in the company. It is also a good idea to know how potential candidates could complement other roles you are trying to fill. Think holistically about building your team. This will also help in initial conversations with the recruiter.
#2. Decide what kind of recruiting firm you want.
- Contingency: You only pay when you successfully hire a candidate they have placed with you.
- Retained: Usually reserved for executive or highly specialized roles. You pay an upfront fee for finding a candidate.
Also if you have a very specialized role to fill it might make sense to hire a firm that has a specific focus in that area.
#3. You get out what you put in.
Don’t expect to throw a poorly written job description over the fence and expect miracles. Spend quality time writing up a great job description and work with the search firm to hone it to perfection. Also be prepared to spend time giving valuable feedback about the candidates coming through the pipeline – especially in the beginning.
#4. Don’t let the staffing firm dictate to you the kind of employee you want.
The best recruiting firm should be considered a true partner. You are the hiring manager and you should know best about the exact candidate you are looking for. The best firms I have worked with were constantly working with me and my managers to fine-tune the search.
#5. Listen to their advice.
We all want the unicorn employee with the exact match of every latest buzzword and technology. That will not happen. Especially listen to their advice about what the going rates are for each employee type. Most of the people working at these agencies have a good pulse on the market and can help you set realistic goals.
#6. Sell yourself.
Most of these firms are working with many other companies and multiple candidates. Do everything you can to make sure the person you are working with at the firm is excited about your company and your opportunity. Make it easy for them to sell your company and the position to the candidate.
I have found great success working with my marketing and design teams to produce a “pitch sheet” that details all of the reasons an employee should work for your company. Include upcoming exciting projects, technology, unique benefits, pictures of the office, quotes from customers & employees, etc. Have the recruiter give this out to prospective candidates.
#7. Set your salary ranges up-front.
There is nothing worse than wasting everyone’s time with an incorrect budget.
#8. Although the firm is important, the individual recruiter is the most important
This is especially true with some of the larger firms. I have found the quality of the individual recruiters to be very hit-or-miss.
#9. Be wary of the “I have the perfect candidate” cold email
This is often a ploy used by recruiters you have never worked with before. They say they have a candidate coming out of “X” company that happens to match almost all of your job requirements. In this situation, I call them on it. I give them a test to deliver the exact candidate within 24 hours or I will never work with them again. My time is precious – do not waste it.
#10. Make sure their messaging is accurate
I have dealt with a few recruiters over the years that went somewhat off script. Remember this person is representing your company and brand to potential employees. Do not let them tarnish your reputation by saying anything inaccurate, embellishing the truth or being anything other than 100% courteous and respectful to your candidates.
This article originally appear on my LinkedIn Pulse account: 10 tips for Working with a Recruiter
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