Filling your vacancy is a top priority – to you. However, recruiters, on average, are dealing with 40 requisitions at once, according to a survey conducted by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). So, your open position may not be the most important one your recruiter is hunting. Beyond workload, you may have differences in opinions on candidate quality or sourcing methodology. But the best way to work with a recruiter is to think about it as a partnership. After all, the recruiter you are working with has the same goal as you: finding the perfect candidate.
Here is how you can optimize relationships with recruiters – and help them help you.
1. Build A Relationship Outside The Requisition
Before you ever need recruitment services, start building relationships with recruiters. Whether you have internal recruiters or not, you should have a few recruitment professionals that you would be willing to engage when you need to make an important hire. Networking is an excellent way to meet potential external partners and joining interdepartmental committees or mingling at corporate happy hours will help you get to know internal recruitment teams.
2. Schedule A Kickoff Meeting
Most recruiters will want to strategize with you before they start their search. However, if they do not suggest it, you should. This will give you the opportunity to provide them with every detail they need to know about the role and your expectations. You probably have a lot going on (like most managers), but it is worth your time to dedicate an hour to the recruiter who will be sourcing your next candidate. Give him or her the time of day! If possible, opt for a live conversation.
3. Provide Clear Job Requirements & Ideal Qualifications
Come to the kickoff meeting prepared with the job duties you are going to expect from the new hire, as well as any education and experience requirements. Break it down into must-haves and nice-to-haves – and do not be afraid to list deal-breakers too. Additionally, have an idea of what salary range fits into your budget and is appropriate for the position. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a good starting point, and Salary.com has information based on role and location to give you an idea.
4. Suggest The Recruiter Meet With A Top Performer On Your Team
Sitting down with high performers on your team may help the recruiter understand what sets them apart from the average worker. It will help him or her create the ideal candidate persona before beginning the search. Anything you can offer to aid in the hunt will be appreciated.
5. Ask The Recruiter For Timelines
Often, a point of contention between hiring managers and recruiters is time-to-fill. For example, you needed someone to start yesterday but do not have time to dedicate to the search. Default to your recruiter to determine what kind of a timeline you can expect and ask them to keep you looped in at every stage of the search – or whatever frequency you prefer. In other words, a periodic update will ensure accountability and put you at ease regarding your search.
6. Be Available
There may be times when the recruiter needs to engage you in the search; therefore, be available. The more you put a recruiter off, the more you risk a longer time-to-fill. Tell the recruiter you would not mind sifting through resumes or sitting through sourcing sessions if that would be helpful. This may even mean asking for social media posts you could re-post on your social media. After all, your network may be a closer match for the role you are trying to fill.
7. Be Patient
Being available is different from being impatient. Do not check in obsessively or demand to be part of the search if it is not necessary. Be realistic with the results the recruiter presents. This does not mean settling for a candidate who is not going to cut it. However, it does mean that it might take longer than you think to find the perfect hire. If you are in great need, think of some other options, like considering a candidate with less experience who can be trained for the role. (Bonus: This hire probably costs less too.)
Beyond asking the recruiter for daily or weekly updates (depending on the situation and your preferences), make sure you respond to any questions or action items promptly. If you are lagging in getting back to the recruiter, they may deprioritize your role. Therefore, set the tone for the partnership with prompt and efficient communication.
9. Prepare For The Interview
You are probably thinking, “How could preparing for an interview with a candidate affect the relationship with my recruiter?” However, think about it, you are representing everything the recruiter has talked about with the candidate. Show respect for candidate selections by giving them a fair chance at the role. This means coming to the interview with an open mind, excitement for the potential hire and ready to ask meaningful questions.
Keep these tips in mind when you optimize your relationship with a recruiter to hit required numbers and build a talented team of individuals who you are comfortable and happy to work with!