Picture it: Your business has reached the stage where you need to employ someone new into the team. But you’re far too busy to recruit the position yourself so you’ve decided to engage the services of a recruitment consultant.
Regardless of whether you’ve decided to go with a generalist or a specialist recruiter, the recruiter you choose could well be just as busy as you.
How can you become their top priority?
The recruitment process is always a lot smoother when there is a successful working relationship (or partnership) between the employer (the hiring manager) and the recruiter, as opposed to a more transactional ‘bums on seats’ approach.
Follow these 12 steps to ensure that, as a business owner or hiring manager, you become your recruiter’s Number 1 priority.
1. Provide the recruiter with a proper job description
If your recruiter asks you for a job description, the last thing they want to hear is “you know what we’re looking for”.
More often than not a recruiter doesn’t know exactly what you are looking for. There is also no question that every candidate expects to see a job description if they are even going to consider a career move. If the recruiter can’t provide the candidate with a position description that outlines your requirements in detail, they are less likely to treat your position seriously.
2. Define your new employee’s success from the outset
You need to ask yourself what you expect from your new employee (in terms of their performance) at the 3, 6, 9, and 12-month mark. You need to define your “success expectations” alongside the job description before the recruitment process even begins. These success measures will not only help your recruiter better assess candidates on your behalf, but they will also help you benchmark your new employee’s success on the job, especially when it comes to performance appraisals.
3. Whenver possible, let the recruiter come to meet you
Far too many employers are happy to simply brief a recruiter over the phone or to email through a job description and expect them to find a perfect candidate.
When the recruiter asks to come and meet with you, they are not just wanting to see you to have a chat. Actually meeting with you in person and seeing your office first hand will help them immensely. Whilst you may think it’s a waste of your time, it’s certainly not a waste of time for the recruiter. If nothing else it will give them a better understanding of the environment and your office culture.
4. Be honest around where you’re already up to in the recruitment process
It’s important to let the recruiter know if you are seriously considering any internal candidates or if you have already advertised the position yourself. If so, what has the response been like and have you already started to screen candidates who may have applied directly?
No recruiter wants any last minute surprises when you thank them for a great shortlist but tell them you’ve just made an offer to someone internally.
5. Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes
Please. Just for a moment!
If you knew that the role you are working on had also been briefed to 10 other recruitment agencies, what level of commitment do you think you would put into the project?
Briefing multiple recruiters will not necessarily help you fill your vacancy any faster. By working closely with one recruiter will ensure you receive a better level of service.
6. Be honest as to why the position has come about
If your organisation has seen a high level of turnover because nobody wants to work with a particular manager, the recruiter has to know. There’s no point in saying that the current vacancy is due to company growth and then having a string of candidates turn the job down after meeting the manager. Or worse still having to constantly backfill a role because nobody can work with a particular manager for more than a few months.
7. Commit to the way the process will work
If the recruiter submits a résume through to you, how quickly will you be able to make a decision as to whether or not you will interview the candidate? Similarly if the recruiter arranges various candidates to meet with you, you must commit up front to the timing around how quickly you will be able to provide the recruiter with your feedback.
Remember the recruiter is the conduit between you and the candidate. It’s unfair to keep the recruiter (and therefore the candidate) waiting for feedback – regardless of the outcome of the interview.
8: Provide the recruiter with decent feedback
Take some time to provide the recruiter with sufficient feedback. If you don’t think the CV of a candidate is good enough, don’t just send an email to the recruiter with the words “Patrick – unsuitable”. Or if after meeting a candidate you have decided not to take their application any further, if the recruiter asks why, unfortunately the response “Jessica didn’t interview well enough”, won’t help the recruiter find you a more suitable candidate.
Ideally speak to the recruiter and give them as much detailed feedback as you can. It will benefit you in the long run.
Whatever happens please don’t let days (or weeks) go by without any news. Some recruiters might think that “no news is good news”, while others might think that “silence can only mean one thing”. Don’t keep them waiting in a state of uncertainty. Provide them with feedback – whether it be positive or constructive – regardless of how you feel.
9: Consider the recruiter’s sense of urgency
Don’t risk losing out on the best candidate because you have too many other things on your plate.
If you think that a candidate submitted by the recruiter looks good on paper, then try to get them in for an interview as soon as possible. And if you meet a great candidate, try not to wait a week before a second interview, or another week before you find time to put an offer letter together.
Often finding a great candidate is like finding a needle in a haystack so don’t miss out on someone great because you don’t have enough time to meet them.
10: Agree on a salary range up front
Tell the recruiter exactly what salary you have budgeted for your new hire. But you also need to ask yourself if the recruiter found you the perfect candidate wanting an additional $5K whether or not you would be open to meeting them (or at least to talking to them). That way you can manage the recruiter’s expectations and they can also manage yours.
11: Approve the recruiter’s invoice in a timely manner
Once the recruiter has done his or her job, and you’ve been able to fill your vacancy with a star candidate, whilst this isn’t really a tip (per se), where possible it really helps if you approve the recruiter’s invoice in a timely manner. After all you want the recruiter to want to work with you again in the future.
12: Communicate with your recruiter throughout the probationary period
Understand that the recruiter’s role doesn’t end when the placement is made. Agree to speak to them and ideally meet with them from time to time during the new employee’s probationary period. For any recruiter, post placement care is an essential part of the recruitment process since it’s important to ensure that both their client (you) and their candidate are happy.