How Organizations Can Get The Most Out Of Working With Recruiters

You’ve been tasked with hiring a new Supply Chain Manager who will lead the function in your organization’s North American division. It’s a highly specialized and senior role and, as such, you’ll need to find someone with several years of relevant leadership experience and a range of technical skills.

You call up your executive recruiter and provide the job title and salary range. This is a fairly urgent request, you tell them, and you’d ideally like the position to be filled within the next six weeks.

You hang up the phone, sit back, and wait for the recruiter to work their magic.

Newsflash: recruiters aren’t mind readers.

While they will endeavor to do their best, they can only work with the information you provide. Failure to communicate effectively wastes everyone’s time, leading to a longer time-to-hire and increased costs to your organization.

Essentially, the more effort you put in, the better the outcomes. Here’s how to equip your recruiter with everything they need to meet and exceed your expectations:

1. Outline your expectations

Recruiters are equipped with the necessary resources, technology, skill sets, and network to identify and attract top talent. But they can’t cater to your organization’s specific needs if you don’t explicitly communicate what these are.

  • What is your long-term recruitment strategy? Include information on how many people you plan to hire in the coming months so your recruiter can take a holistic approach to hiring talent for your organization.
  • What is your recruitment timescale? For example, perhaps you need to hire three people immediately and another eight over the next six months. Recruiters often have a pre-stocked talent pipeline they can tap into should you need to hire someone at very short notice.
  • Are you hiring full-time, part-time, or contract workers? Post COVID-19, organizations looking to mitigate risk may avoid recruiting full-time employees and embrace the gig economy instead.
  • What is your budget for spending with a recruitment firm? This will determine the recruiter’s level of involvement and resources available to you and enable them to manage your expectations from the offset.
  • Which key skills does your organization value most highly at this point in time? It’s important that you can provide your recruiter with a skills profile, identifying the attributes and skills that will drive success for a particular role within your unique business. 

2. Provide a variety of resources

Recruiters that fully understand a hiring organization’s objectives, structure, culture, and hiring priorities will be able to identify suitable candidates much more efficiently.

The more resources you can share with your recruiter the better. Think detailed briefs, job profiles, desired skill sets, information about your organization’s hierarchy and pay grades, your mid-to-long-term staffing plan, job description templates, social media profiles, company blog, video content, and so on.  

3. Communicate your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and workplace culture

As many as 75% of candidates will research a company’s reputation before applying for a role, often to establish whether its core values align with their own. Increasingly, candidates will also expect recruiters to provide information about your organization’s brand, workplace culture, and Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

If you want to recruit a diverse range of top talent, make sure your recruiters are equipped with the relevant information to endorse your organization. Can you provide evidence that your existing workforce feels happy and supported in their roles? What initiatives are you running to drive diversity, equity, and inclusion, and sustainability? How have you supported employees through the COVID-19 pandemic? What flexible working options do you offer? What’s included in your compensation packages?

Recruiters are certainly best placed to identify and interview a diverse slate of candidates, but they’ll need your help when it comes to sealing the deal.

4. Collaborate closely with your recruiters

The hiring process is often time-consuming and energy-depleting, but it can be streamlined by collaborating closely with your recruiters to develop a robust recruitment strategy that is based on the unique needs of your organization and can be applied to all future talent sourcing.

Once you’ve established your preferred strategies, it will be easy to identify where your recruiters can add the most value and drive efficiencies.

Decide whether you want to outsource the end-to-end recruitment cycle or do some of the tasks in-house.

Can the recruiter write job descriptions? Will they use their own software for candidate screening? Will they take responsibility for all candidate communication such as scheduling interviews or providing feedback? Addressing every aspect of the recruitment process can help you to create a frictionless system.

5. Establish a feedback cycle

Don’t hesitate to provide your recruiters with prescriptive feedback. Not only is it their job to pivot their approach as necessary and respond to your needs and priorities, but they are well equipped with the skills and resources to do so.

At the end of a recruitment process, schedule some time to discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what you’d like to focus on going forward. Would you like to see more (or fewer) resumes next time? Do you want to focus on hiring for highly specific technical skills or find candidates with excellent communication skills and high emotional intelligence (EQ)? Perhaps virtual hiring isn’t working and you would prefer to switch to in-person interviews.

The more you fine-tune your processes, the better you’ll get at recruiting top talent for your organizations.

6. Plan ahead

The past 18 months have taught organizations to expect the unexpected and prepare for disruption, and this mentality should absolutely extend to the recruitment process.

Your recruiters can help you develop a talent strategy that encompasses contingency plans and succession planning. For example, what will you do if your turnover rate suddenly increases? How will you respond in the event of a disruptive event?

Making these considerations and engaging prospective candidates before job openings arise will drastically reduce your time-to-hire and most importantly, your stress levels.

By following these steps, you’ll foster a successful working relationship with your recruiter, save money, and find the best possible talent for your organization.