In his book “Good to Great,” Jim Collins said that one of the keys to building a great company is getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. In 2013, U.S. corporations took seat filling to the next level, spending $72 billion on recruitment.
The recruitment industry continues to use emerging technologies and third-party search agencies to give companies an edge in hiring talent. Despite all the innovations, however, one area that remains cloudy is the best way for clients, recruiters, and candidates to engage and achieve a “win-win-win” user experience for all parties involved.
As a recruiter, it’s your job to place the right people in those seats. But when you and your clients aren’t on the same page, the process slows, and candidate quality suffers. However, if you focus on a more collaborative plan, the hiring process vastly improves. Use these three steps to get started:
1. Increase Transparency
A lack of transparency is one of the most common mistakes in the hiring process between clients and third-party recruiters. When clients fail to effectively convey their vision, it’s tough to pitch the open position and attract the right candidates with the same level of competency.
Additionally, when HR manages the communication process between a hiring manager and a recruiter, there can be a further breakdown in critical information shared. If HR and hiring managers aren’t on the same page regarding job descriptions, you’ll often find yourself searching for less-than-ideal candidates and coming up empty when trying to fill a position.
That being said, you need to learn three pieces of information from your clients to increase your chances of success. Each company should convey its vision, its process, and the problem it’s trying to solve by filling the role.
Your main goal should be to serve as a liaison between the client and the candidate. When you speak to candidates about your client’s vision and the skills required for the role, you can give them a “day in the life” of the position, becoming an extension of the client’s hiring team. This will build a deeper level of trust when qualifying, and it will improve candidate fit. By improving the data-gathering process during qualification, the match between the client and the candidate will be significantly higher, saving time and labor for everyone involved.
2. Agree Upon a Process
Clients typically have a hiring process, and you probably have your own method of searching for candidates. When the collaboration process isn’t in sync, the right candidates don’t get submitted. If hiring managers fail to engage properly, candidate delivery can be well below average.
Create a joint action plan with your client. It should contain a clear set of rules of engagement that determines how both sides go about the process. If you send a candidate to a client, the plan should describe how the client should provide feedback with set dates, timeframes, and next steps.
An action plan allows you to become an extension of the client’s team. A clear process builds trust, strengthens your long-term relationship with the company, and enables the hiring process to run smoothly. Moreover, everyone is clear about expectations and responsibilities.
3. Define Candidate Goals
Looking for a new job is kind of like looking for a new car. Most of us don’t do it every day and often need insight on market trends, salary ranges, and interview best practices. Rather than discussing a role with candidates you want to close, try listening to their goals first.
Instead of pitching a candidate on an immediate role, prioritize a career path that has his best interest in mind. By learning what a candidate wants first, you’ll separate yourself from other recruiters and help him achieve a better career experience. When you understand a candidate’s skills and desires, you’ll be able to match that with a company’s vision — and the right role that meets his expectations.
If you’ve done your job as a recruiter, the candidates you’ve placed should be happier in their new roles than they were in their last ones. And ultimately, you’ll create a better user experience for everyone involved — including yourself.
Jake Villarreal is the co-founder and president of Match Relevant, an IT-staffing entity that utilizes social media and innovative recruiting practices to deliver award-winning talent for funded tech startups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 organizations.