How to Get the Best Out of Your Recruiter

In our digital age, it isn’t hard to find articles on how to interview and hire potential candidates - the internet is full of advice on exactly that. But how do you know you are getting the right candidates through the door in the first place? Your interviewing process may be perfect, but if the right candidate doesn’t make it to the other side of the hiring table you’ll always be left with ill-suited placements.

To make sure that you’re choosing from a pool of talent that’s right for the job, the first step is to make sure that you’re getting the best out of the recruiters that you are or may be working with. And crucially, an employer’s relationship with a recruiter is just like any other - the key is communication.

Working with a recruitment agency to place a candidate should be a conversation. Dedicating time to ensure that you and your recruiter understand each other fully means you’re more likely to cut out the unsuitable candidates in the first place, and a good recruiter will welcome this dialogue - it allows them to do their job better.

Even more importantly, a focus on clear communication also enables you to make sure your hiring process is as efficient and painless as possible.

Here are some simple changes you can put in place to drive better recruitment performance, improve your time to hire and ensure that you’re getting the best value from your recruiters:

#1. Make time to save time

Setting aside 30 minutes for a meeting with your recruiter is the smartest move you can make. A short face-to-face meeting cuts out confusion. It enables your recruiter to fully understand your needs and your company, and allows you the opportunity to convey everything you’d like to far more succinctly than over the phone or via email.

From a recruiter’s point of view, the companies that don’t set aside time for a meeting are often the hardest to recruit for - they simply don’t feel engaged or equipped with the insights required to identify the right fit for your company.

#2. Make clarity your priority

Finding the best new talent is an incredibly important process for any company. To get it right, it is crucial to be clear, direct and upfront - a recruiter can’t do their job properly if you aren’t both on the same page. Be direct about your expectations. Set your timescales in clear and precise terms. Be proactive with establishing, and committing to, next steps. Provide ongoing feedback - help them to help you.

#3. Share detailed company insights

Don’t assume your company is an easy sell - it probably isn’t.

When you work with a recruiter, they become part of your team; a recruiter can’t learn anything more from your general job specifications than anyone else, so how can they be expected to find the perfect candidate without having access to deeper insights?

Take the time to think through the extra information that you think will help, and provide your recruiter with the wider perspective that they need. What is the company mission? What are the challenges specific to your organisation? What do you need a recruiter to know that you wouldn’t put on the job specifications?

#4. Set competitive terms

The truth is, there’s a high correlation between the rate you are willing to pay and the performance of your recruiter.

Contrary to popular belief, great recruiters are not short of clients who value them, and by setting a low-ball rate you’re falling to the bottom of their list. Once again, the key here is communication; setting terms and a rate that is fair for both you and your recruiter enables you to be frank about the level of service you expect in return. Remember, this fee is only what you pay if they actually secure your preferred candidate - there’s no cost to you if they don’t.

Working with a recruiter shouldn’t be a frustrating process - it should be simple, efficient and transparent. Just by setting aside a little time to ensure your relationship is clear and upfront, you'll make sure that’s the case.

Joshua K. Jackson is the Co-Founder of Zappudo, a digital recruitment marketplace that simplifies the way you find and work with quality recruiters.

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