Remember me? Keys to Successful Relationship Building in Recruiting

I’ve never grown tired of the experience of having my former placements cross paths with recruiters I have managed and trained.  I see their names and say “Hey – I placed that person years ago, see if they remember me!”  The answer always comes back with a stellar “YES and I loved working with her!”  Now I am not trying to say I’ve never had a bad experience or fallen on my face with a candidate - that is part of our business.  But when all is said and done – nothing feels better than knowing you made a difference in someone’s career and that you delivered what they expected.  The question is - how do you make that happen consistently?  These are some key skills that have worked for me:

  1. BUILD TRUST:  Be honest, I call this total disclosure and it is a two-way street.    I let candidates know what I know about the position details, the company culture and get any questions they have answered to the best of my ability.  In return I expect (& usually receive) honest feedback about other opportunities they may have, what is really motivating their move and what their true level of interest is in the opportunity I have presented.   This really helps when it is time to close, knowledge is power.  When a job is not the best fit, I tell them so.  By not pushing a candidate into a position that YOU want to make them fit into – you will gain their respect & their referrals.  Referrals are GOLDEN.  
  2. FOLLOW UP:  Nothing is more painful when you are looking for a career change than lack of feedback from a recruiter.   I know it is impossible to keep in touch with everyone you’ve called, however if you have presented them to your client they deserve feedback, even if that feedback is that you have no feedback or the position has been filled.   A closed door is better than the “black hole”.  The next time you have an opportunity for them, they will welcome the chance to work with you again.  By keeping a candidate informed, they feel they are part of the process and they are…they are the most important part!!
  3. TAKE THE TIME:   Don’t slam dunk your candidate, this is a bit harder to manage in the contract staffing industry, but why should it be?   Yes, the pace is faster, but the outcome is what matters!!   Hand in hand with TRUST, get to know the details of your candidate’s background, career progression, compensation as well as their expectations for a new opportunity.  You MUST be able to represent your candidate in front of your client.  Learn what is important to them, isn’t that what you’d want if you were looking for a career change?   By knowing what attributes they have to bring to an organization as well as their accomplishments, you can sell their skills effectively.   You are also helping your client to by actually doing what is expected of you in your customer service role to them.

In closing, recruiting is a challenging and competitive profession.  Don’t add to your challenge by being ineffective with your candidates.   Reduce the competition by allowing your actions to make you stand out from others in your field.  Your name is out there, it is better if it is respected by both your candidates and clients.

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