What every great recruiter already knows: The top 10 ways to keep your clients happy

Successful recruiters, this article is not meant for you. The list outlined below is your mantra, your daily routine with your clients. You know that recruitment is a relationship based business, and that you are only as good as the relationships that you have built and nurtured with your hiring managers.


  1. Know their business. You can’t expect them to invest in you until you have invested in them. Go to their department and or sales meetings, read their industry publications. Spend a day (or more) in their shoes if you can. You can never know too much about the work they do and the challenges they face
  2. Call them. A recruiter over communicating is a complaint you’ll rarely hear from a hiring manager. They want to hear from you, and often. A quick email, a voicemail message, or a lunch room conversation all go a long way to keeping your clients’ current on activity with their jobs
  3. Adapt your communication style to your audience. Get to know what they respond best to. Some of your clients are Blackberry people, so email them. Others prefer the phone call or even the office stop by. Some of your clients love detail; others just need the high level update. Adapt your style to accommodate them.
  4. Don’t waste their time. Your hiring managers have a business to run, so be mindful of their time. Be organized and efficient, and always show up prepared for your meetings. Ask questions and gather important information, realizing that you are probably on the clock.
  5. Manage their expectations. Be realistic with regards to the task at hand. Claming to be able to recruit a trilingual rocket scientist with a CA designation in a week will land you in hot water if you can’t deliver. Provide a timeline that meets the business need but is manageable on your end. Remember, it’s better to under promise and over deliver.
  6. Be an expert. Why do your client’s choose to use you in the first place? Because you know what you are talking about and display subject matter expertise in your chosen profession. Educate yourself on the local recruitment landscape, have knowledge of industry best practices, and network with other recruitment professionals.
  7. Be an enabler. Want to know why some of your clients don’t call you? Because you put up barriers and quote policy that rationalizes why they can’t do something. Try providing alternatives and solutions as opposed to saying something can’t be done. You’ll be surprised at how much more airtime you’ll get.
  8. Always add value. Don’t be an administrator or a coordinator of the recruitment process. Add value in each and every interaction by acting as a consultant to your managers.
  9. Share a report, before they ask for it. Don’t make your clients beg you for an update report on recruitment activity, they’ll get tired of asking you for it. You are probably tracking candidate status on a daily basis, so why not send along weekly status report?
  10. Ask for feedback. Ask how you are doing, particularly at milestone points in the recruitment process. Don’t wait until the new hire is sitting at their desk to find out how things went, it’s too late at that point to make any meaningful changes.


Shane Creamer, Partner, Granite Consulting
Suite 304, 15 Toronto Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 2E3
(647) 827-1106


Shane Creamer has 9 plus years of diverse recruitment experience, mostly with large Canadian corporations. He has held roles in front line recruitment, recruitment leadership, recruitment outsourcing advisory and staffing and talent management strategy. Shane is currently a Partner at Granite Consulting, which specializes in recruitment strategy advisory and talent search.

Views: 778

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 15, 2011 at 2:53pm
Thanks Shane - and may I add this goes for internal recruiters too....
Comment by Suzanne Levison on August 16, 2011 at 1:29pm
Comment by Dan Ogden on August 16, 2011 at 5:53pm
Couldn't agree with Amy Ala's comment more - having been on both sides, this should be required reading for any search firm or HR recruiter.  Great post!
Comment by Paul Alfred on August 17, 2011 at 9:34am
"Trilingual rocket scientist" now that's funny....


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