Fostering Relationships in Recruitment

February 8, 2023 – Recruiting is a relationship business. Having conversations and building relationships with clients, candidates, and trading partners will lead to long-lasting relationships, loyalty, and repeat business, as opposed to one-off hires.

But due to the current nature of the recruiting business and a candidate shortage, recruiters must act quickly to fill roles, and because of this, there are many recruiters who treat sourcing and recruiting as a transaction, says member-owned recruitment network NPAworldwide in a new report. These recruiters fail to see the big picture, the long-term view that today’s candidate may be tomorrow’s hiring manager.

“But relationships still need to be cultivated through frequent communication — preferably in-person or by phone,” said NPAworldwide’s Liz Carey, who authored the report. “Candidates receive so many messages through LinkedIn and emails, that it can be hard to stand out amongst the masses. Similarly, potential trading partners may receive resumes thrown at them by so many other recruiters.”

It is important that recruiters value deep relationships with their trading partners, as with their clients and candidates. “Building that personal connection requires a significant investment of time and effort,” said NPAworldwide. “Our most successful members treat their trading partners the same way they treat their clients. And many of those business relationships evolve into true friendships, with members helping run each others’ businesses while their partner is out of commission due to illness, or attending weddings of their NPA friends.”

A Level of Trust

Because these individuals know and can depend on their partners, they are able to go straight to their trading partner with a job or candidate, said the recruitment network. There is also a level of trust to where they are able to hand over a candidate’s full details, or invite their partner on a call with their client. “Transactional recruiting, on the other hand, tends to focus on the ‘here and now,’ with more emphasis on speed,” said NPAworldwide. “Transactional recruiters may devote more of their time and effort to internet searches, email, or high-volume cold-calling, and may spend less time talking to clients, candidates, or trading partners. There is credence to the success of this style of recruiting, as the need to act quickly and fill positions fast is real,” the report said. “Flipping resumes may end up in a placement here and there, but it often does not build that foundation for a long-lasting successful partnership.”

Best Ways to Build Relationships with Search Consultants
In the age of social media, it is remarkably easy to turn up statements of distrust and even vitriol toward job recruiters with a simple internet search, according to recent report from ECA Partners’ Tony Topoleski. “Quora questions and subreddits like r/recruitinghell are filled with horror stories of abuse, endless lies of omission, and ghost stories of interviews missed or late-stage processes ended without a word,” the report said.

Meanwhile, in perhaps direct relation to this, the Great Reshuffle of employees is alive and well, leading to ever more recruitment outreach, says the ECA report. As a result, the talent wars are being waged at a feverish pace and third-party recruiters must act like Swiss diplomats moving between candidates and hiring managers with rapidly changing lists of necessary skills and candidate demands.

If you are not taking the time to talk to the candidate to determine their motivation and goals, or talk to your trading partner to understand the culture fit or nuances of the role, but are instead focusing on just getting a candidate in front of a hiring manager or providing a candidate before another recruiter does, it may be a temporary/ “Band-Aid” fix that may backfire in terms of a fall-off, said the report.

“Take time to get to know your candidates – don’t rush them or try to ‘sell’ them on an opportunity,” said NPAworldwide. “Discuss what is important to them and what their goals are. It’s about finding the right fit for both the candidate and the client.”

Similarly, if you are in a recruiting network or do splits, get to know your trading partners: Develop relationships beyond the job/candidate you initially inquire about. “Recruiters each have an extensive network and you never know what conversation may lead to your next split,” said the report. “Always follow up and follow-through with them. If someone sends you a candidate for one of your vacancies, always reply even if it is to tell them their candidate is not a fit. Many NPA members have the philosophy of treating their trading partners as if they were their clients. Stay in touch, even if it’s a simple reach out or check in: ‘Hey Steve, just wanted to let you know, I haven’t found anyone yet but I’m still working on your java developer role.’”

Related: 7 Best Practices For Building Client Relationships

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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