Establishing trust with candidates and clients is critical for the success of your recruiting career. Unfortunately, many recruiters don’t take into consideration how important it can be to develop deeper relationships. Maybe some recruiters see it as too time-consuming, or perhaps they don’t realize how critical developing high levels of rapport can be. The more trusted you are, the more information you will get, and the more likely you will be to see the pot of gold at the end of the recruitment rainbow.
Build rapport with your candidates from minute one. Let each candidate know you genuinely want to help them. For example, one thing I like to do when speaking to a candidate who may not have the right background for the role I am filling is to honestly explain that recruiters are client-driven.
By offering your candidate some form of help or direction, even when you don’t have time to get involved in finding them a job, you will put yourself in a better position. Who knows, maybe someday that candidate will be a hiring manager and remember you.
1. Seek the Truth
I like to joke that I have “truth serum” in my blood because I am able to get candidates and clients alike to open up. By learning what makes them tick, I save precious time. While I love to talk, I also like to listen. I want to understand pain points and be of value. I want to let them know I get it.
2. Don’t Put a Square Peg in a Round Hole
Before wasting anyone’s time, be sure a candidate is a fit for the role based not only on their skill set, but also on their personal needs. If someone tells me they want to avoid startups and my client is a small startup, what is the point of submitting that candidate? No matter how good someone’s skills are, if we don’t listen to their true needs, we are not getting a placement. Worse yet, the hiring company may wonder why we are wasting their time.
3. Don’t Ignore the Elephant in the Room
So many recruiters with whom I have collaborated over the years will send submittals to me and leave out negative information in the hopes that it will somehow magically disappear. Bottom line, if you like seven out of eight qualities your candidate has, but you are concerned by the eighth quality, you should mention this in your submission.
For example, you could say something like, “While the candidate has some great skills, I did notice he was not as concise as I would have liked. That said, I still want to present him given the strength of his overall experience. Perhaps he was nervous. I am not sure and wanted to let you be the judge.”
In this way, you are sharing your concerns, explaining why you are submitting the candidate anyway, and proving yourself to be a trusted partner who wants what is best for your client.
On the candidate side of this picture, tell them flat out if they rambled, and then give them some interview preparation guidelines or send them some relevant articles. While it may seem like a bit of tough love, in the long run your candidate will appreciate the help, whether you place them or not.
4. Keep Your Candidate From Killing Their Own Career
I am no psychologist, but I am a career consultant who has provided IT job search help and interview preparation. I know that bad-mouthing former or current employers is a definite no-no.
Spend some time with disgruntled but worthy candidates to explain alternate ways of phrasing things. It will be well worth your time, and it will keep your reputation with your clients strong. After all, if your candidate will throw their current employer under the bus, they may do the same to your client someday!
By explaining the impact of bad-mouthing to your candidate and providing them with an alternate way to explain themselves, you will steer your candidate down the right path and optimize your chances of getting a placement.