Choosing a Recruiting Firm

Treat the choice of a recruiter like any other major purchase or choice of vendor.  It’s important that the client-recruiter relationship is a good fit for your organization, just like choosing the right dog for your family.  Right, Stevie?  Like many relationships, shared perspectives and values will provide a good foundation for growth and success.

Find out who specifically will be corresponding with candidates and screening them. Will it be a senior partner? A junior associate? A recent college grad?  Seek out firms with experience in your industry, an in-depth knowledge of your business, and a thorough understanding of your company culture. Have realistic expectations of the type of candidates you want to attract. Keep in mind that the more unique the skills are, the smaller the talent pool will be, and the harder it will be to find the right candidate.

Communication is key.  Poor communication is one of the most common obstacles to effective recruiter-client relationships. From the client side, taking the time to articulate clearly the type of candidate you are seeking and the details of the position will make the search more efficient. If hiring managers spend a little extra time up front, it will  avoid wasted time and effort down the road.

Staying responsive to emails from recruiters, candidates and clients goes a long way toward a successful search, building strong partnerships and ensuring positive candidate experiences.   The more feedback that the client can provide to the recruiter, in a timely manner, the closer the match will be.

Work with one or two firms.  Hiring multiple agencies to fill the same role often yields sub-par results and redundancies. Invest in a good firm and reduce the number of recruiters on your searches.  Allocate extra time and resources to helping the recruiter better understand your needs – it will go a lot further to meeting your goals than a room full of recruiters with a vague understanding.  Spend the extra money where it’s needed, on difficult-to-fill positions.  Stevie says it’s worth it!

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