A Guide to Communicating with Your Recruiter

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Recruiting is all about communication. It’s all about getting the best talent into the positions where they can make the most difference for you and your business. And that’s a job that takes a lot of communication.

Now, maybe you’re thinking what you’d really like is to give a recruiter a job description and have them send you the right person. Maybe you’re a hands-off type. That’s fair enough. There are plenty of recruiters who would be ready to fill that role. But let’s talk a little about why you might be better served with somebody who communicates more. 

Some Recruiters Just Want a Job Description

Some recruiters, maybe even most recruiters, just want to get a job description and go looking for candidates. But this really isn’t the way for you to get the right candidates.

One reason for this is that with this kind of recruiting company, the recruiters don’t have time to focus on any one position. When you hire the recruiting agency, you might have one recruiter working for a couple of hours a week on your position. These recruiters are racing against a dozen or so other agencies to fill each position, so they don’t have the time to give any position the attention it deserves.

Most of the time, these companies don’t keep you up to date on the status of the candidate search. They don’t have time to ask how well the candidates they send you to match up with what you’re looking for. In short: their business model isn’t lined up in a way that gives you the best results. 

Some Recruiters Want to Partner with Your Business

What’s the problem with the recruiting agencies? They only get paid if you hire one of their candidates. They have to distribute their risk among a dozen or so positions, betting that they’ll land one hire. This model means they can’t invest themselves in finding the right candidate for any one position.

A lot of people don’t want to pay a recruiter in advance. But if you invest in your recruiter, your recruiter can invest in you. Instead of having a recruiter working on many different positions for a couple of hours a week, you can enable your recruiter to have someone working full-time on your position. This means better communication, better time to hire, and better candidates for you.

So now that you know a little about why it’s important to work with a recruiter you can communicate with, let’s take a closer look at what your recruiter needs to know to get the best results for you. 

What Do the Best Recruiters Want to Know?

  • Position

Every recruiter needs to know the position you’re hiring for. This includes things like a job description, responsibilities, and qualifications required for the hire. It’s usually a good idea to include requirements for the perfect hire and requirements for a hire that would be acceptable. We all want the perfect hire, but there comes a time when we have to make a decision.

Even if your recruiter isn’t long-term partnership material, it’s important to give them a clear job description as possible. The more accurate the description they receive, the more the candidates they send you will match your requirements for the position they’re searching for.

  • Culture

A good recruiter will want to know about your company culture. This is true on the organizational level and at the level of the individual offices.

That is, it’s good for your recruiter to know about company culture and organizational values as a whole, but it can be even more important for them to know about the culture of the specific office the new hire will be working in. What’s the mix of personalities in the workplace? What kind of leadership style does the boss have? These things can make a huge difference in the long-term value of a new hire.

  • Skills Needed

A description of the position will let your recruiter know about the qualifications and hard skills needed for the job. But every job has its soft skills and other aspects that might be harder to define. The right recruiter for you will be interested in knowing all about the skills you’re looking for in the new hire.

Just like with the job description, it’s good to let your recruiter know what skills your ideal hire would have, as well as what skills an acceptable hire would have. This makes it easy for you both to know when you’ve found the right person.

  • Company Strategy and Goals

The best recruiters care about more than just the position you’ve hired them to fill. They’re more interested in learning about your company’s needs over the long term. Any old recruiter can fill one position. But the recruiter you want to partner with over time is the recruiter who can offer strategic insight and has a deep knowledge of your organization.

Sharing the long-term plans for your company can help to build a shared sense of trust, as well as giving your recruiter the chance to offer valuable insights. Trust and communication can turn your recruiter from “just a recruiter” into a mission partner.

Better Communication Means Better Hires

Better communication with your recruiter means your recruiter can get to know your company and your needs. It means your recruiter can invest time in finding out what you’re looking for in a new hire and getting to know your business needs and plans over time.

Some people just want a recruiter they can send a job description to and get candidates back. If that’s what you’re looking for, that’s fine. But some people want a recruiter who will partner with their organization over time and learn how to serve your organization’s needs over time. If that’s what you’re looking for, those recruiters are out there.

About the Author

Jeffrey Audette is the President of VMG Recruiting.

With over 25 years of experience in recruiting, Jeff has partnered with small, medium, and Fortune 500 firms, helping them to find the talent they need.

You can learn more at VMGT.com or contact Jeff at jeff@vmgt.com.

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