Five rules for getting the most out of your retained recruiting firm

The board just asked you to grow the firm by 25% this year. You need to hire more revenue generating talent…what now? You might need to retain a recruiter.

The following are a few tips to get the most out of your recruiting partner relationship.

1. Work with a recruiter that understands your business. If you are a consulting firm that provides services to healthcare clients, do not work with a healthcare focused recruiting firm. Work with a firm that understands professional services and recognizes the needs, challenges, and structure of your organization.

2. Work with people you trust. Think of your recruiter like you would your attorney. You might receive information that you do not want to hear, but you trust them. The success of the relationship comes down to the person leading the project.  Find a firm that has a strong reputation in the industry you serve and then get to know your recruiter. You should even do references on them!

Once the project starts,

3. Communicate frequently. Your recruiter should want to speak with you on a weekly basis. You should be ready to take their call when they reach out (but weekly scheduled calls are best). Remember, the best candidates are passive and require communication. The more you connect with your recruiter, the more effective they can be at recruiting the top passive candidates you are most interested in hiring. 

4. Be clear with your feedback. While “I just didn’t like them” is technically feedback, for the recruiter to be successful it is important that you communicate the attributes, competencies, and experiences that you find most relevant for the position. If a candidate doesn’t meet your expectations, be clear as to why this is the case. The more the recruiter understands about the role, the more effective they can be.

5. Find a firm that works against project milestones. The best firms put milestones in the project around the timing of the presentation of candidates. If you pay the entire fee after 60 days, recruiting firms might not have an incentive to get your project completed in a timely fashion. Find a recruiting firm that has financial motivations, guarantees, and references that they complete projects as quickly as possible….with outstanding results.

Working with a recruiting firm can be daunting given the amount of time and investment required. Follow these five tips and you will go into your recruiting project feeling more comfortable and ready for the journey.