Balancing Acts: Building Recruiting Relationships on Solid Ground

By Patricia Neunie, National Recruiter, ACA Talent

The business of recruiting and filling open positions is generally a delicate balancing act. Establishing and maintaining relationships with our clients and candidates is crucial to filling the role with the right person. The focus here becomes understanding the needs of both, and determining whether a viable match can be made. The challenge is then engaging both parties throughout the hiring process.

Relationships with our clients are forged through regular contact and collaboration. In order to identify the right candidate for them we aim to understand our clients first. Asking the right questions and obtaining useful information beyond what is on the requisition, and learning about the hiring process are all great places to start.  Clarification on the scope of the position, the work environment, and the organization’s culture also provides a great framework from which to visualize the ideal candidate for the position.

On the candidate side, it’s equally important to manage our interaction and ensure an open and continuous dialogue. Strong candidates are usually being courted by several recruiters and may be contemplating more than one opportunity at a time. Their decision on which offer they will accept may easily come down to who they are most comfortable with. A National Sales Manager I recently placed told me he accepted my client’s offer because both the Vice Presidents he interviewed with took the time to follow up with him. Although their communications were brief and sporadic, he sincerely appreciated the courtesy.

As a recruiter, a big part of my role is to represent the client and to project the image of their company the most positive light. The candidates’ first impressions are usually formed through my contact with them. In an era of virtual recruiting, where conference calls, phone interviews, and emails are generally the only contact, the bar for professional communications and clearer expectations is raised even higher. Nothing can be left to chance!

Relationships are built on trust. Through listening, adapting to changing needs, and providing on-going support our clients and candidates trust us to bring them together. And even after that right match is made the relationship continues. We endeavor to obtain repeat business from our clients and to get referrals from them and as well as from the excellent candidates we place.

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