In recruiting, it is important not only to provide top talent to your clients but also to build strong relationships with clients and candidates. When you build solid connections, you have a greater chance of understanding what both clients and candidates need throughout the full recruitment cycle. This allows you to provide enormous value by ensuring the right placement is made.
There are 4 key ways to build and foster those strong relationships with clients and candidates:
The most important thing that you must do as a recruiter is to listen and be attentive to what clients and candidates are saying (and sometimes not saying). Of course, you need to ask questions to identify what type of candidates to search for to ensure culture fit or if certain skills are needed for the position.
This goes the same for candidate expectations of the potential employer or job opportunity. However, then, you need to open the floor and carefully listen to clients and candidates. By practicing active listening, you better understand each person’s needs. This improves the hiring experience in addition to the success of your talent placements.
As a recruiter, you ask for a lot of information from both clients and candidates. In the process of learning about the company, role, job history, expectations, experiences, etc. you pick up personal details as well. It is only fair that you keep the feedback loop open and share about yourself in conversations.
For example, if it is mentioned that a client or candidate has a dog, you may want to ask questions about the dog and mention if you also have a dog or another pet. Small talk may seem trivial, but as you cultivate relationships with clients and candidates, bits of personal information can trickle in. Picking up on these details helps build familiarity and trust in your interactions.
Some of this information may even be valuable in understanding if an open role or company is the best fit for a particular candidate and vice versa. The key thing to remember here is not to be afraid to share some information about yourself so conversations don’t always feel like an interrogation or one-sided for your recruiting contacts.
People seldom think highly of someone who doesn’t communicate clearly or often. They especially don’t think kindly of a recruiter who ignores phone calls or emails.
The day-to-day for recruiters is busy. That may even be an understatement. However, it’s a mistake to put off communicating with candidates and clients. Any relationship that you have built and maintained can quickly deteriorate if you are unresponsive to phone calls or emails, and don’t provide timely updates and feedback.
Even if you do not have the immediate time or information to provide regarding a question, reply back via email or make a quick phone call to let your candidate or client know that you have received their message and will follow up with information as soon as you have it. Trust us, the simple acknowledgment that you received their message makes a huge difference regarding trust and reliability.
4. Utilize Technology
Sometimes, it can be challenging to sync up schedules for face-to-face time with clients and candidates. Distance, time-zone differences, flight costs, etc., can all make it difficult to facilitate important face-to-face interactions to build strong relationships. Fortunately, in this booming digital age, there are plenty of virtual options to keep you connected in a personal way.
The increasing use of video interviews is a perfect example. If you haven’t tried video interviewing to speak with candidates and connect candidates and clients, then you are missing an extremely beneficial tool in today’s recruiting industry. When it is impossible to physically meet with your clients and candidates, video can provide much more valuable interaction than a simple phone call.
One-way video interviews are also a convenient way for candidates to expand on their resumes and show off a bit of who they are as a person and professional. As you build your talent pool, you can work with candidates to record videos introductions for your talent library to share with candidates. Keep in touch with candidates to learn if they have expanded on skills and experience and invite them to re-record as they advance in their careers.
Additionally, video messaging can be used to create custom updates for clients and candidates that feel more personal than just an email. You can encourage clients to record branded welcome messages you can share with potential candidates to help them feel more personally connected. As the organization grows and roles or expectations change, keep clients looped in and video messages fresh.
Ultimately, laying a foundation for meaningful connections with your clients and candidates, in addition to fostering positive relations between them, is the secret to recruiting success.