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How to work with a third-party recruiter

Recruiters are about as helpful as a generic Seek ad if companies don't communicate candidly about their needs.

If you are not interested in the value proposition offered by a recruiter, why engage one in the first place?

This is a question I have often found myself asking when faced by clients continually declining my candidates. Nine times out of 10 these managers have refused to meet me face to face, and when I call they are very curt. When asked questions supplementary to the job description offered they protest that all the information required is to be found in the given document and yet we find ourselves at the impasse of not being able to single out the right person for the job.

On paper everything seems to be in order. All the boxes are ticked in terms of background, education, skill level and more, and yet still we receive a decline. In this scenario, candidates often do not receive quality feedback on why their application was declined, recruiters too are left in the dark about what went wrong, and the line managers end up frustrated that they can’t find resources to support their team. All because of a communication breakdown.

Communication is the single most important aspect of recruitment. If you engage a recruiter to add value to your hiring process, effective communication is essential to ensure that recruiters understand the actual spec they are recruiting for (more often than not, not what the job description actually entails), the culture fit, which technical aspects are absolutely necessary versus which are just nice to have, and why previous staff members haven’t worked out in this position previously.

In fact it is generally not a communication breakdown that causes a lack of pertinent information to get across, but line managers generally refusing to speak with us candidly in the first place.

Without information we are about as helpful as a generic Seek ad. We can certainly give you highly skilled options, but who is to say that this person will be of any interest to you when you fail to mention that you are a) unable to sponsor work visas, b) require someone with a wealth of client-facing experience, c) require someone who speaks fluent Hebrew or d) are only interested in hiring someone who will work for lemonade ice blocks?

We know you are busy, you are down on staff members – that much is abundantly clear. But if you would like a speedy, high-quality delivery then I would implore you to please meet with us when giving a job pick up (or at least give us a thorough rundown over the phone).

And if you just want us to take you out for coffee to discuss market conditions and what the quality of candidates currently looking for work is like, we are more than happy to do this. You don’t need to create a fake job order to ask for our expertise, advice, or enjoy our splendidly witty coffee banter!

Tabitha Flack is a IT recruitment consultant at pursuIT recruitment. Read more on her blog