Companies hold your recruiter to account! Part 2 – Engagement and taking a job description

Good recruitment does not allow for bad days, because customers are making big decisions and we play an important part in guiding them. Whether that is asking people to consider the next steps in their careers or clients to consider bringing individuals into their business which will improve their business.

For this reason, our behaviours and actions need to be consistently good, but what should this look like if you are holding us to account?

Being held to account should start from the minute you are engaged for the first time.

  • Energy, Enthusiasm, Passion? – I don’t mean like a children’s TV presenter, but you should be expecting to talk to someone who enjoys the discussion, shows enthusiasm for learning about you and demonstrates passion for their job. They will be representing you when they talk about any opportunities with candidates so you want to trust they will portray those same traits at the time and positively portray your brand.
  • Do they know their stuff? What are their processes? – Can they show at least a basic understanding of your market and the skills they will encounter. I am a firm believer they need to be specialists in recruitment not how to do the jobs they fill but they should be able to give you comfort they know where to start and have credibility with those they talk to so they can challenge their ability and ensure high quality is achieved.
  • Can they give you a clear idea of how they go about recruiting, their processes, the steps they take, the network they will access, the technology they use and the ways in which they validate individuals hard and soft skills before presenting them to you. The existence of a clear process and confidence in their channels to market with how you know they will provide broad coverage of the pools available and save time.
  • Do you like them? – Do they have a sense of humour, are they honest, do they have humility, do you believe they are sincere? You may not want to be best friends, but they are ultimately representing your company so why should you put that trust in someone you don’t like!

Taking details of the job you need filling is arguably the most important part of recruitment, get it wrong and the actions that follow can waste precious time and effort. So, what should you expect and look for in your recruiter?

  • Do they give it enough time? – if you encounter a recruiter who is desperate to get off the phone and happy to accept just a job title and maybe a written job spec are they really going to be able to match accurately to your expectations when it comes to the shortlist? They should insist on really understanding the requirement now to save you significantly more time later in the process.
  • Do you feel interrogated? – well you should do, not in a water boarding type way but a good recruiter should have plenty of questions beyond what is likely to be demonstrated in a job specification. No matter how well they know the skill set they don’t know how it fits in the context of your business, team and projects. They should be thinking of the questions that candidates may ask before they speak to them, ensuring they avoid using your time in the future, give a comprehensive overview to your candidates and screen them better than a key word search.
  • Do they commit to SLA’s – I am a firm believer that although a recruiter may not be able to guarantee how many suitable candidates they can find, the one thing we do control and should commit to is our communication. We should be making firm commitments to you on when we will keep you informed, what it will look like and any changes to this are explained. We also ideally should be looking to gain similar commitment from yourself. This again ensures efficient use of your time and strong representation of your brand by keeping prospective candidates informed.

Don’t make the mistake of lowering your expectations, as good recruiters we want to be held to account as it is what we enjoy and deliver as part of making sure our delivery is good every day.

Jon Martin
Jon Martin
Having spent most of his working life in the world of technology recruitment, Jon is passionate about building a company and sector which adds real value to the people and companies it supports.
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