Questions to Consider When Choosing a Recruiting Partner

By Robert Half on February 23, 2022 at 5:00pm

By Steve Saah, Executive Director of Finance and Accounting Permanent Placement, Robert Half, and Megan Slabinski, District President, Robert Half

Candidates with in-demand skills and experience have many options to choose from in the current hiring market. To help your organization stand out and meet its hiring goals in this competitive environment, it’s critical to find the best recruiting resource.

How do you determine whether a recruiting firm can bring value to your hiring process? Consider the following questions when evaluating a potential partner:

Does this firm prioritize relationship-building?

Some recruiting firms are very transaction-focused — taking a client’s job order, filling it and then moving on to the next client. Other firms look to forge lasting relationships with hiring managers and their teams.

Relationship-based firms aim to be long-term resources and serve as advisers at every stage of the hiring process, from crafting the job description and setting the salary range, to finding the right candidates and negotiating the offer. They can also help you maintain your recruiting momentum.

The more these firms learn about your company and its culture, the better they become at providing counsel on how to structure and support your entire team. Also, when a recruiter knows what skills and experience your “dream candidates” possess, they’ll be on the lookout for that talent. And when they find it, they may be able to connect you with a candidate before that person even enters the job market — giving you a competitive advantage in hiring.

How does the recruiter source candidates?

Look for firms with deep networks in your industry and city. Recruiters who have a solid circle of passive candidates — those interested in hearing about roles but not engaged in an active job search — provide substantial value because they give you access to people you wouldn’t find on your own.

Recruiting firms that rely heavily on job boards and social media to find prospective hires, on the other hand, don’t add value, as these candidates and profiles are available to anyone.

What industries does the firm work with?

Recruiters with industry and field specialization that is relevant to your business are likely to find candidates who meet your requirements more quickly. And that means you’ll be able to staff open roles in your organization faster.

Recruiting firms that have extensive networks and experience aligning candidates for roles from entry-level to senior leadership positions can be especially valuable for your business. Why? Their deep bench and robust pipeline enable them to meet your current and future staffing requirements. They can serve your entire organization, regardless of where an opening sits in the organizational chart, or whether the position is on-site or remote.

How would the recruiter promote my company to potential hires?

Savvy recruiters serve an important function as “brand ambassadors” for their clients. They know top candidates have choices and, as a result, they must promote your firm as a great employer, beyond just offering solid compensation and benefits. They can also speak to these areas when meeting with potential hires:

Give special consideration to recruiters who want to learn as much as they can about your organization, as they’ll be able to understand your value proposition fully and articulate it effectively to candidates.

What can I learn from this recruiting firm?

Top recruiters educate their clients regularly on market conditions to help drive a successful hiring process. They take the time to walk through each step, providing recommendations on each stage. Often, they make suggestions that streamline the hiring process so as not to lose top talent. Your recruiting partner should be able to easily answer questions about the availability of skilled talent in the markets you are targeting and what it will take to get those candidates on your team.

Answering the questions above will help you find the right recruiting partner for your business. And by establishing a long-term relationship and working closely with that firm, your organization will be more successful at finding and hiring the talent it needs today, and in the months and years to come.

Follow Steve Saah on LinkedIn.

Follow Megan Slabinski on LinkedIn.

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