In this day and age, with the IT unemployment rate at <4%, it’s pretty common to partner with agencies to help fill technical positions of all skill sets and levels. There are thousands of recruiting agencies out there and many hiring managers have their favorites. The question is, what defines a “good” recruiting relationship? In my opinion, there are many factors that can go into this.
Communication is arguably the most important aspect of any relationship, whether personal or professional. When it comes to working with a recruiting agency, this goes both ways. From a hiring perspective, it’s important to be able to communicate what you’re looking for clearly and concisely. You must be able to clearly describe the skill set and experience level you’re looking for. You must have an idea of what types of projects this person will be working on, and what tools they will be using.
Your recruiting partner also must communicate clearly and honestly. It’s no secret, there can be a lot of “smoke and mirrors” in this industry. When the talent pool is “dry”, your salary requirements are too low, or the skill set and tech stack that you’re looking for are extremely hard to find, they need to be open and honest with you. You need to be able to trust your recruiting partners, and trust comes with open and honest communication.
Expectations need to be established at the beginning of a relationship. You expect your recruiting partner to deliver what they say they will in a timely fashion. A timeline should be discussed right after the need has been qualified. As a hiring manager, you should expect qualified candidates (who have been prepped on the job and your company) in an amount of time set by the agency you’re working with. When they deliver, you are then expected to stick to the timeline you committed to, and move candidates through the interview process quickly.
Remember: time kills all deals. This is especially true when hiring in the tech market. Good candidates are on and off the job market usually in 10 days or less. Once you identify your top candidate, be sure to get your offer out ASAP. These expectations are common practice in successful recruiting partnerships.
Recruiting should be very process oriented and abided by on both sides. This goes back to expectations and timelines, but both parties should agree to a strict, timely process while qualifying the existing need. Timelines can get thrown off – the candidates may not fit the bill, someone might get sick, life happens. As long as you have a specific process to fall back on, timelines can easily get back on track.
The interview process is important to define and stick to. Try not to draw it out and have unnecessary steps. A lot of times, too many steps will turn candidates away. Try to make the interview process enjoyable for both the candidate and for your interview team.
The hiring process (verbal offer/background and drug tests/written offer/etc.) is also important to establish so the candidate knows what to expect if they make it to final stages. This can also be a way to win a candidate over if they are talking to multiple companies (in most cases they are). Making a quick decision and making the candidate feel wanted by your company can be the ultimate deciding factor for them. Everyone wants to feel wanted and important!
Sometimes it’s better not to have too many people in the mix. Usually with a recruiting agency, you have your account manager, or main point of contact. That’s just to keep it simple, although most of the time there will be 1-2 recruiters working on your position as well.
The same is true for the interview process. It’s important to make sure the candidate is a culture fit, but you don’t want to get too many people involved, especially if it draws out the process. Be sure to have everyone they’ll be interacting with daily, but additional people aren’t always necessary.
Questions to Ask
As a hiring manager, you probably have specific questions that you ask every person you interview, no matter the position. You also probably have specific questions for each position you interview for. Feel free to share those questions with your recruiting partner. This can help them vet out each candidate that much more.
It’s also a good insight into how you think and how you interview candidates on your own. Sometimes, a candidate’s answers to those questions can make the difference between them sending you a candidate or not. After all, we are here to save you time. We want to do our best to vet these candidates to your standards before you ever see a resume. That’s what you’re paying us the big bucks for!
At the end of the day, a successful recruiting partnership can be vital to your team’s success. Evaluate those relationships, surely some are better than others. There are steps you can take to improve those relationships and the quality of your hiring.
If you aren’t happy with your current partners, give us a call! ReluTech would be happy to show you how we’re different and start sending you some really talented candidates.
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