In part 3 of the recruiting blog post series I’ll consider the perspective of a recruiting agency/headhunters. A really competitive market, trying to find talents in a employee market situation. Read about the agencies connection to the applicants/talents and the connection to companies considering 9 important steps to succeed.

Your connection to the applicant

I had some really terrible contacts with recruiting agencies. Knowing at least some parts of my profile and being prepared for the first contact is the minimum you can expect, isn’t it? 
Lets focus on the good experiences and work from there.

1. Be really prepared

I liked direct contact and being valued. My best impression I got during an interview I had face-to-face with an agency, taking one hour time to get to know. For the interview the agency was really prepared. I still had to shortly provide an overview about my profile and we clarified some questions on the fly but later on the focus went to my search. Asking specific questions like:

What am I searching for?

What not?

Why are specific topics important and what are the must haves and could haves?

2. Provide feedback

A check for my salary conditions and an active feedback on it, based on experience helped me to consider the market from a knowledgable perspective. 
Closing the interview with a honest answer whether the agency can really support me and what will be the next steps.

3. Be fast

Most important … position proposals within 2 days, to the point showing that the agency really understood my search attributes.
I think it’s the service mentality that an agency can offer that makes the difference (and especially in employee markets with tough competition in finding talents). 

Be prepared! Be fast! Offer service that really helps me as candidate!

Your connection to the companies

4. Get in touch with the company

As the agency needs to provide a picture of the company to applicants I think it’s really important to get to know the company in more detail. My best experiences I had with an agency that really connected to us and the environment. 
In the beginning we had a session on site to describe the job profile in detail. The agency really tried to understand the specifics and raised detailed and important questions to understand our needs. In addition they had a look on the workplace to get an impression of the atmosphere, to see team areas and really get in touch with the company. 

5. Work iteratively with the company to refine job search parameters

Learning by profiles helped to check the filter criteria and get more specific on the search. We scanned together through CVs and I explained why I include/exclude a candidate. It contributed to a common understanding and lead to a fast candidate selection process, as the agency saved the companies time for scanning CVs. 

6. Extend your connection by joining and enabling networking

What about connecting with the company by joining Meetups company members are visiting (or even hosting). You can connect even better and show presence and get to know more perspectives. And I’m quite sure the company members will bond and remember your engagement. If possible offer space for sessions – often it’s not easy to find a proper location (or even sponsor it).

7. Be fast in providing profiles and deliver quality

Quality and quantity matters. Use the defined job parameters to find high quality profiles and deliver fast. Help the company by highlighting details specific to their job search. 
It’s easy to just copy the CV… but it’s a great experience to get a specific information, why the applicant will fit (showing the you got the message in previous talks).

8. No pressure to the company (ok some regarding poor processes)

I think it’s important to discuss with the company about the speed of the recruiting process. Today – every day delay will move the applicant away from your company. Help a company to optimize the process. Maybe you can offer some specific enhancements (like you already do by using filters in the beginning). 
But avoid creating too much pressure. If you know the process, you know the waiting times and it’s only getting worse if your start calling 10x a day. 

9. Service, Service, Service

As soon as a candidate passes the CV scan, help the company to arrange interviews, brief the candidate and reflect on the interview outcome both ways (to the applicant and the company). 
For the final stage, it’s a great service to help with a maybe necessary relocation. Maybe you’re experts regarding the visa process and even know the flat market. 
All services you can offer that really can help the candidate and the company building the bridge.

What would you add? I’m interested in your additions … best shared via comments to start a discussion.

The complete recruiting blog post series

12 hints for your next application that support you to find your best job (Recruiting Part II) – perspective applicant