How to get the best out of a recruitment consultancy

How to get the best out of a recruitment consultancy
1 Nov 2019

The terms – ‘working in partnership’ or ‘an extension of a company’s team’ are often bandied around when discussing the relationship a recruitment company should have with a client.  In its basic form it is two businesses working together to get the best possible outcome for all concerned together, being the key point here. 

I can hand on heart say that equally as important as being financially rewarded is the personal satisfaction that I’ve added value to both the business and person looking for work. A recent e-mail I received from a client just before Christmas was as nice to receive as the payment:

Thanks for all your hard work this year in getting our department fully staffed. It’s the first time since I joined that I feel confident that we will have a fully effective team going forward.” 

This is when a process runs smoothly. However, that isn’t always the case. Our industry can get a bad reputation and sometimes it’s deserved! At other times there are also plenty of challenges we have as ultimately, we are dealing with people (clients and candidates) with minds that often change!

 Top tips if you’re a business recruiting:

  • Once you find a recruiter that you trust, keep hold of them! Those relationships are invaluable and save so much time during the recruitment process.
  • Invest time at the outset of the recruitment process to draw up a thorough job spec, and share this with your preferred recruiter, meeting face to face to fully communicate what you need. This initial investment will save a lot of time as opposed to flying a spec across over the e-mail to tens of recruiters only for it to go the lowest bidder. You get what you pay for…something I 100% believe in my own life and equally applies to recruitment fees. 
  • Give as much commitment as possible to a recruiter as the more commitment we have from a client the more you will get back from us, it makes sense both commercially but also helps reinforce a relationship.
  • We all like a deal but neither party should take take take without giving something back. And once a deal is agreed, including fees, rebates, exclusivity both parties need to stick to it as otherwise it will cause resentment and the relationship will break down.
  • Give us honest constructive feedback when necessary so we can learn from where the process may have fallen down so we can continue to work together.

Top tips if you’re looking for a new role: 

  • First and foremost, you have to make an effort to form relationships with the recruiters you think can help you with your job search. All too often we leave a message or email and the response is please send me the spec. The process should be an initial call and then a face to face meeting to get to grips with what you’re looking for, and to see how you will fit within a business. Albeit more and more interviews are being done by skype, you can never replace the benefits of physically meeting someone.
  • Spend time on your cv as it is the first thing we or a business will see. Obviously there is so much more to all of us than just a cv but it will serve as an initial door opener. Once we meet with you face to face be clear on what you’ve done, be able to give good examples which brings your cv to live. The better a rapport you have with a recruiter the stronger chance they will have of securing you interviews as they’ve had the chance to fully understand you and what you’re looking for.
  • Preparation when interviewing for an actual role is so important.  More often than not you have an hour to make a good initial impression. Information is so easily accessible that not doing your homework is just lazy, knowing the basics is not enough any more.
  • Be honest and open with your recruiter in terms of interest levels in a role and any changes to your work situation so we can manage your job search in the most effective way.

 Top tips if you’re the recruiter reading this:

  • Have a real passion for what you do, this will be obvious when you are dealing with clients and candidates ensuring that you can’t help but strike up a good relationship. If you’re in this job purely to chase the money without any focus of quality and wanting to do things the right way, you’re in the wrong job! 
  • Treat people as you would like to be treated. No one is perfect and at times there can be multiple plates to spin but wherever possible deliver on what you say you will, get back to people within the agreed timescales, this will all help reinforce relationships.
  • Be honest at all times. All too often I see consultants not being comfortable with telling the truth as it may jeopardise their position, be 100% transparent, it will only come back to bite you!
  • Spend time forming relationships. I love the fact that some of the business relationships I’ve had have been for 15 years. They have seen me grow and develop and vice versa enabling us to share in each other’s successes. In some instances, they’ve turned more into friendships than business relationships. This won’t always be the case but it’s nice when it happens naturally. You know you’ve turned a corner with a client when they see you as an advisor who’s opinion they respect, in the same way an accountancy firm or bank will be viewed.
  • Persist but in the right way, be credible, engaging, interesting without being the type of typical sales person 99% of us don’t want to work, just be yourself!

In essence all of these points are just about working together in an honest and open way so we can all try and get the desired outcome. 


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