One of the biggest obstacles recruiters face in their daily lives is managing clients. In the unpredictable and sometimes frustrating world of recruitment, it’s inevitable that you will encounter the (hopefully occasional) problem employer. Here’s what we mean:-
- The ‘can’t make their mind up’ client – Employers who waver between two or more candidates before making a job offer or constantly change their mind throughout the hiring process.
- The vague client – A lack of clarity around the job description and performance objectives prevent you from getting a clear picture of the type of person the employer wants to recruit.
- The client who diverts you to HR - For most recruiters the words, ‘Let me refer you to HR’ are guaranteed to bring progress to a halt even on the most promising assignment.
- The client who doesn’t live in the real world – Employers with unrealistic expectations about the job market and availability of talent in their sector.
- The ‘no sense of urgency’ client : You submit a great shortlist and a week later you’re still waiting to hear back from the employer. In the meantime, your candidate has walked.
As a recruiter, it’s your responsibility to control the hiring process. Here’s our advice on how to achieve that:-
Understand the job : You can’t source the best candidate for a vacancy unless you ask detailed questions. Listening to the employer’s needs and what’s important to them will enable you to reiterate their priorities when they procrastinate over second interviews or final candidate selection.
Emphasise the importance of prompt feedback : Advise your client of the need to act quickly in the hiring process, for example, in providing prompt post-interview feedback and making a timely offer to their preferred candidate. Failure to address this issue early on in your dealings with the employer means your candidate is at risk of accepting another offer, leaving you with a ‘compromise’ hire – never a good premise for any new employee.
Find out how committed your client is to the process : Ask probing questions on how the gap in their workforce affects the employer’s ability to meet their objectives, productivity and team morale. If you’re met with a lacklustre, disinterested response it’s more than likely they are using you to test the market. We’ve all been there. Your priority is to identify this type of client as quickly as possible.
Talk to HR : Building a strong relationship with HR is essential to prevent hold-ups in the hiring process. You’re not trying to usurp their position but make their job easier for them. Explain your background, your process, your candidate sources and find out the hiring manager’s biggest obstacles to attracting talent. A collaborative approach builds rapport and improves the relationship with your client too.
Understand when it’s time to move on : The underlying issue may lie with your client rather than your process. If you convey your expectations clearly at the beginning of the assignment but still encounter the problems outlined above it may be time to walk away. It’s your reputation as a recruiter that’s at risk, as well as the employer brand. If you’re met with constant delays, cancelled interviews or a client who doesn’t respond to e-mails or calls, focus your efforts on an employer who’s serious about hiring.
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