One of the largest objections heard when a recruiter approaches a client (prospective or existing) about a new role is that a client has previously had a bad experience with recruiters. This is not to say that there aren’t a few lazy recruiters out there, but also it is not always a recruiter’s fault when their services are not utilised to their full potential (yes I am biased). That being said, here are some ways a client can fully utilise a recruiter’s services.
One of the greatest questions a recruiter loves to hear is, “what do you think?” Not because recruiters are control freaks but because this is what we do. Recruiters spend their entire working day (and usually after hours) finding candidates for roles, finding roles for candidates and negotiating contracts. Needless to say, we are used the recruitment process at all stages and are very knowledgeable about the industry we choose to specialise in. Don’t be afraid to ask a recruiter their opinion on a matter such as “What salary do you think the candidate will accept?” or “How many years’ experience do you think the candidate needs?” The second question is especially important as soft skills are far more important than years’ experience in 90% of instances (100% in sales). Although clients have the final say in everything, it’s important that we all stop for advice from time to time.
Allow time when first establishing the relationship.
As recruiters, we’re pretty familiar with hearing “we aren’t interested” or “we aren’t currently recruiting” objections when prospecting for calls. However, shouldn’t a company always be on the lookout for top-notch talent on the market? I’m pretty sure some fast food chains and restaurants are regretting not looking more avidly at employing Colonel Sanders, and look where his company is now. When you eventually do meet with a recruiter, make sure to not only tell them about current roles you have, but also the kind of candidates you would be interested in interviewing as a way of keeping the talent pipeline full. This is especially useful in sales roles; if you employ a good sales professional, they will likely pay their own salary within a few months in revenue, and then proceed to make profit for the company from that moment onwards. Giving a recruiter the time of day to ask the kind of culture the business has (high-paced or relaxed, banter-loaded or strong-silent) will allow said recruiter to think of your company when interviewing what we perceive as an A-grade candidate.
Use recruiters as head-hunters.
Have you ever met a sales rep at a tradeshow and just thought “I could really use them on my team”, but don’t want to go through the ethical and time-consuming drama of ‘stealing’ them from a competitor? I recall being at the National Manufacturing Week in Sydney earlier this year and was speaking to a gentleman who joked about wanting to steal away a competitor’s top sales rep. My reply was “tell me about the job and I’ll have a chat with him”. The gentleman laughed then noticed my serious demeanour. I mean, why wouldn’t recruiters headhunt? Without headhunting, you might as well have your recruitment processes performed entirely internal. Just pop up an ad, do some interviews and hire the best candidate. Recruiters have the advantage of being able to approach these individuals confidentially, while also keeping your company’s details private to source you the very best on the market. After all, the best candidates are the ones who are usually employed – they are not actively looking. In the future, consider giving your recruiter a list of 5-10 competitors you’d would want sales candidates from.
Have a sense of urgency.
When seeking talent on the market, it makes sense to have the process finished as quickly as possible, right? Of course, you want to be thorough and screen candidates correctly and gather references and such, but why wait? As a recruiter, I have had my fair share of clients whom I have sent candidates to taking over a week to respond with some feedback and to book in an interview, only to find that the candidate has found another role. Having a sense of urgency is essential, especially if the candidate is actively looking.
At the end of the day, recruiters ultimately exist to add value to the hiring process by offering outside the box strategies and expertise.
If you’re looking to expand your sales team or are simply interested in hearing what current talent is on the marketplace, feel free to give us a call at 02 9387 7005.
Until next time…