Hiring? How to Get the Best from Your Recruitment Consultant in Seven Steps

businessman choosing right partner from many candidates

You’ve got roles to fill and a limited amount of time in which to do it. Aside from posting on an online job board, you’ve got no idea what to do next. It’s time to call in the recruitment consultant, but what does that entail? A quick phone call and a couple of interviews? As with all working relationships, it’s a two-way street. Your recruiter can only shine with your cooperation. And here’s how you do that.

Provide Full and Specific Job Specifications

Recruiters see this all the time – a list of generic responsibilities and employee attributes that could fit almost anyone. If you’re willing to take almost anyone, that’s great, but if you have a specific applicant in mind, you need to describe them through the job specification. Email it to your recruiter and arrange a time to discuss it on the phone in order to hone the finer details.

Take Calls and Call Back

Recruiting isn’t your job; you’ve got your own job to do, but when the recruiter calls, pick up. Potential candidates won’t wait around for a day or two to hear back if they’ve got an interview – they’ll go somewhere else. This is when delays in communication add up to much more than the sum of their parts.

Transparency and Honesty

Treat your recruiter as one of your team. If the interviewee wasn’t a good fit for cultural reasons, say so. If their CV wasn’t what you’d asked for, say that too. Being honest about your expectations with your recruiter will allow them to narrow down their understanding of what you’re looking for.

Listen to What They Say

Your recruiter knows the market trends. If they suggest a change to the benefit package to attract the candidates you’re after, it’s because they know there are better offers out there. If they suggest candidates who aren’t what you had in mind, listen to their reasons for putting them forward. Sometimes a recruiter can see a good fit where there wouldn’t normally be one.

Be Realistic

Photo2If the remuneration package is set in stone, understand that the star candidate you’re looking for might be out of reach. Also know that there’s more to a job offer than money. For various commercial or social reasons, top candidates might find the role or the company unattractive. The recruiter can dress it up to draw them in, but in the end, you don’t want to recruit a candidate that you can’t retain.

Build a Relationship

Find a good recruitment partner, and build a relationship. Trust them as you would other suppliers or customers and they will serve you loyalty.


If you are not getting loyalty/commitment or the best candidates, it might be more to do with the commitment and loyalty you show rather than the quality of the service. Offer a period of exclusivity and asses results when this deadline arrives. If you’re not happy – you can justify looking elsewhere.