The key to successful cooperation between the client and the HR agency
Talent Attraction November 7, 2022
From the perspective of a recruiter working in an HR agency, I am aware that it is not always easy to meet all the client’s expectations. Especially when in the selection process several people decide which candidate will be employed. On the other hand, from our recruiting side, it is important to get as much information as possible from the client about expectations from a new team member, in order to get a clearer picture of what kind of person they would like to hire. What are the competencies, skills, and personality characteristics and what kind of experience does the client want to see in the candidate? What is the company culture like? What values are appreciated? Are the working hours flexible? What benefits does the client offer? These are questions to which the recruiter must have an answer. Otherwise, he will not get a good response from the candidates – if he does not know the basic information about the company for which he is recruiting people, then he will not succeed in establishing a relationship of trust with his clients – candidates. Also, it is important for recruiters to agree with the client what the dynamics of the selection process will be – at the moment when we present a candidate whom we consider to be relevant, who will interview the candidate on the employer’s side, whether they may be planning to perform some additional testing, how many rounds of selection there is, etc.
However, even when everything is well planned, the selection process is dynamic, and unexpected situations may arise along the way. I believe that the recruiter and the client can together solve all challenges and successfully fill the position if they establish a solid relationship. Therefore, below we talk about the key features for successful cooperation between the recruiter and the client.
Trust is a mutual process. So, to build trust, we must show trust. And it is built on the foundations of transparent and honest communication.
Do you also work best when you have all the relevant information in front of you? It often happens that some information in the initial briefing is ignored, skipped, or not shared because it is not considered relevant. All information is relevant! It is important for a recruiter to understand the bigger picture in order to navigate within that framework and create the best strategy for finding candidates. Also, we need to talk about problems and challenges. Maybe we can overcome them more easily together. In addition, it is very bad if the candidate is the first to get information that does not benefit the company, and the recruiter does not know anything about it. On the one hand, the mutual trust between the HR agency and the client is broken. On the other hand, in the eyes of the candidate, the reputation of the client, as well as the HR agency, is damaged.
Open and honest communication and trust are the umbrella terms without which successful cooperation cannot be achieved.
In addition to transparency, effective communication is also important. The most common wish of the client at the beginning of the process is that the employment process is completed successfully and quickly. In this regard, it is important that both parties share information quickly and accurately, especially when communication occurs exclusively via email.
Usually, when contacting the candidate begins, unexpected questions arise that were not mentioned in the initial brief. Furthermore, various challenges may appear during the selection process (candidate withdrawal, client-candidate interview schedule mismatch, selection criteria change), and in these situations, it is important that both parties react quickly and find solutions.
Also, the largest number of candidates participate in several job vacancies at the same time, and feedback on the status of the selection process is important to them. If the client or recruiter does not respond with relevant information, it is very likely that we will lose that candidate.
Feedback is generally intended to improve a particular behaviour. That’s why feedback is important to us after a client interview a featured candidate. Based on the feedback we receive from the client, we can verify whether we have fully understood the client’s need, as well as where there is room for improvement.
Recruitment and selection is an unpredictable process, and during that process, it may happen that changes occur in the company that wants to hire a candidate, due to which the recruitment could be suspended or suspended until further notice. Changes can be organizational, changes in priorities, consideration of an internal candidate, and the like. It happens that in those situations, the feedback fails, and the recruiter stands in the dark for a while without an explanation. It is also important to share these changes so that the recruiter can be transparently positioned in relation to the candidates.
Plus, by sharing feedback, we learn about the client and understand how the client thinks and what values cherishes, which improves future cooperation.
Advisory role of the recruiter
The key role of the HR agency is to advise the client during the decisive points of the selection process. The framework in which the process will take place is determined by the client following the planned goals and possibilities. An HR consultant, as an expert in the field of recruitment and selection and a market expert, should have the freedom to advise the client on how to change the criteria, adjust the budget and benefits, perform on the market, reach an agreement with the candidate, and the like. The client and the HR consultant are partners, and the consultant’s goal is to help the client understand the state of the market and the framework it offers, as well as to present the client in that market in a relevant way. In this case, the client’s trust and willingness to adapt to the market situation, i.e. his flexibility, comes to the forefront.
We mentioned that the process of selection and recruitment is a dynamic and changing process, especially in the circumstances of constant changes in the market. It is extremely important to be aware of this and to adapt accordingly. Clients appear with their starting points – required competencies from candidates, experience, budget, benefits they offer, etc. However, if the situation on the market is different, the recruiter will advise that some requirements be adapted to that situation. For example, it happens that candidates who own all the desired characteristics are rare or that the financial expectations of candidates who possess all or almost all the desired characteristics are far greater than the client’s budget. In such situations, it is extremely important for the client to be flexible and to be ready to meet the candidates.
Therefore, the HR agency should be the client’s external team, since we are working towards a common goal. Although we together come up with a plan at the beginning, what matters is the kind of relationship we build with each other. It is equally important that both parties put similar effort into the partnership.
And in the end, the essence comes down to the characteristics of every good relationship – communication and listening, feedback, trust, and flexibility.