The recruiter’s job is a game of matching role criteria to candidate skills, but much of the success depends on you and your involvements with the recruiter.
Communicate Your Needs. Set up the recruiter to find the right candidate. Be sure to communicate your needs with an appropriate list of requirements.
There is a sweet spot between communicating the list of requirements for a role and pigeon-holing the job to specifications that eliminate everyone. We’ve seen job postings with a laundry list of responsibilities so daunting they may as well add “can breathe underwater and fly through the air.” Conversely, if it’s too vague, then it’s open to anyone and the right candidate may not notice it.
It’s up to you to tailor the list to find highly skilled candidates without eliminating all the options or being too broad. Focus on key responsibilities, even if you know that those will organically grow into others as the role functions. Use the interview to determine the individual’s response to that type of growth, not the job posting.
Establish Parameters. Make sure the recruiter works to find appropriate candidates. Some recruiters call anyone who is open to opportunities, hoping to convince them of the fit or secure an interview regardless of background. This leaves much to luck, or worse, attracts desperate candidates willing to take anything.
Stick to a targeted approach. Establish parameters for contact and only allow the recruiter to reach out to candidates who express interest in the field or have a matching background to the role. For example, someone who has a manufacturing background in Quality should not be contacted for a Sales position in a parts company.
Engage Consistently And Actively. While you don’t want to pester, there should be regular communication and updates about the recruiting process. You should reasonably expect the recruiter to spend time filling your vacancy and agree to the amount of effort to spend. You don’t want a week to pass before you discover that nothing has been done.
Even if you’re seeing candidates, set time on the calendar for a weekly progress meeting. Use the time to ask about candidates who the recruiter rejected to make sure you’re in agreement, review the list of contacts to ensure they fit the parameters, request feedback about your requirements to check if they are too constricting / abstract, and discuss the next steps for the following week—what’s the plan?
While a good recruiter can identify matching skillsets, ask the right questions, and locate candidates, it’s up to you to set the direction and guide the process. Stay involved and develop a relationship with the recruiter so that you work together to find the best fit.