What hiring managers really look for in their recruitment partner

By Jamie Robshaw

Director at Lucerna Group Ltd

What hiring managers really look for in their recruitment partner
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What hiring managers really look for in their recruitment partner

It’s common knowledge that a hiring manager will go to a recruitment partner to, ultimately, make their life easier. More specifically, it’s to assist with their recruitment process, which is usually a cost-effective way to successfully hire talented candidates, saving the company time and money.

From my experience, this is the theory… but what is it that hiring managers are actually looking for from their recruitment partner?

1 – An understanding of the businesses needs

Hiring managers will want their new recruitment partner to take the time to create an effective working relationship, getting to know and understand the business, the industry and the jobs they are going to fill. They will also want to know that their recruitment partner has access to a pool of candidates who have the skills, knowledge and experience that they are looking for.

By taking the time to understand the company, recruiters can successfully match the personality, values and goals of candidates with the specific company. This, effectively, ensures that candidates put forward will work well with the existing team and within the culture of the organisation. The hiring manager will therefore look at what jobs the recruitment partner has successfully placed for other companies – either through reading testimonials or by asking for referrals or references.

2 – Good communication

Honest and open communication between the hiring manager and recruitment partner is key. While being able to actually reach each other when needed is vital, the longest and most successful relationships are defined by the harder conversations. Namely, both parties being comfortable with discussing pivoting requirements, aspects that aren’t working, or any issues that come up.

3 – Development of brand awareness

A recruitment partner can leverage their own network to advertise roles and reach candidates that hiring managers may not have access to. Unless the candidate is aware that the company is recruiting, they are unlikely to stumble across the job advert, resulting in the hiring company missing out on a number of high-calibre candidates.

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Any recruiter can find a candidate who is already looking for work… in today’s skills shortage led economy, only the best recruiters can find candidates who didn’t know they were looking. A recruitment partner can also help raise the brand awareness of the company – one person at a time. Even if the candidate isn’t successful, a well-crafted hiring process will create a good impression

4 – Benchmarking and feedback

A hiring manager may want feedback from their recruitment partner on the package they are offering as a whole, including salary and benefits and whether it is in line with similar jobs on the market and potential competitors, this provides them a benchmark and gives them an idea of what type of candidates they will attract.

Recruitment partners will also ensure they are targeting candidates whose salary requirements match what they are offering. At the end of the recruitment process, the consultant is able to negotiate the finer details of the contract on the hiring managers behalf.

5 – Open and transparent fees

Last but by no means least, hiring managers want to understand exactly what they are going to be charged and the terms and conditions of the contract between themselves and the recruitment partner. It’s important that recruitment partners are open and transparent with their fees at the start of the working relationship to ensure this isn’t damaged later down the line.

Recruiting quality candidates is a process – one where success comes from the relationship between hiring manager and recruiter. I think it’s clear that the key is not just communication, but the active development of long term relationships. This business arrangement between recruiter and hiring manager is a different beast entirely to business / supplier agreements – it has to go beyond that. That’s why the most successful recruitment drives come from a place of active partnership.

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Jamie Robshaw

Director • San Francisco