Professional relationships are a two-way street. Both parties can save time and see better results by being clear and precise about expectations from the outset.  A good recruiter will always try to build an open, honest rapport with clients and candidates to encourage this – they understand what is important to others. Candidates in particular should remember that they are in charge of their recruitment experience; they will get out what they put in.

At MTR, we ask a lot of questions of job seekers and employers to define their needs. We absolutely encourage everyone to take full advantage of that all-too-often rare opportunity to really be heard. A recruiter should convey empathy. When choosing your job search or talent partner, look for those who – aside from having excellent industry knowledge – really listen. By and large they will able to do a better job at giving you what you need.

If you are a candidate, be totally transparent about what you want. Before the first meeting consider things such as:

  • What you like and what you do not like in your current job, organisational culture, work environment
  • What salary you would need to be totally committed to changing jobs
  • What location would be ideal (and where is simply too far to commute to long-term)
  • What your ideal role would be like initially, within a year and where you would want it to progress in future

By knowing this information, your consultant will not only be able to home in on the right opportunities, they may also be able to identify roles other people may not initially recognise as being suitable for you.

For employers engaging a recruitment agency, it is hugely beneficial to be able to communicate three things:

  • What type of candidate has worked well in the role before
  • The order of priority for the skills you need
  • Your expectations of the available budget

With this information at hand, the consultant can look at varied solutions within such a challenging talent market; for example, an otherwise accomplished candidate with passion but not all of the skills listed, whose salary can increase accordingly when they develop said skills. Moreover, it is increasingly important in a ‘candidate dry’ market to give constructive feedback on applicants quickly. Good candidates do not stay available for long; if the consultant can fine-tune their approach with timely and useful feedback, they can better manage the expectations of all involved.

Transparency in the recruitment process makes it easier to get the desired results. Over time, recruitment relationships should ideally develop a high degree of trust. The ‘zen’ for a recruiter is becoming a trusted advisor, career enabler and dependable service provider. And this all starts with a thorough understanding of what you want.

What other things have you found helpful to the recruitment process?