Maintaining client and candidate relationships
Ok, so the appointment has been made. You’ve used all your skills, resources and contacts to find the perfect recruit for your client. Both sides are happy.
Well, not quite… In fact, arguably it’ll never be done if you want to be a razor-sharp recruiter as the best results come about through developing and maintaining client and candidate relationships.
In the first instance, however, you need to follow up on the candidate shortly after they have taken the new role – perhaps by sending them a post-placement questionnaire or by ringing them. It’s important that you get feedback on how they are finding their new employer, whether the job is living up to their expectations and to be on hand to discuss any teething problems.
Why is it important?
The last thing your professional reputation needs is for your candidate to walk out of the new job, leaving the client in the lurch. It’s in your interest to make sure terms, conditions and responsibilities are adhered to by both sides.
It’s also important because it’s the first step in what should be a long working relationship. As a recruiter your talent pool is your main resource. So as well as spending time attracting new jobseekers, it’s useful to keep in touch with those you’ve already placed.
Why? Well, it’s not rocket science that if you have a good bond with your candidates, they’re unlikely to seek out the competition when they look for their next job. They’re also a good source of industry gossip and besides sharing knowledge and client leads, they’ll be able to refer candidates for vacancies – in fact, maybe one day they’ll be the client.
In other words, you develop their career and they’ll develop yours.
In what way is post-hire information useful?
By checking-in with the client and candidate post-hire, you can assess how the candidate is performing in terms of, say, meeting sales targets or troubleshooting IT problems. This information strengthens your ability to place them in the future as well as giving you a better insight into the client, making it easier to recruit for them the next time.
What can you do to develop your relationship?
Clearly, then, communication is vital in developing and sustaining long-term relationships with your candidates. There are several ways to achieve this effectively:
- Be available – Be on hand to discuss any issues they may have over the telephone.
- Offer information – The most cost-effective way to keep in touch and show you have their interests in mind is to send a concise weekly or monthly email newsletter. This could highlight any relevant training or certification courses, success stories, industry employment breakdowns and trends, job forecasts, CV tips, and job-hunting tips.
- Keep it personal – Call or email your newly-placed candidate on a weekly or monthly basis. If you can’t keep in touch yourself, assign your candidate to a colleague. This ensures the candidate feels connected to your recruitment company and helps you to gauge their needs and career situation. You’ll also get feedback on how to improve as a recruiter and the chance to learn about and specialise in a particular industry.
Reaping the rewards of nurturing long-term relationships
The mutual trust you’ve built up is invaluable. When you place a candidate you’ve known and observed in the workplace for years, you can have confidence in their skills and personal qualities. When you place a candidate you’ve only recently met, no matter how well you’ve screened them, there’s more chance they will not live up to expectations in the new job.
Equally, by working closely with your clients, you get to fully understand their business requirements, resulting in increasingly successful placements.
In short, nurturing relationships with candidates and clients is a continuous recruitment process. After months or years a candidate may decide they’re ready to move jobs. They’ll come to you because they trust you and you’ll know exactly where to place them because you have a good reputation among your clients.
That’s when all your hard work will pay off…