Want Better Candidates? Tell Your Recruiter These 4 Things

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Communication is an important part of any business relationship. When you hire a recruiter to fill an open position, your first instinct may be to let them know more or less what you’re looking for and then move on. However, the recruiter will be able to help you much more effectively if you share what you need in detail.

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but if you give a recruiter a detailed picture of your needs, you’ll get much better results. Here’s what you should tell them:

1. Hard and Soft Skills for the Position

In order to find the right person, the recruiter needs to know the requirements for hard and soft skills. Big surprise, right? It sounds basic, but it’s so important to get these things right. If you don’t take time up front to clearly outline your hard and soft skill needs, you are setting your recruiter up for failure.

Look at it this way: One of the big problems in the hiring process is that companies hold off on hiring a great candidate in the hopes of bagging a perfect match. When that perfect candidate fails to come along — as always — the great candidate gets snatched up by a competitor organization that moved faster. This is why your recruiter needs to know both the ideal requirements of a perfect candidate and the acceptable requirements for a great candidate. That way, the recruiter can help you recognize when you’ve found the right candidate and move quickly to hire them, rather than waiting for an ideal candidate who will never show.

2. Culture and Personalities in the Office

Every workplace is different. Some have high energy, while others are much more laid-back. Some companies have tight-knit teams, while at others employees get good results while maintaining a little more distance from one another.

You get the idea. Every organization has a different culture, and every office contains a different mixture of personalities. When you make a hire, it is important that hire not only be a good skill fit, but also a good fit for the culture and personalities of your office. That is why it is important to discuss with your recruiter the cultural norms and mixture of personalities any new hire will walk into. This helps ensure the recruiter brings you a candidate who will thrive in your specific environment and stay for the long haul.

3. Salary Range and Educational Requirements

Salary ranges, educational requirements, and similar indicators can filter out candidates who wouldn’t be a match for the role.

A salary range can indicate how important a given position is for your organization. Candidates who demand a salary above the range can be ruled out — or if they have the skills to justify an exception, they can be negotiated with. Candidates who can’t justify the salary they ask for on the basis of their skills can be asked to back down or simply refused.

Educational requirements are more important to entry-level positions than more experienced positions. However, in the case of positions requiring high-level degrees or qualifications, the educational requirements may be nonnegotiable. If that is the case for your position, it is important you let your recruiter know which degrees and/or certifications are 100 percent nonnegotiable.

As with hard and soft skills, you should let your recruiter know which educational and salary requirements are ideal and which are acceptable. Once again, this will help you see past your ideal image of a perfect candidate to appreciate the actually existing great candidate standing in front of you.

4. Strategic Weight of Position

Last of all, it is important to make sure your recruiter has a solid understanding of the importance of the position to your organization. Without understanding the everyday requirements for the position, your recruiter can’t help you find someone who can meet those requirements. Similarly, without understanding how that everyday work connects to the company’s overall strategy, the recruiter may end up bringing you a candidate who has all the skills the position calls for but lacks the right mindset, goals, or values.

The ideal hire isn’t just the right hire for today, but the right one for the next few months or years down the line. Your recruiter will be able to help you much better if they know how each position fits into your organization’s strategic plans.

The more information your recruiter has about the position and what it means for your organization, the better able they will be to find the right candidate for you. Moreover, even if you decide not to hire a recruiter to help fill a role, thinking through this information can help your organization streamline its own hiring process to get better results.

Jeffrey Audette is president of VMG Recruiting. Contact Jeff at [email protected].

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