Staffing recruiters are in a particularly interesting position: You have to appeal to candidates as much as you appeal to clients, despite what feels like constantly changing priorities and industry standards.
It’s important to remember that there’s no one right way to go about recruiting. Every client, candidate, and recruiter has their own needs and hopes. But we hope that these few tips will help you support your clients, your candidates, and yourself a little better.
9 Tips to Delight Your Staffing Clients and Candidates
The best part about this situation? Delighting a candidate often results in a delighted client and vice versa. That means that implementing these tips is pretty much guaranteed to change your recruiting process for the better.
That’s not to say that these changes are effortless. Many of them aren’t. But they’re worthwhile.
1. Maintain Communication
The big one. The alpha. Research from Salesforce cited that 86% of employees and execs believe that ineffective communication is the underlying cause of workplace failures. Communication is massive in every industry, and staffing is no exception.
63% of candidates say that most employers don’t communicate enough, and that means that simply by increasing your communication, you’re more appealing to the vast majority of your talent pool. Maintaining contact with both clients and candidates will ensure that everyone knows what’s going on, what’s expected of them, and when they can look forward to hearing back.
Extra tip: Reach out even when you don’t have news! Letting your clients or candidates know that you’re still waiting to hear back or have the following steps helps you go above and beyond their needs. You can also automate check-ins that send a follow-up email after a conversation asking if any questions or concerns have popped up.
2. Be Adaptable and Flexible
Staffing changes constantly. Whether that’s new best practices, candidate needs, client requests, or more, the changes feel never-ending. Strengthening your adaptability and flexibility will make sure you’re ready to deal with anything coming your way.
Our very own Dave Barthel put together some news around the need for innovation in staffing here.
Extra tip: Don’t mistake constant requirement changes for a need for flexibility. If you’re working with a client who keeps changing the conditions of a role, you don’t need to roll with the punches, and you need to know why there isn’t stability and what you can do to create some.
3. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
For a client, they’re running without a person they need in the role to be successful. For a candidate, they’re without a job and likely dealing with all the emotional, mental, and financial stress involved.
Meet people as a human. Respect what they’re facing and interact with them with those stressors in mind. Can you do anything to make the process easier for them?
Samantha McLaren dove into why empathy is an essential recruiting skill here, and she said it best, “Empathy is a critical skill for talent professionals right now. It’s also one that will never lose its value, so helping your team master it is an investment that will continue to pay off, no matter what the future holds.”
4. Become a Talent Advisor
If no one has told you this today, let us be the first. You’re the expert here. It’s your job to know your market, see the reality of a situation, and then translate that knowledge into action. And yes, you can delight your staffing clients and candidates by making them know they’re in trusted hands.
Extra tip: Being a Talent Advisor requires more than just industry experience and knowledge. It’s a shift that your whole team has to be dedicated to, but we’ve got the way to make it happen.
5. Be a Champion for Your Requisitions
There’s a lot of conversation about being a champion for candidates or clients, but what about being a champion for the requisition itself? By taking a more bird’s eye view on the situation, you can better see that the role is perfect for someone, somewhere.
You can champion the right candidates while also championing the role’s position in your client’s needs. That way, your “allegiance” lands with getting the right person into the job at the right time – rather than simply trying to appeal to just a candidate or just your client.
Extra Tip: Being a champion for a requisition sometimes means being critical about that same requisition. This goes back to the “being a Talent Advisor” conversation. You’re the expert in hiring in this situation, and you have the power to advocate for changes.
6. Set Realistic Expectations
Everyone wants the role to be filled yesterday, and everyone who is out of work and wants a job wants to be offered that job yesterday, but that’s just not realistic.
One of the most common mistakes in trying to delight staffing clients and candidates is promising something you end up not delivering on. You may have the best of intentions, but it’s better to be realistic (and then maybe even over-deliver) than to be constantly trying to keep up with your promises.
Extra Tip: If you’re unsure what a realistic expectation looks like, set three different outcomes for a requisition:
- What’s the best-case scenario?
- A one-sided win scenario (i.e., the client is happy, but the candidates aren’t, etc.)?
- And what does failure look like?
Find the middle ground from those three, and you should see a realistic expectation.
7. Ask For (and Respond To) Feedback
It can be hard to open yourself up to unproductive criticism, but asking for feedback could make sure that you continue to grow as a recruiter. Asking for clear and constructive feedback from both clients and candidates allows you to understand where they’re coming from and where you can grow to serve them better.
Extra Tip: Ask for feedback with some specific questions. Rather than just saying, “Can I get some feedback on this process from you?” and leaving that door wide open, consider asking questions like,
“Did the process move as quickly as you’d like it to given the situation we were facing?”
“Would you have preferred any different kind of communication methods?”
“What was one thing I did well that I should continue doing?”
“What was one thing that I could get better at?”
Setting the other person up to answer particular questions sets you up for the detailed feedback you’re looking for.
8. Integrate Effective Technology That Actually Helps
Remember: Technology shouldn’t replace a recruiter. It should augment your strengths and skills.
We’ve spent pages upon pages of the blog talking about effective tech, so we’ll leave you with these recommendations:
9. Keep It Moving
Staffing means moving QUICKLY pretty much all the time. How can you keep your processes moving?
Moving quickly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your skill, though. Building your Talent Advisor relationship with your candidates and clients will make moving fast second nature and get quality candidates into the right roles.
Extra Tip: Templates are a great option to help you make moves quicker. Just make sure you’re updating and personalizing them as much as possible.
Ultimately, it takes a special kind of person to take on staffing, but we know that if you are looking to delight your staffing clients and candidates these tips will help. We hope that you feel confident going into your next requisition meeting because we know that you’ve got this with the right tools, the right resources, and the right attitude.