Do Recruiters Still Care about the Relationship?

Share This
Author: Kimberly Patterson, Unconventional HR, LLC | Source: HCI | Published: November 21, 2014

Back in the day, while working at my first job out of school, I became bored. Shocker, I know. I made the decision that since I now had a year of real life working under my belt, it was time to move on and change jobs. I had a resume and was scouring the Sunday Classified Ads and then snail-mailing resumes and cover letters.  No, there were no job boards or websites around at that time.

A friend suggested that I call someone she knew who worked for an employment agency. She proceeded to explain to me that companies with open positions would call these agencies looking for candidates to interview and fill their jobs. "Wow, how easy is that?” I thought.

I called the agency and proceeded to work with Donna in depth. She helped the young me negotiate a brand new job offer and we spoke many times throughout the 3 interviews I had with this company. She gave me updates after each meeting and let me know who I would be meeting with and what their positions were. This was my first experience working with a recruiter and it was an amazing one. In fact, I recently located Donna and connected with her on LinkedIn. I was happy that she remembered me from so long ago.

Throughout the last 20 years, I’ve had calls from recruiters who were looking to fill positions and I have reached out to recruiters who have posted positions to fill. My experiences have been scattered. I’ve spoken with professional recruiters who were thorough, covered all details about the company, style of the hiring manager and emphasized the priorities of the job. They also took the time to get to know me.  

I’ve also had some disappointing experiences. The recruiters I refer to as the “resume collectors”. It’s obvious when you’re a part of a stack of resumes that are being submitted to a manager to make it appear as though you’re working hard on the open position.

As I mentioned in my recent post, recruiting is a labor intensive role that requires excellent relationship-building and sales skills. Great recruiters maintain relationships for years and when they’re industry-specific, the good ones work with the same professionals over the course of their careers.

I often wonder if new recruiters coming into this business understand what this gig is about. It’s about people. Whenever you’re working with companies and hiring managers to fill positions, you’re still working with people. Working with people requires building a relationship if you want to succeed.

And yes, I get that recruiters feel they don’t work for candidates, they work for clients. But candidates are people too. Want to explore more? Join me on December 10, 2014 for a webinar, “The End of the Corporate Recruiter”, scheduled for December 10, 2014, where we focus on internal corporate recruiters and how they can become more effective.

Kimberly Patterson, Unconventional HR, LLC