Employers Resources

What Makes a Great Recruiter/Client Relationship?

Executive Suite

By Steve Margalit, Operations/Training Consultant

As unemployment continues to hover at historic lows, the challenge of finding top talent has only gotten worse.  The ‘post and pray’ method of generating high caliber candidates is ineffective at best.  Now, more than ever before, companies have to rely on their network of industry contacts, and more importantly, their relationships with specialized Executive Recruiters.  They’re the only ones who can help to attract, entice, and ultimately land the right candidates to drive their businesses into the future.  In order for companies to be successful in this endeavor, it’s critical that they leverage these contacts and relationships and create true partnerships.  A partnership by definition is “an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.”   To get an insiders’ perspective on what he looks for from prospective clients, and discuss what he offers his existing clients; we had a chance to sit down with one of FPC’s top producing owners, Mike Dubeck – President at FPC of Troy.

Insiders’ Perspective on Recruiter/Client Relationships

In your opinion, what makes a great business partner relationship?

“Steve, I would say cohesion. Trust is also a basic need for a successful partnership…good partnerships are made up of people who view each other as necessary equals and show mutual respect for each other’s role. They find ways to focus on solutions, not problems and are committed to open communication to keep things together.”

“Each member in a partnership must see the reward involved in coming together. In successful partnerships rewards are based solely on each partner’s worth and significance to the bigger picture.”

What do your best clients do to create a strong hiring process?

“Well, they set clear expectations.  First and foremost on what criteria they expect in their new hire – experience, education, personality, compensation they can afford, whether they can relocate someone in….and whatever else is important to them.  It’s also important to set expectations on the timing for a new hire – and then scheduling (and attending) regular “cadence” calls to evaluate progress and set actions.”

“And then it’s important to throw some of that out the window and be open-minded and flexible in adjusting those parameters.  Successful partnerships require partners who are consistently attuned to what is happening within and outside of the process….”

“They empathize with the efforts of their recruiting partner and listen to what the realities of the market are.  Steve, I’m not saying companies should “settle”, but recognize data points and move readily to get to a successful hire.  Early on, a process should be set on who will be involved in interviewing and making decisions.  Adding steps that surprise a candidate can cause fatigue, delay decisions and actually cause a talented person to accept a position with a competing firm that has a more streamlined hiring process.  In today’s market, getting a personality assessment or another department’s opinion should be included early; its rationale communicated clearly or cut out entirely to keep things timely.”

Is there a road block that if not overcome, would prompt you to walk away from a potential client?

“For me, the toughest issue is – “A Bad Employer Reputation”.  A history of employee abuse, low pay, poor competitive positions or even dangerous work environments can live on for many years.  Even when in rehab mode, old stories get passed around the industry.  If a firm is truly committed to change, sharing tangible evidence of how things are different and perhaps a public mea culpa will help your recruiting partners turn the page.”

“Steve, it was tempting to say “Hiring Managers who Don’t Know What They’re Looking For” or “Compensation Levels That Are Unrealistic”…..but those are items that can be discussed and creative outcomes can result.”

What is the number one value you provide your clients?

“In terms of value Steve, we let them worry about other important things like focusing on their business…we can manage and organize the whole interview and offer process.  As I mentioned, they need to be actively engaged in hiring…..but once enrolled, we can help keep the related parties accountable and prioritize actions to get hiring done.  The ability to attract, extract, and deliver talent is (and will remain!) a high-touch service.  Although it’s challenging, we can make the process look easy because of a wealth of experience, considerable skill, a huge amount of patience, and a raft of other qualities.  We inspire confidence through a process-driven approach….with follow through….ultimately leading to success and a stronger company.”

Thanks for your industry expertise and insight, Mike!  You brought up some great points on what to look for in a strong business partner relationship and how that would help to attract and retain top talent.  Wishing you continued success!  For more information, or to learn how FPC can partner with you, feel free to reach out at smargalit@fpcnational.com.


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