I have worked with recruitment agencies for many years both as a hiring manager and when changing job or looking for freelance work but it continues to surprise me how few agencies that understand recruitment is a relationship business. Everybody can shuffle CVs around but it takes more to be successful and become a preferred supper for a hiring manger or an agency that candidates and people working freelancers feel is worth combing back to – this is where the relationship comes in.
A few examples
- Building a relationship business means you keep in touch – just to maintain the relationship and not just because (and when) you want to fill a role or place a candidate.
- Building a relationship business means you work on understanding the profile of candidates and clients, not just selling a role or selling a candidate.
- Building a relationship business means you return phone calls – always, anything else says loud and clear that you don’t care.
- Building a relationship business means you always always always read a CV, before getting in touch, a mass mail based on a keywords search is a quick and fail safe way to show you are a CV-shuffling-cowboy. A mass mail is never developing a relationship and will often end one.
- Building relationship takes time so you don’t send an invite to LInkedIn after a short phone call or because you have come across an email address.
- Relationship isn’t to ask candidates to forward a unsolicited mail to friends.
- In a relationship business you keep your record up to date – you just annoy people by getting in touch about permanent role if I am a freelance, getting in touch about a junior role when I have 20 years of experience, getting in touch about a role paying half the rate I am charging or getting in touch about a job 500 miles away when I have stated I work in the local region
- Building a relationship business means you don’t make cold call and claim you have the perfect candidate before you have listed careful to the hiring manager and understand what the perfect candidate is.
- In relationship business you say sorry when you get it wrong (you can look up the word if you are a recruitment agent – few recruitment agents seem to have this word in their vocabulary)
In a relationship business you never sell, you collaborate.