Recruiter Expectations for Search Consultants and Their Clients

In a previous blog post, we discussed setting expectations in terms of dealing with job seekers and candidates. But what about your clients as an agency recruiter or executive search consultant? Is setting recruiter expectations with them just as important as setting them with candidates?

In a word, yes!

This is especially the case now in the current environment, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the looming prospects of an uncertain economy. Agency recruiters and executive search consultants can’t leave anything to chance. They can’t leave any stone unturned—with both clients AND candidates.

Now, you can’t control clients or candidates, but you can manage their recruiting expectations. Doing so is the key to maintaining control of the hiring process, and ultimately, to increasing the chances of making more placements.

But how can search consultants set recruiter expectations, manage those expectations, and hold clients accountable for those expectations throughout the hiring process?

One of the mistakes a recruiter can make when dealing with clients is not communicating with them enough up front, at the beginning of the process. In other words, the specifics of the search parameters aren’t discussed in detail. As a result, those information gaps can be costly down the road.

Recruiter expectations at the VERY beginning

Agency recruiters and search consultants must educate clients from the very beginning of the process. One way to do this effectively is to discuss a timeline for moving things along, as well as exactly who is going to be involved in the interview process on the company side. And perhaps most importantly, the search consultant should ask when the company is expecting to make an offer of employment for the open position. Pinning the client down at the beginning of the process is instrumental to reducing the risk that something is going to go wrong at the end.

In other words, you have to get the hiring manager and the client to “buy into the process.” After all, if they’re going to ask you to work on their assignment, then they should also be willing to work with you on the process. And the process should be very timeline-specific. For example, once you submit candidates to a client, you can tell the hiring manager that you expect the interview process to begin within two weeks.

Unfortunately, the mistake that some recruiters make is that once they receive a job order, they’re in a hurry to begin the search. Consequently, they unknowingly bypass the opportunity to tighten up the process in the long run by hashing out a few details up front.

Yes, we know. Getting a search assignment can be exciting, especially if you work in an industry and/or niche that’s been hard hit by the COVID-19 virus and pandemic. You get the assignment, you get excited about being able to work it, and off you go. In the meantime, you completely forget to talk about the process and set recruiter expectations with the client.

But what if you DO set recruiting expectations at the beginning of the process, but the process starts to “bog down” along the way, anyway, despite your best efforts to avoid that at the beginning?

Warning: prodding may be necessary

The answer is that you have to consistently and continually prod the client along. It might help to ask the hiring manager to “put the shoe on the other foot.” Ask them if they were the candidate, especially a top candidate, would they put up with delays in the hiring process? Probably not, and the last thing that you want is for top candidates to be dropping out of the process.

And if all else fails, appeal to the client with a healthy dose of common sense. After all, when an organization chooses to utilize the expertise of recruiter for the purpose of filling an open position, it makes sense to actually heed the advice of that recruiter.

Think about it. When the organization enlisted the help of an agency recruiter or search consultant (you) to hire the best candidate for its open position as quickly as possible, what they really asked you to do is to solve their problem. If that’s the case, then why would they needlessly delay the solution to their problem?

That’s a good question. And one that you should ask your client if they’re not meeting the recruiter expectations associated with your job assignment.

Recruiter expectations and executive search software

One way to keep your clients on task and keep the hiring process moving along at a brisk pace is to use the right executive search software for your agency. And Top Echelon happens to have such a software!

Top Echelon’s executive search software has many great features, and we update and upgrade the features of the software all the time. One of those features is a robust and powerful Activity Planner, which helps you to stay on task during the course of the hiring process. Our Planner helps agency recruiters and search consultants schedule events, meetings, calls, and tasks. That way, you know what you need to do, what’s completed, and what’s overdue.

Right now, Top Echelon is offering a FREE 15-day trial of our software. This is the full version of the software and you do NOT need a credit card to start the trial. You can be up and running in no time!

Click HERE to start your free 15-day trial of the best executive search software.

Top Echelon’s applicant tracking system for agency recruiters and executive search consultants is also one of the most affordable on the market. The cost is just $59.50 per user per month with the annual pricing plan. However, if you’re not ready to buy quite yet, we also offer a live demo of the software so you can get a feel for what it can do for you.

Click HERE to request a live demo of Top Echelon’s leading recruitment agency software!

Free Recruiting Software