The Secret to a Successful Recruitment Partnership

The Secret to a Successful Recruitment Partnership

If you’ve recently partnered with a recruiter to hire a staff member and had a positive experience, I’d imagine the timeline looked a little something like this:

  1. You, the hiring manager and/or internal recruiter identified a specific need within your team;
  2. You liaised with your consultant regarding said need and together established a plan of action around the recruitment time frame and specific requirements;
  3. Your consultant presented their top candidate recommendations based on your brief;
  4. Interviews were conducted, with the successful candidate offered and accepted through the assistance of your consultant.

You now have a brand new staff member who is eager and well equipped to provide value to your organisation. The process should have been timely; your relationship with your consultant open and professional, and all involved (even unsuccessful candidates) would have had a positive experience. Now you truly have a cohesive partnership; that is where the magic in the recruitment process happens!

As we know, the dream scenario doesn’t always play out as listed above, and Murphy’s Law often comes into play. There are recruitment freezes, people change their minds, counteroffers can be made, and the list goes on. However, there is one critical component that you are able to exercise control over, and that is the timeline.

Setting Expectations

Setting correct timeline expectations, and being open with your consultant regarding potential obstacles in sticking to the timeline, are extremely vital in order to facilitate a successful recruitment partnership, and ultimately provide you with the best candidate for your vacancy.

As recruitment consultants, our relationship management is two-fold for both our candidates and our clients. In order to best assist our clients, we must know our candidates inside and out; most importantly regarding their job search action items such as interviews out, potential for counteroffer, etc.

Your consultant’s role in the process is to be your advisor on the candidate process, as they have their finger on the pulse of the market at all times. The highest calibre clients fly off the shelves quickly, especially in today’s market.

Taking your consultant’s recommendation to see the candidate even a few hours earlier than the timeline you had originally thought to be suitable may be the difference between having them join your organisation as opposed to your competitors.

From personal experience, the biggest frustration for our clients and us is when prime candidates become unavailable after entering the initial stages of the recruit, due to factors, which could have been avoided if both sides had stronger communication regarding the recruitment timeframe.


The best rule of thumb is to be as open and honest with your consultant. Hearing “I am still waiting for our internal application process to close” or “Managing Director X will be the final one to choose the candidate, and he/she won’t be able to do so until X date” or “I won’t have sign off until X” from the offset immensely assists your consultant in managing the process and setting correct expectations for both you and all candidates involved.

After all, correct expectations are what make for a positive experience for you, your consultant, and all candidates involved. Positive experiences, even for unsuccessful candidates, correlate to positive brand recognition in the market, which will make all the difference in maintaining a positive image amongst potential job seekers. In return, you should expect your consultant to be open with you, providing advice on the market and having open conversations with candidates. These are all positive steps in the right direction to achieve the ideal working relationship between hiring manager and recruiter.

How do you work with your consultant to establish a successful working relationship around your recruits?

In turn, what would you like to see from your consultant’s communication style?

This is a guest blog post by Patty Drennan of Cox Purtell. You can connect with Patricia via twitter @PatriciaD_CP and LinkedIn

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