As a professional recruiter or search consultant, it’s important to set the proper expectations.
This means setting the proper expectations with clients to let them know what you expect from them. This means setting the proper expectations with job seekers and candidates to let them know what you expect from them, as well.
However, it also means making sure that the other parties know what to expect from you. And in the case of this particular blog post, we’ll be discussing the recruiter expectations that job candidates have. (Or should have, at the very least.)
Recruiter expectations: a two-way street
To help us navigate this discussion, we’re going to draw upon the experience and expertise of Barb Bruno, CPC/CTS of Good as Gold Training. According to Barb, professional recruiters and search consultants are typically confident of what they expect from their candidates.
“The placement process is complex, and we often begin explaining our expectations during our first conversation with potential candidates,” she said. “It may be as simple as communicating what would be the next step in the process of working with us. It’s important that recruiters go to great lengths to make sure their candidates follow the steps necessary to increase their chances for a successful match and successful placement.”
However, recruiter expectations are not a one-way street. And since recruiters are usually skilled in terms of the art of communication, it should not be too much of a stretch for them to communicate to candidates what those candidates can expect.
It would also help, of course, if the recruiter was cognizant and understanding of what the candidate is doing through during the recruiting and hiring process. Such an awareness can improve the communication process and help the recruiter engage the candidate more easily.
“Making a job change is a life changing event and even if it is a positive change, it can be very stressful,” said Barb. “Therefore, being sensitive to the fact that job seekers will experience a wide range of emotions will enhance your ability to gain their trust in a timely manner.”
Setting the most important expectations
Now, it’s one thing to communicate recruiter expectations by just talking to a candidate and telling them what they can expect. It’s another thing to write them down. And it’s another thing to both tell them to the candidate and write them down.
Some people learn by hearing, and some people learn by seeing. It’s better to “cover all the bases.”
“Once you’ve had your initial conversation, send them this list when you send them your profile form or application,” said Barb. “This is a great way for you to start gaining their trust. It also helps clear up confusion of what are realistic expectations.”
According to Barb, below are some of the most important recruiter expectations to list:
Share your personal and company brand:
—Explain why you should represent them vs. your competition.
—Show what you offer that other recruiters do not.
—Let them know what you bring to the table to assist their search.
—Share your track record of success helping others with similar experience advance in their career.
Take your direction from them:
—Customize your efforts based on what is most important to them.
—Only contact them with opportunities that fit the criteria they share with you.
—You will not waste their time.
—Their search will be fine-tuned as you receive feedback from them after interviews.
—Use the phrase, “I take my direction from you.”
Confidentiality; Candidates must be able to trust you 100%:
—Their search will be 100% confidential.
—You will not jeopardize their current position.
—Each opportunity will be presented before you submit paperwork.
—You will inform them before checking references.
Honesty should never be taken for granted:
—Show how they will benefit by your high level of honesty.
—Provide a list of references from candidates placed.
—Share your track record and experience with your candidates.
—If you cannot assist them, you will let them know and provide resources they can utilize.
Professionalism and ethics, explaining:
—How they can expect a high level of professionalism.
—Your ethical standards.
—Your goal is to become their Lifetime Career Agent.
—You will use all means of communicating (email, phone, IM).
—They can expect you to deliver the good, bad, and ugly news.
—You will set certain hours aside during the day to take calls.
—Identify their long-term goals, as well as short-term career goals.
—You will communicate before, during, and after they are hired.
Setting expectations builds trust
Setting recruiter expectations is especially important in a candidate-driven market like the one we’ve been experiencing. That’s because employers (your clients) need top candidates more than top candidates need them. As a result, it’s critical for candidates to trust you.
“Job seekers normally expect us to tell them what we expect from them,” said Barb. “When we turn the tables and share what they can expect from us, it gives them a reason to trust us and share as much information with us upfront.”
This is also another way to stand out from other recruiters with whom top job candidates may have worked previously. This is an opportunity to brand yourself and your firm in a positive light and increase the chances that these candidates will want to work with you in the future.
“Nw is a good time to share what your candidates can expect from you in writing to differentiate yourself,” said Barb.
Recruiter expectations and your ATS
Communicating with job seekers and candidates and setting recruiter expectations with them is easier when using a candidate management system or ATS (applicant tracking system). Top Echelon Software offers one of the best and most affordable recruiting and hiring packages on the market, combining powerful applicant tracking capabilities with robust CRM features.
With Top Echelon Software, you can:
- Break down resumes with one of the fastest and most accurate resume parsing engines.
- Track calls, emails, and events as you guide candidates through the recruiting and hiring process.
- Create custom fields for the records in your database to keep track of important details in the process.
- Organize your database in a way that prioritizes your most qualified candidates, leading to more placements!
You can try Top Echelon’s recruiting software yourself to see how it can help you and your agency.
You can get free recruitment software for 15 days as part of your Top Echelon trial.
Not only that, but you can also request a recruiting software demo of our applicant tracking system.
We also encourage you to check out Top Echelon’s recruitment software pricing page for more information about the affordability of our ATS.