Spending time on the phone and meeting face-to-face with candidates makes up a significant portion of the core functions of a recruiter. Whether it’s an initial stage phone call to present the candidate with a prospective role, a discussion about what the candidate should expect during each stage of the interview process or the more exciting call where the candidate has been made an offer by the client, it is quite clear that a rapport between recruiter and candidate will naturally occur during the placement process. Throughout the course of this year, harnessing a constructive relationship with candidates I speak to had granted me the opportunity to converse with and meet some brilliant individuals, both at the junior and senior level.
If you are an aspiring applicant, below are some tips that you should take into consideration to make sure you are getting the most out of the candidate-recruiter relationship.
Whether one is currently out of work, thinking about pursuing another role as it is time for that next step or just simply gauging what the hiring market is like, reaching out to a recruiter is well advised. This may seem clear, but a straightforward phone call to a recruiter puts you right at the forefront of the recruiter’s mind. This allows the candidate to highlight even just the basic details of what it is they are looking for. This could include salary expectations, what the candidate’s current job function entails or what type of cultural fit they might be searching for within their next company.
This should also go without saying, but do not ever feel it is unnecessary to follow up an email with a phone call! Sometimes an email reaches a person’s inbox at a busy time and it can unfortunately be missed. A recruiter would never take any offence to being slightly pressed and it is certainly shrewd to meaningfully engage along these lines.
While a recruiter would naturally enjoy nothing more than to place every candidate they engage with into their next job, this is of course implausible. There is only a finite amount of vacancies that are readily available and not every candidate is going to receive the much sought-after offer. However, an early conversation can bode extremely well for a vacancy that only comes live months down the line. Just recently in fact, a candidate that I spoke to at the very beginning of the year to simply get an idea of what it was they required was approached by a colleague of mine for a vacancy that went live months down the line. That candidate interviewed for that role and the process is still ongoing. While referring to my previous point, a candidate may also find that their recruiter puts them forward for a variety of relevant roles.
Therefore, it is so important to stay in touch with and to maintain a good relationship with a recruiter for this exact reason. Should the initial vacancy you have been put forward for not materialise into an offer, who knows what you may be approached with next time.
Keeping an Open Line
Communication is key to building any relationship, especially professional. Whether I am catching up with a candidate to simply see how their new job is going (should a placement have been made with that specific candidate of course!), to see how a candidate is doing in their current job search or to even see how a candidate’s current role is going, keeping that open line of communication is important in developing and fostering the candidate-recruiter relationship. What was once a candidate receiving a call from an unfamiliar voice can soon become the most comfortable of interactions over time.
I have always been quite surprised about some of the interactions certain individuals have had with recruiters. I have been told by certain applicants that recruiters have ‘ghosted’ them after submitting their CV, have failed to provide any kind of useful feedback throughout the process or even the most startling to me personally, not giving useful and meaningful feedback after being told by the client that the interview wasn’t a success. I take great pride in being able to have more personal conversations with candidates that don’t always revolve around professional ambitions. We work in such a personable and almost social industry that it seems so unfortunate to me that recruiters don’t take the time to understand the candidates they spend time talking to.
Maintaining good rapport is essential to any candidate-recruiter relationship and should always be carefully nurtured. By always staying on top of your recruiter’s mind, you might find yourself accepting an offer sooner than you think.
Tevia Kretzmer is a consultant at Rutherford, the executive compliance recruitment specialists.
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Rutherford is a boutique search firm that specialises in legal, financial crime and compliance recruitment within the financial services and legal sector, with London and New York being the main focus. We use our carefully curated relationships, networks and market knowledge to find the best fit for the clients in hand. We work with a wide range of clients, spanning from advisors, corporate and commercial banks, brokers, exchanges, MTFs and financial tech, through to global investment managers, hedge funds, private equity firms and investment banks.