Maybe you’re dealing with your own in-house team of recruiters. Perhaps you’re working with an agency. Whatever your set up, you are likely to see a major upturn in productivity if you do these five things:

Give Good Feedback

When it comes to refining a search and delivering you a better candidate, knowing why you’re passing on the ones you’ve already been given is invaluable. A trial and error approach is no good for anyone. In a world where job descriptions are often mass produced from a template and access to the real decision maker can be limited, some simple, direct feedback is vital. Ultimately it’s going to save you time and get you what you need faster.

Talk to them

The more a Recruiter can understand about your projects and your culture, the faster they can get you the people you need. Don’t be afraid to invite your two or three best recruiters to see what you’re working on, to get a feel for your business and your team. This will help them to understand your real needs and provide you a better service. I always council clients to be suspicious of vendors who want to take them out for expensive dinners, or drop off fancy gifts. They’re only paying for it in the short term. In the long term, they’re going to want something in return that they haven’t earned. It’s the recruiters who want to meet you and your team in your office who are probably the ones worth taking seriously. They’re prepared to let the work do the talking.   Let them come; most of them are house trained and the benefits will come back to you.

Offer Some Exclusivity

If you’re working with thirty agencies on your vacancies, you’re not going to get the best service from any of them. If they know their work is unlikely to bear fruit simply based on the fact that they have a one in thirty chance of getting their resumes properly reviewed, they’re not going to send their best people. The cream of candidates, those who are not available from job boards and agencies en masse will always go to the customers who take the recruiter most seriously, retain a few close relationships with reputable agencies and don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the more resumes they get, the more people they will hire.

Understand the Recruiter’s world

Recruiters have it tough. Whether they’re corporate or commercial, you can bet they’ve got more jobs to fill than they reasonably can, more competition than they’ve ever had before and a great deal of pressure coming from the people they’re accountable to. Like agents in any field, there is a long held misperception that they are reckless cowboys who will do anything for a fast buck. For the vast majority, who are working long hours for modest base salaries, this is hugely inaccurate. During my time working with a lot of different Recruiters and recruiting teams, the biggest frustration expressed by strong, professional Recruiters has been that their motives are constantly doubted, even by the customers with whom they have developed good relationships. When something bad happens: when someone pulls out at the last minute, or drastically increases their salary demands, remember that it is highly unlikely to be your recruiter who’s yanking your chain. They just lost their income.

Be honest and realistic

Recruiters work the vast majority of their hours for free. The no win, no fee payment structure removes client accountability for the time recruiters put in. The trouble with this is that when a company thinks they might need twenty five people, they often get their recruiters attention by forgetting to mention the ‘might’.  I’ve seen so many urgent jobs that turned out to actually be bids. The thing is, I would have been delighted to help on the bid – heck we could have helped make the bid better if we’d known that’s what we were doing. Give your recruiters your best assessment of the real opportunity. If there are ten openings but you think you’ll fill five of them internally, let them know.


All in all, Recruiters live at the behest of their customers, and that’s how it should be. A decent Recruiter should be working on delivering a better service with each opportunity they get. They should want to earn your business every day. If you think you’ve found an agency who is genuinely doing those things, then meet them half way. It’s good for you, it’s good for them and ultimately, you’ll get a better, faster service.


Richard Spragg is the CEO of Hirebrand. Follow him on Twitter at
richard_spragg, or call the team on (713) 876 6045.