A partnership relationship with a client is the foundation of how HardyGroup built this business. There’s nothing new in this. What is new, is the frequency with which I hear this being spoken about by recruitment firms.
A successful partnership between an executive search and recruitment agency and a client is based on 6 core criteria in my view:
- Mutual trust and respect
- Honesty in communication
- A clear brief
- No surprises!
- Timely progress reports
- The ability and provision of strategic advice, guidance and recommendations
A good Search agency must be highly attuned to both client and candidate care. Clients, because they are the Boss and you are their strategic adviser. Your job is to find the best field of available talent for them not tell them that it is a “hard” search. That is why they have commissioned your services!
It is important to remember that whilst you might not always agree with them they are the client. “While they may not always be right they, as the client, are never wrong”.
How you also treat your candidates is crucial. It is important to keep the connection with them through appropriately honest advice. They may not be the best applicant for a particular role but would be superb for some other role in the future. They may not be a Tier 1 candidate on this occasion, but they deserve your respect and honest feedback about why that is the case. They will appreciate it and tell other people! How you treat them is also representing your client’s organisational values and brand. Candidates have made themselves vulnerable and expended a lot of emotional energy deciding to apply and preparing an application.
“Today’s candidate may be tomorrow’s client”
Remember that “Today’s candidate may be tomorrow’s client”. If you treat them poorly them they will remember and tell others.
It is an honour to be trusted to undertake an assignment for a client. Your focus is on a high quality professional relationship with the client, quality service, and, an outstanding result which demonstrates your capacity to have gone “above and beyond” for the client. This leads to a greater chance of repeat assignments and is the best form of marketing that an organisation can have.