For talent acquisition, fostering the relationship between the Headhunter/Recruiter and candidate(s) is a critical aspect of the work we do. Talent acquisition tends to focus on medium to long-term human resource planning and finding the right candidates with a specific skillset. It’s also to important to focus on both active and passive candidates.

For us Headhunters/Recruiters the most valuable resource is the candidate.

  • By having a good talent pool of quality candidates – besides building your network & brand in the segments of the market you operate in.
  • It can streamline your work, improve efficiency & response in your sourcing of suitable candidates and ultimately your performance as a Headhunter/Recruiter in filling those roles (whether you work in a recruitment agency or in-house HR).

So, it becomes crucial to establish and maintain good relationships with candidates.

How to build relationships with candidates – I think some of the golden rules are:

  • focus on the candidate & their career interests/prospects and not just the client/position you want to pitch them (it’s as much about them as it is about your agenda),
  • I think it’s important to be personable / respectful,
  • be open & transparent, know your candidate, share & provide feedback.

Usage of ATS (applicant tracking system) has become a valuable tool for creating a system, documenting communications with candidates and understanding there needs / timing of availability, what interests them / what doesn’t interest them etc.

This information, let’s say for a recruitment agency, is up to date candidate intelligence that can be shared & worked with to expedite recruitment projects. GDPR consent obligations are rigorously adhered to. This allows for smooth engagement with your candidate pool and bonding with them quickly.

An individual Headhunter/Recruiter can also use LinkedIn as a professional networking place where one can quickly build one’s own candidate pool by connecting with candidates in the segments you actively recruit in – again you can then fast track your candidate sourcing via your 1st degree connections whom you have a positive contact with vs only relying on hours of new market search on LinkedIn and approaching candidate you know nothing about.

Author: Tony Karas, Senior HR Consultant

We already talked about managing relationship and candidate experience in the previous article: