Attention Recruiters and HR: You’re In the Relationship Business

relationship recruiting, candidate experience, relationship recruitment, candidate experience

I always have potential companies ask me, “Why should we go with you over another agency?”

In my opinion, it’s not about the tools or the sources. It’s about the relationships. Finding the talent can be easy. It’s the getting them to work with you over another recruiter that can be challenging. This relationship is an agency recruiter’s secret sauce. Candidates have a lot of options right now, and they are in control when it comes to the recruiting and hiring process. 

These opinions and opinions are vast from candidate relationships to customer relationships too. To answer the above question: because I respond quickly, will be consultative, and provide you a high level of customer service. At the end of the day, if a customer or candidate didn’t have a good experience with you, they’ll walk away. To have a successful career in recruitment, you have to build and maintain relationships.

The Power in Recruiting and Hiring with Relationships

I had lunch with a candidate the other day who was surprised I wanted to go out to lunch with him. He interviewed with a couple of our clients and neither was quite the right match. He wanted to meet with me to get my input and talk about his job search. He was also working with other recruiters who represented companies in industries outside of what I work on. He said after initial contact, he was told his resume would be sent in but then he never heard back either way. He mentioned how much it meant to him that I would follow up every couple of weeks asking how his search was going. He said that because the other recruiters didn’t get back to him, he wouldn’t send his cousin’s resume to them, who was also looking.

How powerful is that?

Hiring and Candidate Referrals Are Still Your Recruiters Secret Sauce

Not following through with what you say you’re going to do doesn’t just impact that client or candidate. People talk to each other. I’m not up to date with all the hottest technology and tools to find candidates, but I focus on the relationships with the ones I do have which brings me referrals. Hiring and candidate referrals are a huge piece of the bigger picture for successful recruiters. I think often relationships and referrals are often overlooked when there in part because there are many systems, technologies, and online tools out there.

Recruitment can be so transactional but remember at the end of the day it’s a people and relationship business. We’re here to engage and build relationships with not only the job seekers but also the hiring managers and HR leaders we are working with to support and fill their open positions right along with them. Spend the time to take a couple of your candidates to lunch. You’ll learn a lot about how your process and experience is perceived. I like getting different candidate perspectives because it makes me a better partner to candidates and clients.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Rashmi Bhalla says

    Well said ! Yes, we should get to know our candidates. The MSP model of business where we do national level recruitment is not a practical forum to apply this approach. But ideally we ought to be connecting with candidates like every other person in our neighborhood. Then only is it true recruitment ! So recruitment firms should try and leverage their local community presence always.

  2. Mira says

    Couldn’t agree more with the fact that “at the end of the day it’s a people and relationship business.”.

    We cannot deny the need for the new age HRMS platforms like Digital HRMS ( and BeehiveHR ( that offer seamless recruitment gateways to find the right candidate and make the recruitment process much faster. However, along with the use of HRMS recruitment modules, what we need is a desire to connect with candidates and build relationships.


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