Short-Term Fix or Long-Term Relationship: The Key to Finding and Retaining Top Talent By Kathleen Duffy

Your client or company’s hiring leader calls with a desperate request: to find a qualified candidate immediately. The position has been open for months and the company is losing ground.

The urge to fill the role quickly and move on is enticing. But as recruiters know, that’s not the best approach.

Recruiters are matchmakers. We are not interested in a short-term fix. Instead, we want to identify candidates who will make a lasting contribution to their organizations while building long-term relationships with our clients.

As one of our practice leaders at Duffy Group likes to say, “We are looking to marry, not date.” That means taking a deliberate approach to uncovering and hiring talent – not just for today but for the future. 

Duffy Group has a proven model for doing just that. It’s called Recruitment Research. 

Equal parts detective and salesperson, Recruitment Research is a multistep methodology that connects qualified candidates with the companies that need them using a flexible pricing model. It starts with an intake process where our team takes a deep dive into the company, job description and competitive landscape. The goal is to find the “IT” factor – what makes the company and/or the position different, special and enticing to prospective candidates.

As we gather information and learn more from hiring managers, we open a dialogue with candidates – even internal candidates – to find out what they are looking for in their next career move. Taking time at the start for an in-depth intake with the company or client, even those we have worked with before, helps us understand or solidify how their organizations work and the type of candidates who will succeed in their culture. It also adds to the bank of knowledge we can share with candidates. 

Like a good marriage, our work builds a solid foundation for the long-term. As one search narrows to the final candidate list, we often talk to HR managers and hiring leaders about what’s next. We review our progress in the current search while identifying potential areas where we can offer other support — needs they may not have identified yet and opportunities where our expertise could add value. We review their website to analyze any positions being advertised that could be a good match for a candidate we presented who didn’t meet their final criteria but would be a perfect fit for another position within their organization.

Once hired, we make a point to check in with the candidate and client to ensure that the relationship is going well. We also relay feedback about the new hire’s accomplishments and praise from the employee about his new employer. This helps us fortify our relationship with both of them.

Something else that is important for clients or hiring companies: a spreadsheet of candidates we vetted in case future vacancies arise. This research report can be of great value to our clients’ internal recruiting teams to build a talent pipeline that meets future recruiting needs.

These are just a few ways to build relationships with clients and candidates that reach beyond a single opportunity or a single hire. Recruitment Research is at the heart of this work.

Kathleen Duffy is president and CEO of Duffy Group, Inc., a global recruitment firm based in Phoenix, Ariz. Duffy is the author of “Revolutionizing Recruitment: How Recruitment Research is Reshaping the Industry” and host of the podcast, Revolutionizing Recruitment. 

The information was adapted from Duffy’s best-selling book, Revolutionizing Recruitment: How Recruitment Research is Reshaping the Industry. In July, Amazon is offering the book a special price of $.99. To order a copy, visit Amazon

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Kathleen Duffy

Kathleen Duffy is president and CEO of Duffy Group, Inc. that sources and recruits candidates in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Europe and Asia.


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