Your clients expect you to deliver a service that can be very difficult to provide: a solid employee who is worth keeping. Finding such a person when the available talent pool is good is hard enough. When the talent pool is a bit smaller, it’s just that much more difficult to help your client find the right employee. Helping your client understand what is realistic and possible is vital to having a good and continuing relationship with them.
Agree on Terms
Make sure that your clients agree, first, to your terms for payment. You don’t want to end up with a client who says that they are a bit low on money at the moment, and, while they thank you for finding Employee X, they aren’t worth the bill that you’re sending.
Talk about Process
Engage your client in a discussion about how the entire recruiting process works at your company from recruiting, to interviewing, to offering/negotiating, to onboarding. How are you going to operate at each stage of the process?
Talk about Ad Copy
Talk to your client about the ad copy. It’s another part of the essential open line of communication. If they don’t like how you’ve portrayed the company or the job, they can provide some extra feedback. After all, they are the one who knows their company and the position better than anyone. That collaboration can be just what is needed to get the right person hired.
Discuss sourcing with your client. Some of them might just want a list of names, a short work history, and some social media information about them. Others want you to have engaged every person on the list yourself and asked them about their level of interest in the job.
Who Will Do Reference Checks?
You should also talk about who is going to conduct the reference checks: you or the client. Maybe both of you? You might do a reference check before you turn in any short list to the client, but the client may want to do one themselves.
What about Negotiation?
Discuss who will do the negotiating. Who will offer the job and make the compensation package offer? You can end up turning off potentially good candidates who are confused about who to turn to in the offer/negotiation phase of their job search, and they may go somewhere else.
Learn about the Client
In your discussions with clients, find out about the organization. Ask about the problems the employer wants to solve by hiring this person. What is the meaning of success in the company, and what are the characteristics of a stellar employee there? If the company has a high turnover rate, you’re going to have to find a way to convince top talent to take a chance and work there. What does the company have to offer? This can be a delicate topic, but it’s necessary if the company wants to recruit the best that is available in a competitive environment.
Be Realistic Yourself
Finally, avoid telling your client that you will give them a list of a certain number of great candidates. You have to be realistic and cautious if you expect your clients to be. People are unpredictable, so your plan for recruiting them must be carefully laid out. Anticipate problems like scheduling interview times or a candidate accepting anoffer somewhere else. Try to have a back-up candidate ready in the wings to fill the position if the top choice decides to work somewhere else.