How to make external recruitment more effective?

Lena Volk
Lena Volk September 26, 2018

recruiting, recruiter, recruitment

As an external IT recruitment agency, we face challenges on a daily basis. For example, we showed 20 candidates and didn’t fill the vacancy; we were working with the vacancy for three months but then it was cancelled; dissatisfied customers who every day ask us one question "where are the people?", etc.

At such moments, we realized that something was clearly going wrong and something had to be done about it. In this way, solutions appeared and we started practicing them. But after facing another problem, we structured them in our head and decided to share what helps us, as external IT recruiters, to work as efficiently as possible.

We find but as much information as possible at the beginning

And the client's options just to send a ready-made description to DOU are not suitable. Now we start making a call with each client for about an hour and the recruiter finds out all the necessary information regarding the vacancy and the company. And it helps us to feel confident with the candidates when we can answer their questions instead of saying “I don’t know”. But of course, in the process, questions arise, and we find the answers in the process as well.

Here is our draft with questions to the client, which we focus on in the process of communication. But more often it is a natural dialogue with the client. This list is more like a checklist for us, not to forget about something.

We communicate with candidates by voice

Frankly speaking, at the moment, not all the recruiters in our team like to call candidates before sending them to a client. Of course, it is also more convenient for many candidates to answer our questions in writing and then ask their own questions. But as practice shows, calls allow you to find out more information about the candidates and tell them more about the vacancy. So they go to the first interview with the company more prepared and informed.

Visit your client

As we can assume from our experience, the most productive cooperation is obtained with the companies we visited. Again, due to a more subtle understanding of the internal atmosphere of the company and what kind of person will definitely suit them.

Recently, one new client immediately after signing the contract invited a recruiter to visit them, and we closed the vacancy in just a week. Isn't it a miracle? :)

And of course, just go to visit and meet for tea/coffee, this will help strengthen relationships and make cooperation more productive in the future. We love to visit our clients on holidays and just like that. We always prepare small gifts for such visits: cookies, marshmallows, etc. with our branded sticker. Here a fairy named Tanya helps us. She prepares all these delicious sweets. A couple of examples of them are below:

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Call if something is unclear!

If you feel that there are some misunderstandings in your correspondence or there is a series of refusals for candidates and you do not fully understand the reason, just call the client and speak it out in a voice. Emotions and tone are often lost in correspondence, it is difficult to convey your thoughts. Usually, after a call, everything becomes clearer for both parties.

Visit a few interviews

When I first started freelancing, I tried to attend the first interviews with the client whenever possible. This helped a lot. Firstly, it helped to learn more about the vacancy itself and the company, by listening to how information is conveyed to candidates. Secondly, the image of the ideal candidate was formed in my head.

Now we have this practice with only one client, the recruiter is still present at the interview with him. And I will say that the efficiency of filling vacancies is also at a high level, although they are quite complicated.

That’s also what I want to implement for some clients whenever possible and look at the results.

Be as transparent as possible

Because clients do not see the entire internal recruiting process, they may not understand what you are doing. A couple of times we ran into a situation where a client asked "Where are the people?" and it was necessary to explain that everything is not so simple in IT recruiting and the problem is not that we do nothing. In these situations, in order to solve the problem, we made a report to the client about the work done and organized a call shared our database, showed how the work process was going, talked about the main reasons for the refusals of candidates via a call.

The client saw that a huge amount of work had been done, and then we thought of how to hire a person faster together.

As a result, this has become a part of our weekly practice, and not only in the case of “extinguishing a fire”. Every Friday we send reports to clients and, if necessary, make calls, show the funnel and see together what the problems may be.

Below is a screenshot of one of our reports (it is just for the vacancy that was filled in two weeks):

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At the moment, these are our basic rules for working with clients, but I'm sure this list will continue to grow.

We are not saying that now we are not facing difficulties and fill vacancies from the first candidate (although such options are also encountered). It's just that with every difficulty we got a solution that we tried in practice and implemented in our work further. We share these decisions with you;)

If you are interested in learning more about the difficulties that external recruiters face in their work, read our previous article.