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How Your Rivals Are Winning With Better Recruiting Partners

Updated: 7 days ago

Your talent acquisition strategy shapes the quality of your hires. Whom you hire impacts productivity, profits, margins, and market share. Many senior managers don't realize they're working with recruiting vendors whose service is substandard.  Their competitors are engaging more adept recruiters and gaining an edge on talent acquisition.

Here are several essential services a high quality recruiter will provide. It may be time to reconsider what you're currently paying for.


Deep Dive into ‘The Real Job’: A superior recruiter won’t accept your default job description at face value. They'll be your advisor, challenging its accuracy and appeal. First they'll probe to clarify the underlying business problem, short and long-term expectations, as well as any uncertainties.  They’ll provide market intelligence on requisite skills and compensation and ensure you're only exposed to candidates who precisely match your criteria. They'll help you make the opportunity attractive, even to those not actively looking for a new job. The best will reply with their interpretation of the need, often rewriting the description for you. Guessing is not recruiting.

Robust Negotiation on Your Behalf: How a recruiter negotiates their terms of service is a preview of how they will negotiate on your behalf. If they easily crumble and concede their terms, it’s unlikely they have the prowess to navigate an acceptable compensation package for your top candidates.

Exclusivity and Committed Collaboration: High-caliber recruiters avoid crowded, non-exclusive contingency searches that lead to compromised candidate screening. They also respect their practice too much follow a poor business model. Good headhunters only commit to focused and dedicated partnerships, yielding true collaboration, higher quality candidates, less redundancy, and a predictable experience.

Insightful Market Education: Recruiters with true market mastery will educate you on how other companies successfully resolved similar business and hiring challenges, offering you a strategic advantage in attracting the best talent and navigating unknowns.

Proactive and Transparent Candidate Prospecting: Top recruiters heatmap your competitors and share where the people you need are working.  They also provide an up front list of all the candidates they’re prospecting to ensure there’s no time wasted on those you may already know or have previously considered.

Strategic Brand Representation: A true headhunter won't blindly spam scores of candidates with vague messaging. They'll first outline for you how they intend to pitch your company to passive candidates, including their messaging strategy, so you see how your employer brand is perceived externally.

SLAs and Real Time Updates:  Random résumés hitting your inbox is not a partnership.  Committed collaboration means a good recruiter will set expectations on how many candidates they will procure each week.  They'll give you scheduled updates on progress and any challenges. You'll know where your expectations may be misaligned with the market, like available skills to work onsite and compensation.

Clear Process Outline: From résumé to start date, they establish and adhere to a detailed interview process and hold every stakeholder accountable to decisive action, to avoid the ‘waiting for feedback’ trap.

Innovative Interviewing Techniques: Top recruiters are interview experts who have seen what works and what doesn’t.  They'll guide you on innovating your interview process into part of your company’s competitive advantage.

No "What Do you Think?" Résumés: If they truly know what to look for, then you should be interviewing 100% of the candidates they recommend. The best headhunters will give you their professional opinion on why each candidate can solve your business problems. They'll also be transparent with any areas of concern so you're not blindsided during the interview.

Preparation for Interview Success: A good recruiter knows their job goes well beyond just scheduling interviews on a calendar. They will provide every detail of candidates' expectations , before and after each interview, enabling you to stay well-informed.  You’ll have the data to avoid surprises, eliminate unknowns, and make thoughtful decisions.

Proactive Risk Management: A foresighted recruiter will have the courage to cancel a final interview if they detect the candidate might be prone to counter-offers, just kicking tires, or is likely to accept another offer. This saves you from potentially futile efforts and ensures only fully committed candidates are considered.

Continuous Communication and Support: True headhunters know their job doesn't end with an offer. They remain a candid, continuous liaison between you and your new hire throughout the resignation, onboarding, and adjustment phases, often extending through the first year to ensure smooth integration and satisfaction on both sides.


There's a difference between a vendor and a partner. Expect more.

If any of this resonates and you feel your current recruiting vendors aren't delivering, get in touch.  We’ll put you back on track.


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