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The relationship between clients and IT service providers can often be complex. One of the reasons for this complexity is that account managers at IT staffing firms must negotiate the transition from salesperson to trusted partner. By doing a few simple things, you can dramatically increase the value that your gain from interacting with IT recruiting agencies … and the best news is that it requires very little work on your end!
Understand the screening process
When hiring IT workers, are you spending too much time interviewing candidates but losing them to your competitors? An overly rigorous application process might be to blame. In-demand candidates—which includes most IT workers—are not interested in jumping through hoops to work for most organizations. This means you need to speed up the hiring process and get rid of any unnecessary obstacles. In order to decrease the amount of time spent and increase your success in attracting the resources you want, request that your IT service provider share the details of their screening process. In my years of experience working with both customers and recruiters, one thing has become clear … clients often do not understand the work that high-quality services companies do behind the scenes to screen candidates before presenting them.
If you’re working with an IT recruiter, you should request detailed information about the specific screening work he or she is doing to rule out candidates who don’t meet your hiring criteria. If you don't understand how your staffing partners get to the point of recommending a candidate to you, how will you ever be able to trust them? Believe me, fully understanding their process will help decrease the redundant screening activities you perform—helping you speed up the hiring process and retain the best candidates for your position.
Work with Experts
Do you work with IT staffing services providers that you recognize as leaders in the field of talent management expertise? If they understand the local job market, your company’s unique culture and the landscape of your industry, it is still probably a good idea to learn a bit more about their expertise. Find out what kind of real-world experience your sales partner can share that can benefit your current hiring efforts. Believe it or not, you don’t even need to have a current position vacancy in order to involve the high-end providers in this type of conversation; the good ones are willing to talk before they’re engaged. Understanding the value they provide will definitely increase the trust you have in their abilities.
Finally, do you have a relationship with your recruiting agency that transcends working together for professional purposes? Many great salespeople will work to get to know more about you. They want to know not only about your professional goals, but your personal goals as well. At first this may seem a bit invasive, but fear not, commitment to your success will be the result of letting them understand your daily challenges in management. Hiring the wrong IT candidate can create negative consequences for you, so make sure you allow your IT staffing provider to truly understand your needs. In turn, you will be able to transform a great dialogue into a mutually beneficial business partnership.
Understanding the screening process, leveraging the knowledge of your sales partners, and building more meaningful business relationships are easy steps that can have remarkable impact when attracting talent or choosing the right service. Commit to getting value out of your interactions, and I promise, it will pay-off!
Melissa McFall has spent over 9 years in the IT staffing and services industry focusing on the delivery, sales and analysis aspects of the business. She is an expert in recruiter/client relations and service delivery.