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woman meets an IT recruiter

Commodity recruiting vs. relationship recruiting

April 13, 2017

By Lisa Dare

This week, a recruiter sent me a LinkedIn message about a job opening. It was a nice message: personalized, polite and the job fit my skill set. Those of you who get spammed a lot—and I’m assuming that’s all of you—probably know how rare that combination is. So instead of ignoring the recruiter, I sent a note giving my reasons for declining the offer and adding that I couldn’t think of anyone with similar skills currently looking.

And then … crickets. No ‘thanks anyway’ or ‘let’s connect.’

Knowing how a quality recruiting organization should work, that silence surprised me. I have a skill set that is both rare and marketable, and showed a willingness to help the recruiter. Assuming she’s going to recruit for more than a month, shouldn’t she want to build a relationship with a candidate who might be interested in a future job?  

Shortsightedness in recruiting

Among other dubious “perks” like being drafted as family tech support, IT pros probably receive the most recruiter spam.

How many irrelevant job solicitations do you get a week? Many IT workers say they receive 30 or more offers, few of which fit their skills. While this mass market approach might make sense for “body shop” recruiting companies that focus all their energy on finding candidates for the opening they have right that minute, it’s not a great plan for long-term success.

“When we call our potential consultants, our No. 1 goal is to understand their skills, goals and interests,” says Brianne Van Hemert, a senior Java recruiter in Chicago. “Ideally, the first time we call isn’t about a job, but to get to know the person.”

It hasn’t always been this way. While TEKsystems has always strived to provide quality service to consultants and clients, creating a company culture where every single recruiter cares about consultants' long-term success has taken innovation and investment. A primary driver in creating consistent quality has been aligning recruiters to specific skill sets, instead of clients. We’ve also learned that measuring quality scores over sales activity has driven a mentality of building mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with consultants.

[TEKsystems receives a Best of Staffing award for candidate satisfaction]

“Being skill set aligned allows you to get more ingrained, build relationships, know candidates and present multiple opportunities,” explains Brianne. “I expect to present a qualified professional with several openings before they find the right one for them.”

Read more: Explore IT salary trends in 2017

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