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Nov 23, 2015

You’ve been working with the same recruiter for a while, but their results have gotten stale. They’re not helping you find the best candidates, and you’re not getting much from the partnership.

Your recruiter’s skills aren’t at fault — it’s your relationship.

Just like any other professional relationship, the one between HR professionals and recruiters takes work. If you don’t put effort into your communication, the relationship won’t return the results you’re looking for and you could miss out on the best candidates.

Here are some signs your relationship with recruiters is falling apart, and how to fix it:

1. You give orders, and recruiters follow them

You and your recruiters are pressed for time. To speed up the process, you evaluate your talent data, make decisions, and fill in recruiters later.

The recruiters follow your orders and don’t question your decisions — because they don’t see the data. If you don’t make the data available to recruiters, you’re missing out on their expertise and advice they could give to improve your hiring process.

In a survey of hiring managers and recruiters published by the iCIMS Hire Expectations Institute in October 2014, 63 percent of companies reporting the best hiring manager and recruiter relationships and a lower than average time-to-hire said they collaborate with recruiters on ways to find the best candidates. These companies say they work together to find the best keywords to search in resume databases, which social media platforms to use, and which competitors to target.

Make your hiring data available to recruiters and get their input to make decisions. Collaborate with your recruiters and include them in important discussions to improve your relationship and your hiring process.

2. You can’t find the candidates you’re seeking

You know exactly what you want in a candidate, but after you and your recruiter have spent time looking for them, you’re convinced they don’t exist.

A lack of talent isn’t the problem — your lack of communication is.

Although you have a clear picture of the candidate you’re looking for, your recruiter doesn’t. In the iCIMS survey, 80 percent of recruiters think they have a high or very high understanding of the jobs for which they recruit, but 61 percent of hiring managers say that, at best, recruiters have a low to moderate understanding of these jobs.

Before recruiters begin their search for candidates, spend some time detailing the position and describing exactly what you desire. To get on the same page, 55 percent of companies with the best relationships between hiring managers and recruiters say they review resumes together and tweak the criteria of the job. Involve recruiters in the job description process so you both know exactly what to look for.

3. You exclusively communicate through email

Email has its advantages. It’s quick and to the point, but when communicating with recruiters, it’s not always the most effective method.

In fact, the EMPLOYEEapp’s Mobile Trends In The Workplace survey published last May found that 30 percent of employees ignore emails. Your messages to recruiters are getting missed, or misinterpreted.

Email won’t create the best relationship with recruiters. After all, 79 percent of companies with the best relationships in the iCIMS survey said they meet in person or talk on the phone to discuss job requirements.

Take your relationship with recruiters offline for clear communication, a better relationship, and improved results.

4. Unqualified candidates are making it through the process

Your recruiter turns in a batch of screened candidates, but you’re less than thrilled with the options.

The candidates aren’t up to the quality you were expecting. You go through the list and re-screen each candidate yourself.

The screening process is one of the major pain points for hiring managers, the iCIMS study suggests. Among hiring managers surveyed, 77 percent say that recruiters’ screening processes are inadequate.

Work with recruiters to improve the screening proce together. Among companies with the best relationships, 67 percent prepare screening and interview questions with recruiters. Let recruiters know exactly what to look for during the screening process and use tools like video screening so you and recruiters can quickly screen candidates together.

When working with recruiters, wires get crossed, messages are lost in translation, and you end up working against your recruiter instead of with them. Focus on communication and collaboration for better, more effective relationships.

What are your best practices for building relationships with recruiters? Let us know in the comments below!