Hiring can be exciting, challenging, and critical to a team and an organization's success. Finding candidates who have just the right skill sets and fit well with the group is essential. Yet often, this task is a lot harder than it sounds. If not executed properly and efficiently, the steps involved - sourcing candidates, conducting phone screens, facilitating interviews, making offers, and overseeing onboarding - can be quite time consuming.

Many companies choose to partner with staffing and recruiting firms to streamline these activities. Their decision can be motivated by a number of different reasons. However, the deciding factor typically boils down to this: saving time. In a world where time is our only commodity, making our hiring processes as productive and seamless as possible is vital. Plus, a good staffing and recruiting partner will eliminate stress and headaches on your side. But in order to ensure a productive working relationship, there must be open lines of communication, accessibility and transparency.

Investing Time Up Front Pays Off Later On
You may be asking yourself, "What's in it for me?" The reality is, establishing the right working relationship in the beginning can save you hours of interviewing on the back end. From the moment you decide to engage with a recruiting partner, either an external firm or your internal recruiting resources, communication is key. Simply emailing a job description won't cut it. Hiring managers must clearly (and comprehensively) articulate what they're looking for early in the search, and be willing to have an honest, constructive dialogue up front. This back-and-forth discussion will prove to be pivotal to process success. Why? Because often, what's NOT in the job description is just as significant as what is. Defining crucial elements such as culture fit, personality, and interpersonal skills can essentially be half the battle. Win it early.

Your Feedback Is Requested (Immediately)
Important, time-sensitive information will be exchanged with candidates. They, and your organization as well, will benefit when the dialogue is open (confidentiality permitting) and your response is timely. You can assume that any strong candidate you're interviewing and pursuing is also actively engaged in the interview/hiring process with several other companies, some of which may be your direct competitors. In today's talent-driven hiring landscape, if a candidate does not receive initial feedback within 1-2 business days following an interview, chances are they will lose a bit of interest in your open position. As staffing and recruiting specialists, we see it all the time. A client sits on a strong candidate for a few days, and then when they finally decide to pull the trigger, that candidate has moved on to another opportunity. Prevent this from happening to you. Immediately communicate your thoughts about candidates to your recruiting partner, so they can get to work on your behalf.

When lines of communication are clogged, closed or nonexistent, things can get lost in translation. Sometimes, these missteps can cost the talent a job opportunity, or rob the employer of an outstanding potential employee. While email is sometimes the best form of communication, there's no substitute for explaining your candidate evaluations to your recruitment team via a phone call or in-person meeting. Again, taking some time to invest in dialogue can grant you access to the most sought-after candidates in the market.

Lastly, the more that your staffing partner knows about the structure of your team, the structure of the organization, and your key deliverables, the higher caliber of talent they can attract. Positioning your opportunity against other jobs in the marketplace will be a critical aspect of landing the strongest talent available. The better your recruiting arm can understand what's needed, expected and beneficial in a role, the better they can "sell" candidates on it. And ultimately find the best fit for your team.

After all, finding the best talent is what's most important, right?